Devon Carter was her first; now newly wed Ashley wants their passion to last. But her dreams of true love are crushed by the discovery that their marriage is another of Daddy’s business deals. Her strategy: act the part of perfect wife and make Devon love her.
But Devon misses the bubbly, no-holdsbarred woman his wife used to be. Who is this Ashley with the steely demeanor of a society wife? And will he find a way to rekindle the fire in her eyes…especially now that she’s pregnant?
*Blurb from Goodreads*
When I first heard Banks talking on Twitter all the time about “Sparkly” I knew that I would be in for a treat with this story. For fans of the Harlequin Desire line and book similar to it, you will NOT be disappointed.
Devon has one true passion in life – his business. When he works on a merger that will make his company even more successful, he is both intrigued and annoyed that part of the deal includes marrying Ashley and keeping her in the dark about the arrangement. But it doesn’t take long for Ashley to find out the truth, and for Devon to realize that an arranged marriage might not be so bad.
Ashley has always been perky and outgoing and carefree, but when she discovers the details about her father’s arrangement, she is already head-over-heels in love with Devon. She tries desperately to become the perfect wife for him, and in the process looses herself along the way. But once she looses all her sparkles, will she be able to live only half a life?
I absolutely adored Ashley. She was such a fun and wonderful heroine. She was full of energy and life, and although she didn’t have the same business sense as her family, she was passionate about life and animals and the things that were so important to her. She didn’t apologize for anything she did, and loved everyone and everything around her with her entire being. She was a little ditzy at times, but that just made me love her all the more. Once she tried to make Devon fall in love with her by being the “perfect” wife, I wanted to smack her silly for loosing all her uniqueness.
While I was glad Devon came around in the end, I found it really hard to like the guy. He was so concerned with his business that he never seemed to take anything or anyone else into consideration. His entire life revolved around the success of his company – even to the point of choosing his honeymoon destination close to a new company location. He was harsh and judgemental with Ashley to the point that he crushed her and didn’t even seem to realize it. He was oblivious to everything around him and even went so far as to ignore the people around him when they pointed out the obvious to him.
One of the things I loved though was when Ashley finally made the decision to leave Devon and find herself again. I cheered for her, especially since she made a clean break and didn’t wallow in her decision. She stood up for herself and confronted Devon with her decision head-on instead of playing games or trying to be tricky. She kept her distance despite the pain of loosing him and when he came crawling back on his hands and knees, didn’t fall at his feet without making him work for it first. While I could have stood for a little more groveling on Devon’s part, I was impressed with his grand gesture to win her back.
All in all this was a wonderful and sweet romance and one that is so very typical of the Desire line. It had all the things I’ve come to expect and enjoy from a Maya Banks Harlequin: a sweet romance, some wonderful sexy times, and a perfectly wrapped up HEA. It was the perfect recipe for a sweet read and one that I know I will go back and read in the future.
I give Tempted by Her Innocent Kiss a B