He’s my best friend’s brother. My new boss. And now my fake husband.
Knight Warren. The country’s most sought-after heartthrob, and retired military vet, is my complete opposite. He's grumpy where I’m sunshine. Surly where I’m... happy go lucky. He’s the hardened ex-soldier. I’m still trying to find my calling. The only thing we have in common is that we both love his sister... ...who’s also my best friend. So when she asks me to help Knight find a wife I can’t say no. Turns out he'll inherit his father’s empire as long as... ... he gets married within the next month.
I agree to work as his assistant and interview the women who apply for the position. But Knight hates every one of them. With the deadline drawing close, he proposes I marry him. In return, he’ll pay off my debts and take care of my mother’s medical treatment.
Only he has conditions- I need to pretend I belong to him, be in a fake marriage with him, ... for an entire year! But what happens when the chemistry between us ignites? Forced to live under his roof I know I’m falling for him. As the days pass I begin to think he reciprocates my feelings. Until he introduces me to his real wife...
This is a billionaire, forced proximity, one-bed, boss-employee, fake relationship, and a best friend’s brother novel. It is a complete standalone.
L. Steele loves to write romance novels featuring powerful men and strong women who bring them to their knees. When she's not writing she enjoys trading trivia with her filmmaker husband, watching lots and lots of movies, and walking nature trails.
[arc review] Thank you to the author, L. Steele, for providing an arc in exchange for an honest review.
Disclaimer: I don’t really have anything positive to say (sorry). I will be discussing this book in detail, so if you’re looking for a spoiler free review, this isn’t it.
- dual pov: Penny & Knight - best friends brother - marriage of convenience - retired military hero - billionaire - boss x assisstant - virgin heroine - grumpy x sunshine
I actually had to set aside this book for a good week after reading the first chapter, because that alone had me wanting to dnf. I’ve never met such an insufferable fmc before, and I was begging for someone to get her to shut up (respectfully).
For context, Knight has just returned home after being held captive for six months. Penny and Knight do not have a preexisting or established relationship, and the only time she has ever seen him was on the day he deployed, and was saying his farewell's to his sister.
Penny’s immediate reactions to seeing Knight are: 1.“He’s lost weight, but that only adds to the appeal. There are hollows under his cheekbones […]” — being gaunt and underweight from captivity and starvation is appealing? Hmmm, let’s not romanticize this. 2.“But seriously, isn’t therapy the best way to give yourself a chance to adjust back to civilian life?” — again, you two have never once had a conversation before. What gives you the right to ask that? Who’s to say he isn’t in therapy? He hasn’t even had a chance to get in a word or barely reunite with his close friends and family, maybe step off a little. 3.“I widen my smile—mainly to hide the fluttering of my heart and my pussy, which seems to have developed a sudden plumbing problem, what with all the moisture sliding through my slit.” — PLUMBING PROBLEM? So outlandish. Keep in mind, all she has done is accost him of his well-being (which she has no right to do), in a public setting. What is it about public humiliation and a man fresh out of captivity that has her so turned on? It’s kind of disgusting if you ask me.
I found the writing extremely distracting, with things like: > “I’m instantly hard—what the—!” > “My thigh muscles harden, sweat beads my forehead, a-n-d why am I having such a primitive response to this woman?” — why are words constantly being written like: “o-k-a-y”, “y-e-a-p”, “a-n-d”… it’s weird. > Why do they say “Eh?” SO MUCH? Listen, I’m Canadian and I don’t even hear people use that phrase as much as it was presented in this book.
There were also a lot of continuity errors. For example, how did Penny have pink hair to begin with, and then two days later after the scene in the bdsm club, it was fully blonde and no one cared to acknowledge that, when that would have been a key indicator in identifying her? Why did she say “gawd”, and then all of a sudden it switched to “god” for the rest of the book? The fmc is apparently plus-sized, but it was hard to believe when half the time she would be described as fleshy with rolls of fat around her middle, and other times she’d have a narrow and tiny figure.
