Published on April 1, 2013 by Entangled Indulgence
About the book
Trapped in a loveless marriage, Zoe Hughes escaped to make a new life for herself on the tiny island of Tonga. Now she runs a successful boutique honeymoon resort. Selling true love is easy. No one needs to know she's married in name only. At least until America’s premier honeymoon magazine wants to publish a feature on her perfect marriage. Now she must convince her estranged husband to rip himself away from plotting corporate takeovers in LA to save her island paradise.
Rory agrees to come for forty-eight hours, but only because he needs the positive PR. To his surprise, the wife he finds in Tonga isn’t the same woman he married. Now she’s so much more…
When a storm strands Rory in Tonga, will he win back his wife or leave paradise empty-handed?
Wife in Name Only was your typical romance storyline with a slight twist. Sometimes this typical storyline works and sometimes it doesn't. Hayson Mannings story does work with a few exceptions.
Zoe and Rory haven't lived together or spoken in over a year. When Zoe felt like her marriage wasn't going to get any better she ran. She ran several miles away to start a Honeymoon resort on a secluded island, but she needs publicity. And with everyone still thinking her marriage is wonderful she calls the one person she swore she never would again, Rory her husband. With both of them needing to look good in front of the media he agrees to come to the island and help her. Little does she know that Rory has another agenda, bring his wife home to L.A. Problem is Zoe is happy on her island and L.A. does not agree with her so Rory has to figure out a way to convince her otherwise.
This story was a lot of push and pull. One minute Zoe and Rory are all heavy stares and sexual tension and then in the next line someone is stalking off or remembering why they aren't together anymore. This kind of push and pull works in the beginning but after a while it gets to be a little irritating. I liked that Zoe wasn't falling over herself to sleep with Rory, but at the same time she let her hormones get the best of her too many times. Rory had the same problem. These two needed to learn what went wrong in their marriage and deal with it. I wanted them together of course and I am happy with the way things ended but the way to their HEA was a bumpy one that I think could have been smoothed over.
There were a couple of things that bothered me with this story. The main one being all the descriptions on how hot both characters were. If felt like every other sentence one of them was detailing how hot the other was. It was too much in my opinion and didn't make me feel connected to either character. I prefer realistic characters and while yes I know fictional characters need to have that fantasy appeal I still want the ones I read to be a little more down to Earth. Rory was too hot and felt like the guy that I never would have approached and might have even felt ridiculed by in real life. I did like Zoe's personality and I probably would have connected to her if she hadn't been overly described.
My other problem was the flow of the story. The writing felt a little too stilted at times and I felt myself getting lost from chapter to chapter. I always had to reread the previous lines when the scene would change because the story didn't flow and left me confused.
Other than those two things I did enjoy the story. There is a slight twist with Zoe and someone on the island that gave the story a mystery I appreciated. I did at the end enjoy both Rory and Zoe I just wish that had happened a lot sooner.