Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pink Heart Picks: Hotly Bedded, Conveniently Wedded

For the final Pink Heart Picks book review, PHS editor Donna Alward curled up with a glass of wine and Kate Hardy's Hotly Bedded, Conveniently Wedded

One of the great things about Christmas break is more reading time, and on Boxing Day I settled in with a glass of pinot noir and one of Kate's backlist - Hotly Bedded, Conveniently Wedded. It was ten o'clock, I figured I'd get a start on it and and finish it on the 27th.

Instead I turned the last page at just a hair past midnight, only breaking to refill my glass.

Alex and Bel are some of the most likeable characters I've ever had the pleasure to "meet".  It's very hard to make a marriage of convenience plausible in this day and age and so Kate bolstered the initial reason with family involvement - both families were very behind the marriage and with Alex's mom being ill, neither of them wanted to disappoint everyone by confessing it wasn't "real".

Alex's reasons for not wanting to fall in love aren't perhaps the strongest - but the reader doesn't care so much because it's so obvious that despite his assurances, Alex is ready to settle down and start a family. He's a workaholic who's getting clucky and it's pretty adorable - and he's also pretty good to Bel, too. He treats her so well - they don't just say they are best friends but they ACT like best friends. They share interests, and their professions were different enough that it gave the book a very fresh feel and made it interesting.

Bel's reasons for being afraid are much stronger and I really felt for first it's easy to believe that she's focused on her work because she's dedicated but as the layers are peeled back we see how wrecked she is every time she sees babies and happy families. When Alex promises to try to give her everything she dreams of, that was it. I think *I* wanted to marry him. And when he ends up starting his new job and working late and travelling, I really felt Bel's loneliness, because at this point she knows she loves him and is fairly sure he'll never be in love with her the same way.

Without giving more spoilers, I will say that the black moment had me in tears but Alex showed what a good man he was and the ending was lovely.

If you're looking for a sexy, feel-good, emotional read that's like a breath of fresh air - snag this one for your e-reader (or find a rare print copy online).

This is the first time I'm not announcing a new pick for the next month. Thanks for hanging out with me the last few years as I read and reviewed some fanastic category romances.

In 2012 my role here at the PHS is changing - after several years as editor I'm stepping into a columnist role - and a brand new monthly column called ON WRITE SUPPORT: DONNA'S MONTHLY CHECKUP. Each month I'll be popping in and sharing what's going well, what's not, what I'm working should be fun! And maybe along the way I'll find ways of refining my process...

In the meantime, Happy New Year to you all, and see you in January!

You can catch up with Donna at her website:


  1. Thanks for a great "editorship" (if that's a real word!) Looking forward to reading your new monthly column. Caroline x

  2. I loved "HBCW" and I know it's on my book shelf (somewhere), must find time to re-read it :)

    Happy New Year - am looking forward to your new column.

  3. Many people long for holidays, long for the time where they can be free from the daily bustles for a while. This is my wish for you,peace of mind, prosperity through the year, happiness that multiplies, health for you and yours, fun around every corner, energy to chase your dreams, joy to fill your holidays.So, enjoy your holiday with your family and friends, and make it unforgettable.

    Have a Happy Holiday

  4. Thank you, Donna (and Joanne!) - so glad you enjoyed the book. I too look forward to your column!

  5. I didn't love this as much as I enjoy most of Kate Hardy's books. I think there were two reasons. First, I read it in the 'enriched' eBook version which was full of hotlinks to wikipedia and google and such like, which I'm afraid made me giggle a lot and not in a good way. I think there was even a link to the website of the M4. Second, it turns into a baby book halfway through. I'm not a fan of baby books and having it sprung on me unsuspectingly makes it even less likely that I'll take kindly to it.