The first scene in the bdsm club made me uncomfortable. The submissive was clearly uncomfortable with the level of things he was doing to her (it didn’t seem like a cnc situation either) which doesn’t make sense, given the fact that everyone is supposed to be well vetted. As a whole, I think this could have been handled better, as someone experimenting sexually should never be thrown into a situation they aren’t adept to handle.
The dialogue saying: “And I’ve read enough smutty books to be somewhat an expert on the topic.” is so harmful. Romance books are not a guide to bdsm and kink.
The smut was so forced and unnatural, even before it was announced that Knight would need to wed in order to gain full control over the family business. I mean, when all he did was put out his hand as a barrier when the car halted in traffic, and that was enough for her to immediately straddle him? Or when he didn’t get her to come, but she still stayed the night in his bed? That’s a no from me. Not to mention the fact that she was literally “bathed” in her arousal 24/7 — “My pussy clenches and my panties are wet—again. Jesus, I might as well start wearing diapers, at this rate.” PLS.
I get that having a virgin heroine comes with some level of inexperience, but some of what was being written was so beyond unaware and really played into and amplified the stereotype of a “dumb blonde.” The way Penny slapped Knight unprovoked while in an intimate setting was very dangerous given his unstable history. He could have very easily lashed out, and it could have triggered a reaction from previously being tortured. It’s clear that there’s not sufficient awareness of what it could be like living with an abusive person or someone that is dealing with severe trauma or ptsd. Literally, any little thing could set them off.
For a marriage of convenience story, I was disappointed that this skipped over the entire wedding. I hated that there was no discussion on condoms or safe sex, especially given the fact that she’s a virgin. And I hated that during her first time, when she said “enough, I can’t take anymore”, he proceeded to push past her limits and pound into her. AND WHY, please tell me why she immediately blacks out into sleep after sex every single time? EVERY TIME. Even if it’s the middle of the day at work, she dozes off. It’s so fucking odd.
Other quotes that gave me the ick: > “I take Abby’s hand in mine, then bring it to my mouth and kiss her knuckles.” — you’re siblings… it seems even weirder when you take into consideration that a character does the exact same gesture to Penny in order to provoke Knight in a territorial way. > “That scar looks good on you.” — again, stop romanticizing abuse and torture. > “I have other ways of making money. I… I can use my body.” / I look her up and down. “If you think anyone is going to pay for that, then you’re being optimistic.” — ew, body shaming a plus-sized girl is not cute. > “chai tea latte” — chai and tea are synonymous lmao > calling his adonis belt “cum gutters” > him eating her out but: “when she was sleeping and unaware of what I was doing to her.” RED FLAG.
And lastly, for this being a best friends brothers trope, the utilization of the best friend was so poorly done. Mira was more present than Abby, and I can’t understand how Penny didn’t know about the get together to welcome back Knight, if it included all of their close friends. Wouldn’t that be something you’d tell and invite your “best friend” to? The “best friend” that you roped into working for your brother?
Instead of worrying about character “sun signs”, there should have been an adequate content warning list. i.e. ptsd, flashbacks of past torture and captivity, parent with dementia, misogyny, nightmares, blackmail and emotional manipulation, mentions of rape, explicit sexual content and bdsm (including bondage, spit play, breath play, spanking, foot fetish, etc.)
I sincerely need gallons of bleach to remove this book both from my mind and from my vision. This was a major cringe fest through and through. Tho this did indeed had all the right ingredients with the tropes and everything, but that execution was a major flop.
Heroine was so so fcking annoying and cringey. The exchange of dialogues between this wanna be Christian Grey and corny, doormat heroine made me want to puke. And that attempt at dirty talk had me crying and hurling my guts over and over
This. Book. Is. Everything. So, so, so good! I read it in two days and I’m still processing. Not just a romance book, but a book about redemption, love, friendship and family. It hits on many topics, and tropes, but everything correlates beautifully and was written so well.
