|Publisher:||Entangled Publishing, LLC|
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.59(d)|
Read an Excerpt
The Engagement Game
19th Floor Series
By Jenny Holiday, Tracy Montoya
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2015 Jenny Holiday
All rights reserved.
Rosie glanced down at her buzzing phone.
Her initial reaction — what the hell?! — was followed by panic. Something had to be wrong for Jo to call. Texting was one thing — it had been grandfathered into their friendship — but talking? With their voices?
Rosie had been exchanging paper letters with her best friend Jo since Jo's family moved away when both girls were twelve. Since then, they had religiously exchanged a letter per week. A letter. Written by hand. On paper. As they grew up and long-distance telephone calls became less of a big deal, Rosie stubbornly clung to the idea of a weekly handwritten letter — you didn't just abandon a tradition that had been going strong for fifteen years — though they also emailed and texted pretty much daily.
But calling? Jo knew Rosie hated the phone. The last time they'd spoken on the phone was two years ago when Rosie's dad died. Heck, they saw each other in person for visits more than they called each other.
"Hello?" Rosie was breathless. The way her stomach fluttered, it might as well have been tonight's Match.com date. Rosie had high hopes that the guy, who was presenting extremely well via text, would turn out to be "the one."
"I think you made a mistake," said Jo, "with your last letter?"
Rosie wanted to say, "Huh?" but Jo was talking so fast she couldn't squeeze it in.
"I thought if I called you might still have time to fix it don't yell at me I know you hate talking on the phone I'm going to read it and then hang up and it will be like this never happened."
"Uh, okay?" was all she could think to say in response to that epic run-on sentence.
"Dear Mr. Rosemann —"
Rosemann. As in Marcus Rosemann. As in millionaire Marcus Rosemann, to whom she had just sent a thank-you letter for his sizeable donation to EcoHabitat Toronto, the nonprofit for which Rosie worked.
"Thank you for your generous gift in support of ..."
Oh, no. No, no, no, no.
Rosie dropped the phone as adrenaline surged through her limbs, making them shake. When she picked it up, Jo was still talking.
"It's donors like you, whose regular commitments we have come to rely on, who will truly help us realize our goal: a city in which humans and animals — and their habitats — can coexist peacefully."
Sending the donor thank-you letter to Jo, and the gossipy, nattering note intended for her best friend to Marcus Rosemann wasn't just a mistake, to use Jo's term, it was a fireable offense. As the charity's fundraising manager, she was the last person who should be making such a careless error. "Shit, shit, shitballs!"
"Sweetie, calm down. You do everything at that place. You're allowed to make one mistake," Jo said.
"Who's lined up as tonight's Mr. Thursday Night?"
Every Thursday night, Rosie went on a date with a guy from one of the many dating sites she used, and Jo had adopted Rosie's practice of referring to each of her suitors as "Mr. Thursday Night." Rosie appreciated that Jo was trying to change the subject, to return her attention to something mundane and routine, but she had to fix this letter mix-up. She had to fix it now. "Jo. I love you, but I gotta go."
I'm a day late writing this. I thought about forging the date, but I knew you would KNOW somehow, so I'm just going to come clean. I'm a day late. So shoot me. I was busy this weekend.
With what, you might ask? Was I busy with the latest Mr. Thursday Night, one Mr. Mark Larson, second grade teacher?
Yes, but not in the way you might think.
But, oh, my dashed hopes! Wah! He taught seven-year-olds! He was kind and gentle! He did not have (as far as I could tell) a secret wife/child/family/cocaine habit/sex addiction/storage locker full of vintage typewriters. (He did, however, have an unfortunately untidy — bordering on gross — beard in this whole "I look like a logger but I've never even been camping" way that seems to be all the thing. But a girl can't have everything. A girl becomes suspicious, in fact, when presented with everything. So I was good with the beard. Mostly.)
The problem was not the beard. It was that in addition to teaching seven-year-olds, he had the alcohol tolerance of one. Which would not have been a problem if he had owned up to this, and we could have adjusted our consumption accordingly. But three tequila shots later, he was barfing in my lap. On that new dress I texted you a pic of.
So when I got home, all I could do was make a cup of tea and take a shower. I was not in letter-writing mode. And here I thought I might make a Mr. Thursday Night into a Mr. Friday Morning. No. A thousand times no. Maybe I should start listening to my mother.
