July 18, 2017

REVIEW: Marriage Claws

Marriage Claws, by Paige Cuccaro
Publish Date:
June 27, 2017
Publisher: Swerve
Format: e-ARC, provided by the publisher
Genre: adult paranormal romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 3 STARS

(Synopsis) There are two things Kate Affetto will do anything to protect: the younger brother she's raised ever since their father walked out, and the small diner she's managed to start from nothing in New York City. Things might not always be easy, but at least she gets to call all the shots and follow her own heart. That is until Jack Pensione, irritatingly gorgeous billionaire playboy and CEO/heir to the family empire shows up at her diner with an ultimatum: find $3 million to purchase the space, or vacate so it can be turned into condos.

But Kate isn't going down without a fight. So when Jack offers a third option—marry him, and he'll gift her the space—she agrees, knowing it'll save the life she's built for herself and her brother, and that the marriage will be over practically before it's begun. After all, it's not as if she actually likes Jack, or as if he's actually attracted her at all... Little does she know he's also a werewolf, that he's vying to be the alpha of his pack, and that her problems are just getting started.

I love a good shifter romance. The men are always super alpha (of course), which means they need a strong woman to stand up to them. In the beginning of Marriage Claws, I got the feeling that this type of power couple was exactly what I was getting. Kate is ballsy and determined and passionate about the people and things she loves. Jack is domineering and rich and persuasive when he's after something he wants. And Kate is a means to an end for him, so he's after her and won't give up until she's his.

I loved the idea of this story. And, it even started out strong. Kate was a great heroine. I loved her diner and its group of quirky staff. I liked how Kate cared about them and how they backed her up. I really liked Jack as well - he was the perfect blend of aloof and interested. And the constant wolf-isms that he kept dropping was kinda funny, since Kate didn't know what he was for awhile.

But, I dunno - at some point in the story, it just started to fizzle. Jack went from being this interesting, charismatic guy to kind of an asshole and treating Kate like crap. And Kate went from being this strong, independent woman to putting up with Jack's attitude for far too long. In addition, the pace of the story just seemed off, starting around halfway through. It started to feel rushed and I wanted a lot more details and backstory and world building than what I got. As other side characters were introduced and Kate started interacting with them, I felt like we needed more reasons for why they were doing and saying certain things, and without all that, all of them fell very flat.

While Kate's and Jack's connection started off strong, it too disappeared about halfway through the book. So, when Jack started acting like a jerk, I really wanted Kate to just kick him to the curb and find someone else. Of course, that doesn't happen, but it made their eventual togetherness seem fake and a little disappointing.

So, I'm kinda bummed. I feel like this author has a lot of potential, but this book just isn't quite there yet.

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