Title: The Marriage Pact by M.J. Pullen
The Marriage Pact Series Book One
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 305 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher
This debut by M.J. Pullen launches a charming series about a group of thirty-somethings in Atlanta making surprising discoveries about friendship, love, and happily-ever-after.
Marci Thompson always knew what life would be like by her 30th birthday. A large but cozy suburban home shared with a charming husband and two brilliant children. A celebrated career as a writer, complete with mahogany shelves and a summer book tour. A life full of adventure with her friends and family by her side.
Instead, Marci lives alone in 480 square feet of converted motel space next to a punk rock band, hundreds of miles from her friends and family. She works in a temporary accounting assignment that has somehow stretched from two weeks into nine months. And the only bright spot in her life, not to mention the only sex she’s had in two years, is an illicit affair with her married boss, Doug.
Thirty is not at all what it is cracked up to be.
Then the reappearance of an old friend with whom she had made a drunken marriage pact ten years earlier opens a long-forgotten door, and the lines between right and wrong, heartache and happiness are all about to get very blurry, as Marci faces the most difficult choices of her life.
The Marriage Pact is a delightful debut that will have readers laughing, crying, and falling completely in love.
Fast-paced with a wonderful cast of characters, The Marriage Pact by M.J. Pullen is an engaging novel about friendship and love.
Marci Thompson has made a career of temp work, but her latest job has lasted much longer than her previous gigs. The other big difference on this job is her six month relationship with her married boss, Doug Stanton. Their romance is exciting and passionate but being “the other woman” is beginning to wear thin. However, Marci continues to remain hopeful Doug will finally leave his wife and fully commit to her. When her thirtieth birthday rolls around, her college friend Jake Stillwell reminds her of the pact they signed ten years earlier that if neither was married by their thirtieth birthday, they would marry each other. Marci has always loved Jake, but she is also heavily invested in her illicit romance with Doug which makes it very difficult for her to know which man she should choose.
Despite being a bit self-absorbed, Marci is a likable and mostly sympathetic character. She is ashamed of her affair and despite knowing she should end their relationship, she lacks the willpower to make a clean break from him. She has a long history of avoiding conflict and her knee-jerk reaction when things go wrong is to run away. A snap decision brings positive changes for her life, but it is not until she is on the verge of losing what she holds most dear that Marci reflects on what she truly wants.
The supporting cast of characters is well-developed and for the most part, likable. Suzanne is Marci’s best friend and she provides her with unconditional support. Jake is very sweet and just like Suzanne, he is willing to drop everything to help Marci when she needs assistance. Rebecca is the least appealing of the friends since she is more concerned with pursuing her own agenda than supporting Marci when everything begins to fall apart.
The Marriage Pact by M.J. Pullen is a charming novel with a realistic storyline. The characters are multi-faceted with true to life flaws and imperfections. An entertaining read that will leave readers eagerly anticipating the next installment in The Marriage Pact series.