It’s so hard to describe without giving too much away; but we meet Penny, a 20-something, curvy, sweet woman who maintains her sunshine demeanor even when life throws her curveballs. And she loves the color pink! Then comes along Knight, her best friends brother, who has come just come back from serving in the British Royal Marines. He’s not the man he once was and struggles to fit in to his civilian life and deal with his demons. Knight becomes Penny’s new Alphahole/grumpy boss and she ends up having to find him a wife in order for him to take over his father’s company, as well having to deal with his crabbiness on a day-to-day basis. There’s lots of sexual tension, love/hate vibes and lust. The spicy scenes are so good and tasteful and don’t take away from the story. And the ending left me happy and satisfied!
Tropes: best friends brother, grumpy/sunshine, billionaire, alpha hero, bosshole, opposites attract, enemies to lovers, marriage of convenience, forced proximity, sworn off relationships, work colleagues, emotional scars, redemption (seriously something for everyone)
Thank you L. Steele for letting me review this! I enjoyed this so much and look forward to more of your books!
I'm sorry, but this wasn't very good. It's lame if I'm being honest. The idea behind it is good, but the execution of the story could be better. It might be me, but after reading, I think the book description can be misleading, especially with the last sentence being "until he introduced me to his real wife" because he never had a real wife, so the big twist isn't even big. Maybe it's just me, but lately, all these books seem to have more sex than actual storylines. This is good when that's all I want to read, but I'm just getting so bored with wanting a book to become my new personal, yet I'm stuck not wanting to read because it's a sex scene after sex scene. With that being said, I wish there was more to the plot. For instance, his captured time could have been intriguing if it had been driven into and discussed.
Anyways I don't know. It's just blah to me. 🥴
A huge thank you to Valentine PR and the author for the arc in exchange for an honest review 🤍🎧💌❤️
This is my first L. Steele book and wow! I was hooked from the very beginning. I loved how awkward Penny was when she's in Knight's presence. The freaking spice!! Oh my Lord, it was hot! The sexual connection Knight and Penny had was 🔥🔥 There were twists and turns in this plot had my jaw dropping in shock! I loved this book!! 😍😍
“She has that effect on me. My sunshine. My Little Dove who shines light into the murky darkness of my life.”
This is my first L.Steele book and I loved it. I went in with zero expectations. My decision was made solely on the tropes and the blurb grabbed my attention. I wasn’t disappointed not even a little. This book is about love, friendship, and trauma. Grab a tissue box. Knight will tare at your heartstrings.
Knight was in the military and while on a mission he was captured by the enemy. After suffering that ordeal he now has PTSD and has to acclimate back into civilian life. His sister is worried about him and pushes her best friend Penny to work for her brother as his assistant in hopes that her light will shine upon him. Penny is full of sunshine. She is the type of person who smiles even when her world is falling apart. Her sunshine draws Knight to her. He cannot resist Penny. Then Knight discovers Penny is attracted to his sexual darkness and that’s when the spice kicks up to 10.
L.Steele threw in a few plot twist that left my mind boggling . This book was so well written. Highly recommended read. You won’t be disappointed.
Tropes: Enemies To Lovers, British Hero, Marriage Of Convenience, Curvy FMC, Force Proximity, Billionaire Romance, Fake Relationship, BDSM.
Thank you so much L.Steele and Valentine PR for the ARC.
I can hardly be expected to give a book less than 5 stars when I believe my editing helped it to become the best it can be. And that is what I believe. This is part of the continuing story of those alphahole bad boys of London. Though not exactly one of the Seven, Knight is peripherally related to those characters. His sister is Abby, married to his best friend Cade. His other best friend is Declan, partnered with Solene, a friend of Abby’s. Abby’s other close friend is Penny (if I recall correctly, Solene introduced them after Penny moved to London because Solene’s sister was friends with Penny). It’s all very confusing unless you read the entire series; then it will make sense. So, this is my not-so-subtle way of telling you to just read the whole series. Assuming BDSM is your thing. If it’s not, you can still enjoy the stories because the characters really drive the stories more than anything else, but I warn you, these stories are not for prudes. They’re definitely written for an adult audience.
