Carina Conte has had a crush on her brother Michael’s best friend, Max Gray, since she was a teenager. Now she’s earned her MBA and come to work at Michael’s new venture, America’s fastest-growing bakery empire. But some things never change: her family still treats her like a child. With three drop-dead gorgeous siblings, she’s still the ugly duckling of the bunch. And Max, the company’s new CEO, still barely notices her.
Max knows Carina Conte is strictly off limits. But hot-blooded lust wins out at a conference when the two share a scorching one-night stand—and are busted by her mother! Now, forced by old-world Italian tradition into a marriage he’s not ready for, Max is miserable—and Carina is furious. Her new husband is about to realize that hell hath no fury like a woman transformed…
*Blurb from Goodreads*
I’ve been waiting for Carina’s story ever since she first stepped onto the page in The Marriage Trap. She was so young and bubbly and full of life and I adored her. Now that she has her own story, I have to say that I think this book might be my favorite in the series!
Carina has had a crush on her brother’s best friend, Max, for as long as she can remember. After years of his treating her like a little sister, she has given up and is now determined to work in the family business and finally put Max behind her. Little did Carina know she was going to have to work side-by-side with Max, and that Max would be determined to keep an eye on her every move.
Max never saw Carina as a woman–she was always the little sister of his best friend. But now that she has blossomed into an incredible woman, Max can’t seem to get her out of his mind. He will do anything to keep an eye on her, but fights the attraction between them with everything he has. Until one night in Vegas. And that night leads to something Max never imagined, a shotgun wedding with Carina, and a wife whom he is falling for, who seems to have fallen completely out of love with him.
I really can’t express enough how much I love these marriage of convenience stories. And like I said before, I think this might be my favorite in the series, because Carina and Max spent a majority of the book flirting and dancing around each other before the wedding actually took place. I liked that we had this really intense sexual tension build up before get to that one night in Vegas, and the consequences of the actual wedding.
I still love Carina so much after this story. Although she is a little more jaded in this story then she was in the previous book, she is also more grown up. She knows what she wants, and she isn’t afraid to take it. My heart literally hurt for her that she felt that she had to hide a piece of herself away from her family, and that it took her so long to really come to terms with what she really wanted out of life. I loved that she was somewhat cold to Max, that she made it perfectly clear to him she wasn’t going to hang onto his every word like she did as a young woman. I loved that she was able to make Max squirm by being somewhat aloof and distant.
I was a little worried that Max would come off as a jerk, but I actually ended up really liking his character. His own insecurities over his fate with the company really resonated throughout the book, and I was a little surprised that he had never said anything to Michael before. The way that he tripped over himself whenever Carina was around was great too. It was nice to see a flip-flop with their characters: Max chasing Carina instead of the other way around.
Although the reasoning behind the forced marriage was a little weak, I still loved it. Poor Carina having to face off against her mother and admit that she was still somewhat in love with Max… I would have killed my own mother for forcing me to marry someone she knew I was in love with, whom I felt didn’t love me back. Talk about being forced into a miserable situation! But I loved the way it all played out. How Max was able to finally come to terms with him own feelings, and woo his wife once and for all.
The romance from beginning to end was great. I loved the slow burn and sexual tension from the first major chunk of the book. I loved watching Max dance around Carina while still trying to keep her at an arms length. Once they actually got married, the book was winding down, but I loved the way that Max was so determined to have Carina be happy in their marriage, that I thought his big gesture was so sweet!
All in all I think this is my favorite book in the Marriage to a Billionaire series. Max and Carina were both fabulous characters, and I loved getting the chance to see their happily ever after. The romance was so well done, from the strong sexual tension to the explosion of passion, to the forced marriage and dealing with that fallout. I think Probst has ended this trilogy on a high note, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.
I give The Marriage Mistake a B+