Shotgun Marriage by Day Leclaire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
An interesting idea, a ball held every five years, where one can go and meet their 'true love' and marry that night. Rafe feels he has a huge reason to hate the Cinderella Balls, and Ella and her parents, even though he was once in love with her. Ella feels that this ball is the last chance she has to have the elusive happy ever after that was stolen away from her when Rafe left her. Rafe shows up at the ball and delivers an ultimatum to Ella. Marry him, or don't marry at all. He's seething with a violent mixture of desire, rage, and a love he dare not admit to. He tells himself he marries Ella, out of revenge, but when she tries to give herself to him on their wedding night, he spills the beans and walks away. Ella takes the courageous step of following him to his home in Costa Rica. Once there, the natives are convinced she is the long-prophesized "La Estrella" who will bring peace and prosperity back to the town of Milagro, but Ella has her work cut out for her. She has to convince her husband that her love is true, and that he can trust in her love. But how can he, when he holds Ella responsible for his sister's broken heart.
Rafe is a very intense man. He carries a lot of emotional weight on his shoulders. At times, he's hard to like, but I could see why Ella loved him. Slowly but surely, Ella chips away at the stone around his heart, seeing that he's a man more than capable of loving intensely. That's the problem. He loved Ella, and felt she betrayed him. The truth of what happened five years ago comes out, and Rafe realizes his future is with his Cinderella bride.
This was a good read, but I think the ending was awkward. Ms. Leclaire tried to recap some of the other couples who had attended the Cinderella Ball in the past, and it didn't seem to fit. I would have liked the book better without that ending. Still, it was a good read, and a keeper.
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