“The Contract” by Melanie Moreland

A Rollercoaster of Emotions

“The Contract” by Melanie Moreland takes readers on an emotional rollercoaster with its compelling co-worker, boss-employee, marriage-of-convenience romance. At the center of the story are Richard, a protagonist who embodies the archetype of the biggest jerk, and Katy, his patient and caring personal assistant with a compelling reason to tolerate his behavior.

The character dynamics between Richard and Katy are a driving force in the narrative. Richard’s epic proportions of jerkiness set the stage for a transformative journey, while Katy’s doormat persona is rooted in her devotion to caring for her adoptive mother, Penny. This underlying motivation adds depth to Katy’s character, making readers empathize with her choices.

The banter between the characters is a highlight, infusing the story with humor and creating an engaging atmosphere. The adversarial tension that evolves into a lovers’ dynamic is well-executed, adding layers to the evolving relationship. The pacing of the book is commendable, allowing the slow-burning romance and chemistry between Richard and Katy to unfold organically, building anticipation and angst.

However, the last 25% of the book introduces a shift that might polarize readers. The narrative takes a turn towards cheesiness, and some may argue that it adds unnecessary elements that hinder the overall resolution. The prolonged angst might feel excessive, and the story could benefit from a more straightforward path to the happily-ever-after.

The audiobook, performed by John Lane and Titiana Sokolov, contributes to the overall experience. John Lane’s performance is praiseworthy, effectively bringing Richard’s character to life. However, Titiana Sokolov’s portrayal of Katy falls flat for some listeners, lacking the vibrancy needed to fully capture the character.

“The Contract” offers a gripping romance filled with banter, tension, and a slow burn. While the last portion of the book may not resonate with everyone, the overall narrative showcases Melanie Moreland’s skill in crafting complex characters and compelling relationships. The audiobook, despite some shortcomings, enhances the storytelling experience.

Book Stats:
Rating 4/5
Series: The Contract
Tropes: age-gap3rd-act-break-upadversaries-to-loversbillionairebossclose-proximityco-workersdamaged-herofake-relationship-tropemarriage-of-convenienceoppositesslow-burn
Pop: 68%
Third Act Break Up- Yes
CW: Loss of parents.