Famously Engaged follows the story of Beth and Jake. Beth is a chef living in Melbourne looking after her ill mother and Jake is rock royalty in a band that is having world wide success. Their worlds come crashing together in the most unlikely of ways.
The novel opens with Jake having a conversation with Skylar. She is Jakes half sister, however she has yet to find out and she also works for the band within admin. Talk veers towards wedding dresses and then to Beth who is planning the wedding between Skylar and Brad. Brad, also happens to be Beth’s ex-husband and he can’t stop talking about her and checking up on her. Jake notices this constantly and in a bid to make sure Skylar and Brad’s wedding goes off without a hitch, he conjures up a plan to stage a fake engagement with Beth to make sure Brad stays away and concentrates on the wedding. The obvious thing to do, *sigh*.
I wasn’t a fan of this novel. I did finish and I did enjoy a few parts of it, hence the 2 stars. Unfortunately the enjoyment ends there.
First of all, I would have liked to have seen the thought process behind Jake staging a fake engagement. We know from the start they he already adores her. Having seen pictures of her from Skylar and, heard about her and Brad talk about her constantly, it is like he has already fell in love with her. Fine, I get that. But fake engagement? There is no reasoning behind this and it definitely bugged me throughout.
I have learned that you can’t like everyone, especially when it comes to characters in novels. I personally felt no connection to these characters. I felt sorry for Beth at times, especially when her mother dies within the first few pages in the novel. But that is about it. Jake had a great potential when it came to character development. He is famous and supposedly has everything he has ever wanted. However, there are struggles in his background when it comes to his family as he no longer speaks to them. We are told that they have been blown apart and that it is all his fault, but we are never actually told what happened. This is an aspect of the novel that I wish was explored further.
I found many parts of this novel incredibly far-fetched. For example: when Jake arrives at Beth house to announce his plans, Beth doesn’t even know who he is. When he states all of his plans to her, she just accepts. No questions asked. Also, this romance was set over the course of two days and within a few hours of meeting it seems that they know each other inside out. There were parts where Beth mentioned his tone of voice or expression and how she knew what they meant. You can’t know information like that about a person within a few hours. I also found scenes hard to follow. Some of the sex scenes weren’t articulated very well as one minute they are inside the house, next they are outside, one minute clothes are on and the next are off and I noticed none of this. It was like parts of the story telling were missing.
The ending was not to my taste either. There was no real conclusion, was Brad still infatuated with Beth or was it just friendship? I couldn’t tell you. Also, quoting John Green… this novel happened the way you fall sleep, slowly and then all at once. Problems that lasted all the way through the novel were solved within a few paragraphs towards the end. I found the ending very rushed and abrupt.
Overall, this has not been my favorite read. I felt it was rushed and a tad unrealistic. Maybe if there was more reasoning behind decisions I might have liked it more. However, I do think that the concept and premise of this novel were actually good, the consequences of fame, getting over previous marriages etc. I think if the author explored more of these aspects and made it longer than its 125 pages I would have enjoyed it more. I would recommend this as a quick poolside read.
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