But! Once more unto the breach, dear friend! If I want to find a boyfriend, I've got to get back onto the horse, right? I have a couple options for this Thursday and am leaning toward TallDoctor83, with whom I've exchanged a few messages. Who doesn't want a tall doctor, right? If I had pink eye, he wouldn't even have to stoop to examine me. (Har! Ladies and gentlemen, I'm here all week.)
And what about you? The hubs is still adoring you, no doubt? (As he should!) And Toby? Is he conjugating French verbs yet? Or still only just rolling over? The last pic you sent was so ridiculously cute it made my teeth hurt, and if I didn't love you so much, I would hate you.
What the? Marcus turned the letter over, as if the back of the pink floral stationery would yield some clue as to the prank someone was obviously playing on him. Nothing. He grabbed the crisp ivory envelope it had come in. Yes, all was in order here. The return address was EcoHabitat Toronto, the ecosystem conservation charity he'd been financially supporting since his mother died nearly a year ago.
But instead of the usual canned thank-you letter from whichever wizened gray-haired society matron was currently chair of the board, he had this ... pink thing.
There was a tap at the door, two soft raps he recognized as his assistant. "What is it?" he asked when she popped her head in, murmuring apologies. Carla never came in when he'd blocked off work time.
"I'm so sorry," she said, looking close to tears, which was highly unusual for the take-no-prisoners admin assistant.
"Your father's on the phone. I know you said no calls from him, but I —"
He knew immediately what she wasn't saying. The thought that his father had been bullying his capable and loyal assistant shoved him right into that familiar groove, the one lined with four decades of resentment.
"Put him through."
"I tried telling him —"
"Put him through."
Carla nodded and backed out of the room. A moment later, his phone buzzed. He picked it up. "What?"
"Are you bringing a date Saturday?"
Here we go. "I told the aunts I don't know yet."
"It's forty-eight hours away, Marcus."
"And why have you taken such an interest all of a sudden? The Fall Ball was Mom's thing." And we all know how much you cared about her.
"All eyes will be on our family," his father lectured. "Especially this year, with your mother ... gone."
Marcus snapped a pencil in half.
"Don't you think it's time you settled down?" his father went on.
Marcus heard everything his father didn't say. Come back to the firm. Get married to someone I approve of, and have two-point-three kids. Conform.
It would be easy enough to find a date. Any of the women he saw casually would be delighted to accompany him to the social event of the season. "I'll bring someone," he snapped, and hung up. But the moment he did so, he regretted his easy capitulation. He scrolled through the contact list on his phone. All of these women were ... perfectly suitable. Most of them were wealthy and ran in the same circles as his family. All had impeccable manners and social instincts. His father would be pleased to see any of them on his arm on Saturday.
He returned his attention to the absurd letter from EcoHabitat Toronto, staring at it as if it were a life preserver keeping him tethered to his sanity.
The ink was green, for God's sake.
It wasn't like he objectively gave a shit about EcoHabitat. But his mother had. So it irritated the hell out of him that this "xoRosie" person was sloppy enough to mix up her letters, which was what he assumed had happened. Marcus had no tolerance for carelessness. It signified a lack of discipline. Wasted potential.
He had half a mind to march over to EcoHabitat's office and give xoRosie a piece of his mind. Or maybe xoRosie's boss. The only thing stopping him was the thought that that was something his father would do.
He pulled up the charity's website, which was a complete mess — not at all intuitive, difficult to navigate. Perhaps instead of money, he should offer his company's services pro bono to straighten it out. A professional ad agency could do a lot for EcoHabitat.
Eventually, he managed to land on a page labeled, "The team."
Ah — there she was. Rose Verma, fundraising manager. He cocked his head, squinting at the overexposed headshot next to her bio. In addition to a better website, EcoHabitat also needed a better photographer. But even so, it was easy to tell that she was a beauty. Long black hair, a killer smile. She looked a little like that TV star that Lauren, his executive creative director, was obsessed with. Mindy Something.
So she was sloppy, undisciplined, and beautiful.
He picked up the shards of the pencil his father had caused him to destroy, and an absurd idea took hold. An evil-genius idea.
Why the hell not?
Yes, the train wreck known as Rose Verma would do quite nicely.
