Review: Wife in Name Only by Hayson Manning

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*
Trapped in a loveless marriage, Zoe Hughes escaped to make a new life for herself on the tiny island of Tonga. Now she runs a successful boutique honeymoon resort. Selling true love is easy. No one needs to know she's married in name only. At least until America’s premier honeymoon magazine wants to publish a feature on her perfect marriage. Now she must convince her estranged husband to rip himself away from plotting corporate takeovers in LA to save her island paradise.

Rory agrees to come for forty-eight hours, but only because he needs the positive PR. To his surprise, the wife he finds in Tonga isn’t the same woman he married. Now she’s so much more…

When a storm strands Rory in Tonga, will he win back his wife or leave paradise empty-handed?
What comes after HEA, apparently a divorce waiting to happen. Zoe and Rory were happily married, for a while, until Zoe decided she couldn't live with an emotionless and absent husband. Wanting to find herself again she moves to Tonga and opens up a honeymoon resort. Which is going really great until one of the best honeymoon magazines wants to come do an interview and photo-shoot of her and Rory. Everyone still believes they are happily married.

So desperate times calls for desperate measures. Zoe is calling Rory and begging him to help her out. Rory accepts as he sees it as an opportunity for some good PR and might even convince his wife to come back home. All goes reasonable well until a storm forces Rory to stay on the island a bit longer than expected. He is stuck, but now he has the time to come to terms with his wife.

I very much liked both main characters. Rory can be a class act a-hole if he wants to, but once in a while you get to see this other side from him which will make your heart melt. Ever since leaving L.A. (no idea what for work she did back then b.t.w.) Zoe has become way more relaxed. She is fun and sunshine, mostly she is happy which radiates from her.

Even though these two still very much connect on the physical level, it's the emotional level they are having problems with. Whenever Rory thinks he has her, she turns the mood around and refuses to leave the island with him. But Rory is a caveman and he didn't earn his reputation for no reason, so he won't be giving up so easily.

There are a couple of parts I had problems with. The bad guy in this story feels very forced. All the circumstances and development, to me it felt like the author needed to give an external reason for Rory to come to his senses about Zoe. Which wasn't really necessary.

Then there is this weird phone call from Rory's assistant to Zoe, which revealed a lot about Rory and what he has been up to. That once again felt very forced, because I didn't see the purpose for that. It would have been more fun if Zoe found out those things herself.

Lastly there is Rory. This guy loves his wife so much and is pretty much prepared to do anything to get her back, but he waited a year before he came into action and then only because Zoe called him. I would have thought that a guy like Rory would have gone after his wife immediately.

Wife In Name Only is another fun and fluffy book, great to read on holiday or a quick read between. A pretty predictable plot, but the start is original and there are plenty of twists to keep it interesting.

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*These books are stand alone novels*

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