**ARC provided by authors’ publicist for review**
TEMPORARY is the first collaboration between authors Sarina Bowen and Sarah Mayberry. Though the two live on different sides of the globe, their first joint effort totally meshes in a satisfying, steamy contemporary that’s part romance, part family drama. If you can’t resist a charming Aussie hero and an American heroine, grab a bottle of shiraz, a packet of Tim Tams, and give TEMPORARY a permanent spot on your shelf. 4 stars.
In TEMPORARY, Callan Walker (great name, right?) is part owner of a major Australian cattle business, but after a falling out with his mother, he’s taken off to live the champagne-drenched, yacht party life of a rich playboy. Grace Kerrington could not be more different. She’s just trying to keep her head above water in New York City and she’s looking after her younger sister. It’s key that she’s able to convert her temp gig with Walker Holdings into something permanent. The two meet in New York after Callan learns of his Uncle Jack’s death.
TEMPORARY avoids the trap that so many rich hero/poor heroine books fall into, and doesn’t pile on the drama and desperation. For the most part, the premise is grounded in reality. Grace is a resourceful woman with a good head on her shoulders. She’s in a tough situation, but Callan isn’t set up as some hot, rich mystery benefactor who’s going to save her with an offer she can’t resist.
In a refreshing turn, he is a hero who’s not the douchebag playboy he’s made out to be. In the plus column, flirtiness is practically a reflex with this guy, and he’s too damn charming for his own good. You get the impression anyone would be attracted to him. Did I mention he also makes a killer latte? Sign me up! Grace knows she should know better, but just this once says to herself, “Why not me?” I may have cheered.
As the family drama plays out, Callan gets a ton of character development that makes the growing relationship between him and Grace all the more satisfying. It’s easy to love these two together as they charge forward in pursuit of doing right by Uncle Jack. My one major beef (no pun intended) with the story is there are some significant-to-the-story legal issues in the final third which wrap up a little too quickly and neatly for me.
On the whole, I really liked this first collab between Sarina Bowen and Sarah Mayberry. I’ll be interested to see if we get a second book focused on Callan’s sister, Claire. And though Sarah was a new-to-me author, I’ve already got a couple of her books on my TBR.
Fave line: “His life was gilded, mine was tin-plated.”
Second runner up: “He leaned in to get a look at the photo. ‘Some prime beef to go with your cabernets.’”
P.S. If you’re wondering what’s up with those biscuits in the pic, they’re my DIY version of Iced VoVos, an Aussie biscuit made by Arnott’s and mentioned in the book. Impossible to find in the States, unless you want to pay $11 for a packet of cookies. Tim Tams you can find at Target or Cost Plus World Market. I recommend the dark chocolate variety!