The Business of Love by Charley ClarkeThe Business of Love by Charley Clarke is a contemporary romance about learning what marriage and family mean to you.

Mackenzie Watson is driven but reserved, she likes her world to be ordered. Right now her priority is to make her position as interim CEO in her family’s company permanent in order to secure her younger sister’s future. There’s just one problem, in order to achieve this, she must be married and that’s something that Mackenzie has taken out of her future plans. So, what can she do? Hire a wife of course….. she only needs a wife for a year so surly a simple business transaction is a logical solution.

Taylor Sutton has college debt and is currently working as a barista while she figures out what she wants to do with her future. She’s still reeling after Mackenzie ‘accidentally’ stood her up six months ago, who does that? Taylor thinks Mack is arrogant and pretentious, they share a circle of friends and Taylor can’t stand to be around her. But, when the opportunity arises to play Mack’s wife for a year in exchange for her college debt to be paid, Taylor decides that it’s too good to pass up on. It’s only a year, right, Taylor can do that.

So what if Mack is gorgeous? It doesn’t matter that the more time Taylor spends with her, the more she sees her soft caring side, and have her lips always looked that kissable……


This book is written from both main characters’ viewpoints. It helps you get a sense of how the characters are feeling and how their situation affects them both differently. Mack and Taylor are very different people, so I really appreciated getting to know them both.

Mack is a neurodiverse character and I think the author did a great job of giving her a voice, the language, thought pattern, and behavior of the character is well written and helps give the reader a real insight into how the world looks from Mack’s point of view.

This book is full of great dialogue! I adore nothing more than getting lost in character interactions and this book delivers that in bucket loads.

Pros And My Favourite Parts

This is one of those books that I read at exactly the right time! It’s cute, light-hearted, and a lot of fun. After the heavier, anguish-filled books I’ve read lately this was like a breath of fresh air.

Mack and Taylor are great characters and what I loved about the story is that neither one was the rescuer or fixer, so to speak. Both women have insecurities to work through and have lived very different lives. However, neither tries to change the other or make them ‘better’, they accept each other for whom they are and their love blossoms because of this.

Mack has autism which causes her social anxieties if she’s not prepared. Clarke shows us these but also shows us how from some people’s perspectives this looks like she’s uninterested and doesn’t care. I really appreciate that the author highlighted this, and how she dealt with the situation and aftermath. It was written with sensitivity and respect but without excuses, it was refreshing to see.

The Business of Love takes the concept of traditional marriage, dissects it, and makes you look deeply at what it means to different people. Even though Mack and Taylor start off as ‘frenemies’ by the time they enter into marriage their relationship has changed. Their marriage is by no means conventional, but, it works for them, these women have a great foundation of trust, friendship, and respect, and it’s beautiful to watch their feelings grow and change over time.

There is a fantastic cast of supporting characters in this book. Danny, Mack’s best friend and the CFO at her family’s company is one of my favourites. She’s a no-nonsense, straight-talking whirlwind that keeps Mack grounded without being overbearing. Mack’s younger sister Sophie is another character that has a substantial role in the story. She’s a pre-teen who is dealing with the fact her world has drastically changed, she’s sweet and savvy for her age but also still just a little girl who needs love and support. Taylor’s family and friends are also great additions and the author lets the reader get to know enough about them so you understand their role within the story. Together all the characters create a sense of family and belonging, they also give us some great comic moments.

Heads Up

A main character loses both parents, in a tragic accident, which may be a trigger to some readers.

The Conclusion

The Business of Love is one of those books that is quick and easy to read, but draws you in. once I started reading I couldn’t put it down. It’s light on the anguish but full of feel-good, delicious characters both main and supporting that make you want to keep turning the page. If you like great character dialogue, women who show love and support, plus some loving and steamy scenes then this one’s for you.

The storyline is fun and lighthearted, and the romance is a steady slow burn. At no point did I question the outcome and that was okay, it made me feel relaxed and comforted and let me get lost in the story without any anxiety. This book was exactly what I needed, I curled up with my favourite blanket and enjoyed the feel of love, support, and belonging that these characters brought me. So, grab your preferred drink, get in your favourite reading spot and be prepared to be enveloped in a secure warm hug.

Excerpt from The Business of Love by Charley Clarke

When they paused for a break between games, Taylor watched Mackenzie walk up the corner stairs for a fresh bottle of wine.

She had done a lot of thinking over the past week. A lot. And even though she hadn’t reached a conclusion, with Mackenzie disappearing up the staircase, it was now or never, right? This was the poorest decision she’d ever made—or ever would make—but she couldn’t shake the idea out of her head. It was the readiest solution to her problem that she could find, and she had to take the chance.

So, she followed Mackenzie and found her in the library, sifting through her wine and liquor cabinet. Mackenzie looked up when she entered, and her eyes…softened? Just slightly, crinkling at the corners before she returned to her task.

Oh, God, now that they were alone, she had no clue how to open the conversation. Did she just come out and say it? Would that be weird? That would be weird. She needed to busy her hands with something, but she also didn’t want to touch anything in here.

The wine bottle opened with a pop. “Do you want a glass of wine?” Mackenzie asked.

“Oh. No, thanks.” Taylor leaned against the sofa and studied the other woman. She was quiet, a little stiff, which Taylor had always taken as haughtiness. But after observing her closely this evening, she wasn’t sure. What if it was shyness? “So, you…want to get married?”

Mackenzie paused while pouring a glass of wine, her gaze flicking up to Taylor, before she resumed and nodded.


Far from being offended, Mackenzie set down the wine and pursed her lips as if she was thinking about her answer. “It seems like the most efficient way.”

“To take control of your family’s company?”

Mackenzie nodded again. With a sigh, she opened a top cabinet, pulled out a bottle of scotch, poured herself a glass, and sipped. “Scotch?”

This time, Taylor found herself nodding. Might as well, because this whole situation was already unreal. The liquor burned her throat and eyes, and when she cleared them, Mackenzie was regarding her with a small smile.

“I’m not a tyrant or megalomaniac or anything,” Mackenzie said as she leaned her butt on the counter and braced her arms beside her. Her sleeves were rolled up, showing off taut forearms. “At least, I don’t think I am.

But this company was my mom’s and my grandma’s before her. I grew up knowing I’d take it over, although I didn’t expect it to be this soon, and I want to make sure my sister’s future is secure, too. I can’t do that if I’m not CEO. And I can’t… Well, I’m afraid anyone else would be too shortsighted and turn WatsCorp into something it was never meant to be.”

“What’s that?”


Taylor narrowed her eyes. She leaned in a bit and whispered conspiratorially, “But it’s a corporation.”

Mackenzie chuckled. “Thank you for letting me know,” she whispered back.

Taylor crossed her arms. What the hell was it about Mackenzie that drove her crazy? It was as if her presence—that confident posture, the way she was always put-together and elegant even when she dressed casually, the scent of cloves and leather that she carried with her—sent Taylor into a tailspin.

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Bits and Bobs

ISBN number: 978-3963247521

Publisher: Ylva Publishing

Charley Clarke Online

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