Review originally posted at Sinfully.
This is another mostly light, sweet story from the Dreamspun Desires line. This one highlighting the “accidentally married” trope, drunken Las Vegas nuptials and all.
Senator Julian Canales lives a strictly ordered life. As an out US Senator for the State of California, he can’t afford any mistakes, so his rules serve him well. While Julian has no intention of ever falling in love or getting married after growing up watching his parents’ disastrous relationship, he is all for family and marriage equality. He almost got married once, but things didn’t quite work out and he has never looked back.
Cody Hayes is in Vegas for the wedding of one of his college frat buddies. They’re all settling down and think he needs to do the same. Cody disagrees. Seeing his mother go through the pain of falling in love with, getting married to and then losing man after man has soured Cody on love. Love is not for him. His free spirit lifestyle is working great and there’s no shortage of willing men for a one off when he wants it. Besides, he’s been in love once before and it will never happen again.
Cody and Julian seemingly have nothing in common, but a night of alcohol-fueled truth or dare uncovers that they just might be perfect together. Neither is looking for love, but both would like some of what marriage entails: a partnership based on affection, mutual respect and support and, of course, the sex. The ultimate dare leads to a morning of panic when they wake up married. After initial thoughts of divorce and screaming from Julian’s campaign adviser, they realize that their marriage could work out perfectly for both of them, giving them each just what they want… as long as they don't fall in love.
Although this is the second One Fine Day novel from Jacob Z. Flores, the two storylines are standalones with no connections other than a marriage theme. Like [b:Undercover Boyfriend|30094338|Undercover Boyfriend (One Fine Day, #1)|Jacob Z. Flores|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1462301822s/30094338.jpg|50517179] this is another opposites making unlikely bedfellows while falling in love during a stressful situation and I enjoyed this one just as much, maybe even a bit more as I felt more of an emotional investment with Cody and what he goes through. The story isn’t just a matter of them seeing the love between them that everyone else can, but it’s what will happen once they do and realize that the cardinal rule of their marriage plan has been broken.
After the two come to an agreement that divorce won’t be necessary, Cody proposes a six month, sex-free trial period (PG-13) so they can logically decide whether to stay married without the hot monkey sex clouding their judgment. Julian reluctantly agrees and Cody moves into Julian’s home. The two spend time getting to know each other, fighting the sexual tension and Cody provides some of the more humorous moments in the story as he tries to get Julian to open up like he did in Vegas. Cody’s Days of Our Lives obsession (I had one of those once as well so I enjoyed the little throwbacks) seemed a bit of a wink to the soap opera stylings of the plot, though it never gets that over-the-top.
Julian and Cody are possibly the two most oblivious characters I’ve read when it comes to their feelings for each other. Both are so anti-love they can’t see it when it happens to them even when everyone around them is pointing it out. When things ultimately come to a head Cody goes into self-preservation mode and Julian goes back to all-business. This was actually painful to read as Julian fights his feelings tooth and nail leaving Cody hurt and shouldering the blame.
Even with the heavier feelings here, Jacob Z. Flores has a light touch with his writing, injecting humor where necessary yet not trivializing Cody’s pain. Julian verged on the edge of frustrating at times but managed to fall short of driving me mad. The story is light on the sex scenes but full of sexual tension as Julian and Cody try to keep things platonic. I enjoyed the ups and downs of this unlikely romance and hope that we get more in this completely entertaining marriage series.