Harlequin’s Desire line is one of my favorites. They are sexy, dramatic, and pure opulence. We’re talking family sagas with shocking plot twists like the soap operas we all grew up on. Desire’s stories are larger than life, with interesting secondary characters that help build the drama. The Desire line gives us a glimpse into the world of the American elite with powerful heroes, and the dynamic heroines are independent, smart, and have goals of her own. You can feel the luxury oozing from the pages and boy howdy, the stage is set from the cover of Jayci Lee’s Temporary Wife Temptation. I completely judged this book by its cover, and by “judged,” I mean fell in love. Just look at it, it’s stunning. Lee’s own voices story about a powerful man in need of a fake wife had me at hello! Garrett Song is so close to taking the reins of his family’s LA fashion empire. The only thing standing in his way is his meddling grandmother and her insistent matchmaking ways. Standing up to the family matriarch is the first step in Garrett’s process of becoming his own man, the second step is convincing Natalie Sobol to pretend to be his wife. The final step is not letting their electric chemistry derail his plans by getting his heart involved in this scheme.
I know the year is young, but, Temporary Wife Temptation is one of my favorite reads of 2020 so far. I’m excited to share this exclusive excerpt with you. Being married to a man that has an intense and frequently overbearing family, this was one of the parts that hooked me and resonated in my soul.
Exclusive Excerpt: Temporary Wife Temptation by Jayci Lee
“This is my fault. After your mother died, I did my best to raise you and your sister right, but it’s obvious I failed you.”
Garrett swallowed a roar of frustration. Reasoning and pleading wouldn’t get him anywhere with his grandmother. She was ruthless and obstinate, and she would hold her ground until it crumbled beneath her. It was time to reclaim his life.
“You haven’t failed. You raised us to stand up for ourselves and to fight for what we believe in.” His voice shook with colliding emotions. Taking a deep breath, he straightened his back. He wasn’t the scared young boy who’d lost his mom. He was a grown man and it was time his grandmother accepted it—even if he had to lie to get it across to her. “I’m already engaged to another woman, and I will fight for her.”
For the second time that evening, she was at a loss for words, but only for a moment. “Well, you need to tell the other woman the engagement is off. There is no harm done, yet. The press is unaware of either engagement.”
“No harm done? I was taught that honor should be upheld at all costs. Casting aside the woman I love to marry another with wealth and power is not honorable.”
“I am your grandmother. Do not presume to lecture me about honor.” Her slight figure trembled with outrage. “If you do not marry Jihae, I will stop you from ascending to the CEO position. Don’t forget I am the majority shareholder.”
“And I’m the most qualified CEO candidate, and the only one who could deliver the Vivotex partnership. If you vote against me, you’ll be voting against the company.” Garrett stood and bowed to her. “I’m keeping my promise to my fiancée. I trust you to act with Hansol’s best interest in mind.”
With those last words, he left the house with long, fast strides. There was rebelling and there was rebelling. He was surprised his grandmother hadn’t passed out. Then again, she wouldn’t be Grace Song if she showed weakness in the face of adversity.
Garrett planted his hands on the hood of his car as vertigo blurred his vision. Not only did he now have to find a fiancée, but he also had to marry her. If not executed flawlessly, his plan could split his family apart, and Hansol could take a blow. There was no room for error.
Once he secured the partnership with Vivotex, his grandmother wouldn’t oppose his CEO appointment. She would never put her personal agenda ahead of the good of the company. Hansol meant too much to her. But Garrett wasn’t safe from her interference with his personal life until he married his imaginary fiancée.
Where can I find the perfect bride? He slid into the driver’s seat with a mirthless laugh. Now there’s one question I never thought I’d ask myself. His brief dalliance with self-pity and panic ceased as he focused on how to pull this off. His partner in crime had to be someone discreet, practical and desperate enough to agree to a fake marriage. Simple. Raking his hand through his hair, he stepped on the accelerator and made a sharp left, heading toward Melrose.
A real marriage was the last thing Garrett wanted to inflict on himself. It made little difference whether it was an arranged union or a love match. Marriage was a senseless gamble. He would never risk the kind of love that could break a man and his family.
When Garrett drove onto Melrose, the traffic stopped, killing any breeze he was able to enjoy. As soon as he saw the club’s valet sign, he shot out of his car and tossed the key to the parking attendant.
He grimaced as he stepped into the meat market known as Le Rêve, and headed for the private VIP room. Garrett usually steered clear of places like this, but Nobu was a widower who thrived on the kind of excitement Le Rêve had to offer.
Garrett was relieved the VIP room was empty. But the civil war he’d instigated with his grandmother wrapped him in a fog of anger. How had it to come to this? He pinched the bridge of his nose as tension built in his temples. When his phone buzzed in his back pocket, he sighed with resignation, knowing it was Nobu canceling.
I’m tied up in a work emergency. Not getting out of here until past midnight. My apologies. I owe you one.
Garrett was officially off the clock. He huffed a humorless laugh. If he married that Korean heiress, he would never be off the clock. Even the most intimate aspects of his life would be intertwined with Hansol. He was tempted to grab a stiff drink, but he didn’t get drunk in public and rarely did so in private. Control was much too valuable, but tonight, his was dangerously close to shattering.
Where the hell would he find his convenient bride?
About the Author:
Jayci Lee writes poignant, funny, and sexy romance. She lives in sunny California with her tall-dark-and-handsome husband, two amazing boys with boundless energy, and a fluffy rescue whose cuteness is a major distraction. She is semi-retired from her 15-year career as a defense litigator, and writes full-time now. She loves food, wine, and travelling, just like her characters. Books have always helped her grow, dream, and heal. She hopes her books will do the same for you.