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Thursday, 12 March 2015

Green Card by Elizabeth Adams

Book Cover: Green Card by Elizabeth Adams
32-year old British businessman William Harper is a man who has just received a tip off that he may have a problem; his ex-girlfriend, bitter at their breakup, has tipped off the authorities in the US with the lie that he is up to some dodgy dealings. Will is an English businessman, but he has a lot of business interests in the US and he’s never had trouble getting a working visa, but his visa will soon need renewing and this could potentially mean that he’ll be unable to come to the US for some time. Since one of his businesses is going through a merger he is particularly keen not to lose his visa to work in the US. His lawyer has a suggestion, a green card marriage. If Will marries an American he’ll be able to immediately apply for a 2 year green card, and if he’s still married when that one expires he could then apply for a 10 year green card. Will’s lawyer Andrew, who is also a schoolfriend of his, is the one who proposes the solution of a marriage to Will. Andrew also has a bride in mind, the 23 year old sister of Andrew’s girlfriend. The lady in question, Kate, is studying for a masters degree and working 3 jobs to make ends meet so it could be a solution to her financial problems.

Kate will do very well out of this situation financially – her living costs will be covered, tuition paid, she’ll receive a clothing allowance and a generous golden goodbye plus a house at the end of the 2½ years or so that it’d take William to get the 10-year green card. In return, she’ll need to live with him in his apartment, go to a number of functions with him, a date once a week, keep it a secret and she is also not allowed to cheat on him, although he has no physical expectations of her.

Green Card DVD cover
I was expecting this to be along the lines of the 1990 film ‘Green Card’ starring Andie Macdowell and Gerard Depardieu, where they feverishly try to learn facts about each other and falsify proof of a relationship but since the reality of getting a green card for a spouse is known to the author (she states this in the preface) the truth of it actually much more prosaic and this story is more about two people would wouldn’t have wanted to spend time together based on their first impressions of one another but who get to know each other over a period of time.  Kate gets to realise that although Will can be spoilt and snobby he has a good heart and genuinely cares for her. William gets used to Kate’s excessive perkiness and doesn’t even seem to notice that she can be a touch ungrateful, as well as being a champion at holding a grudge. I liked how the couple’s relationship grew into a really close, trusting friendship, and from very early on they put each other as a high priority rather than treating the arrangement as purely business.

One thing I found very refreshing about the book was that it was low on manufactured drama – there were no Machiavellian third parties causing trouble, no giant misunderstandings and no unlikely complications. Aside from the fact that Will was very rich and needed to make a green card marriage it all seemed quite normal and realistic. This is a slow burner of a romance rather than a quick and dramatic story. I felt the book could have been a little bit shorter. It didn’t drag, but things sometimes moved quite slowly. However, my reading mojo has been all off lately, and despite the length of this book (approx 560 pages) I read it pretty quickly, which is testament to how much I enjoyed it. For those who like to know these things, there is hardly any swearing and although there are sex scenes, they aren’t particularly detailed.

Oatmeal spice cookies, recipe from Green Card by Elizabeth Adams
Kate is a very keen cook, and she makes various dishes at different points in the book which I couldn’t imagine the taste of (breakfast casserole?!), since I’ve never tried Southern cooking. A few of these recipes are included at the end of the book, which I wasn’t expecting. I was really pleased to see this so I could get a better idea of what they’d taste like. Some of them seemed a bit bizarre to me, and they seemed either more understandable or even more bizarre once I’d seen the recipes! In the interest of a thorough review, I have trialled a recipe, the oatmeal spice cookies, and they were very good, enjoyed by the whole family, although I think I’d try swapping the chocolate chips for raisins next time :)

Book Cover: The Houseguest by Elizabeth AdamsThis author has also written an Austenesque story, ‘The Houseguest’, which is a variation on ‘Pride & Prejudice’ and I’ll definitely try and read it sometime as I really enjoyed the humour and style of this author. I would rate Green Card as 4½ stars.

4.5 star read

* I received an e-book of Green Card from the author for my honest review.

9 comments:

  1. Swap chocolate for raisins? Really? Terrific review, Ceri. It's exactly the information I need to know.

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    1. Well I was the only one that would prefer raisins, but oat and raisin cookies are my favourite. I am told dried cherry and nut always goes down well too, sounds yummy!

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  2. I've read and also really enjoyedbthis book. I found Kate and William lingering in my thoughts for days after finishing the book.

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    1. Do you know, I did too Lynn. I tell you what else it got me thinking about, was generally about the decisions women have to make when they decide to have children, career opportunities missed etc. In the UK we have 39 weeks paid maternity leave, which compared to many countries is really generous, yet women with families often have to miss out on career opportunities that they can never get back. I am not putting out any blame for this issue, but the book just made me think about it, as this issue is one of the things touched on in the book.

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  3. I loved this book! Nice review, I love your description. The houseguest is also great!

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    1. Thank you Andrea! 'The Houseguest' looks good, I'll have to try it sometime, because I really enjoyed 'Green Card'.

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  4. I just finished writing my review for Green Card, so I thought I'd hop over to read yours finally. Too funny! I made the cookies too, and I'm going to post a picture of them! Ha!

    Great review! I enjoy this book too!

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    1. I prefer to avoid other people's reviews until I've written my own too, so funny that you made the cookies as well! Did you enjoy them? I've made them again since and I substituted the chocolate for half currants, half sultanas and they were really yummy, I ate far too many of them!

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    2. Lol! I've made them twice too! I love the chocolate chips, so I've stuck with that. Yum! I probably ate too many of them myself! :)

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