Mini Reviews: Marriage on Madison Avenue, The Girl with the Pearl Earring, The Contract

Happy May everyone! This month is Asian Heritage month and to celebrate I’ll be participating in the #asianreadation? Are you doing any readathons this month? Anways, here’s todays reviews.

Title: Marriage on Madison Avenue (Central Park Pact #3)
Author: Lauren Layne
Date Published: January 28, 2020
Rating: 3.75/5 stars
Date read: February 16, 2020

In this instalment instagrammer/influencer Audrey Tate is trying to avoid a romantic scandal and her best friend Clarke is trying to fend off an ex-girlfriend’s advances, their solution to both problems is to fake an engagement.

I haven’t loved any of the Central Park Pact novels but I continued to pick them up because they were really quick mindless reads and sometimes that’s all I really want in life. I’m glad I kept up with the series though, because I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Marriage on Madison Avenue.

I love that this story goes so far as to have them plan out their fake wedding and the romantic tension between Audrey and Clarke is the most believable of the entire series. My complaint about this novel is that it follows the typical romance story plot line, and in that sense is predictable, but otherwise I enjoyed this read.

Title: The Girl with the Pearl Earring
Author: Tracy Chevalier
Date Published: May 19, 2004
Rating: 3.5/5
Date read: March 21, 2020 (reread)

Girl with a Pearl Earring follows a young woman named Griet, who after her family comes down on hard times, is hired as a maid in the Vermeer household. Through Griet, Chevalier imagines the origins of Vermeer’s most famous work, Girl with a Pearl Earring.

I love math, but I am always extremely hesitant to pick up a book with a main character who has a math background because it is completely obvious to me, based on that character, whether or not the author understands or has a true appreciation for mathematics. Yes, this may in fact make me a math snob. But what I didn’t realize, until reading this novel, was that I feel the same way about art. I think Chevalier tries to give Griet characteristics of an artist and while yes, she does have artistic tendencies, I don’t feel that Chevalier truly captured what it means to be an artist (for the record I don’t consider myself an artist). Okay, my obvious snobbery aside, Girl with a Pearl Earring wasn’t my favourite. Chevalier’s writing style didn’t quite work for me, she often describes Vermeer’s work throughout the novel and I feel that she didn’t quite do his paintings justice. Griet was a likeable enough character, but I had a hard time emphasizing with her. To end things off on a high note, I do really love the setting of the novel and I think Chevalier did an excellent job at creating atmosphere and making me feel like I was in Delft in the 1600s. 

Title: The Contract (The Contract #1)
Author: Melanie Moreland
Date Published: May 24, 2016
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Date read: February 21, 2020

After failing to get a much sought after promotion, Richard Van Ryan, as an attempt to get back at his boss, decides he is going to switch over to the competing company. The only problem is the competing company is very family oriented and knows of his reputation as a playboy. In order to rework his image he hires his well-liked, perfect seeming, personal assistant to act as his financé.

Honestly, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed The Contract. I don’t need my romance novels to be particularly realistic when it comes to the premise, the one thing I want to believe is the chemistry between the characters, and their feelings for each other. I think The Contract was successful as a slow burn romance and I really liked that Richard wasn’t particularly attracted to Katy from the get go and that his attraction to her built up slowly over time, as someone who identifies as demisexual, I related a lot to that. I also enjoyed that the majority of the novel took place in Richard’s head, as opposed to Katy’s, I really love getting the hero’s perspective. As for my cons, this just got way to cheesy for me in the end and I thought the last few chapters dragged quite a bit. The writing could also have been stronger, but overall really enjoyable read. 

If you’ve read any of these books or plan to read them, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Happy reading 💗.

5 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: Marriage on Madison Avenue, The Girl with the Pearl Earring, The Contract

  1. I remember the first time I read The Contract and LOVED it, office romances with a jerk has always been my weakness!! But I tried to read the sequel novella last year and just couldn’t. My taste has changed so much over the years, especially in the last two years.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally understand, I read The Hating Game two years ago and loved it, but reread it last year and my opinion completely flipped! I think it’s so interesting how much we can change as readers over time 💗.

      Liked by 1 person

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