Title: Single by Saturday by Catherine Bybee
Weekday Brides Series Book Four
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 315 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
She enjoyed her fake marriage…until she fell in love with her brother-in-law.
Catherine Bybee serves up excitement and dizzying romance in Single by Saturday, the sequel to Fiancé by Friday and the latest entry in her bestselling Weekday Brides series.
Karen Jones: The petite blonde married a Hollywood star, yet she’s the one who spends every day playing a part: the part of a happy wife. A year ago, she agreed to wed a famous actor to diffuse rumors about his personal life. Now, her divorce sits just around the corner, along with a five million dollar payout. However, as she prepares to exit her fake marriage gracefully, her drop-dead-gorgeous brother-in-law walks through the door…and into her heart.
Zach Gardner: Dark-haired, blue-eyed hunk Zach crashes Michael and Karen’s fancy one-year anniversary party, determined to meet the wife his brother hid from their family. But sparks fly the moment he and Karen see each other. When the famous couple decides to visit the whole Gardner clan, Karen must keep Michael’s secret under wraps in front of his questioning relatives…including Zach, the man who could be the real love of her life.
Single by Saturday, the newest addition to Catherine Bybee’s fabulously awesome Weekday Brides series, is my absolutely favorite novel in the series so far. With a very unique spin on the marriage of convenience plot device, this enchanting love story is a refreshing change of pace from typical contemporary romances.
Single by Saturday opens with Karen Jones and movie heartthrob Michael Wolfe celebrating their one year anniversary. This marriage of convenience is not your ordinary marriage-Karen and Michael wed to dispel rumors about Michael’s private life and while they do love one another, there is no chance of them falling IN love. They have kept their distance from Michael’s family from day one but that is about to change when Michael’s brother Zach Gardener crashes their extravagant anniversary party. Unable to avoid his family, Michael and Karen head back to Michael’s small hometown where Michael reconnects with his family and Karen and Zach fight their unexpected attraction.
Although Karen is going to receive a big payout for her marriage to Michael, her reason for needing the money is not for personal gain. Instead she plans to use the money to help set up a refuge for disadvantaged teens. She spends most of her days volunteering at the local Boys and Girls Club and she uses her marriage to the kids’ advantage. Karen has a big heart, a good head on her shoulders and an uncanny ability to size people up within minutes. She can hold her own against just about anyone and she does not mince words when protecting her loved ones. Karen and Michal have a strong friendship and she is very worried about what effect her growing feelings for his brother are going to have on him. Karen agonizes over her attraction to Zach and this part of the storyline is brilliantly executed.
Zach is a dutiful son who has always been content with his life’s choices. His father’s expectations for him to take over the family hardware business have kept him in town, but he chose a different career path. His construction business is quite successful but on his return from Michael’s, he begins to rethink his decisions. Having no idea what the truth is about his brother’s marriage, Zach is horribly conflicted about his attraction to Karen. But he begins to notice that things are a bit off between the couple, and he quietly observes them trying to figure out the truth about their relationship.
One of the things I liked best about Single by Saturday is how down to earth Michael’s family and Karen are. While she might enjoy some of the financial benefits of her marriage, she really does not like being in the limelight. Michael might have his reasons for staying away his family, but they remain untouched by his fame and his trip home reminds how much he loves them. Of course it also dredges up some of his unpleasant past and emphasizes how much he has to lose if his secrets come out. The interactions between Karen, Michael and his family are sometimes poignant, humorous and ultimately, loving.
The relationship between Zach and Karen is tastefully portrayed and slowly evolves over the course of the novel. It is a push/pull of emotions as they struggle to keep from hurting Michael while remaining true to their own desires. They also keep the extended family’s reactions in mind but they are fully aware some family members are going to have a difficult time understanding their romance.
Single by Saturday is a captivating love story that kept me glued to the pages to see how Catherine Bybee was going to resolve what seems to be an impossible pairing between two unlikely lovers. I should not have worried because she not only manages to effortlessly pull off Karen and Zach’s romance, she also preserves all of the tricky family relationships as well.
Single by Saturday is an enchanting addition to the Weekday Brides series that old and new fans are sure to enjoy. It can be read as a standalone story, but don’t be surprised if you end up purchasing the first three books in the series. Yep, it is THAT good!