"All right, if that doesn't dazzle TallDoctor83, he should change his handle to Tall BlindDoctor83," Hailey declared, capping the lipstick she'd just applied to Rosie's lips. EcoHabitat's receptionist moonlighted as a makeup artist, and she always insisted on doing Rosie's face for her Thursday night dates. Sometimes the looks were a little extreme — with her goth style, Hailey herself looked like a cross between a MAC saleswoman and the Corpse Bride — but the result of her makeup applications was always better than anything Rosie would have been able to achieve on her own.
Since Rosie was meeting TallDoctor for drinks at the upscale Thompson Hotel, she'd asked Hailey to give her a classic smoky eye. Her personal makeup artist had added a matte magenta lip. Rosie eyed her reflection in the hand mirror Hailey held. She looked good. Sometimes, when she saw herself like this, dressed up and made up, she thought back to her lonely, miserable middle school years. After Jo had moved away, she'd had plenty of alone time to fantasize about what life would be like when she escaped the white-bread suburb her family lived in, where she stuck out like a sore thumb. Back then, she'd imagined herself an independent career woman living in the big city, getting ready to go on a date. And look at her now. "I would never have known to try a color like that," she said of the lipstick. "How do you do that?"
Hailey winked as she packed up her cosmetics bag. "It's a gift."
Rosie gave herself a final once-over. If only she weren't so damn tall. "Well, if he's into Indian giantesses, he will definitely be dazzled."
"Who isn't into Indian giantesses?" Hailey deadpanned.
"Um, the last Mr. Thursday Night, and the one before that, and the one before that." So maybe she wasn't so far from the gangly, awkward teenager who didn't fit in. Because although she went on plenty of first dates these days, second dates — not so much.
"I don't know if you can really say that about the last one. If he hadn't barfed on you, who knows where things would have gone?"
It was true. To be fair, Rosie was — outwardly, anyway — not the awkward ugly duckling anymore. She rejected men more than they rejected her. She was on Mission: Boyfriend, but she wasn't going to settle for just anyone. She was looking for a life partner, after all. A father to her future children.
She was looking for love. So she had high hopes for TallDoctor.
She always did.
"You going home first? Want to walk to the subway with me?" Hailey asked.
She shook her head. "Nope. I'm not boarding any critters at the moment, so there's no need to make a pit stop. I have tons to do here, anyway. Mr. Carroll wants —"
"Ah, ah, ah!" Hailey showed Rosie her palm. Then she looked at her watch. "It is 6:27. I've been off the clock for fifty-seven minutes, and I won't tolerate any talk about Mr. Carroll. The fact that Mr. Carroll is in charge around here and not you is a crime against humanity."
Rosie grinned. EcoHabitat's executive director was universally disliked by his staff. He was basically an incompetent, mansplaining ass, so it was easy to see why. Rosie sometimes felt bad for him, though. It must be difficult to go through life so completely clueless yet with responsibility for important things like, oh, say, the well-being of entire ecosystems. But Hailey, who was young and still undisappointed by life, had no tolerance for human failings of any kind. Still, Rosie appreciated the show of loyalty. She pretty much did everything that was in her job description and half of what was in her boss's. In her more ambitious moments, she fantasized about deposing him somehow. Mr. Carroll's ineptitude got in the way of so many of their projects.
"Hit the lights, will you?" Rosie said as her friend waved good-bye. "I'll leave out the back when I'm ready."
The lights in the hallway flicked off one by one, and Rosie heard the thunk of the heavy door at the top of the stairwell. Her office was located on the third floor of the converted Victorian that housed EcoHabitat. It had been left to them by a wealthy benefactor three years ago. Though it had allowed them to move out of the cramped, expensive space they had been renting in a nearby office building, the place was still a little rough around the edges. They'd been plowing what they used to pay in rent into renovations, but having started from the ground level and worked their way up, they hadn't made it to the third floor yet.
In truth, Rosie kind of liked the creaky old bedroom that functioned as her office. The slanting attic walls still papered in a Laura-Ashley-style pattern from the 1980s and the uneven wood floors had a lot more charm than her cubicle at the old place.
She shrieked and reared back, which caused her chair to roll backward toward the door, and, given the slope of the floor, she just kept rolling. There was nothing to grab. She glided ingloriously to a stop at the feet of the visitor.
The ridiculously hot visitor.
