I was looking forward to this book based on the blurb and some of the reviews, but it was definitely not the story I anticipated. Btw, spoilers ahead.
First of all there is no solid world building here. The Infidelity Clause by Lisa Olivier was lacking in a consistent foundation for its storylines. It’s missing huge parts of its universe, especially anything relatable to a magical element. That was almost a nonexistent item here, although supposedly it was a major factor in the health of the peoples, education , and foundation of the kingdoms.
Oliver’s plot veered between the “whimsical” historical comedy the blurb referenced and a realistic drama that factors in people with pasts that contain sexual assault, suicide, family abuse, and abandonment. More about the abundance of plot elements later.
The story revolves around a marriage clause called a Infidelity Clause referred to by the characters as a “piss off “ clause repeatedly. Why? Because if broken, one of the partners of the contract can, well, you guess it.
The intention here is that the marriage was going to be a temporary contract. It all starts off so lightly. A way faring Prince, will wed a ne’er do well “loves to party”prince in a comedy of errors! Sounds fab!
The author has chosen names of the countries and neighboring kingdoms along the lines of Gumflumple, ( actually Gunkermal) with a actual heir , a stepbrother, to a throne called Paragon. Not the main characters. So I figured this was not a story I was supposed to take seriously.
It was if Oliver started out writing a broad comedy, then because she couldn’t decide where to take the characterizations, so she moved them and the storylines all over the place. From light fun which then took a dark turn into stark murderous drama!
Broad comedy, sex and sexual awakening, drama, murder mystery, murder attempts, action suspense, romance, pirates and sea battles, a pinch of steampunk and a scoosch of tiny magical doings too . Oh and a character with disabilities and mentions of several past sexual assaults to others. The entire kitchen of narrative elements was absolutely tossed into the book here . I believe I’ve left out some. Like the smh names of some people and items.
I liked the characters, but the story they are running around in is a mess. Main elements have no foundation. Small characters play a big part , then several mentions, then disappear. Pop back in. Gone again.
It’s got the feeling of a grab bag of narrative elements that just keep getting thrown in without the necessary exposition to glue it together.
But the worst? The way it was ended.
“Which was why, when the knocking at the door started, he ignored it, and encouraged Caspian to ignore it too.
To Be Continued.”
— The Infidelity Clause: One of those MM crown princes, arranged marriages books by Lisa Oliver
The author excuses herself by saying she’s decided to write another book, so she’s leaving them here.
Like that absolves her of the decision to complete a book a person has paid for and has the expectation of getting a finished , polished product.
Which, imo, this is not.
So read it if you’re a fan of the author. Or if the blurb intrigues you. I’m giving the next book a pass.
What are you talking about? Marry another man?”
Caspian, fourth son and yet still a Crown Prince of Gunkermal knew he was a party to a marriage contract. Arranged marriages were common in his family, and he expected the contract would cement various trade or security agreements with another country. He just didn’t realize the other party to his contract was a full-grown man, who stepped off his ship and into Caspian’s life as if he owned it.
How much is this marriage worth to our king again?
Nikolas, Crown Prince and only heir of Westland, arrived in Gunkermal to fulfill his part of a marriage contract that was six months in the making. He was under no illusions about his prospective spouse. By all accounts, his intended was a womanizer, a lay about, and was likely someone who fussed if Nikolas should use a wrong fork at dinner. That’s why Nikolas insisted their marriage contract have an infidelity clause. He figured his spouse would invoke what was known as the “piss-off” clause before Christmas and he’d be free.
It’s far better to marry someone whose weaknesses we’re already aware of.
One man went into his marriage contract blindly. The other thought he knew everything there was to know about his intended spouse. When circumstances suggested that neither man knew what was actually going on, was there a possibility the marriage could work after all? And what did a pirate captain have to do with anything at all.
The Infidelity Clause is a whimsical story that is the result of the author’s muse taking a holiday. If you are a fan of MM arranged marriage stories, set in a land with a dash of magic, and a double dose of humor, you might enjoy this one. The main characters in this story are adults, so intimate situations are described. Please store your e-book content responsibly.
Unless it’s noted, all books reviewed have been purchased by the reviewer.