When an unexpected situation expands the swelling tension between the two, matters arise uncertain. Graham loves Jessie. But will his endless affection and warm heart be enough to keep her? This trip down the aisle is going to be a bumpy one.
Lindsay Marie Miller continues the story of Jessie and Graham in M.A.R.R.I.E.D., the sequel to S.I.N.G.L.E. With the wedding just ahead, Jessie and Graham must jump a few more hurdles before they can exchange rings and vows. In the first book, it took all of Graham's power to convince Jessie that they should be together, but life has a way of surprising even the most stable couples.
Jessie is blissfully happy. She believes that Graham is her soul mate and will forever be by her side. Her happiness weighs the pages of this book as the story move closer to her wedding day. However, Jessie's mom, who is easy to dislike, disrupts her happiness as she suggests a little pre-wedding dental work for Graham. This doesn't seem like much of a wrench, but it works to upset Jessie as well as insult Graham, when he eventually finds out. Though this suggestion also works to define Jessie's loyalty, it also punctuates her strength that she stands up for her fiance and herself.
One thing that readers get to see in this sequel, that wasn't as prominent in the first book, is Jessie's budding relationship with her younger sister. In the first book, Jessie fought to be able to see Ella, but her stepmother resisted the two sisters knowing each other. Now, Jessie's father allows Jessie and Ella to see each other consistently. The growing relationship between these siblings is nice to witness as a reader as it demonstrates the importance Jessie places on family.
The biggest surprise that Jessie and Graham face (spoiler alert) is an unexpected pregnancy. They find out just a few weeks before the wedding and the uncertainty of whether they want this and are ready for this is a big focus of this book. This major twist allows readers to see how Jessie and Graham react as a couple to something unplanned and their reaction reveals a lot about their personalities. Graham's love of family dictates his reactions while Jessie's old fears about broken families seems to dictate hers. However, happiness does come out of this surprise and both Jessie and Graham accept their beautiful fate of being parents as they struggle with other obstacles that pop up.
While this book is sweet and romantic, I feel like it fell short on building on the connection between readers, Jessie, and Graham. The first book did set up an initial connection based on Jessie's fear of being let down and disappointed by love and Graham's never-give-up attitude. Though, this book didn't do much for me in the way of expanding that initial connection. I don't feel like I learned anything new about Jessie or Graham and their characters seemed a little flat. It's almost as if the characters did all their growing (in terms of personality) in the first book. On the brighter side, there was much less arguing and bickering in this book between Jessie and Graham, which I appreciated. They seemed to be on the same side, for the most part, which helped show their deep commitment to each other. While I didn't feel much of a connection to the characters, I do think readers who enjoy the romance genre with a focus on the relationship and less on the evolution of the characters will enjoy this book. It's a light, easy read that shares the blissful happiness of being in love, and there's nothing wrong with that.
Rating: 2.5/5 Cups
Read the review of S.I.N.G.L.E.