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In this book series by B. Love, we take a trip to the fictional town of Crimson Trails where arranged marriages are the societal norm. Surprisingly, at least to me, the vast majority of these arrangements turn out to be loving and passionate relationships. A lot of that may have to do with the fact that the parents carefully chose the mates for their children.
B. Love gave us 5 novellas in 5 weeks, this is why she’s the MVP.
Let’s dive briefly into these five couples, shall we? Since they all were super short reads, I’ll try not to give much away.
Leigha and Christensen are considered the wild children of their families which ended up making them perfect for each other. Their story was a reminder that you can’t dictate to your heart what you want it to do, real sustaining love will find you when you least expect it and when it’s the right time.
It was true love at first sight for Daisy and Tristan. Like Leigha in the first novel, and unlike most of the arranged marriages, these two saw each other before opening their betrothal boxes.
Daisy is a hopeless romantic and that part of her drew me into the character from the beginning, because I can relate. There was great chemistry between those two and the relationship was really sappy, but it played well to what we knew of Daisy’s character.
Tristan and Amalah were high school sweethearts. They had planned to move out of Crimson Tales and make their life together to avoid being paired with someone who wasn’t for them. Before they could do this, Tristan broke things off, left town, and left Amalah heartbroken. Years later, Tristan is back in town and it’s time for his betrothal box. The woman in the box? None other than Amalah.
Now I’m not usually a fan of relationship remixes as you know, but Tristan proved that he was the right man for Amalah and was hell-bent on righting his wrongs. Now while I would have loved for Amalah to fully express her feelings and hold out a little longer since he did her wrong, I have to admit that they really did belong together.
This was perhaps my favorite story, Zen and Cason were the perfect examples of how sometimes being the best of friends can make the best lovers. There was a familiarity between the two that elevated their connection. Zen was so in tuned with Cason’s needs as a natural caregiver and Cason was so sweet in return, he always wanted to make sure she had more than she needed from him.
Crimson Johnson is from the bloodline of the founders of Crimson Trails and owner of a soul food restaurant. Her rival, who happens to also own a very popular restaurant across the street, is the alluring and rugged Hassan Green. These two get on each other’s nerves and initially are not fond of one another. When they find out that they are promised to one another, things take quite a turn as neither are open to the idea.
Hassan and Crimson were frustrating yet adorable. They got under each other’s skin but in the end, their love and sacrifice for each other were sweet, heartfelt and exactly what each other needed. These two pushed each other to the success that they both believed the other should have.
Full disclosure: the synopsis of this installment says that Hassan and Crimson were refusing to marry, which was not technically true. While they had hesitations given their history etc and were willing to back out if the other wanted, they never said they wouldn’t marry each other. I would have loved to see what would have happened if they had initially said no though, and how the town would have reacted to that.
Having these stories as novellas was perfect. I don’t think we would have done well with a full length novel with any of these couples. Having these short and sweet stories was perfect; it allowed us to get a glimpse into their lives, this arrangement, and a peek into the future each couple could have together.
FOUR OUT OF FIVE STARS for this novella series.