by Nadia Aidan, contemporary (2008)
Liquid Silver Books, $5.50, ISBN 978-1-59578-478-0
Okay, all you Americans out there currently in the grip of election fever, I have to ask you this. Do you think a divorced man will have a better chance of winning an election compared to this couple being African-American? Is divorce a bigger taboo compared to race when it comes to winning an election? What do you think? How you will answer those questions will determine how well you can accept the premise of this story.
Nadia Aidan's A Convenient Marriage is about an estranged couple getting back together because Adam Dumont wants to win a seat in the Congress and he is told by his campaign manager that his public image can only improve if he gets back with Lisa. Lisa wants to win him back and make him understand why she is not the lying hussy that he thinks she is. This story isn't much, really, and to be honest, I actually find the way these two deal with their marriage pretty contrived. The issues that drove them apart are real, but from this story, I get this impression that all it takes to bring them back together again are some hot sex and the convenient appearance of a kid in need of TLC to get the heroine to prove that she can also be the mother of the year. Actually, I think Lisa tends to overreact when it comes to Tommy and she is better off hugging a big bottle of Prozac instead of the Mother of the Year trophy, but hey, that's just me.
On the bright side, the author is aware of when her characters are being silly and try to have her characters rise above such antics. Adam, for example, sometimes says hurtful things towards Lisa, but he does so unintentionally and he feels remorse every time he does that.
A Convenient Marriage would be a pleasant, if short and forgettable, read, were not for the writing in the story coming off very much like an unpolished draft. There is too much telling at many places. The author tends to keep the same rhythm and pacing for every scene, regardless of whether the scene is supposed to be a more dramatic or a more placid one, and as a result, I can never get this feeling that the story has "movement" in its pacing, if I am making sense here.
Plot-wise, A Convenient Marriage is okay. It's nothing to get too excited over, but it's not something so awful that I will run away screaming from. When it comes to the author's technique, however, things could have been done a little better.
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