Ford already tried to get married once and his fiancée left him for his twin brother. Now, it’s three days before Ford’s next wedding and he’s only marrying to satisfy his grandfather’s demand so Ford can get his inheritance of the land that he loves. But his fiancée, Cammy, pulls a runner and Ford is determined to walk down the aisle, so he convinces Cammy’s best friend, River, to take her place. Ford knew Cammy was scamming him for money and Ford and River have always despised each other, so Ford is determined to make River fill in for Cammy. It doesn’t matter that no one knows that Ford is bisexual, he just needs to get married.
River is constantly looking over his shoulder as he and Cammy got themselves in a mess of financial troubles with the wrong people. River has loathed Ford since the moment they met when he and Cammy tried to scam Ford, and now he’s agreed to marry Ford to protect Cammy. But the chemistry between the men has always been alive and sharing a bed on their honeymoon leaves them both wanting more. They are both determined to make it through the year they need to be married, but maybe neither one of them want to say goodbye.
This book is the third in The Simple Rules series, which I was unaware of when I chose it for review. I am not sure if this book ties into the larger series, but it does seem like it could. When the book opens, Ford is set to marry Cammy. It’s an old, tired trope of an older family member demanding that their heir be married. The story is already in progress, as we are told that Cammy and River tried to scam Ford out of money and, when they got caught, Cammy then agreed to marry Ford. The details of the scam are never talked about and it was unclear if this was in a previous book or if it was omitted, but either way, it made for a weak set up. When Cammy walks out on the wedding just days before, Ford is once again left with a large bill and weirdly rolls with it and convinces/coerces River to marry him instead.
There was a lot that didn’t work with this set up for me. The lack of information on the scam, the lack of details on this animosity between Ford and River—which is really sexual tension in disguise—and then no one in Ford’s family really saying anything when three days before Ford’s wedding, he changes partners to marry a man. Ford says he only has to be married for a year and there is no detail on that either. We again have to roll with Ford’s grandfather stating that Ford only needs to be married for one year to inherit the land—what’s the point? The whole set up and premise here was incredibly weak for me.
There is sexual tension between Ford and River, but of course, given their circumstances, there is zero communication. The end tries to fill in some of River’s story by just piling on circumstances that get told in a rush with no depth and the entire story lacked the development I look for in both characters and plot.