At any rate, this is the story of Knight and Penny, a grumpy-sunshine, best-friend’s-brother romance. Add to that a healthy dose of personal trauma on the part of the hero, and you’ve got the setup. Knight has just returned from being held captive behind enemy lines for the past six months, and this has seriously messed with his mind. Penny, the eternal optimist, despite difficult life circumstances (like a mother with dementia), is convinced that she can see the real Knight buried below layers of anguish, and she determines she’ll be the one to redeem him. It doesn’t hurt that Abby has the same idea and pushes Penny to help her brother.
My problem with the concept of all of these books is that the FMC always has to overlook some serious red flags on the part of the MMC. These men exhibit all of the characteristics of the textbook abusive male. Except, they’re not exactly abusive; they’re Dominant and require submissives who are strong females in their own right. The thing is, I worry that someone younger might read these tropes and disregard some very real signs of danger in a prospective partner.
This is a problem with the trope, not the author, and Steele does a very good job of showing the importance of women being independent and strong. And perhaps, I’m more attuned to the ease with which a young woman can fall prey to a man who displays these red flags, thinking “he doesn’t really mean that” or “I can change him” or similar sentiments (having been one myself). When I read these books, I’m always reminded of Maya Angelou’s statement: When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.
That said, Steele’s books, which ignore that advice, consistently show us the sensitive and caring side of these alphahole males that has been hiding just below the surface (sometimes, very far below), waiting for the right woman to unearth the emotions he couldn’t uncover himself. By the end of the books, I always end up loving the male characters. And these are fictional, after all, so it’s not as if I’m witnessing a woman in an abusive relationship and not offering the insight I wish someone had offered me. These stories all have an HEA in which the MMC discovers emotions he didn’t believe or was unwilling to admit he had and the MFC demonstrates her strength and independence, despite her desire to be a submissive.
First let me preface this review with, I'm a huge fan of L. Steele but I feel that this wasn't one of her better books.
It was so good....up to the 60% mark. Knight was such a tortured soul as one would expect given what he went through. He was really mean to Penny but she stuck it out because she knew he was dealing with PTSD and was posturing to push her away. She was a ray of sunshine to his darkness. I was totally inline with where the story was going, how it flowed and their chemistry? Out of this world! You knew how Penny felt from the get go and that Knight was beginning to feel things for her he wasn't ready to deal with. This PTSD was a major theme up to this point.
SPOILERS BELOW....... . . . . . . . . . . After their "fake" marriage, refused to look at her during the ceremony and also refused to kiss her afterwards then he left Penny in the middle of the reception. He went to a bar and got drunk. Penny went home by herself and Knight's friends dragged him home late totally wasted. He comes into Penny's room the next morning, the poor thing was still in her wedding gown (a tear or two here), with no apologies, to F her into submission. At this point in the story, I was okay because their relationship thus far had revolved around this behavior and we knew why he'd done it. Not excuseable but the reason was well established.
Unfortunately, it went downhill fast from here. It was almost as if Ms. Steele ran out of steam. I don't know happened but the characters began behaving weirdly and flat if that makes any sense. Instead of being righteously angry at Knight for humiliating her at their wedding, she was like "Oh you want to F? Ok sure! Let's forget everything and get it on. We'll just pretend that never happened." And rather than use this as the catalyst for her finally having enough of his BS, she forgave him immediately. What she got mad at and gave his rings back was over the dumbest of dumb things, the fact that he hadn't told her he was trying to adopt the daughter of one of his men that had perished in the mission that had gotten them all captured. Seriously?! Out of all the crap he put her through, THAT's the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back??? And she even admitted to Mira that it was such a noble thing for him to do but because he didn't tell her, she just couldn't live with him any more. And why he was so scared to tell her that, I just couldn't fatham. I just sat there with my mouth open.
Knight did a 180 in his attitude and his feelings for Penny but he made no effort to go after her to explain why he was adopting this little girl and the worse thing? The PTSD was basically forgotten. No explanations on why or how, he just, poof, was over it. It was totally weird and such a let down.
