“Paige and I were the same. Whatever fire burned inside her, I had it in me too. I’d just never met anyone who made me want to let the flames consume me. Who made me want to see how hot they could burn, what heights they could reach, what we could reach together.”
Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Do you love a bold, sassy, straight-shooter type of heroine? The one who flusters the hero simply by being herself? The type of heroine who causes the hero to stretch himself beyond his comfort zone, but who burns his soul with his attraction to her?
Then, you must read Karla Sorensen’s The Marriage Effect.
This book seems like an “opposites attract” story. However, the more you read Logan and Paige, the more you realize they are more alike than different. Sorensen’s genius with this story is the way in which she makes us initially think they are more different than alike, but we quickly come to realize they are one in the same person. They simply handle their emotions in different ways.
The story follows Logan, a veteran safety for the Washington Wolverines, and Paige, the best friend of the owner of the Wolverines and former super-model. In many ways, Paige is a bit of a cheerleader of sorts as she is a constant fixture with the Wolverines organization, although she has no distinct title. One night, Logan finds his family in a precarious situation, and his best option is marriage. Like Logan, Paige has found herself with the problem of needing to be married to inherit her great-aunt’s money. In one moment, they decide to marry each other in order to resolve their problems. While seemingly different in personality, from the outset, Paige and Logan are physically drawn to each other. Unfortunately, acting on the attraction, even as a married couple, may problematize their relationship, as it is meant to be temporary, not permanent. As the days and weeks pass, Paige grows closer to Logan’s nieces, of whom he is a guardian, and the lines become blurry between the two. Will Logan and Paige find a happily-ever-after, or will they walk away from each other at the end of their commitment?
The Marriage Effect is the third book in Sorensen’s Washington Wolverines series (I believe it is the final one for this series), and it is my favorite for several reasons:
- Logan and Paige’s Chemistry. These two seem so very, very different, yet they are like two magnets attracting each other. I’ll be honest. There were many times when I wanted to reach into my book and smack Logan upside the head. Yes. Paige has a tendency to act first, think later; it’s her natural disposition. Given this, it makes sense that Logan, who carefully plots his life due to his guardianship of his nieces, would make the mature decision to avoid a physical relationship with Paige. He worries that it will complicate everything. However, this man takes control too far. There were times when my heart hurt for Paige as he avoided her in order to protect himself. This is the first way in which Paige and Logan, while seemingly different, were very much alike. When confronted with feelings of any kind, they avoid them by either running or staying away. Sorensen shows us how people can carry the same fear and passion, but handle them in a different manner. I was thankful when Logan finally acknowledged his deep attraction to Paige, as Sorensen built this tension which almost overflows the story.
- Paige. In the first two books of this series, Paige, while the “crazy one,” is the voice of reason with both Allie and Ava. She speaks the words they need to hear. This same voice finds its way into the lives of Logan’s nieces, Molly, Lia, Claire, and Isabel. In fact, the most poignant moment in the story involves Lia, Logan’s emotionally stoic niece. It was powerful in that it shows Paige’s strength at reaching into people’s souls. Sorensen shows us through Paige that our inner strength can be different than our outer reactions. And I loved her for that. Paige is also the comic relief of this story, along with her friend Allie. Every time there is a potentially serious story moment, Sorensen puts words in Paige’s mouth to alleviate the tension of the story. Even more, she continues to be the voice of reason much as she was in Allie and Ava’s stories.
- Logan. I think one of my favorite revelations of Sorensen’s book is the fact that Logan is a safety. It’s a position of defense on the field, and its name best describes Logan. He is THE safest character of this book. He is dependable, thoughtful, caring, stoic, and carries an internal strength that people rely on. That Sorensen would give the safest person in the book this position on the field reads like a metaphor for his life. His quiet, unassuming spirit is a reminder to us all that we can make grand gestures quietly without the fanfare, and there is a beauty in it. “I was me with her. The unfiltered me.”
- Sorensen’s Style. If you have never read one of Karla Sorensen’s books, then you have missed out. There is an ease to her storytelling. I read this book in one day because (1) the story is engaging, (2) the characters developed beautifully over the pages, and (3) her words flow onto the page. You find yourself wrapped in her images and details and characters that you don’t want to put the book down. At least, that is the case for me. I often say about myself, as a reader, that I gobble/eat books with relish. Sorensen makes gobbling her stories easy. They pull me in and keep me there, making me grieve when her books end.
If, after reading this review, you do not realize how much I loved this book, then you missed it. I am sad that The Marriage Effect is the last of the Washington Wolverines stories. Maybe Karla Sorensen will change her mind in the future. However, she has promised a new series, one I am incredibly excited about. If they become what I imagine them to be, then this reader will be reading Sorensen stories well into the future.
“And if she walked away at the end of this, when her role in our life was fulfilled, I’d never be able to forget it. It was the knowledge that I’d crave this feeling until the day I died. Crave her. There might be a hundred women who could manage in our life. But she was the one who fit us perfectly.”
In love and romance,