He had blue eyes with laugh lines around them and thick, premature salt-and-pepper hair. With his gray, exquisitely tailored suit, he looked like a corporate lawyer, or a banker.
"I'm Marcus Rosemann."
Or, you know, the head of an ad agency and one of EcoHabitat's most important donors.
Another shriek. The reaction was involuntary. She rolled back to her desk and literally banged her head against it a few times. Why not? It wasn't possible to humiliate herself with this man any more than she already had. Head still resting on the desk, not caring that her speech was muffled by her arms, she said, "Please tell me you got the second letter." The letter she'd FedExed, explaining the mishap and assuring him that the lapse had nothing whatsoever to do with the general standards of professionalism and decorum observed by the organization.
"Mr. Rosemann, so nice to meet you," he said, his voice oddly devoid of inflection. She lifted her head from its hiding place and narrowed her eyes. Was he mocking her? "Your mother was such a devoted advocate of this fine organization. I'm delighted to finally meet her son."
She sat all the way up. "How did you get in here?"
"How can I help you, Mr. Rosemann?" He held up the letter. She'd known he had it, but, oh God, seeing it there, the flowery stationery clasped in his big hands — it was too embarrassing. "Especially given the recent mix-up with our correspondence. How will I make it up to you?"
Geez. Was he really so mean that he would come here and throw an innocent mistake back in her face? "Because the receptionist left before you got here, so I'm not really sure how you got in." Her instincts told her that she, if not her pride, was perfectly safe, but the rational part of her brain was starting to realize that she was alone in the building with this angry stranger who was holding in his hands not only her letter, but the fate of her continued employment at EcoHabitat. Because all he would have to do is call Mr. Carroll, and that would be it for Rose Verma, fundraising manager.
Excerpted from The Engagement Game by Jenny Holiday, Tracy Montoya. Copyright © 2015 Jenny Holiday. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This was a okay book I am used to alpha guys, but he put up with crap father. He should have wrote his dad off years ago. As for Gail I would be spreading the word about her, stealing others work and passing it off as her own. She is pathetic. Marcus got a good woman when he got Rose.
Rosie worked as a charitable fundraiser manager and had sent Marcus Rosemann, who was a major donor for the charity, a letter meant for her best friend Joe. Then Marcus showed up at her place of work. From there they made an agreement that changed her life. It had an excellent plot. I loved all the twists and turns that Rosie and Marcus faced and in the end, rose above to find happiness. I loved the other characters also. I highly recommend. **I received an ARC of this story in exchange for an honest review**
In this game, even when you lose - you can win. To read the entire review please visit: http://bit.ly/1LrchWW I love a book that is a quick, fun, and enjoyable weekend read, and "The Engagement Game" fills the bill perfectly. This isn't the marriage of convenience trope it is the date of convenience that turns into an engagement of convenience. It also has a nice Culture Clash thrown in a nice Indian girl (not Native American but beautiful jewel-toned colored sari type) and a nice (non-practicing) Jewish boy. Well, he's not that "nice" he's a competitive, workaholic, playboy who has a bullying father-sized chip on his shoulder. She has a ticking clock, in the form of her mother, pushing her to get married before she turns 30 and her time is almost up. So due to a business error on her part he approaches her with a blackmail offer and she accepts with a counter extortion. A fabulous battle of the Stubborn and the Unexpected. Jenny Holiday constructs a delightfully Romantic Comedy and involves a multi-cultural couple who both have a rather messy kind of childhood. "The Engagement Game" is amusing and packed with engaging characters of the two and four legged variety. Not to mention it's kind of spicy to boot. The main character undergo a lot of growth - a lot - in such a charming rom/com. This novel was provided by the publisher for a honest review.
