Raven's Reviews

African American Romance Reviews

Jewel Amethyst’s “A Marriage of Convenience” December 29, 2009


 This story has many of the things I adore.

 1. Men with accents.  Strike that.  Men with sexy accents.  Good looking men with sexy accents.

 2. Smart men.  Kwabena, our hero, is a sexy Ghanaian scientist.  *Swoon*

 3.  A marriage of convenience.  I will read just about anything that features two people forced to marry (or pretend to be a couple), only to find that they have actually been in love all along.

 4. The shoes on that cover are to die for.

 The Amazon reviews were great.  My cyberspace romance pals dug it.  I was sold.

I have to say, Amethyst works hard to give us a sympathetic heroine.  Tammy is smart, she works hard, and wants only someone to love her and all the curves of her full figure.  When she is jilted by a con artist, leaving her with a broken heart and a huge amount of debt, we feel for her.  I know I did.  She really did seem devastated.

She spends the rest of the book, though, crazy crazy whiny.  The reason Tammy marries Kwabena is because she’s lost her job and is drowning in the financial mess created when her con-artist fiance leaves her at the altar.  In short, she can’t afford the mortgage on the McMansion she bought to share with her new husband.  The obvious answer is to sell the house, move in to a smaller place and put your life back together.  But Tammy just can’t do it.  So, instead, she whines and whines until she marries and then falls in love with Ben.  We could also talk about the fact that Ben is breaking the law by marrying for a green card and could actually have easily stayed in the country through other means (no spoilers), but that would be looking too closely at what is always, even in the hands of a great writer, a flimsy plot.

I like my heroines feisty and funny and competent.  Tammy is none of these.  She’s someone who needs to be rescued and that was a total turn off for me, though it seemed to be a turn on for Ben (and that fact actually makes him a little less sexy, even with the accent).

This book didn’t annoy me like Byrd’s.  Queen of His Heart annoyed me because I think Byrd probably had a better book inside her (and I’m eager to find out if she does–anyone with Byrd recommendations, please let me know).  No, this book gets a C from me because, while well-written (I finished it), I just couldn’t fall in love with the heroine.  Which is a shame, because I really do love a good forced marriage story.

Grade: C


9 Responses to “Jewel Amethyst’s “A Marriage of Convenience””

  1. wendy Says:

    Via Karen Scott, and welcome.
    I too love numbers 1 to 3 and get little-girl excited about MARRIAGES OF CONVENIENCE. Number 4 – meh. Thanks for the review; it sounds like there was nil character and relationship development. I always feel let down when there is hot, hot sexing which means true lurve.

  2. senetra Says:

    I was done when Tammy referred to the INS. It ceased to be the INS in 2003 when it became part of Homeland Security and was renamed ICE. It’s also not an automatic green card when an American marries a foreign national.

    And Tammy was so woe-is-me that I couldn’t stand it, and Ben’s family was a little too perfect. Like you, I did finish it, but was left unsatisfied.

  3. Barbara B. Says:

    Thanks for the review, Raven. And thanks for trying to bring awareness to black romances.

  4. That book sounds lame. Thanks for the warning! 🙂

  5. Moriah Jovan Says:

    When heroines are successful enough to buy a McMansion, you figure they’re smart. But then…they don’t STAY smart. That kinda bugs.

    OTOH, I love marriages of convenience, too. Is this in electrons anywhere?

  6. sula Says:

    Interesting plot. Too bad it sounds like it didn’t really work. As someone married to a (sexy) African man with an accent and as we are currently working our way through the uber-complicated and serious green card process, I think I would have a hard time taking the story too seriously. But oh well. Maybe next time, eh? 🙂

  7. Angela Says:

    I enjoyed this book a wee bit more than you did. I liked Tamara (I share a somewhat similar background to the character), and felt her angst was justified. I don’t know the ins and outs of green-card marriages, but I guess since it matched average (mis)conceptions of the practice via TV/movies, I could accept it.

  8. I liked the book a little more than you did also, probably a lot more. LOL. I think for me it was just refreshing to read about characters that weren’t from the US and to have the cultural differences dealt with in realistic ways.

    But, that’s not why I’m responding… In the post you asked for more Adrianne Byrd suggestions and I have a ton. She is actually one of my auto-buy authors (as in I buy her books as soon as they come out and they go right to the top of my to-be-read pile). I’ve enjoyed just about everything she’s written, including the book you didn’t like so much… That one actually has more graphic descriptions than any of her previous novels.

    But here are some of my favorite Adrianne Byrd books. I think you’ll like some of these:

    My Destiny

    Blue Skies


    To Love a Stranger

    When Valentine’s Collide

    When You Were Mine

    Measure of a Man

    She’s My Baby

    If You Dare

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