There was absolutely NO grovel in this book. He did say he was sorry but that was it. And the "Real" wife depicted in the blurb? Nope that was a total misconception. She turned out to be the wife of one of Knight's men who had a mental breakdown when she was informed that her husband had perished. In her pychosis, she believed that Knight was her husband. I can understand Penny's shock hearing this woman, who escaped her handler, say she was Knight's wife. That was believable. What wasn't was how mad Penny got even though Knight explained it immediately. Again, another instance of how out of character these two were acting.
I do have to say here that I was so surprised to find out Adam, who was a major player in the book and one of Knight's men who was on the mission with him, and with whom Knight met with everyday, was actually ghost! What a plot twist! I did not see that coming and I LOVED it! Adam also turned out to be the husband of the woman who thought Knight was her husband and the father of the little girl Knight was trying to adopt. Unfortunately, that plot twist was not capitalized on and was over it a matter of one sentence. Such a missed opportunity!
Even though this book turned out to be disappointing to me, I do, as a general rule, love L. Steele's books and I will definitely continue to read her work.
Knight is an Ex-Marine who has been through so much trauma; he was taken and tortured, and now he is finally coming home. He is still adjusting to civilian life after what happened, but when he meets Penny, he doesn't know how to handle her because he has never felt this way about any other woman.
Penny was my absolute favorite character. She is all kinds of sassy, sweet, caring, funny sunshine, but she is also quirky, gets nervous, and tends to word vomit around Knight. (I mean, who wouldn't get tongue-tied around this HOT ex-marine?)
Her bucket list was the best, and the way she loved her momma was everything. (No one knows how it feels to have a family member with dementia until they have experienced it personally. The toll it takes on you emotionally and mentally is heartbreaking. There are good and bad days, and when you go to see them and they don't remember who you are, it's heartbreaking to watch)
I loved what he did for Penny's mom. 💜
Penny went through so much with Knight and she literally took all his bad and didn't care and NEVER gave up on him. She was sassy and spoke her mind and fought for what she wanted. I just loved Penny for that because most people would have run for the hills the first day.
These two were perfection; they had these sweet, funny moments that had me smiling and laughing like a fool. I just loved their banter, and the spice was off the charts; and oh my, the dirty, filthy mouth on Knight. F*&k me!
It has some twists at the end, and oh boy, I normally don't tear up at books, but this story, I mean, how can you not? These two were just meant to be, and I'm not going to lie, I had my doubts for a while about whether they would be able to work things out.
The Wrong Wife follows Penny and Knight. This is a grumpy x sunshine, best friend’s brother, and marriage of convenience romance.
Knight Warren is apart of the Queens Royal Marines and while on an assignment he was c@ptured. He later returns home after months of being held ho$tage overseas. He suffers from survivor guilt. He experienced some horrible trauma and becomes closed off from everyone around him. It was amazing to see him put down his guard and let Penny into his life. She changed him for the better and helped him heal.
Penny Easton is a sunshine girl with a heart of. Her sunshine personality leads her to be an extrovert who has no filter what-so-ever. Some of the things she said made me cringe a bit. She meets Knight, who is her best friend, Abby’s brother at his welcome home party.
Knight tried to resist his feelings for Penny, but eventually falls for her sunshine personality. Knight realized that he needed Penny more than ever to overcome his PTSD. The support from Penny’s friend helped her to stay strong and be there for Knight. Their relationship was a bit rocky at first, but eventually they overcame their problems together.
Tropes: ❥ Marriage of convenience ❥ British hero ❥ Curvy heroine ❥ Billionaire romance ❥ “My wife” ❥ Enemies to lovers ❥ BD$M ❥ Forced proximity ❥ Fake relationship ❥ Boss/employee ❥ Best friend’s brother ❥ Grumpy x sunshine
Tropes: Best friend brother; Workplace Romance; Marriage of Convenience; Possessive Alphahole; Veteran/ Military Male lead; Virgin Female Character; Forced Proximity; Grumpy/Sunshine; Dom/Sub
This was my first L.Steele book and I had no idea what to expect. The blurb for this book grabbed my attention and the tropes did too. I was not ready for the spicy and I was not disappointed at all. I really enjoyed how Knight was written, I absolutely loved the dynamic between him and Penny.
