Fresh Fridays: On Friday, I review a brand new series (ie. only has one book released so far) to see if the series is worth keeping up with. Here is this week’s offering:
The Arranged Marriage Trilogy
Synopsis for The Reluctant Bride (from Goodreads):
Everyone’s for sale, including me. One moment I’m the forgotten daughter of one of the most wealthy families in the country, and the next I’m the blushing bride in an arranged marriage. My fate is sealed in my wedded union with a complete stranger.
In public, Perry Constantine is the life of the party. Easygoing. Adored. In private, he’s brooding. Dark. Angry. But so am I. It’s a contest of wills to see who will break in the bedroom first, and while I try to remain strong, I find myself craving the very man I swore to hate.
Linked to A Million Kisses in Your Lifetime & The Wrong Brother
Author: Monica Murphy
# of Books: 3 (Full Reading Order Here)
Book Order: Chronological
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Heat Rating: Hot
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Date: April 19, 2022 – August 16, 2022
Source & Format: Author–eARC
**This post was originally published as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
I wanted to read this book as soon as Monica announced she was writing it. It was only a happy coincidence that I discovered the Midnight Dynasty Universe, before this book was published and met Perry in his brother’s book, Stroke of Midnight, and absolutely loved him. So I was DYING for his book to be released.
The Concept – Midnight Dynasty:
The Midnight Dynasty Universe is a collection of books (series and standalones) written by different authors but feature the characters from a collective world. They’re intended to be read in any order because each series focuses on two lead characters at a time, but there are some shared chronological events and character interactions throughout the universe that overlap in the different series.
This series takes place after a number of other titles in the world chronologically. It is also linked to other Monica Murphy titles: A Million Kisses in Your Lifetime and The Wrong Brother — the books about Charlotte’s brothers.
What I Liked:
Forced into a marriage to appease their powerful families, these two fight this innate connection pulling them together. When they start to realize that they have more in common than the thought, the walls slowly come down and the beginning of something beautiful starts to take shape.
I adored her. She has such depth to her character but, like her relationship with Perry, it slowly comes up to the surface as she tries to make her way in the world.
I’ve always loved Perry. He’s got this charisma to him and a heart of gold that I was so excited to see him find his perfect match. Charlotte keeps him on his toes and brings out his true self which I appreciate.
What I Didn’t Like:
–I Have to Wait for the Next One–
Since February, I’ve been binge reading all the Midnight Dynasty Universe that have been published so far. I hate that I have to wait to see what will happen next and not simply pick up the next book immediately after finishing!
My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:
While I quickly put together the ending within the last few chapters, I cannot wait to see where this one goes!
–June 23, 2022– Book #2: The Ruthless Groom
I love these two so much! It was great seeing them get to know each other a little more and open up to the idea of this being a real marriage. They have a great dynamic and communicate so well together. It’s an absolute treat to watch them in a scene together.
I’ve adored Perry every time he makes an appearance in the Midnight Dynasty novels, but it is so fantastic to get his inner monologue. He is quickly becoming a favourite of the universe for me. And I love seeing this vulnerable side that Charlotte seems to bring out of him. It expands his character development perfectly.
Charlotte is coming into her own too. I’m enjoying her character evolution in this series. She’s feisty as she learns to rebel and become her own person. It’s so satisfying to watch.
There was also this edge of suspense that steadily built until that cliffhanger ending! Gah! Can’t wait for the finale!
–August 24, 2022– Book #3: The Reckless Union
This installment has an edge of dangerous suspense to it that made it hard to put down. All the while it’s laced with plenty of steamy moments to satisfy the Perry and Charlotte fans. It cements this series as the perfect addition to the Midnight Dynasty Universe, especially for those fans who have been waiting for Perry’s story for a long time!
Midnight Dynasty’s Reading Order:
I had found a suggested reading order on Redit but have made some recommendations based on my own readings. Here is the suggested order based on that post and my own readings:
- Cinderella Trilogy (K Webster)
- Starcrossed Lovers (Jade West)
- Beast of Bishop’s Landing (Amelia Wilde)
- Hearts Trilogy (M O’Keefe)
- The Collector Trilogy (Amelia Wilde)
- Wicked Idol [Hellfire Series #1] (Becker Gray)
- Lessons in Sin (Pam Goodwin)
- Dark Dream Duet (Giana Darling)
- The Arranged Marriage Trilogy (Monica Murphy)
- Deception Duet (K Webster)
My Rating: 4.5/5
The Reluctant Bride 4.5/5 | The Ruthless Groom 5/5 | The Reckless Groom TBP
This series has all the suspense and family intrigue of the Midnight Dynasty Universe but those unfamiliar with the world will find themselves captivated by this couple and how they fit into it.
Read if You Like: slow burn romance, fake relationships
Avoid if You: want hardcore erotica
- Cruel Marriage by K A Linde (Cruel Series #6)
- The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst (Marriage to a Billionaire Series #1)
- Maybe Yes by Ella Miles (Maybe Series #1)