The Marriage Lottery #14 The Reluctant Husband by Caty Callahan is a romance set in a future post-apocalyptic world where men greatly outnumber women. If you’ve been on Amazon lately there are about a dozen copycat series in the erotica genre that have copied The Marriage Lottery series and added a lot of graphic sex. This is the original series, a sweet Christian romance series with NO GRAPHIC SEX.
If you follow both the The Marriage Lottery series and The Bride Lottery series, then you’ve probably figured out The Marriage Lottery series is more Old Testament and The Bride Lottery is more New Testament. And if you’ve read any of Kristin Holt’s books, yes, she too copied Caty Callahan’s series and then spent several years trashing them publicly. (Shame on her.)
10 out of 10 stars. I have yet to read any of Caty’s novels that I don’t fall in love with. The world is populated with real gentlemen, the peacekeepers (Brennanmen) are adorable hunks and family men, and the situations are real.
In Caty’s “from the author” section of the novel, she says that The Marriage Lottery series has more adult subjects than The Bride Lottery series. That is evident in many of the novels in this series, this one included. In this romance, the male protagonist, Joe, is in lust with another character, Carrie, based solely on seeing her in a swimsuit and a really revealing dress. When he draws Molly’s name (the female protagonist), he’s disappointed because all of his erotic dreams feature Carrie. That’s a hard thing for a guy to get over. Psychologists say that the one thing we can never change is our sexual preferences.
Joe makes one blunder after another, but keeps trying to make it work with Molly. Sometimes he thinks he’s in love with her, but then Carrie makes an appearance and he forgets Molly is in the room. You can feel her pain as this happens over and over again. It doesn’t matter than Carrie is now married to someone else, a guy who is actually in love with Molly.
At the same time there’s a subplot about a pack of coyotes trolling the neighborhood, killing the livestock.
One of the things I love about these novels is that they’re told from both viewpoints. Molly has always been a “good girl”. In this world, wearing revealing clothes can make men do stupid things, like kill each other over a woman who isn’t even interested in either of them, so Molly has never worn revealing clothing. But that all changes when it becomes obvious that her husband doesn’t notice her. Joe is frustrated because he can’t stop feeling what he’s feeling and it doesn’t change until he sees Molly in a revealing dress, then his erotic dreams feature a whole new player, his wife.
And then there are those pesky coyotes.
10 out of 10 stars. I loved the story arc with Carrie and Ollie and how they ended up (unhappily ever after because you can’t buy love). I also loved the ending and how Molly insured that her sister didn’t suffer the same Lottery Day fate that she did.