Knight comes back after a horrible ordeal and he’s not the same. He’s closed off and his sister doesn’t know what to do to help him other than send her pocket full of sunshine filter free best friend to work for him. The last thing Knight wants is someone who is happy go lucky around him, even if she does quiet his demons.
Penny believes that if she accepts the bad then the good has no choice than to come to her. She’s a cup half full kind of girl. When her best friend brother returns home she can’t help but be drawn to him. The things he says to her causes her body to react and it’s something she wants to explore even if she “hates” him.
My official rating is a 4.5, I really enjoyed the book I’ve even downloaded another one of L. Steele’s book to read next.
This is my first foray into a book (world) by L. Steele. It is a series of books that can be read as a stand alone but once you have read one book you can go back and read the one about your favourite couple.
I have to admit that I have wavered about *** or ****. This book almost became a "did not finish" for me so I took, a break and read some reviews. I seemed to be the only one feeling this way and so I persevered. I am glad I did the book got better the further I read though I never warmed up to the main female character (Penny) and it took a while to understand Knight as at the beginning he was such a jerk.
But as the book continued and improved greatly, understanding his character was easier and as they worked toward their HEA you could do nothing but root for the couple.
Honestly I was gripped by the story when I read the blurb because I knew it would be full angst and I was right!
This book got you in the feels like all the twists and turns while watching Ex- Marine, Knight, heal from being taken and tortured. He is trying to get into his new normal now that he has returned home but he couldn’t have imagined his reaction when he meets Penny.
I absolutely loved Penny and I could relate to her word vomit when she gets nervous. I feel like she was a great match for Knight because she wasn’t afraid to speak her mind and was willing to fight for what she wanted.
I will say there was a lot of pull and push from this characters but once you see this story for the beautiful love story that it was, it’s totally worth it.
This wasn’t really for me. I didn’t really like the writing style or the characters. The FMC wasn’t my favorite or tolerable. It was one of those books that tried to be funny and witty but just made the main characters seem immature.
I feel like the plot wasn’t fully developed and seemed like this was written purely for the smut.
I had to take a while to think how I want to review this book. I don’t like to bad mouth any book and I was on a high with disappointment when I finished the book.
First of all I gave it 2 starts for the following reasons; 1) I never 👎🏻 give any book less than 1 star ⭐️ 2) it’s for Adam and his ending. I was all teary 🥲 because of it. (And yes I’m sentimental like that 💁🏻♀️)
All of that being said, I really thought the plot had potential but I just couldn’t with the writing ✍🏻 style. I’m ALL for smut and dirty talk but this book just trash. Not nice did it make me go “OMG 🥵”
I wanted to DNF this book from the first chapter but I kept on going thinking “it will get better”, but NOPE!
There were few writing discrepancies which confused me a bit and I had go back to make sure I didn’t read wrong 😑. But I got over it in the hopes of “it will get better”, but NOPE!
I won’t discourage people from reading this book but be warned I wasn’t a fan of the writing.
The Wrong Wife is a quick and easy read that follows the story of Knight and Penny. Knight is a hardened ex-soldier, alphahole who unfortunately needs to find a wife in order to inherit his father’s empire. Penny is the sunshine to Knight’s grumpiness. They might be total opposites, but when her best friend asks her for a favor, she can’t say no. I mean, she had no way of knowing what path this favor would take her on.
I thought this book was an ok read. I enjoyed Knight’s character. I thought he offered a lot of depth and I found him easy to connect with. It was easy to understand why he had a grumpy exterior and why he wouldn’t let anyone new get close. Penny was definitely an interesting character. She was totally innocent and was in way over her head for most of this book. Her inability to say no to people and how much she let Knight get away with really bugged me. I also found her lack of filter to be annoying. I feel like it was supposed to make her quirky, but instead, I felt like it made her really insensitive.
This book definitely nails the grumpy sunshine, miscommunication trope. The pairing of Knight and Penny was definitely an interesting one. They were complete opposites and wanted different things out of their lives. And like I previously stated, Penny was in way over her head with a guy like Knight. I didn’t love them together, but I didn’t hate them together either.
