Review – The Engagement Game by Jenny Holiday

Posted May 26, 2016 by smutmatters in ARC, Contemporary, Reviews / 2 Comments

I received this book for free from Entangled Publishing, Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review – The Engagement Game by Jenny HolidayThe Engagement Game by Jenny Holiday
Series: 49th Floor #3
Published by Entangled Publishing on October 5th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 203
Format: eBook
Source: Entangled Publishing, Netgalley
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three-half-stars
two-half-flames

The black sheep of the old-money Rosemanns, advertising executive Marcus has made his own way in the world—and done extremely well for himself—but his family is still pressuring him to join their investment firm and settle down with a quiet, unobjectionable girl.
Which is why the sexy Rose Verma is the perfect date for his family’s charity ball. A bleeding-heart lefty from the wrong side of the tracks, Rose has never met a stray dog she didn’t love or a polka-dotted mini-dress she couldn’t rock. Marcus has enough dirt on Rose to “convince” her to play along. And if he lets it slip that they’re engaged, all the better.
But all’s fair in love and blackmail, and Rose is ready to play a few cards of her own…

This wasn’t my favorite book in this series, (that will certainly always be Sleeping With Her Enemy) but I still really enjoyed this book.

I love opposites attract. I love fake engagements or a good fake relationship (as long as both parties are in on it, which, sadly isn’t always the case). And when that fake engagement has the sole purpose of sticking it to a snobby, overbearing, brutish, over-the-top father, even better.

Rose was fantastic from the minute we met her. She’s wonderful. She’s tall, and sexy (5’10”. My 5’3″ on a good day self is so jealous of tall women) she loves bright colors, and high heels, and food, and she certainly stands out in a crowd. She speaks her mind, doesn’t let anyone talk down to her, and doesn’t let anyone make her feel bad for anything she’s done or has in her life. When one of her dates accused her of playing into Indian stereotypes with her bright colors and says that given her height, he’d have thought she’d lean more toward neutrals in order to blend in better, she dumped her drink on her head and walked out of the date. And I cheered for her.

Marcus took a little longer to warm up to. To be fair, he didn’t want anyone to warm up to him. He was content with his bachelor status. His father had been after him for a while to marry a nice Jewish girl, and he was retaliating by dating no one. Until Rose. One conversation with Rose and he realizes that his father would absolutely hate her and everything she stands for. So, obviously, he blackmails her into being his date. That setup could have gone so wrong. “My family will think you’re horrible. Go out with me!”, but with Jenny Holiday I had no fear. She has this way of making the implausible just work.

This story was so cute. Marcus was so determined not to fall in love with her, or to let her fall in love with him that he helped her out on her weekly Tinder date, dog-sitting the dogs she’s constantly rescuing and giving her advice, even though it killed him to do it. For her part, Rose took Marcus at his word that he wasn’t looking for a relationship, and continued on her quest for true love. They’re both open about what they want (or what they think they want, anyway) and it was so refreshing that neither tried to convince the other that they were wrong or trick the other into doing what they wanted. Meanwhile, they’re both trying to so hard to ignore the sparks between them.

And, really, the fake engagement ends up being a pretty minor part of the story. It comes up a few times, and the story takes place right before Hanukkah, so it does build toward the family Hanukkah dinner, but that’s really it. For the most part, it’s just a story about two people who aren’t quite as different as they appear on the surface finding their way to each other. I didn’t quite believe that they were deeply in love by the end of the book, but I definitely bought that they were well on their way. They had a great relationship; you could really see the genuine affection between them even without the sexual tension. Even though it wasn’t my favorite of the series (Dax. Oh, Dax.), you should definitely give this one a go.

About Jenny Holiday

Jenny Holiday started writing at age nine when her awesome fourth grade teacher gave her a notebook and told her to start writing some stories. That first batch featured mass murderers on the loose, alien invasions, and hauntings. (Looking back, she’s amazed no one sent her to a kid-shrink.) She’s been writing ever since. After a brief detour to get a PhD in geography, she worked as a professional writer, producing everything from speeches to magazine articles. More recently, her tastes having evolved from alien invasions to happily-ever-afters, she tried her hand at romance. A lifelong city-lover, she lives in Toronto, Canada, with her family. She is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Greenburger Associates.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • May 2016 Clean Sweep ARC Challenge

2 responses to “Review – The Engagement Game by Jenny Holiday

    • smutmatters

      They’re so much fun! “Let’s fool everyone into thinking we’re a couple. Then we’ll just walk away. What could go wrong?!” It’s always so much fun to watch the ensuing ridiculousness, knowing the whole time what’s coming. 🙂