In The Magnate's Mail-Order Bride (The McNeill Magnates #1) by Joanne Rock, Sofia Koslov gets the shock of a lifetime when she's proposed to at the airport by some random stranger. Luckily, the man's brother comes to her rescue, saving her from the embarrassment she felt, since the media witnessed the proposal. But soon their plan for Quinn McNeill to pretend to be her fiancé begins to feel all too real. Will Quinn be able to convince Sofia that he's falling for her, or will the secret he's keeping tear them apart?
What a wonderful start to this series Ms. Rock has penned in this story, which had me immediately hooked, because of the dilemma the heroine is facing and whether the proposal will bring her attention she doesn't need. Not when she's at a crucial moment in her career where she needs all the focus on her skills as a ballerina and not on her dating life, especially when the proposal came from one of the McNeill brothers. Can Quinn find a solution that they'll both benefit from? Will Quinn be too much of a distraction for Sofia?
As for the dialogue, it was riveting due to the main characters back stories, the reason why they need to pretend to be a couple and everything this couple go through on their journey to happy ever after. Sofia is a wonderful heroine and fantastic ballerina, which is proven by her audition for a ballet she's looking to dance in. Except the director is an absolute jerk and who knows whether she'll get the opportunity to perform. She's also strong, brave and I felt sorry for her when it came to her father and the way he feels the need to match-make for her, which only makes things worse for her and not better. What gave her father the right to threaten Quinn and his chance of getting the deal he wants when her father was to blame for match-making for her in the first place?
While Quinn, I absolutely loved him. He was a really good hero, and even though he didn't want to follow the terms set for him and his brothers by his grandfather, he couldn't resist Sofia. Certainly, it's palpable that she's the woman he'd want if he was searching for Ms. Right, which is proven by the words from the hero's point-of-view. Also, I enjoyed how he helped the heroine whenever she needed him. She's not good talking amongst a lot of people, and he offers the right kind of distraction to keep her from flipping out. Those moments had me smiling, because Quinn is definitely good for Sofia and vice versa.
Overall, Ms. Rock delivered a really good fake relationship trope encompassing story in this one, where the chemistry between Sofia and Quinn is strong and there from the moment they meet. The way this story ended had me cheering for this couple's happy ever after, because Quinn had to find a way to win back Sofia and he does that perfectly with the words he says to her. I would recommend The Magnate's Mail-Order Bride by Joanne Rock, if you enjoy the fake relationship trope or books by authors Andrea Laurence, Joss Wood or Karen Booth.
BLURB A mix-and-match mock engagement?
Ballerina Sofia Koslov's career is on the line when she's accosted at the
airport by a rich, reckless playboy who thinks she's his mail-order bride! But
the playboy's levelheaded brother, Quinn McNeill, solves the media snafu with a
switcheroo. He'll pretend to be her legitimate fiancé to protect her
reputation—and to protect his family's business deals from her father's wrath.
Sofia's one condition: they'll share the spotlight as a loving couple but won't
share a bed. But soon Quinn's gentlemanly ways strike a chord, and Sofia's
dying to renege on that condition and have a real fling…
would have guessed your brother would spend a small fortune on a ring for a
woman he never met.” She edged out of his grip. “I thought he was a romantic,
not completely certifiable.”
smile faded. “I assure you, Cameron is neither.” He set the ring on the steamer
trunk beside her. “I’ll let you decide whether or not to wear it in the
morning. And in the meantime, I’d better let you get some rest.”
He rose to
his feet, leaving a priceless piece of jewelry balanced on last month’s Vogue.
She stood to follow him to the door then reached back to grab the ring so she
could return it. “Please. I don’t feel right keeping this here.”
to face her as he reached the door, but made no move to take the glittering
were my bride-to-be, I would spare no expense to show the world you were mine.”
His blue eyes glowed with a warmth that had her remembering his kiss. Her
breath caught in her chest and she wondered what it might be like for him to
call her that for real.
“I’m—” At a total loss for words. “That is—”
She folded the diamond into her hand, squeezing it tightly so the stones
pressed into her soft skin, distracting her from her hypnotic awareness of this
man. “If you insist.”
matter of believability, Sofia.”
for one month.” She wasn’t sure if she said it to remind him or herself.
out the details tomorrow.” He reached to smooth a strand of hair from her
forehead, barely touching her and still sending shimmers of pleasure along her
temple and all the way down the back of her neck. “Sleep well.”
even manage to get her voice working before he was out the door again, leaving
her alone in a suddenly too empty apartment.
the ring tighter in her fist, she waited for the pinch of pain from the sharp
edges of the stones. She needed to remember that this wasn’t real. Quinn
McNeill had only agreed to this mad scheme to clean up his brother’s mess. Any
hint of attraction she felt needed to be squashed immediately, especially since
Quinn was cut from the same mold as her father—focused on business and the
accumulation of wealth. Her world was about art, emotions and human
had taught her that people did not fall into both camps. In Sofia’s experience
it was true. And since she wanted her own relationships to be meaningful bonds
rooted in shared creativity and ideals, she was willing to wait until she had
more time in her life to find the right partner. Romance could not be rushed.
for a month,” she said aloud again, forcing herself to set the engagement ring
on the hallway table.
could keep up her end of a fake engagement for the sake of appearances? She’d
made countless sacrifices for her career, from dancing on broken toes to living
away from her family on the other side of the globe to train with Russian
the sensual draw of Quinn McNeill couldn’t possibly be more difficult than
as she marched herself off to bed, she feared she was lying to herself that she
could keep her hands off the man anywhere near as easily as she’d set down the
RITA nominee Joanne Rock has never met a romance sub-genre she didn't
like. The author of over seventy books enjoys writing a wide range of stories,
most recently focusing on sexy contemporaries and small town family sagas. An
optimist by nature and perpetual seeker of silver linings, Joanne finds romance
fits her life outlook perfectly--love is worth fighting for. A frequent speaker
at regional and national writing conferences she enjoys giving back to the
writing community that nurtured and inspired her early career. She has a
Masters degree in Literature from the University of Louisville but credits her
fiction writing skills to her intensive study with friend and fellow author
Catherine Mann. When she's not writing, Joanne enjoys travel, especially to see
her favorite sports teams play with her former sports editor husband and three