Friday, March 31, 2017

"Buying Love" by Toni Shiloh

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to review Toni Shiloh's Buying Love. I passed on it, as I've started getting very selective about the books I accept for review (for my own sanity). But with my recent unintentional Kindle Unlimited subscription, I've been borrowing books that piqued my interest, and this is one of them. It turned out to be a really engaging book that I read in a couple hours.

Will money ruin everything? 

Nina Warrenton is ready for the next step in her life plan—marriage, but no one has proposed. Taking matters into her hand, she places an ad in the newspaper hoping to entice a willing stranger. But when she begins to fall for the small-town chef, she realizes how much she wants him to love her and not her money. 

Dwight Williams needs fast cash to save the family restaurant. When he sees Nina’s monetary offer for a husband, he goes for it. He’s determined to save the legacy his dad left him, but can he let it go to prove his love for her? 

Can Nina and Dwight find true love, once money has entered the equation?

While Buying Love ostensibly is a marriage of convenience romance, it actually isn't. Yes, it starts out that way, as Nina seeks to basically buy a husband. (She offers a substantial "dowry," payable after the wedding.) But the novel is actually about Nina and Dwight (the "chosen applicant" from her ad) getting to know each other and deciding if they want to get married. So while the circumstances of the couple's meeting are different than normal, at its heart it's a classic boy-meets-girl kind of story. Also aiding in this "classic romance" feel is the fact that Nina and Dwight are immediately attracted to one another, whereas attraction normally builds slowly in a marriage of convenience story.

Nina and Dwight are both extremely likable characters, and their romance, which had a nice slow-burn quality to it, was fun to read about. And the way they met certainly did add conflicts not normally present in romance novels, and I enjoyed that twist.

Dwight's mother is another story. That woman ... let's just say I cringed every time she showed up on the page, and I thought her complete 180 regarding Nina was too out of the blue to be believable.

I also struggled with the pacing of the book a bit. Especially in the middle, it just seemed to take a long time for any progress to be made.

Also, there's a pivotal point in the novel where Nina realizes she's been trying to force a family, when God has already provided one for her in the form of her friends. However, only one of those people was actually in Nina's life before she placed the ad and met Dwight. All the other relationships are a direct result of her knowing Dwight. So yes, God provided those friends for her ... and He used Dwight (through the ad) to do it. Nina's realization did prompt her to adopt a more accurate view of God, it's just that how she got there didn't quite seem logical to me.

Overall, I did enjoy Buying Love, but I'm also glad I was able to borrow it instead of buying it. 3 stars.

Buy the book. (Or borrow on Kindle Unlimited)

Toni Shiloh is a wife, mother, and a Christian novelist. She enjoys spending time with her family as well as her church family. Learn more on her website.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I borrowed this book through Kindle Unlimited and chose to review it. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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