Mistaken Engagement by Jenny Schwartz
Review copy provided by publisher
Escape Publishing (Harlequin), January 2013
Synopsis- Saul knows he crossed the line when he claimed a surprise engagement with Grace. But her hysterical denial – and the way she’s avoided him ever since – has made things awkward, but it can all be worked out.
The Australia Day long weekend down at her family’s beach house is the perfect time to show everyone that they’re friends, with not a broken heart between them. But can a fake engagement become life-changingly real?
Review- Mistaken Engagement is short and sweet story by Australian romance author, Jenny Schwartz. Though I haven’t read Drawing Closer (released in December 2012) of which Mistaken Engagement follows on from I had no difficulties in getting into this story.
Mistaken Engagement is set over the Australia Day long weekend which I think was a really great idea as it set the scene in both country and season. I knew I’d be in for a great summer read!
Grace Nguyen is a doctor who works hard and has managed to avoid her family over the Christmas and New Year period following a family event that lead to Grace’s humiliation. Saul Wharton (her step-sister’s cousin) tried to save her downfall by claiming a fake engagement which just embarrassed her further-hence the avoidance. When Saul turns up on her doorstep prior to the long-weekend proposing they spend the weekend at their family beach house to prove to the family she isn’t broken-hearted and that they remain friends. Grace reluctantly agrees and decides to take the opportunity to prove to Saul she’s not a conservative workaholic but in fact a sexy package of femininity. With a new wardrobe characterised by short summer dresses and tiny shorts, she certainly gets his attention.
Grace had a crush on Saul as a teenager; he was six years her senior but made her feel part of her new extended family when her mother remarried. Saul has always had a soft-spot for Grace but being the wealthy, handsome man he is he’s always been too interested in flimsy relationships and making money. Now he’s getting older and what he wants out of life is stability and a family. As they spend more time together he begins to wonder whether she could be the one.
At around 10,000 words, this short story can be read in one sitting- I read it in my lunch break. Because of the history between Grace and Saul the hasty relationship development was quite believable and Schwartz has managed to jam-pack a lot into this short story-there’s not just the sexual chemistry and gentle teasing between the couple but the immediacy of their situation is amplified against the backdrop of an impending bushfire. At the risk of losing each other, both Grace and Saul discover the depth of their feelings for each other, and of course there’s a very satisfactory happily ever after- this is a romance after all.
This is the first of Schwartz’s work that I’ve read but it certainly won’t be the last. A highly enjoyable read, Mistaken Engagement is a fantastic January read and in particular, Australians will appreciate the Aus Day theme.
Check back in tomorrow for my Q&A with author, Jenny Schwartz.
“I loved this book!”
Mistaken Engagement can be purchased from Escape Publishing and other leading ebook retailers
This book was read as part of the AWW2013 challenge: