The Paradise Problem by Christina Lauren: Is It Worth Reading?

Christina Lauren is a writing duo that I read each and every year and this year is no different with their latest release, The Paradise Problem. If you are a fan of marriage of convenience romance books, check out my book review of The Paradise Problem by Christina Lauren to see if this is a book worth reading.

*Disclosure: This post may include affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

The Paradise Problem is one of the new romance book releases coming May 2024. Check out the book review on She Reads Romance Books.

The Paradise Problem
by Christina Lauren

Category: Contemporary Romance
Tags: Inspire Travel, Opposites Attract, Marriage of Convenience, Billionaire, Artist
Published May 2024
Amazon Goodreads
Rating: ★★★
Book Boyfriend: ★★★★

The Paradise Problem Summary:

Anna Green thought she was marrying Liam “West” Weston for access to subsidized family housing while at UCLA. She also thought she’d signed divorce papers when the graduation caps were tossed, and they both went on their merry ways.

Three years later, Anna is a starving artist living paycheck to paycheck while West is a Stanford professor. He may be one of four heirs to the Weston Foods conglomerate, but he has little interest in working for the heartless corporation his family built from the ground up. He is interested, however, in his one-hundred-million-dollar inheritance. There’s just one catch.

Due to an antiquated clause in his grandfather’s will, Liam won’t see a penny until he’s been happily married for five years. Just when Liam thinks he’s in the home stretch, pressure mounts from his family to see this mysterious spouse, and he has no choice but to turn to the one person he’s afraid to introduce to his one-percenter parents—his unpolished, not-so-ex-wife.

But in the presence of his family, Liam’s fears quickly shift from whether the feisty, foul-mouthed, paint-splattered Anna can play the part to whether the toxic world of wealth will corrupt someone as pure of heart as his surprisingly grounded and loyal wife. Liam will have to ask himself if the price tag on his flimsy cover story is worth losing true love that sprouted from a lie.

The Paradise Problem: My Review

I’m such a big fan of Christina Lauren so it’s pretty much a no-brainer that I will read whatever new release they come out with next which is why this book made my list of most anticipated new romance book releases of 2024.

While this book showcases their amazing writing chops, it didn’t get a higher rating from me only because I felt like it could have been more. Maybe I shouldn’t dock stars for that reason but let me explain.

It’s always fun to read a summer romance that whisks you away to an exotic location and that is exactly what this one does. I’ve never been to Singapore but I wouldn’t mind spending a week at a private island in a bungalow by the beach. Sounds amazing and a place to be for the rich and famous. But at the same time it could have been any private island on any beach as they didn’t pull in much culture at all but that’s no big deal but a missed opportunity perhaps?

I also love that Christina Lauren’s books are always so unique. Whenever I pick up their books I know I’m in for a unique storyline with new, interesting characters to meet. This book explores the toxicity of money and power and how it can corrupt a family. It’s also about a narcissistic which Liam’s father clearly is and who is portrayed as such.

I thought this was the best part of the book honestly – how money corrupts family. And yet, there wasn’t much depth to this plotline from what you learn at the beginning. You know they have to put on a front that they are married to get his inheritance and that’s pretty much it until the last chapter or two.

I’m also a fan of the marriage of convenience trope and here we are with another marriage of convenience for the sake of earning an inheritance. It’s been done before but I never tire of that storyline so I was all in for it.

And yet, I was kind of expecting at least some build up to their chemistry or tension from when they are first married (which I thought we’d get given the book summary) but it just glossed over this time period completely and they only spend 9 or 10 days in Singapore for them to fall madly in love.

So, while I liked the premise of this book and other qualities, I didn’t rate it higher because it was hard not to compare it to other new releases of this year that blew me away. Maybe it’s not fair to compare but I feel like it will make my point.

For example, I absolutely loved Just for the Summer by Abby Jimenez. This was a book that totally had me invested in the characters who I fell hard for whereas I really couldn’t connect with Liam or Anna. We get some backstory but it’s just quick filler as you really don’t come to “know” these characters.

But in Just for the Summer, I felt like I could feel Emma’s heartache when it came to the neglect of her mother and the toxicity there. But with Liam, sure his dad was a complete a-hole but I didn’t get immersed in his predicament.

Then for Anna, I got that she was a struggling artist and that she worried about her ailing father but that was pretty much all we got. Not much depth to her character whereas I in it with Justin in Just for the Summer and how his entire family’s life was changing. I laughed and I cried with him and Emma but I just didn’t get emotionally invested with Anna and Liam because we didn’t get a lot of them beyond the basics.

All of this is to say, am I glad I read it? Yes. Do I recommend it? If you’re a Christina Lauren fan, yes, but I just expected more.

*I received an advanced reader copy. All opinions are my own.

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Check out She Reads Romance Books book review of The Paradise Problem by Christina Lauren to see if this is a marriage of convenience romance for you.
Leslie Murphy is the owner and writer of She Reads Romance Books.

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Leslie is the founder, writer, and producer of She Reads Romance Books (and the She Reads Romance Books Podcast), an online book community focused on romance books and the readers who love them because life is better with a love story.

Leslie reads 150 romance books a year and has been called a "book expert" by CNN. Reading romance is her passion and she cultivates her book lists with the best books worth reading in the genre. Leslie graduated magna cum laude from Davidson College where she honed her writing skills and also holds two Master's degrees. Join her community in the She Reads Romance Books Reader Lounge.

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