A Marriage of Convenience
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by Kate Hofman
Description: Chad Harwood is a famous writer with a dedicated amanuensis, Cara St. James, an intelligent woman who is an excellent foil for Chad's authorial brainstorming. They share an unspoken mutual depth of feeling, but neither will admit that to Self, much less to Other. Cara cohabits with little emotion with an arrogant high-flying financier, Reese, who at best is shallow; at his worst he is psychologically abusive and pathologically controlling and unfaithful. Chad knows Cara could do better--much better--but out of respect and due to his own integrity of character he never pushes the issue, until she determines on her own to leave Reese and Reese's lying nonsense. Chad makes an extra suite in his huge apartment available to her, and the work situation continues with growing emotional depth.
eBook Publisher: DCL Publications LLC, 2007 Australia
eBookwise Release Date: October 2007
13 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [283 KB]
Reading time: 181-254 min.
"Kate Hofman has outdone her already-excellent writing in A Marriage of Convenience. Chad Harwood is a famous writer with a dedicated amanuensis, Cara St. James, an intelligent woman who is an excellent foil for Chad's authorial brainstorming. They share an unspoken mutual depth of feeling, but neither will admit that to Self, much less to Other. Cara cohabits with little emotion with an arrogant high-flying financier, Reese, who at best is shallow; at his worst he is psychologically abusive and pathologically controlling and unfaithful. Chad knows Cara could do better-much better-but out of respect and due to his own integrity of character he never pushes the issue, until she determines on her own to leave Reese and Reese's lying nonsense. Chad makes an extra suite in his huge apartment available to her, and the work situation continues with growing emotional depth. Accompanying Chad on a fact-finding trip to Arizona to locate a locale for his next book, Chad and Cara find circumstances conspiring to force a relationship. Still, each is fearful of rejection, and miss clues the other puts out. Persisting through misunderstandings and miscommunications, Cara and Chad persevere to a happy and emotionally stable conclusion. A hero and heroine demonstrating the highest of moral integrity and depths of character, despite circumstances and emotional turmoil, create in A Marriage of Convenience, a story qualifying as a multiple reread. This reviewer expects to return to this story again and again and again, for the sheer pleasure of sinking into the story and reliving the characters' experiences. 5 Swords!"--Frost, JLFoster.biz
"If you like your love stories packed with romance, engaging characters and easy to dislike villains, you will love A Marriage of Convenience. Cara St. James has been secretary to writer Chad Harwood for a quite some time. Though she finds him fascinating she is engaged to Reece Andrews, a man who is controlling and psychologically abusive. Growing more and more disheartened by Reece's petulance and bullying, she has her suspicions confirmed he is having an affair, so leaving Reece for good, Cara returns to Chad's place who offers her the housekeeper's rooms in his apartment. Chad and Cara have worked together for the past three years and he feels they have become friends. As a result of increasing pressure from Reece when Cara dumps him, Chad suggests a research trip and eventually a marriage of convenience. He has feelings for the beautiful woman; they are alike in so many aspects of their lives yet he knows he need not fear falling in love with the young woman. What Chad and Cara deny, fate has a hand in bringing into the light, as with Reece's threats increasing, it may be the push each needs to admit to falling for each other. A Marriage of Convenience presents readers with two of the most admirable characters I have read for some time. Though Chad and Cara feel something for each other they do not cross the boundary while Cara is involved, even with such a jerk of a guy. Chad is a romantic hero in that he seems to always be the 'rock' to which Cara can turn, bailing her out when the promise of an escort to a party for her sister is suddenly withdrawn by Reece. He stands by her even when he knows Reece is a bad choice for her, maintaining his friendship no matter what. As threats escalate for Cara, Chad offers a way out, stepping in with a solution founded within his heart, though he doesn't realize it. Cara is a strong woman who has the 'blinders' removed early in the story; Reece is a verbally abusive and petulant whom she leaves at first verification of his infidelity. Though she thinks of Chad as a good friend, we see feelings gradually come to light but held in check for fear of rejection. Author, Kate Hofman has written a poignant and realistic love story that I will re-read again. Chad and Cara are likable individuals with human flaws and foibles. The chemistry is subtle at first but blooms into much more with each connection. If you like your love stories packed with romance, engaging characters and easy to dislike villains, you will love A Marriage of Convenience. Sensuality Rating: Sensuous Star Rating: 4.5 Stars"--Lettetia Elsasser, Ecataromance
"Cara? Over here." Waving from the back corner of the coffee shop, Beryl Gilbert caught her sister's attention. The place was crowded, and she'd been lucky to secure the small table.
The sisters bore a strong family resemblance, despite the fact that one was brunette and the other blonde. Both were of medium height, slender, elegant, with long, stunning legs, graceful arms and hands, and beautiful, if somewhat different, faces.
"Hi," Cara St. James said breathlessly. "Sorry I'm late. Chad has a deadline, and I thought he'd never stop dictating."
"I was about ready to give up on you," Beryl said, taking a sip of her latte.
Cara smiled. "Well, I couldn't very well interrupt him mid-sentence."
"No, I guess you couldn't." With a frown, Beryl added, "But you seem to find it difficult getting away for something as simple as a cup of coffee with your sister." She sliced Cara a look. "Cara, I'm going to say it again. Why won't you consider Reece's offer to work for him as his Personal Assistant? Think of it. You'll have a zillion perks, and a huge salary increase to boot."
With a groan, Cara shook her blonde head, looking up from the menu. "Not again, please. Believe me, Beryl, working for Reece Andrews would be a major disaster. I'd detest him in no time flat. You should hear him on the phone to his employees, rude, sarcastic, downright abusive sometimes. Moreover, I always think people who sleep with their bosses are at risk for a double whammy. If, for some reason, things go wrong privately, they not only lose a lover, they're also out of a job. No, I'm just fine where I am. Chad is a great employer. Working for him is always interesting, exciting even, seeing a book grow as he writes it. Working for Reece, watching him do his financial tycoonery--about as thrilling as watching a dripping tap. No, thanks."
"You should hear yourself, Cara." Beryl laughed. She set her coffee down and waited while Cara ordered a latte.
"You know..." Beryl went on after the waitress left. "I still think you could get him to propose if you played your cards right."
"Who?" Cara asked, placing the menu back into its holder.
Beryl rolled her eyes. "Who, indeed. Reece, of course"
"Oh, please. Reece and I are fine the way we are."
"But don't you want to marry him?"
"To be perfectly honest, Ber, no. Not particularly."
"Cara, are you mad? I feel strongly that you should put your foot down. Reece is having it too easy. He's had a year of living with you. It's high time you two were married."
Cara smiled. "You're advocating marriage after the horrendous divorce you and Bill just went through? No, Reece and I had better stay as we are. If, for some reason, one of us wants out, we simply separate, politely, I hope--"
Concerned now, Beryl asked, "You think that's a possibility?" She waved a dismissive hand, "Of course, I've always said, when you make it so easy for a man to have what he wants, why should he take the next step: commitment, marriage?"