The fourth book in the Domestic Gods series, published November 2010.
Gina is convinced that he is either gay... or her perfect match
Administrative assistant Gina accepts a marriage of convenience with gallery owner Ben Walsh so she can get out of debt. Besides, with his beautiful apartment, art collection, and impressive culinary skills, Gina's convinced the sexy bachelor is gay. Ben needs to be married before the year is out to prevent his grandfather from selling his inheritance, so he takes Gina to meet his grandfather in Idaho-or, as the city girl refers to it, Hell on Earth. But there Gina realizes Ben's every bit a hot, straight man, and Ben begins to think a real marriage with Gina just might be possible after all...
Ben Walsh needs to get married, and fast. He asked Annabelle Reinaldi in the previous book, but she turned him down. Next he asks his best female friend Karma, who is more like a sister to him, but she also turns him down. Then he thinks of Gina, whom he has met at Annabelle’s wedding. And who is Annabelle’s brother’s ex-girlfriend. Ben is extremely rich, has an art-gallery and knows how to and likes to cook and clean. A real domestic god. He offers Gina a deal she cannot turn down. A marriage of convenience for only three years, and he will pay her a million dollars a year and buy her a house in Manhattan up to ten million dollars that she can keep after the divorce.
Gina is working very hard and is good at her job, but she really wants to have a house of herself, she wants to help her sister and brother in law, who are living with her, buy a house of their own, and … she wants to find the brother her father sold when he was two weeks old. So yes, she accepts Ben’s offer and marries him. After all, he has to be gay, so there will be no danger of falling in love. They will not even life together, other than for deceiving his grandfather until he signs the ranch Ben grew up on, over to Ben as promised.
Gina has grown up dirt poor, and she is so not accustomed to the riches Ben wants to shower her with. Gina just wants a little house to call her own, and he buys her a five story mansion! She just feels lost in it, and invites her sister and brother in law to come life with her.
But of course, destiny interferes. Ben very fast gets the hots for Gina, and he manipulates her to get her where he wants her. She is terrified of flying, but he just gets her so drunk she passes out, and takes her on his grandfathers plane, back home to Idaho. She is 100% a city girl, and he takes her to the desolated ranch he loves so much, but which is more a small cabin. It is high up in the mountains, where she will have to wear extremely ugly clothes that totally don’t become her, and he doesn’t tell her a thing about it. There is no electricity, she will have to use an outhouse as the pipes are frozen solid, no tv, no radio, no telephone.
The one good thing is, Gina rescues a lost puppy on the way up, and falls in love with Jasmine instantly, and they keep it. As Ben wants to give her anything she wants, and a lot of things she doesn’t want, he helps her taking care of Jasmine.
They spend the days and nights having sex, but back at his grandfathers mansion, there is a nasty surprise waiting for Ben, and he takes it out on Gina. Who leaves him, by truck instead of plane.
I wasn’t really impressed or endeared with this story as I was with the previous three books in the series. I really think Ben was too high handed, everything had to go his way, and Gina’s wants were not important. So when she left him, he just had it coming. She took everything too easily, adjusted to life in that cabin in no time, it just wasn’t convincing to me.
I really do like Gina, she has been taking care of her younger sister since she was born. Tina has been happily married for two years now, but she still has the feeling she has to look after both Tina and her husband. And then there is Rafael, whom she wants to have found. She is dragged to a country, where there is nothing familiar to her, to meet strangers who judge her as a money grabbing plaything. But she holds her own, and I like her for it. She just needed a bit more backbone with Ben in my opinion.
And Ben, well, he did lose his parents as a kid, but he still had his grandparents, and the children of his housekeeper he grew up with: Karma, Hunter, Trapper and Fisher. More than enough money, and a business he loves but doesn’t spend much time at. So, yes, in my opinion, spoiled. If his grandfather hadn’t blackmailed him, he never would have gotten married in the first place, but he did want to get married for love, and his grandfather denied him the chance to find it himself. Of course, love came after the marriage for them, but that doesn’t count.
A lot of new secondary characters and of course the couples from the previous books make an appearance. The book still has a lot of humor, and lots and lots of love scenes. I just didn’t like it as much as the rest. And yes, this is one of those kind of books, where people apparently cannot have a Happy Ever After if they don’t immediately after the marriage start making babies.