MARRIAGE LESSONS is the third
book in Katie Allen's "Off Guard" series. This is technically a romance
that develops between a boss and his employee, but I think it's much
more of a classic and exquisite friends-to-lovers story. Gallery manager
Annabelle Shay has had a crush on her boss and friend, Louis Dumont,
for a long time. Annabelle and Louis have the kind of friendship that is
very fun and flirtatious, although neither of them has ever made a move
to change the dynamic of it. When Annabelle suddenly needs to find a
place to stay, Louis is only too happy to volunteer his couch. I loved this
book! This is a must-read for fans of the friends-to-lovers trope.
Louis is an amazing hero: gallery owner, artist, military veteran, and an
easygoing charmer. A lot of the time in romances with heroes who have
had past traumas, they can be moody because of emotional baggage
they haven't gone to therapy for. In Louis' case, he has a crippling
shyness when it comes to being physically intimate with a woman
because of his missing body parts. Annabelle is somebody he's
attracted to and is comfortable enough to be himself around. It's
obvious to most people, except Annabelle, that he has a crush on her
just as she has one on him. His attraction isn't initially confirmed for the
reader, because this story is told strictly from Annabelle's perspective.
The sexual tension is delicious as Annabelle and Louis grow closer,
both emotionally and physically. Katie Allen adds a little danger toward
the end of the book, but it never eclipses the sensational, sexy, and
immensely entertaining romance.
MARRIAGE LESSONS is a
phenomenal blend of fun and sexy as a friendship turns red-hot. These
main characters are so easy to like and root for that it makes this story
ten times more enjoyable. I am now on a mission to hunt down the
previous two books in this series. I eagerly await Katie Allen's next
Falling for your boss—no matter how fast he makes your
pulse race—is such a cliché. But it’s one Annabelle Shay
can’t seem to avoid. Gallery owner Louis Dumont is stupid
hot. Plus, he’s sweet, sensitive and a brilliant artist.
But he’s also oblivious. Which is good because Annabelle
loves her job too much to risk it.
Louis hasn’t been with a woman since he was wounded in
Afghanistan, remaining guarded about his body and his
heart. But Annabelle is different. She keeps him
grounded. Which is why protecting her—first pretending to
be her husband to ward off unwanted attention, then
inviting her to move in after her landlord kicks her out—
feels so natural, even if it invites rampant temptation.
Try as Annabelle might, there are some desires you simply
can’t shake. Louis repeatedly joke-asking her to marry
him isn’t helping, especially when their unbearable
attraction upgrades them to roomies with benefits. But
Louis is still keeping pieces of his past to himself,
leaving Annabelle to wonder if he’ll ever truly be
vulnerable with her—or if she stands to lose everything.