New Release (Book Review & Excerpt): The Pact by Karina Halle

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Title: The Pact
Author: Karina Halle
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis
It all started with a pinky swear…

Linden McGregor is tall, rugged, and gunslinger handsome; a helicopter pilot with a Scottish brogue and charm to spare. He’s also one of Stephanie Robson’s best friends and has fit into that box for as long as she’s known him.

Beautiful, funny and an ambitious businesswoman (with one hell of an ass), Stephanie Robson is one of Linden McGregor’s best friends and has fit into that box for as long as he’s known her.

But some relationships can’t be boxed, can’t be classified, can’t be tamed.

Back in their mid-twenties and tired of the competitive hit-or-miss dating scene of San Francisco, Steph and Linden made a pact to marry each other if neither one of them are in a serious relationship by the time they hit thirty.

It sounds like fun and games but as the years to thirty tick past and lovers come and go out of their lives, the pact becomes larger than life.
Sex is inevitable. Friendships are tested. Hearts are on the line.

The pact is about to change everything.

The Pact is a standalone, contemporary adult romance.

Grace Review
This is not your typical Karina Halle book. She even admits as such in her end of book comments. Despite this book being more light and fun that than her previous work, she still brings her great storytelling and flawless writing, with a plot that hooks you quickly.

The idea behind the marriage pact isn’t new. People who have found love to be allusive, turn to their friend, someone they can trust as a last resort of sorts, so that they won’t be alone all their lives. What made this pact unique was who the pact was made between. Linden and Stephanie are best friends, that part isn’t unusual. The part that’s unusual is that they are also best friends with James, Stephanie’s ex. Sure, the two parted and remain friends but there is generally an unwritten rule that friends don’t date each others exs. Big no no.

But this pact is just made in fun. Or is it?

As the book progresses, while neither Linden or Stephanie act on their feelings, it is clear there is an attraction between the two, and feelings of jealousy seems to arise when either of them is in a relationship with someone else. As the years count down to the pact end date, when they both turn thirty, they independently begin to question the what-ifs. Would their friendship be ruined if they confessed or even acted on their growing feelings?

How do you ensure someone feels the same way about you without telling them how you feel?

One dare changes everything.

I loved the connection between this couple. They are flirty, sexy, sweet and caring. It’s clear both have harbored feeling for a long time. And a future together doesn’t seem like a joke anymore, and is far from a last resort.

While this story is light, the drama and angst is still there. The code, Bros before Hoes, drives that drama. I was frustrated by Linden’s actions during this drama, not fighting for love, but his family history and lack of experience with the emotion were likely a driving force, so I’ll give it a pass.

But, despite the minor hiccup, I really liked both main characters.

Oh, how I love Linden, let me count the ways.
1) The author pictured him as Scott Eastwood.  YUM!

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2) He flies helicopters.  Not for fun like that kinky CEO.  No, he flies them for a living. *swoon*
3) He’s Scottish!  And while the accent has faded, it makes the occasional appearance within the story. Works for me!
4) He likes Disney movies!

Should I continue?  Ok, I will.

5) Good sense of humor. Even as a ginger, this gave me a laugh:

It’s true what they say about red-headed chicks, you know, they all have a wee bit of crazy in them.

6) HUGE COCK!  In his pants, obviously.  Yes, he’s a bit of a man-whore, but he treats the right girl right.
7) And if that wasn’t enough for me, the piece de resistance, he loves hockey!  The San Jose Sharks to be exact.  At one point he even dons a Shark Head to a game, which would probably look something like this:

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Or this:

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And while I’m not a Sharks fan, I do love hockey and sharks are my favorite animal (seriously), so I have to appreciate this type of player entrance.

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BADASS!

Ok, enough about Linden, Stephanie is a great heroine. Clearly she’s a bombshell, but isn’t even aware of the sexual appeal she has. But it’s not the “I’m not pretty” ridiculousness. She’s comfortable in her own skin and is just blissfully unaware of how she drives Linden mad with lust.

I was initially fearful of whether I would like her based on her unwillingness to take risks. She eventually takes the plunge with her own business, but I still felt she played things too safe when it came to her heart. However, she really came around for me when she took a chance with her heart.

As for James, I was all over the board about him. He seems to put a lot of pressure and unnecessary blame on Linden for their vastly different upbringings, which wasn’t fair. And he selfishly destroys everything. Yes, amends are made, but that was fucking wrong!

So does the pact stand? You’ll have to read for yourself. But yes, you get your HEA, with blindfolds!

“That new heart, that new world, it’s all you. I feel like it takes up every inch of my body, like I’m blooming each day. You’re in me and I can’t hide it or contain it or ignore it. You blind me. You are me.”

– Grace

*An ARC was received for an honest review.

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00RJD8LOS?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B00RJD8LOS&linkCode=xm2&tag=aftdarboolov-20

Goodreads

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Excerpt

Her eyes are so blue and wide, like the morning sky, her mouth so perfectly full. I contemplate running my thumb over her lips before I kiss the salt off of them.
I should just do it. I should just fucking do it.
I swallow hard, my throat feeling closed up but I know it’s not from my cold. It’s from want and it’s from fear.
“What are you staring at?” she asks me, her voice shaking slightly.
Just fucking kiss her.

About

Karina
With her USA Today Bestselling The Artists Trilogy published by Grand Central Publishing, numerous foreign publication deals, and self-publishing success with her Experiment in Terror series, Vancouver-born Karina Halle is a true example of the term “Hybrid Author.” Though her books showcase her love of all things dark, sexy and edgy, she’s a closet romantic at heart and strives to give her characters a HEA…whenever possible.

Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she’s preparing for the zombie apocalypse with her fiancé and rescue pup.

LINKS:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Karina-Halle/140649372629593

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetalBlonde

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4785031.Karina_Halle?from_search=true

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/Karina-Halle/e/B0050KE63C/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1407546895&sr=8-2-ent

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