The Bohemian and the Businessman
You don’t often see a marriage of convenience plotline brought into the 21st Century. Katy Regnery does her best to translate this old-timey idea into a modern format in The Bohemian and the Businessman with somewhat mixed results.
Pricilla Story, second youngest daughter of an esteemed Philadelphia family, is the black sheep of the family. A romance gone wrong with a Frenchman leaves her back in the US without a home, a job and two months pregnant by her ex. Her father’s outdated views about a woman’s place in the home don’t give Pricilla much hope that he will let her stay at the family’s estate and without a job she has no way of getting insurance for her medical bills. Her only chance at getting access to money fast is her trust, but she’ll only get it on the date of her one-year wedding anniversary.
The perfect candidate for a convenient husband is her father’s lead salesperson Shane Olson. Shane has been trying hard to secure a promotion but learns the bitter truth that Mr. Story will only promote members of his family. Pricilla catches Shane after overhearing him strike out with her older sister Margaret and offers him another chance at becoming a son-in-law to her stodgy father. If Shane will marry her and stay legally wed until their one-year anniversary she’ll make certain that Mr. Story gives him the promotion he desperately wants.
If this were the early 1800’s I could see this mercenary trade working well to put two unlikely people together until they fall in love. With the modern setting it’s much harder to sell me on the idea that Pricilla had no options other than marrying a stranger to help care for her unborn child. Shane saves the book from being completely ridiculous since he sees how crazy Pricilla’s plan is but his own old-school ideas about being a gentleman keep him from dismissing her right away. He’s really a sweetheart and is the more inexperienced when it comes to relationships. That’s a nice change from most contemporary love stories and it kept me reading when Pricilla’s drama went too over the top.