*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*
DNF. The first chapter had me wanting to strangle the FMC. The second chapter had me making all kinds of faces (none good). Things don’t make sense here. I don’t think enough research was done to write about a prisoner of war, honestly. No way in hell are they going to release someone THAT quickly after being rescued. Then enters the FMC again in chapter 3 and I’m bowing out.
She’s got to be the worst character I’ve ever read. She has no class and says the worst things and asks the worst questions in the worst way. Yeah, I get it was supposed to be awkward, but this was another level. This was honestly disturbing and had me seriously pissed off. I honestly don’t think anyone that knows someone in the military or that has been in the military will be able to read this book without getting upset by the things she says.
Thank you to Valentine PR for the arc in exchange for an honest review. This book was all over the place for me and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped I would. I felt like Penny was written as a stereotypical ‘dumb blonde’ which I didn’t like and Knight was too much of an ‘alphahole’. The writing style just wasn’t for me and the pacing was terrible. So much of this book felt rushed with plot holes. Also didn’t understand how Penny got wet every 2 seconds. Didn’t realise there were so many ways to describe someone weeping C U Next Tuesday… the smut was ok I guess 🤷🏽♀️
3.5⭐️ *~I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review~*
There were many components that I loved about this book. First and foremost —- the veteran representation. I haven’t read many books where the MMC is a vet, let alone one that struggles with severe PTSD and trauma from his time being captive. The little bits and pieces we see of him (the night terror, resistance to opening up to people, his friendship with Adam), were so real and valid. I loved seeing it in him and wanted so badly for him to come out of that trauma (or at least navigate it the best he can).
Penny’s character growth was unmatched. In the beginning of the book, the constant blabbering was cringe-y (for me), and I found her extremely annoying. But I know that’s more of a me thing than her, because once we get to see her grow more I didn’t find it that unbearable. It was tough in the beginning but we rode it out. Penny is definitely a character that truly sees the good in others and wants everybody to be happy, and it’s easily questionable whether she does that to avoid her own insecurities or not, but it fit her character perfectly.
I struggled with parts of this book. It felt like there were too many tropes that were randomly thrown in and made it hard to follow while also being too much all at once. Loved the forced marriage, vet representation, grumpy x sunshine, but everything else didn’t feel relevant. Knight coming back from war and moving into his dad’s company to become the CEO didn’t necessarily sit right with me. It was so clear Knight was struggling with PTSD…. And the focus should’ve been on him getting help rather than run a business, find a wife, have a kid, etc.
I personally was not a fan of how quickly Penny was to discard the way Knight treated her. When he nearly chokes her to the point of blacking out due to a night terror, my first instinct wouldn’t be to crawl to him. I’d be anxious and nervous and wouldn’t feel safe, REGARDLESS if I understood what happened and why he did it. I felt like that was brushed off by her and I didn’t like that. I also didn’t like that she was willing to bend and make excuses for Knight time and time again. We see her set boundaries and get firmer as the story goes on, but it felt like Knight used her (and he openly said so time and time again). Makes it hard to believe he really loved her? Idk. I don’t know why she was so okay with allowing him to act that way, even though she could understand (and did from the jump), that his behavior stemmed from his time in the military.
I almost would’ve preferred this book to be darker???? There were so many parts that could’ve pushed into dark romance because of his past and I think that would’ve put this book up in a higher rank for me. We see him struggle with all of this trauma and act like a normal guy, which isn’t uncommon, but him trying and attempting to be a happy go lucky, everything is fine guy, clearly didn’t bode him well.
I also felt there were parts of this book that just…. Dropped off. There were too many characters at some points and made it hard to follow. Getting the dog felt random. I wish we knew earlier on about Adam’s friendship with Knight instead of it randomly dumped in at the last minute.
BUT, I will say that the writing is beautiful. It kept me entertained and I stayed interested throughout.