I’ve enjoyed the previous installment of this series, all featuring hot, rich, commitment phobic CEOs. In The Engagement Game Marcus has built his own advertising agency from scratch, with no help from his disapproving as***le of a father, who had a lifelong mistress and divorced his mother while she was battling cancer. Can someone say douche of the century?? Anyway, he is set on being nothing like his father (daddy issues) so when he is pressed to show with a date to a fancy ball his whole Jewish family will be attending, he decides to find the most unsuitable date he can come up with to accompany him. Rose works for a NGO concerned about caring for the habitat and ecosystems wildlife and humans share, and trying to keep them balanced. When she sends a personal letter instead of a thank you note to a big donor she just about wants to die. She never counted on Marcus (the aforementioned donor) using the mix up to blackmail her into being his unsuitable date for the ball. Because what could be more unsuitable in his rigid Jewish father’s eyes than to show up with a hippy, vegetarian, foster-mother-to-animals, colorful Indian woman? When Rose agrees to the scheme (she doesn’t have much of a choice) she soon finds that the whole situation is way more uncomfortable than she expected, and even Marcus jumps to her defense and tells everyone on the table that they are actually engaged. And that is how the deal is struck. Rose agrees to play Marcus’s devoted fiancée to get on his father’s nerves until Hanukkah and Marcus will help overhaul her agency’s webpage and make substantial donations to help a new program they’re launching. After that they’ll just pretend to have a fight and that’s that, piece of cake… Well, it would be if they didn’t have this crazy chemistry between them, Rose stopped her traditional Thursday Night dates that drove Marcus crazy (because they’re all losers, not that he is jealous) and they didn’t really enjoy the time they spent together… can someone say denial? A reinforced steel beam has no rigidity on Marcus. And Rose after having a rough time at school being the only non-white student, is a bit closed off to trust and love. Will they open up and take a chance at love or will they let their past dictate their future? With a quirky yet strong female lead, a standoffish but in the end melt-for-her hunk and some crazy chemistry, I found this book very entertaining. I loved the epilogue but wished we could have had a chance to spend more time with the previous couples in this series. *I received a complimentary copy from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review*
This was another one of those books that I finish, find it an okay read, and then promptly forget everything about it shortly after I move on to the next one. It sounds harsh, but there wasn't anything memorable about this book. It's been done so many times, even down to the details, that it just becomes 'one of those'. They're not necessarily bad reads - some are of course, but this one wasn't - they're just so common that they all seem to blur into one. I liked the characters well enough. Rose was quirky and sure of herself, Marcus was strong willed with family issues and the supporting characters were interesting - especially the parents. All that aside, I don't really know what else to say. I did have a problem (as usual seems like) with the ending. I've been saying this for a lot of reads lately, but there wasn't enough fight in the end. The whole book is focused on a blossoming relationship and then at the inevitable big obstacle towards the end, a seemingly huge pit that has opened up between them becomes irrelevant and easily crossed. We all know what's going to happen at the end, but I want the way it happens to be something worth reading and not just a couple of pages of 'oh maybe I was wrong'.
Recently, I have had the opportunity to read some really well-written "relationship of convenience" stories, and The Engagement Game by Jenny Holiday is one of the best. The characters are well developed and easy to get to know. The plot moves along at a steady pace and there was never a moment that I wanted to put the book down. In fact, I read it from cover to cover in one day. Fundraising Manager Rose Verma is a smart and beautiful woman. She works diligently and passionately for EcoHabitat, a non-profit organization that finds ways for mankind and ecosystems to exist side-by-side. She is of Indian descent, fosters animals, dresses quite colorfully, is a vegetarian, and will not purchase make-up or anything for that matter from a company that tests their product on animals. Although she wants her own happily ever after, she is afraid to let people get close to her. Self-made millionaire Marcus Rosemann ends up breaking down her barriers while understanding her life choices. Adverting CEO Marcus Rosemann is smart, handsome and wealthy. He also needs a somewhat objectionable woman to pretend to be his fiancee, so that he can aggravate and torment his very traditional and tyrannical father. Since his late mother was chairman of the board at EcoHabitat, and he knows that the non-profit is always seeking donations, he makes a deal with Rose. In exchange for her pretending to be his girlfriend and subsequent fiancee through Hanukkah, he will make a huge donation to EcoHabitat and redo the non-profit's website. Marcus does not do relationships, however, spending time with the vivacious Rose changes his tried and true stance on love. I truly enjoyed this entertaining book. To begin with, Ms. Holiday opens the story with a very funny and realistic chapter, that sets the tone to this upbeat read. Secondly, family and good friends are very important, and I liked how cleverly Rose and Marcus dealt with each scenario that they were faced with. It is refreshing to read a book of fiction that addresses the pressures associated with not marrying someone within their own faith or nationality. As a result, I formed an immediate kinship with both Rose and Marcus. Overall, this is a fun read that should not be missed. Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
3.5 stars The Engagement Game was a really good read. Rose and Marcus were both such entertaining characters, loved watching them fall in love. The storyline was fun and enjoyable, it had the perfect amount of drama without being over the top. The characters were well written and I was left with a heart full of happy feels. Overall The Engagement Game was a fun, sweet and very entertaining read, I highly recommend it and the 49th Floor series.
