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Review by Anniek
Gemma needs to get away from an abusive and controlling ex. To stay under the radar she flees to New Zealand pretending to be the rightful owner of a piece of property and a house that desperately needs renovations. Gemma is not used to the dangers of nature that New Zealand is known for. During a life-threatening situation because of a flash flood Gemma is rescued by Callum.
Callum has lived in New Zealand his whole life and he knows how dangerous the floods can be. He takes Gemma to a shepherd's hut for shelter until the roads are cleared again. Ever since Callum lost his wife and his unborn son he has lead a secluded life, living for his family, land and work. Callum still has a lot of unprocessed grief about the way he and his wife separated before the tragic event of her death. Callum isn't looking for love, but he can't deny the attraction he feels for Gemma.
After everything that Gemma went through she needs to find a secluded place where she can heal emotionally. Gemma is really lucky with her best friend who provides such a shelter for her in New Zealand. Even though she has issues with trust Gemma is still a friendly and loving person. Gemma is headstrong and will do anything to avoid being controlled again. She is her own person and is afraid to open her heart again. I liked it a lot that she's able to give Callum the space he needs to recover from his own grief instead of running away from her feelings for him.
Callum is a kind and caring family man. He is smart and skilled in how to survive in the wild. Callum has been very hurt by his wife and has a lot of trouble coming to terms with what happened. He wasn't counting on the feelings that Gemma resurfaces inside him. I admired the way he deals with his emotions and was glad he finds the strength to let himself believe in love again.
The Marriage Trap is an emotional story about two people who have been hurt, but are trying to work through their issues. The story kept me interested because of the unexpected twists and turns. I couldn't put the book down and flew through the pages. I read The Marriage Trap in one sitting. It's such a heartwarming romantic story, I highly recommend it. This is the second book in a series, The Mackenzies, but the stories can all be read as standalones. I can't wait to try more books by Diana Fraser.