Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: Surprise Groom
Author: D.J. Jamison
Series: Marital Bliss #1
Heroes: Caleb & Julien
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 322 pages
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: May 16, 2019
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Can two men fake their way to marital bliss?
Caleb Taylor is shocked to learn his family could lose Bliss Island Resort — their home and livelihood — unless he makes use of a clause to marry the child of investor Louis Chastain. Sofia Chastain is more like a sister than a love interest, and Caleb isn’t ready to sign over his future. But Sofia has a brother, and Caleb has a plan …
Julien Chastain was disowned at fifteen and has made a life as a go-go dancer in Miami, but he lives paycheck to paycheck. When his childhood friend proposes an outlandish marriage contract, he thinks he’s crazy. But it’s a chance at a future that’s tough to pass up.
Caleb and Julien must present themselves as an authentic couple for the legal loophole to work, but the lines between “fake” and “real” keep shifting as they navigate intimacy, public scrutiny, and sabotage.
Love isn’t part of the plan, but plans change. If they can outsmart Julien’s father and prove their love is worth more than a transaction, they just might find a true happily-ever-after.
This was a super cute story and Caleb and Julien were so adorable. I loved that Caleb and Julien were so different and that Julien was willing to help Caleb after not seeing him for over a decade. It was interesting to see how close they get once they get back to Bliss Island and how not only does Caleb come to realize that he’s bisexual but Julien realizes what he really wants to do with his life. Both of them grow over the course of this book and really settle into who they are. As characters, I liked that Caleb was more conservative while Julien was more eclectic.
I enjoyed this one but I had a few issues with it. For one, it was too smutty for me. I ended up skimming after a while because they went at it like bunnies. Add to that, I was really confused with the whole Julien’s father thing and revealing that their marriage would be a sham because they didn’t love each other? It didn’t make sense because Julien’s father wanted Caleb to marry Sofia and he wouldn’t have loved her. So how was that different? The clause didn’t specify that he had to marry for love. I grew more and more aggravated every time it was brought up because it’s not like Julien’s father could sue Caleb for not marrying Julien for love even if they weren’t in love. The situation literally would have been the same if Caleb was marrying Sofia so Julien’s father had no grounds for whatever he was planning. That little tidbit drove me crazy because it just kept being brought up over and over again. Add to that, if Caleb and Julien wanted everyone to believe they were in love, why not make the contract look like a pre-nup? Just in case they were found out? The terms of the contract sounded just like a pre-nup could be and no one would have thought second about Caleb demanding a pre-nup.
All in all, I liked this one. I liked the characters and I liked the journey they go through. I had a few issues with it that drove me a little batty but overall, I liked it. I hope there’s a sequel because I’d love to see where things go from here.
Overall Impression: I liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*