Requested Review: Wife in Name Only by Hayson Manning

Format: E-bookwifeinnameonly
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Hero: Rory Hughes
Heroine: Zoe Hughes
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: April 1, 2013
Started On: May 2, 2013
Finished On: May 4, 2013

Hero: Rory Hughes, cutthroat businessman known as Ice Man in the construction world. There’s nothing he would not do to make a merger, be it even sell his soul.

Heroine: Zoe Hughes, owner of the honeymoon island Last Stop, Paradise. Zoe is all about the simple things, wanting the peace and quiet that fulfillment and love can bring to life.

Storyline: When Zoe walked out on her husband Rory one year back, she had no idea that it would be to salvage the source of her salvation that she would be forced to call her estranged husband and ask him for his help. Zoe needs the publicity to boost her business whilst Rory has the intention of killing two birds with one stone, i.e. win his wife back on his terms and tone down that cutthroat image of his which was affecting his business. But Zoe and Rory never factored into the equation just how much things would change when they are “stranded” on an island with nothing much to do but give into that flaring, scorching hot attraction that has never died between them.

Time Period: Wife in Name Only has a contemporary setting and is told from both Zoe and Rory’s points of view.

Likes: There were lots of things that I loved about this book. For one thing I loved the fact that Rory did not change and turn his life around the minute he laid his eyes on his wife again after one long year. Rory doesn’t know how to bend his own self-imposed rules of trying to attain success at any cost and that’s not something that’s so easy to give up. And it wasn’t just Rory who stayed true to his character. Zoe too holds onto those values that she believes in, the reason that she had walked away from being married to the love of her life being that he had turned into someone that she didn’t or couldn’t love any longer  without destroying herself in the process. The woman she has changed into appeals Rory on so many levels, but even then, old habits are hard to break unless that cold and hard shell around Rory breaks down and he is ready to take the chance he never did before. Sometimes relationships break apart and the couple involved needs a time out from each other, to step back and evaluate and heal which just might pave the way to patching things up between them. And that’s exactly what happens to Rory and Zoe and I loved every minute of the journey that took them to their final destination.

How much I loved the chemistry between Zoe and Rory, I can go on talking about that for ages. From the minute Rory sets foot on the island and sets eyes on his beautiful wife, the attraction that has always been a big part of their relationship flares up and neither can deny the heat that scorches them both and leaves them burning for more. I loved the fact that the author doesn’t drag the attraction between the two until the reader is ready to throw the book at the wall because the characters have something called too much self control. My theory is simple. If you have that combustive a sexual chemistry and the timing is right, there’s no way on Earth you can walk away from that kind of heat unless of course you are a self-proclaimed saint. And even then I highly doubt that you can walk away from the kind of chemistry that zings between Rory and Zoe. And yes, it is THAT good and yes, Hayson certainly does deliver on all aspects! Just look at the quotes section and I am certain I can make a believer out of you.

One more thing that grabbed me  was the setting for the romance. It felt like I was lying in a hammock and taking in the scenery myself all the while. It takes good descriptive writing in my opinion to be able to transport a reader into the setting of the story and I believe Hayson did it perfectly.

Dislikes: I thought that the ending where Rory is hit by an “epiphany” which makes him return to his wife was a bit cliche’ but somehow Hayson made it work and the story got a thoroughly happy ending at the end. If it had been me, I would have loved for them to go through a bit of a separation again, just for both of them to discover that being together completes each other. That in my opinion would have been the perfect ending.

Recommended for: Those who love steamy romances featuring married couples who get a second chance at making things right.

Final Verdict: Sinfully good!

Favorite Quotes

His eyes flicked from her visibly hardened chest and back to her lips. His hands cupped her lower back, and he pulled her closer. Sparkles of deep, dark, and delicious want coursed through her veins. With his thumb, he drew circles over the thin fabric of her dress. Before she could help herself, a deep moan escaped from the back of her throat.
She stilled at his sharp intake of breath. Heat pooled between her legs.

A burn started throughout her body, heating her blood to boiling point.
His hand slid from her forearm, up over her shoulder, causing a long cascade of goose bumps. Her name escaped him in a long groan as he bent his head toward hers.
Their mouths clashed. Hot, burning need flowed from her mouth to his and back again. Their tongues twisted around each other in a familiar tango. She sucked in his lower lip and her body sagged when he groaned in her mouth.
She wanted him. Anything to override the powerful current that had heat pooling in a slick between her legs.

Her head fell to her chest then she arched back to meet him. Her body struggled to catch up as he stretched her to her limit. She widened her stance to accommodate all of him. The pressure building in her sex had her hands ripping into the bark of the tree. Inches away from release, she closed her eyes at the pressure building. Her body gave one final arch before she convulsed around him and screamed his name.

“I’ve found what I’m looking for, Rory. Have you?” she whispered.
“I know what I want right now.”
His eyes darkened. His eyes traveled from her chest, and a knowing smile curled his lips before his gaze landed on her mouth and stayed there. She squirmed at the warmth traveling between her legs.
“What do you want?” She licked her lips.
“I want your mouth on mine. Your legs wrapped around my hips, your shorts off, and your sweet body pulsing around me.”

The sensation of his hand working, kneading, and rubbing her overwhelmed all thought. His erection at her opening drove her over the edge. She screamed as the mother of all orgasms rocked her body. She arched, then plunged backwards, driving her body onto him. She moaned as she strained to accommodate the length of him. The pleasure mixed with pain was exquisite. He stilled, kissing the back of her neck but not moving inside her. Her hips instinctively started rocking, but his fingers gripped her hip, stopping her. Her head arched against his shoulder, her breath coming in long, ragged bursts.

She stuck her hand on her hip. “Curves? Really? That’s not going to get you another biology lesson anytime soon.”
His eyes darkened, and that deep pulse in the corner of his neck kicked into life.
“How about now?”
She moistened suddenly dry lips. “No, not now.” Her body did the sexy-times dance it did whenever he had that look about him. “I know what you’re thinking. Your whole body responds. Your pupils dilate, you wet your lips, your breasts push against your top.” His gaze dropped downward to her belly and below. “And I know exactly what’s going on down there. You’re all hot, wet, and mine.”

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