Top positive review
I Loved It!
Reviewed in the United States on March 26, 2022
Tamie Dearen goes out with a bang in the final Limitless Clean Billionaire Romance series! Branson, Finn, and Cole had their stories told in the first three novels. Now, it's Jarrett's turn.
Rylie, whose identical twin sister Carlie is a famous country singer, encounters longtime friend (and crush) Jarrett and tells him, to his delight and her chagrin, that Carlie has moved in with her after divorcing her embezzling manager/husband. Jarrett, who considered Carlie the love of his life,, is thrilled by the news. Rylie is *not* thrilled.
A complication arises. Jarrett wants to adopt Gabe, a three-year-old Puerto Rican orphan with leukemia. The caseworker prefers to place the boy with a married couple, so he asks Carlie to marry him to be awarded the adoption, at which point they'll get divorced. Carlie consents. Rylie is heartbroken.
Another complication arises. Carlie is too sick the day of their "wedding" to join Jarrett at the registry office, so she sends Rylie in her place. Rylie refuses to lie about her identity, so she becomes the "bride", knowing that she's simply the substitute for her sister. They travel to Puerto Rico, pick up Gabe, and bring him back to Jarrett's place.
Yet another complication arises. Gabe has bonded with Rylie and cries whenever he's without her, even when's Jarrett has him. It looks like Rylie will need to stay with her "husband" and "son" though Gabe's treatment. The divorce will need to be delayed up to a year. Jarrett is happy for Gabe's sake. Rylie, on the other hand, is miserable.
The angst in "... Alternate Marriage" is more frustrating than in "... Temporary Marriage", Cole's fake marriage story, because Rylie harkens back to her rejection by Jarrett nine years earlier, whereas Jarrett merely has to fight his growing attraction to Rylie as he realizes he always wanted the wrong twin. Every time one if them " recognized the truth"--which wasn't the truth at all--I created a snarky Note to avoid hurling my Kindle across the room. Nevertheless, the HEA is on its way, so I waited patiently and was rewarded for my patience!
The "alternate" title refers to the switch of one twin for another. Carlie is more interested in furthering her career than in mothering a sick little boy. Rylie is the opposite. Jarrett must choose between them. Knowing has heart for those with special needs, it's a choice the reader can predict long before Rylie does.
"... Alternate Marriage" is billed as a romance, not a rom-com, but laughs come from Matthew the lawyer, whose irritation is grounded less on inundation from paperwork and more on personal resentment, and from Jarrett's mother and sisters, all of whom make inappropriate jokes about the marriage they think is real.
"... Alternate Marriage" is the perfect read for anyone who likes clean romances with characters who have good hearts. I loved it!