The McNeill Magnates #2
In The Magnate's Marriage Merger (The McNeill Magnates #2) by Joanne Rock, when Ian McNeill learns that his ex Lydia Whitney is the mysterious matchmaker known as Mallory West; a woman that caused problems for his family, he's determined to confront her to discover why she did what she did. However, seeing her again brings old feelings to the surface, and there's no way he's going to let her get away a second time. Blackmailing her seems wrong, but if it gets them what they both want, why shouldn't they get married, even if the arrangement is only temporary? But the more time they spend together, Lydia finds herself falling in love with Ian all over again. Can he convince her they deserve a second shot at happy ever after, or will a simple misunderstanding tear them apart?
In this second book of Ms. Rock's wonderful McNeill Magnates series, Ms. Rock combines the marriage of convenience and second chance romance tropes perfectly, creating a story that illustrated how right Ian and Lydia are for each other and that they're a couple meant to be, no matter what obstacles they have to face. Such as Lydia being able to trust that Ian won't reveal her match-making identity to anyone who wants to ruin her for the drama she caused for Ian's brother and the woman he set her up with; whether both the hero and heroine can get over what caused their separation in the past; the surprise someone of Ian's family reveals that shocks the brothers; and what causes Lydia to believe Ian has betrayed her again.
Lydia is a wonderful heroine and I felt sorry for her with what she reveals to the hero about what happened to her after their separation. It was a time when she needed Ian, and yet, after how they left things between them in the past, there was no way she could turn to him. However, she overcame her grief with the help of a wonderful cause that she would do anything to give back to, which is proven by her having two careers and what she does with her second income. Seriously, she's the most selfless person, which is surprising with an attention-seeking mother like hers.
While Ian, he and his brothers are fantastic heroes and I loved the tight bond they have. They go through a lot with first the way they hear the news about Ian's marriage and then the surprise someone of their family reveals. However, Ian also has his own obstacles to overcome such as having to win back Lydia's trust; and him having to try his hardest not to seduce the heroine, as she wants to keep their relationship strictly platonic. Can he show Lydia that his feelings for her haven't diminished? Will he win her over by proving he can keep their relationship how she wants it until she's ready?
Overall, Ms. Rock has penned a really good read in this book where there's plenty of chemistry between the main characters that show these two still love each other, despite the misunderstanding that caused Lydia to leave Ian in the past. The way this story ended was heartwarming, as Ian isn't about to let Lydia get away a second time, no matter how upset she is with him. But what I liked most about the ending is that Ian isn't afraid to show Lydia how much he loves her by making a public declaration. I would recommend The Magnate's Marriage Merger by Joanne Rock, if you enjoy the marriage of convenience trope, the second chance romance trope or books by authors Cat Schield, Katherine Garbera or Kat Cantrell.
The matchmaker meets her match…in one very persistent tycoon!
Secretive matchmaker to the rich and famous, Lydia Whitney prefers to stay behind the scenes. But after one mistake, rich resort developer Ian McNeill is hot on her trail, and he’s more attractive—and persistent—than ever before.