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The Paradise Problem

by Christina Lauren

Kirkus A fake marriage leads to real feelings at a family wedding on a tropical island. When Anna Green married Liam Weston, it wasn’t because they were in love—it was because they both needed access to family housing on campus, and marrying a relative stranger seemed like the best option. They avoided each other until graduation, and then Liam moved out and Anna never saw him again. Until he shows up at her door and tells her they were never actually divorced though he gave her papers to sign—and now he needs her to pretend to be his wife again. Liam is the heir to a giant grocery company, and the inheritance his grandfather promised him comes with a catch—he has to stay married for five years. Liam thought he could avoid his family until he hit the deadline, but now his sister’s getting married and he needs his wife to be there. He offers Anna money if she goes along with his plan, and Anna desperately needs the cash—she’s a struggling artist who’s just lost her convenience store job, and she’s also responsible for her dad’s medical bills. Anna agrees and suddenly finds herself swept up in a world of unimaginable wealth as she attends the wedding on a private island. She knows she doesn’t fit in, but she has to fake it to get her payout—and to help Liam get his. Because even though she never got to know him when they shared a roof, she now realizes that the man she married is actually a great guy, even if his family is a nightmare. As Anna and Liam project an image of domestic bliss to his skeptical relatives, Liam sees how honestly Anna lives her life, and he has to decide whether staying in his family’s good graces is worth living a lie. Christina Lauren, pen name of the bestselling duo behind countless rom-coms, have crafted another entertaining and lighthearted romance. Artistic Anna and uptight Liam make for a perfect case of opposites attract, and the island setting creates a wonderfully escapist mood. Steamy, fun, full of family drama. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Library Journal Five years ago, Anna Green and Liam Weston got married so they could access UCLA's cheap family housing, and after going their separate ways when they graduated, Anna assumed that they were divorced. When Liam shows up on her doorstep, newly unemployed artist Anna discovers that not only are they still married but Liam is the heir to the Weston Foods conglomerate, and a clause in his grandfather's will means he won't see his inheritance until he and Anna have been married for five years. With pressure mounting from his family to meet his "wife" and prove that his marriage is real, Liam and Anna head to a private island for his sister's wedding. Initially, Liam is worried about whether quirky Anna will fit in with the family and maintain their ruse, but despite their fake marriage, sparks quickly fly between the two as they finally get to know each other, making Liam wonder if dredging up old secrets to get his inheritance is worth potentially losing Anna. Witty banter and a well-paced plot make this novel an enjoyable must-read. VERDICT Readers will be rooting for Liam and Anna in this heartfelt, sexy novel, Lauren's (The True Love Experiment) best to date.—Whitney Kramer

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly A marriage of convenience leads to unexpected romance in the swoony latest from bestsellers Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, writing as Lauren (The Honeymoon Crashers). Aspiring artist Anna Green married fellow grad student Liam Weston to secure the cushier student housing available to married students. It was strictly platonic and, Anna believes, ended in divorce three years before the start of the book. She’s shocked when Liam shows up at her door to reveal that the divorce was never finalized and that he’s the heir to a grocery store fortune. As required by his grandfather’s will, Liam must be married for at least five years to receive a $100 million inheritance. He’s almost run out the clock, but needs Anna’s help to convince his family that their relationship is real. Anna agrees to play the role of Liam’s loving wife at his sister’s Indonesian destination wedding for a cut of the money. As Anna holds her own among Liam’s toxic, privileged family, especially his father, she and Liam form an unexpected bond and their lovey-dovey playacting becomes real love. But will Liam be able to get out from under his family’s thumb? There are just as many emotionally charged moments as sizzling sex scenes, and readers will adore down-to-earth Anna, who’s the perfect match for uptight Liam. Lauren’s fans will be swept away. Agent: Holly Root, Root Literary. (May)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list Anna Green married her friend’s brother, Liam Weston, so they could both have affordable family housing at UCLA. Four years later, she’s a struggling artist living paycheck to paycheck while her ex is a Stanford professor. She doesn’t expect Liam to show up on her doorstep and ask her to be his fake wife for a price. To access the trust left by his grandfather, Liam has to be married for five years. At his sister’s destination and with time running out, Liam just has to convince his family that his marriage to Anna is real. Anna agrees to do it, but neither of them expect to develop real feelings for each other. Will their marriage of convenience transform into a real relationship, or will they go back to being strangers again? Writing duo Christina Lauren (Something Wild, 2022) breathes new life into a classic trope. The stakes set upon Anna and Liam’s relationship create juicy tension, and their chemistry is great. Both are charming and compelling romantic leads; their dual narration only reinforces that these two people should be together.

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.