About the book:
Cynical divorce attorney Lori Cumberland lives by one motto: Love is grand, but divorce is a hundred grand. With one failed marriage under her own personal belt, Lori had fallen hard and early—and it isn’t something she plans on repeating. She’s content focusing on the temporary marriages of her rich and famous clients. When she joins some of her recent divorcées on a celebratory cruise, her only vow is fun, sun, and new friends. But Lori finds herself tempted by a jury of one.
For Reed Barlow, falling into the world of private investigation was easy. He knows the law and knows how to avoid breaking it—all while doing his job. His rule to live by? No emotion, no involvement…until Lori. His charming smile and cocky attitude distracts Lori and lowers her guard, which is exactly what Reed desires.
But what appears as a one-time-only flirtation may be a plot orchestrated by Reed. As he’s taking his investigation to a dangerous level, it’s Lori who could end up in jeopardy. Reed has only one shot for Lori to grant him a second chance. But if he comes clean with her, he blows his cover. And that just might cost him the opportunity for an alliance of family…and of love.
It’s easy to forget why authors like Catherine Bybee frequent the best sellers lists. I didn’t want to love this book. About a third of the way through it, I’d made up my mind. This world of decadence and indulgences weren’t relatable to me, and I wasn’t sure I wanted them to be. The very idea of arranged marriages smacked against the sanctity of the institution that I believed in.
Then I fell in love. Lori’s need to protect her friends chipped away at my pre-conceived notions. While I still can’t relate to the choices that the women in this book made, I was able to relate to the friendship. The First Wives series is a spin off of another series that I haven’t read yet, but I am excited to do so now. When I grow up, I want a friend like Lori.
That being said, for the first half of the book, the lead male, Reed, made me think violent thoughts. While I believe in a redeemable hero just as much as the next girl, his dishonesty drove me to distraction. I’d just about given up on him, and applauded Lori’s resolve, when he had a frank conversation with his sister that changed my perception. His personal growth journey changed how I felt about him. By the end, I was satisfied that he was good enough for my girl, Lori.
For the emotional trek this book took me on, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about the indulgences of the rich and famous, as well as those who want to explore friendships between strong women.
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