After an uncharacteristic one-night stand, congressional candidate Harrison Montgomery is facing scandal when Ryan Kaminski winds up pregnant; marrying her is the obvious solution, but falling in love is an unexpected surprise.
After facing a family crisis, Harrison gives into temptation and connects with Ryan, the beautiful, compassionate bartender with blue-collar roots and a slightly shady past he meets in his hotel. After a sizzling one-night stand, he leaves her a sweet note that nonetheless expresses his intention to never see her again, then feels betrayed when he learns she’s pregnant and claims the baby is his. Desperate to salvage his reputation, he convinces her to marry him, but while the two maintain a very cozy and romantic public image, privately they are too clouded by distrust and uncertainty to forge an authentic relationship, especially since Harrison’s parents and sister are struggling to navigate their own personal and public personae. Ryan wants to learn more about the “real” Harrison she met in a Manhattan hotel room but is stymied by the cool, remote man he’s become since their quick wedding. Set against the backdrop of Southern politics, the book is a modern rendition of the classic “marriage of convenience” romance trope, and in O’Keefe’s very capable hands, readers are drawn into Ryan and Harrison’s engaging journey to understanding and love. With two generations of Montgomery family scandal and drama to sift through, Harrison’s parents, especially, seem to shift from supporters to saboteurs and back again, while Ryan, especially, is an intriguing character who surprises everyone, including herself, by becoming an asset rather than a liability. Overall a great read, though there are perhaps too many moments when Ryan and Harrison seem on the brink of emotional breakthrough, only to retreat into yet another moment of uncertainty. O’Keefe, however, is a master of explaining—and selling—character motivations.
A touching, sexy and surprising story of two people from completely different worlds who turn out to be a perfect match.