“The Wealthy Greek’s Contract Wife” by Penny Jordan

Ilios Manos is a grumpy Greek 37-year-old, who has sworn never to fall in love. He has also sworn to protect his family legacy, which is a fancy but dilapidated beachfront Villa in Greece. In order to hold on to this property, he needs to be married – not really sure why, it’s sort of vague, but you have to just sort of agree to believe it.

Lizzie Wareham is a 27-year-old, unstylish but naturally beautiful, English Rose who has lost all her money with the collapse of the real estate market – how contemporary!  Through a complicated turn of events, she has become indebted to Ilios for thousands of dollars that she doesn’t have… what’s a girl to do?

Despite his repulsion for her on their first meeting, Ilios promptly decides that the most obvious thing to do in this situation is marry this stranger – oh and grab her boob. He does that too.

They get married, like, THE NEXT DAY, and have hot passionate sex, and then Lizzie realized she LOVES this a-hole who has done nothing but be grumpy and stand-offish to her. Oh women… all their emotion is in their cooter.

Ilios kind of realizes that Lizzie loves him, so he does what most men would do – pull away and act like a jerk. Then, (TWIST) Lizzie realizes she’s pregnant, and Ilios finds out and thinks she did it so that she could wring some more money out of him. He tells her that she and the baby are nothing to him. Ouch! She books the next flight back to England (conveniently leaving the flight number and departure time on a pad by the telephone, next to a tear-stained tissue).

Somehow, in the next five minutes, Ilios realizes he totally loves Lizzie and rushes to the airport to stop her from getting on the plane. He says he’ll charter a jet and follow her all the way back to Manchester, but sadly, nothing that dramatic has to happen. Lizzie was in the bathroom, barfing, and was super late getting to the gate, so Ilios made it in plenty of time. He tells her he loves her, and pulls out the wedding ring that she had already been wearing right up until that morning. He proposes (even though they’re still married) and she cries and says she loves him (really?) and they all live happily ever after.

Summation: It’s like this book was written on a budget – the author cheaps out on the action, plot, backstories, the ending, even the sex! They only did it once (not counting the handy Lizzie gives Ilios right before he realizes she’s in love with him)! I give it two and a half stars, minus half a star for all the typos and grammatical mistakes. **

About the Author: She’s British, and has published 165 novels. That’s a whole lot of crappy novels that are surely being used as kindling all over the world.

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