My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Cleo is Jade’s efficient, financially savvy assistant. But she wants to be his wife, so she can inherit her fortune. She puts her proposal to Jude in terms he can understand: mutual financial benefit. He agrees, so long as she accepts a real marriage. Cleo never allowed herself to consider Jude that way, although he’s always been an attractive man, although a bit cold-natured. But she’s going to make the most of her marriage, and she realizes that the man she married for money is the man she loves.
Unfortunately, the reason for marriage bites its ugly head, and causes Jude to lose all trust in her. Things only get worse when she tells him she’s pregnant, because he doesn’t believe he’s the father of their child.
Part of me could understand Jude’s hurt, especially when he reveals at the end that he was in love with Cleo for years. Of course, he assumes that she was using his feelings against him and because hard and cruel. I wish he would have had more trust in Cleo, and asked her what was going on, instead of making assumptions. On Cleo’s side, I wish she had been forthcoming about her reasons for marriage, and told Jude about her problem with her ex-boyfriend who was blackmailing her. I think she perceived it as a short-coming and a weakness. And she didn’t feel that Jude would want to be bothered with that information, because he wouldn’t have cared, if it didn’t have any bearing on their relationship. Cleo isn’t used to being cared for, or for others feeling affection and closeness to her, and when Jude pushes her away, that shrivels any hope that she has for being love. That part was sadly poignant, especially when Jude finds out the truth and believes he’s blown it with Cleo for all time, ready to give her the space he thinks she wants, since she never loved him in the first place. The end, and Jude’s declaration almost makes up for how mean he was to her, and his lack of faith in Cleo, but not quite. I thought it sucked that Jude wouldn’t even listen to Cleo, but he believed his sister when she told him what Cleo had confessed in tears about why she’d needed the money. I really don’t like a lack of trust between the couple, so that bothered me about this story.
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