Overall Grade: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Weekend Wife is my first book foray into the Erin McCarthy world. What drew me quickly to this book and piqued my interest in reading an ARC of it is the “opposites attract, rom-com” qualities of its story. As is the case with the best of rom-coms, this story will both tickle your funny bone and offer up a sweet happy ending.
This story follows Grant and Leah. Leah is a server at a diner where aspiring actors sing and serve food. Grant is a regular customer and the object of Leah’s eye. She has flirted with him and hoped for a quick romp in the bedroom, but her general impression is that he is a bit uptight and not interested. Until the day that Grant makes it known that he is keen for Leah. Neither of these two is hoping for anything more than a quick connection. However, once they decide to consummate their attraction, their chemistry becomes clear. This leaves the two of them wanting more but afraid to act on it. Unfortunately, Grant, a wealthy real estate developer, receives a summons from his father that, if he doesn’t find a girlfriend, he will remove Grant from the family real estate business. Still feeling attracted to Leah and knowing she’s an actress, he asks her if she will agree to act as his girlfriend at his parents’ anniversary party in the Hamptons for a weekend. Leah agrees with some trepidation because she enjoys her time with Grant. She knows that she needs to be careful because this isn’t a promise of forever; it’s simply a job. However, she knows she could fall for Grant. With her internal fortitude in check, Leah and Grant pretend for his parents’ anniversary, but are they really pretending or has their “relationship” become real?
At its core, Erin McCarthy’s Weekend Wife is a fun traipse through the jungles of a rom-com. Leah and Grant are sweet together. McCarthy crafts their banter in such a way that you read their comfort with each other. She makes it glaringly clear early on that they are destined for couplehood even if they have very different backgrounds and lives. It’s a suggestion on McCarthy’s part that opposites easily attract, and lifestyles and backgrounds don’t create worthy relationships. Instead, easy chemistry, honesty, and lowering one’s boundaries do the trick.
Weekend Wife is also a $exual romp through the wilds of chemistry. As each page turns, McCarthy illustrates the heavy attraction between Leah and Grant. They land in bed fairly quickly in the story, and they stay there quite a bit through the progression of the story. In fact, you sometimes wonder if they are a true partnership or is it really just their attraction. McCarthy answers this question in the way that Leah burrows under Grant’s skin. This isn’t a negative. Leah brings a lightness to Grant’s dark and heavy life. He begins to change and his journey becomes cemented by the time they arrive at his parents’ party. This is McCarthy’s way of showing there is something more to Leah and Grant beyond the bedroom. Each of them makes the other person a better version of himself/herself. She creates characters that find an ease with each other, making it a pleasurable read for her audience.
Leah and Grant are not heavy, deep characters, and Weekend Wife isn’t a story fraught with high levels of tension. Instead, McCarthy writes a story that drifts easily over the page, pulling her readers into her story. Do I think she is making dramatic changes to the romantic tropes of her romance? Not particularly. However, Leah and Grant represent the point of intersection between a world of affluence and a world of financial difficulty. At that intersection, they find a deep love easily and beautifully, showing us that there is always a place at the romance table for a sweet story in any form.
In love and romance,