I loved Rose. She owned her quirky personality and traits. I loved that she was different and even more that Marcus accepted her that way and preferred her that way too. I totally enjoyed their wicked witty banter along with their spitfire attitudes. Both could dish it out, definitely provided some fun entertainment. Their chemistry was off the charts and the way they would react as reality crashed around them during their hot and heavy sessions, combustible. Their situation was a quirky one. But I think they got the best of themselves out of it. Overall the book was a fun, easy paced read with a couple of strong lead characters. I wish Marcus would have had to fight for Rose a little more, but his realization of his love for her and what he did was pretty special. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.
This story immediately caught my attention and kept me captivated throughout the whole book. I love the writing of Jenny Holiday. It was very smooth and just flowed flawlessly throughout the whole story. Marcus is one of the major people at a big business and when Rose accidentally sends a letter to Marcus instead of her best friend, things take a change in the story. Marcus is the outcast in his family because he will not join the family business. Marcus thinks of a brilliant plan to use the letter against Rose and have her go to a big event with his family. He knows that Rose is not the type of girl that his family would approve of. When they get there, his father has the exact reaction that he is expecting. What Marcus isn't expecting is for him and Rose to have a connection that ignites sparks immediately. Now, this is not so much a game as a chance meeting between two people that never would have meet if it hadn't have been for the letter. You need to read this one to see how things unfold for Rose and Marcus. Jenny Holiday does an awesome job with this story and makes it unique in it's own way. I can't wait for more from Jenny in the future!
A fun and heartwarming read! Marcus and Rose are as different as night and day. His family wants him to settle down and find the right women. Rose is so far left of his families thinking. Laughter, mix-ups and just when you think that as different as these two are, you start cheering them on. A Great read! Love, Laughter and Happily Ever After
This was a very fun read. Marcus bartering/blackmailing with Rose to have a pretend relationship while Rose's charity organization gets the things it needs. From intense family dinners to steamy encounters, this book does not disappoint. Mr. Thursday nights have to be the funniest online dating experiences ever. Love both characters and their quirky personalities
I absolutely LOVED this book! It is a feel good fun romance between Rose, a vibrant free spirit, and Marcus, a rich CEO that doesn't believe in love. They meet through an unlikely accident and enter into a fake relationship. Despite this unlikely circumstance, the author somehow not only makes plausible, she makes you care about the characters and feel like you know them and are rooting for them. This is a delightful book that I couldn't put down. I was sorry when it ended. I have added this author to my must read authors' list.
I loved this story!! It's light, it's funny, and it's completely entertaining. There is nothing Marcus Rosemann enjoys more than really getting under his father's skin. Since deciding to follow is own path rather than join the family investment firm, his father has been waiting for him to fall on his face and come crawling back. Oh yeah, and marry a nice, respectable Jewish girl and settle down. Not going to happen!! After a hilarious letter mix up, Marcus finds himself meeting Rose Verma. She's wild, carefree, and the perfect woman to send his father straight over the top when he finds out Marcus is dating her. So what if a little blackmail is needed to get her to go for his plan. While Rose might agree, the blackmail and all, she's not above a little bargaining of her own!! Definitely one I recommend!