Knight Warren, former marine, hostage and a completely dominant alpha hole hero and Penny Easton, his sister’s best friend, submissive by nature and his new assistant charged with finding him a convenient wife. Now that’s an explosive relationship in the making and The Wrong Wife didn’t disappoint in this sizzling grumpy/sunshine, billionaire romance There was scorching chemistry and sexual tension galore between the hero and heroine to the extent I almost felt my kindle heat up in my hands as I read. Their relationship veered to the BDSM end of the spectrum but was definitely more of a slowburn albeit with a lot of heavy foreplay. At times I did struggle with these characters. Knight was just nasty to everyone he came into contact with. Yes he had issues namely PTSD and survivor guilt but I don’t think he would’ve been any different even if he hadn’t spent six months in hell, while Penny came across as being a bit of a Pollyanna type, always looking on the bright side. I cringed every time she opened her mouth, the woman suffered from verbal diarrhoea, saying anything that came into her head, no matter how inappropriate. As their relationship developed Knight did begin to change as he opened up to the realisation that he needed help. I did see the twist with him coming but perhaps that was because I’ve recently listened to an audiobook from this author where there were small similarities and it was fresh in my mind. Highlights of this book for me have to be drunken billionaires spouting dirty limericks, Penny’s bucket list and the appearance of Tiny, the champagne swilling Great Dane.
This book can easily be read as a stand-alone but most of the large cast of secondary characters have already appeared in previous books/series so it might be easier to keep them straight if you’ve read at least some of these books before
**ARC REVIEW** "The only time I feel calm, the only time I allow myself to feel peace, is when I’m with her"
The Wrong Wife was the first book I have read by L.Steele and it was a very enjoyable book!
My rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Spice: 🔥🔥
If you like these tropes, you will enjoy reading this book! 💍Billionaire 💍Marriage of Convivence 💍Angsty 💍BDSM 💍Best Friend's Sibling 💍Enemies to Lovers
Knight is an ex-marine who returns after he had a rough time in his last tour and is still working through those inner demons. He is one grumpy man and he needs to get married so he can take over his father's company
Penny is Knight's sisters best friend and she has her own struggles to work through especially having to take care of her mother who has dementia. Penny ends up taking a job that makes Knight her boss and they go head to head. She also is tasked with finding him a wife. When things don't work out, he proposes that she marries him instead.
I loved how much sexual tension & chemistry Penny and Knight had! I also loved that they were there for each other as they were both dealing with things that took a toll on them emotionally. The sexual tension and angst kept me wanting more.
Thank you to Laxmi and Valentine PR for kindly sending me this arc to read and review. This review is my own honest opinion on the book :)
Guys the first chapter was ROUGH to get through let me tell you! I literally had to set my Kindle down, walk away, and pick it up. It got a bit better throughout, but I think maybe this just wasn't a book for me.
I struggled a bit with Penny and Knight, and I think it was a personal problem I had. I did find that Penny was able to grow throughout the book, but the first part I found myself cringing my way through. I found myself wishing that we had more of a focus on Knight's PTSD. It felt like it was skipped over a bit, and it was obvious he was struggling. Especially in how he was treating Penny.
They definitely did have chemistry, though. There was banter and passion from the start. I thought it was a lot of spice, and it sometimes felt a bit too much? Also I'm not a fan of miscommunication so I really do think this book just wasn't personally for me! I would definitely read other books of L. Steele's, though!
Thank you to Val PR for a copy in exchange for an honest review!
I've only read a couple of books by L. Steele and I have liked each one of them a lot. They are easy and fun to read and it helps that she can write good BDSM romance well... I am a sucker for a good BDSM romance when written correctly.
I really liked Knight and Penny's story. Knight Warren, Penny's best friend's brother was such an a**hole in the beginning, and I was kind of loving it. I love the grumpy/sunshine trope, I'm obsessed with it at the moment and ... He did get nicer as the story progressed though. Penny was so awkward and shy-ish, yet strong, honest but very sweet.
I'm not going to dive in too deep but I will say that this book is deeper than I expected, Knight was going through so much after being in the military and there was a reason he was the way he was. Grumpy and moody. It was good to see his hard shell start to crumble away when Penny is in the picture. Do they both have a chance at happiness or will Knight keep his walls up and will Penny's heart be broken?