Review: Hitched: Volume One by Kendall Ryan

Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: Everafter Romance
Release Date: July 5, 2016
Source of my copy: BookSparks
Series: Imperfect Love #1
Marry the girl I’ve had a crush on my whole life? Check.

Inherit a hundred-billion-dollar company? Check.

Produce an heir… Wait, what?

I have ninety days to knock up my brand-new fake wife. There’s only one problem—she hates my guts.

And in the fine print of the contract? The requirement that we produce an heir.

She can’t stand to be in the same room with me. Says she’ll never be in my bed.

But I’ve never backed down from a challenge and I’m not about to start now.

Mark my words—I’ll have her begging for me, and it won’t take ninety days.

On the heels of her smash hit and New York Times bestselling SCREWED series, Kendall Ryan brings you HITCHED, a romantic comedy that delivers heart and heat. A NYC playboy turned business mogul has ninety days to win over the woman he's always desired in order to save his father's company. One tiny problem: She hates his guts.

I loved the premise of Hitched: two people who grew up disliking each other now have to marry to save their fathers' company. This is my jam! I'm a sucker for the enemies-to-lovers and the arranged marriage trope--put them together and it's a guarantee I'll pick up the book. The synopsis promised a fun rom-com read with my favorite tropes and with a one-click-worthy cover (those lips!), I had pretty high expectations going into this one.

Yeah, so, Hitched didn't quite lived up to my expectations. 

Okay, I didn't hate it, but I kept waiting for the fun and banter (like in a Julie James or like in a Jill Shalvis contemporary novel) to happen and it didn't quite get there.

The characters didn't feel special. We have our workaholic heroine Olivia who hasn't been out with a guy since breaking up with her douchebag ex-boyfriend because she's always working. Then, we have our manwhore hero Noah who fucks everything female that moves but has a heart of gold, forming a close platonic, almost mother-son relationship with the mailroom clerk at his father's company. I've already read these characters before in other contemporary romance novels. There was nothing to really set them apart. There were some unrealistic situations and eye-rolling cheesy dialogue. Olivia's choices drove the plot forward, but there were times when her choices felt disjointed to her character.

Basically, Noah's and Olivia's fathers own a marketing firm and their families were really close. Noah and Olivia grew up together and they've always been kind of attracted to each other. But Noah's father died of cancer recently and the company is this close to bankruptcy. But, Noah and Olivia's fathers always hoped that their children will get married someday so they put together a contract that says for Noah and Olivia to inherit and take over the company (and, hence, save it), they have to marry and produce an heir (although the heir part didn't really come up until the last chapter).

Noah was all for the arranged marriage. Olivia wasn't so sure and told Noah that he has to prove to her that he'll be good husband material. She's extremely attracted to Noah (just a glimpse of him leaves her panties soaked--yep, lots of wet panties in this book), but she didn't think he'll be able to commit because of he's a huge player. But her dad gifts them a new one-bedroom apartment, she quickly gives up her old apartment, moves out, and moves in with Noah. I thought Olivia's quick capitulation felt contrived just so that Olivia and Noah will have to share a room and so to bring about the sexytimes. Then, they have a bet that Noah will have her begging him to have sex with him within four days, lots of heavy petting and make-out sessions that never ends in sex because Olivia didn't want Noah to win their bet.

I also never understood why Olivia disliked Noah so much to begin with. She mentioned his manwhorishness a lot--is that the reason why? Noah, in his chapters (Hitched is written in alternating chapters between Noah and Olivia) mentioned an instance when they were teens when he and Olivia were about to have sex, but he stopped it. According to him, ever since then Olivia had been cold towards him. However, Olivia never discussed that event as a reason why she disliked him. Hopefully, more about their past will be revealed in Volume 2.

And for two people trying to save a failing company, I never felt their urgency to do just that. Olivia spent the book waffling whether to marry Noah or not, even though she's a panty-soaked mess every time he's in the room. I mean, if being married is the only way to save the company and they can't get out of the contract anyway, wouldn't they just get married right away and then try to figure out how to work together as business partners and husband and wife, especially since they lived together for half the book anyway? Why fight it?

I don't know... Yes, marriage is seriously and Olivia supposedly wanted romance and a big wedding, not a business arrangement, but she's also described as a workaholic whose sole focus is company. I mean, she didn't even try to work out different ways to save the company, or to figure out a way to get out of the marriage contract.

Reading through this review, it sounded like I hated the book but I really didn't. I obviously had issues with the characters, but I also see the potential of the story and the characters. Hitched: Volume One is a shaky beginning but I really like the premise and I'm still curious to see what will happen next to Noah and Olivia, especially after the abrupt ending. I'm giving this volume a neutral rating of 2.75 stars (I'm rounding it up to 3 since I don't have a .75 star).
I liked Hitched: Volume One enough to keep going with the rest of the volumes and I'm actually excited to see the whole arc of the story. I have high hopes for Volumes 2 and 3--here's hoping the story will finish strong!

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