I came across this book by chance and was intrigued by the title.. The Millionaire's Marriageis the story of Gabriella and Max.
They meet at Gabriella's place where Max Logan is a guest. For Gabriella, its love at first sight and she naively tries to seduce him which leads to certain unfortunate events leaving Max no choice but to wed her!!
Infuriated and feeling trapped, Max resents Gabriella and despite her various efforts, treats her badly. With a broken heart, Gabriella decides to leave Max. Two years pass and Gabriella is now a famous model known worldwide but with no contact with her husband. A family visit forces Max and Gabriella to act the part of loving husband & wife for the benefit of her parents who are old and ailing.
But can they manage this charade without their disagreements and resentments coming to light?
Can Gabriella still win the heart and trust of the man she loves?
Can Max let go of his previous grievances and forgive Gabriella for her past mistakes?
Is there a chance their marriage can still work out or is it too late for that?
The writing of Catherine Spencer is fluid and effectively portrays the various emotions of the characters be it the heartbreaking grief of Gabriella or the intense passion between her and Max or be it jealousy she feels even on the slightest indication of "another woman" in Max's life.
Though I liked the story, I cant say the same for the characters. Gabriella in my opinion was childish and though she is projected as having changed/matured during her two year stay away from Max I felt her still immature in her actions and reasoning.
Same can be said for Max who, despite all his good looks and God like bodily attributes couldn't endear himself to me!! I felt he was just plain stupid, selfish and extremely arrogant with no consideration for others. Firstly he joins in the so called "compromising activities" even though he should be aware of the repercussions being the modern man of society as he is projected and lets Gabriella seduce him. Then when he is forced by circumstances to marry her, he places all the blame on her with no consideration of his own part in all of this. Even when Gabriella tells him that she loves him and is willing to work on her marriage he doesn't cooperate. Two years have done nothing to improve him and all through the book I felt that Gabriella was better off without him specially after the hotel scene with his secretary where he blames Gabriella yet again and is non repentant about his own part!!
Even Gabriella's parents made me roll my eyes in disgust with their dreamy, old world notions and complete ignorance of the state of affairs right in front of their eyes. Even when Gabriella breaks down in front of her mother and says "I think I'm going to die!", her mother casually brushes aside her trauma and acts like its everyday occurrence that her daughter feels so distraught and heartbroken to feel like she is dying!!!
At the end of her parent's visit, Gabriella realizes from a remark from her father that "he'd simply played the game, along with everyone else" and had not been taken in by her "happily married woman" charade. But what does he do? Nothing! Plain and simple.. He just watches his daughter's misery and leaves her to deal with it with only I am "just a phone call away" remark!! All through the book, I felt that Gabriella's parents just thought their daughter to be melodramatic, naively stupid and requiring a strict controlling influence from her husband who they think should make her give up her career and perform her duties as a wife at home.
Even the happy ending could not bring that "Feel Good" factor for me. I felt Gabriella forgave him too easily.This is one book that interested me, made me feel heartbroken for Gabriella and made me furious with Max. I sometimes felt like thrashing him!!!
I had hoped for a better reasoning to the sequence of events which led to the happy ending..and just because of that I take away 1.5 from this book's rating and give The Millionaire's Marriagea 3.5 out of 5.
Had the characters and their reasoning been more properly developed, this book would have been a 5 on 5 rating book but alas that's not to be, leaving it a quick and light read which though entertaining falls short of being the memorable read it promised to be!
Definitely a one time read for me.
If you like intense romances with a somewhat different treatment of events then The Millionaire's Marriage