First of all, kudos to the Cover Gods for picking a perfect Marcus for the cover. That man, his expression, is Marcus to a T. He's a no nonsense businessman, determined to prove to his father that he has the business acumen and the intelligence to make something of himself and he's worked hard to create the successful advertising firm that he now has. I loved his character as this staid, serious, somewhat disgruntled man. The meet cute with Rose (which I won't spoil here) was hilarious and I laughed out loud at the unique premise. She's a disaster for him, all bright colours, witty comebacks, big smiles and enthusiasm. She's a vegetarian and East Indian, a woman who fosters abandoned dogs and works for an environmental agency - the complete opposite of his high society wealthy family. In other words, she's the perfect woman to show his father that he can take his plans for him and shove them where the sun doesn't shine. Rose agrees to Marcus's plan reluctantly (though she hasn't much choice) and even though it's obvious that Marcus's father is not a fan of hers, she handles herself with poise and dignity and makes a positive impression on the rest of his family - so positive in fact that Marcus inadvertently finds himself telling them that they're engaged to be married - much to Rose's surprise. A fake girlfriend was all he had intended - now he's got a fake fiance! This causes a bit of a problem for Rose too - she's been trying to find the right guy for her (as she's decided it's time for marriage and a family if she can find 'the one') and Thursdays are her online dating matchup nights (lately a new guy every week, as they just haven't been working out). Being engaged to Marcus is definitely going to put a crimp in those plans. But with a fake fiance comes a sudden perk - the chance to explore the attraction that's simmering between them. After all, a few public displays of affection aren't out of place since they are having a whirlwind courtship. But when those PDA's turn into private moments, the steamy heat between them sizzles and though they may be opposite in character, in bed they are a perfect match. I loved these scenes too, filled with humour and sexy goodness. But of course, when the truth comes out, Marcus screws everything up (well, someone has to), and his determination to keep his emotions out of the game is the opposite of Rose, who has gone all in with her heart, even knowing Marcus's views on love and marriage. I loved seeing his vulnerability as he comes to terms with how he really feels. It was great to see Dax and Jack (heroes from the previous two 49th floor stories, equally as entertaining as this one) give Marcus some timely advice (and berate him for his bonehead moves) - I love the bromance in these types of stories, the camaraderie between male friends (who speak the unvarnished truth) always makes for a good laugh. This story had me highly entertained from the get go and rooting for Marcus and Rose to get their happy ever after which of course they do . 5 stars!
Blackmail has never been so rewarding! The Engagement Game is a sexy look at the mishaps of falling in love. Marcus and Rose never would have met if not for a letter mix up. This leads to a face to face meeting that sends these two outcasts down the pathway to love. Ms. Holiday's portrayal of Rose was ingenious. Beautiful on the inside but unsure of herself on the outside. Marcus was rough around the edges but getting to know Rose brought out a side to him that was caring and kind. The beauty of this story is that it's uncomplicated, has a message and leaves the reader feeling good. I received an ARC of Jenny Holiday's The Engagement Game in exchange for an honest review.
Witty, funny romance - great to escape in! This is a lovely, laugh out loud romance with plenty of twists and turns along the way. Sometimes the joke actually rebounds on the joker and the best laid plans and intentions can easily be diverted! It is the third book in the 49th Floor series by this author and they just keep on getting better! They all concern CEOs working on the 49th floor and their love lives. They can be read as standalone stories but they also follow on from each other. Actually IMHO they’re all great so it would be a shame to miss out on any of them! Well, when the black sheep, advertising executive Jewish self-made millionaire CEO, Marcus Rosemann, blackmails the vibrant, charismatic Rose Verma to attend a charity ball where his family are the main contributors there’s bound to be trouble – especially when he suddenly announces that he and the Indian charity worker are engaged! He’s out to shock his overbearing, unfeeling, stubborn and dogmatic, dictatorial father but is this fair on Rose? How will she react? Rose is a fantastic heroine in this – she’s hilarious, opinionated, feisty and so kind hearted! She also feels that she’s too tall, too loud, too colourful and is searching for her own HEA by going for dates with men she’s met via a dating website – but only on Thursday nights. She’s hoping to find love before her thirtieth birthday as she’d previously agreed her Mum could find her someone after that significant event and Rose is sure she doesn’t want an arranged marriage! The chemistry between Marcus and Rose is volatile right from the start. He doesn’t expect her to retaliate when he tries to blackmail her – I loved how the opening set the tone for the rest of the book. The interactions between Rose and his family are so vividly described you watch them unfold in your imagination as if you’re a fly on the wall. Mind you, no fly is quite as noisy as I was because so many of the scenarios had me laughing out loud! This is a well written, humorous, romance with plenty of turmoil keeping the path of true love from running smoothly. The characters are superbly portrayed and their actions easy to empathise with. Definitely a great book to escape into and one I have no hesitation in highly recommending to anyone who is looking for a thoroughly enjoyable, light hearted romance to escape into. Thanks to the author, publishers and NetGalley, too for provided an ARC for me to read in exchange for this, my honest review.