Saturday, December 28, 2013

ARC Review: The Valentine's Arrangement (Hard Feelings #1) by Kelsie Leverich

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: December 31, 2013
Publisher: NAL Trade
272 Pages

The �emotional, spicy-hot story” (Belle's Book Bag) that propelled Kelsie Leverich to the New York Times bestseller list!

Tattoo artist Ronnie Clark is counting the days until Valentine’s Day is over. Ronnie doesn’t do romance. She doesn’t do flowers or dates, and she sure as hell doesn’t do love—not anymore.  Love leads to heartbreak, and she’s vowed never to let herself get hurt again.

Sergeant First Class Kale Emerson is home on his midtour leave from Iraq, but he only has one thing on his mind—returning to his soldiers to finish leading their mission. He’s dedicated to his men and to his country, and he’s not interested in getting wrapped up in a distracting relationship…but casual sex, that’s a different story. From the moment he sees Ronnie, he wants her. And he agrees to her terms: no romance, no fluff—just passion.

But as their sexual chemistry ignites, the lines of their arrangement get blurry, and Ronnie starts to push Kale away. And when Kale realizes he’s found his match in this gorgeous razor-tongued woman who is hell-bent against love, winning her heart could be the toughest battle he has ever fought.

Bad mouth tattoo girl

meets Captain America.

That’s The Valentine’s Arrangement in a nutshell. Ronnie Clark hates love and relationships and everything else that comes with it. Her soldier boyfriend ex cheated on her while in Iraq and now Ronnie has just given up. Kale Emerson is a soldier home on leave and also doesn’t believe in relationships, but for a different reason. He believes in not having a relationship until he’s sure he’s found the one and can devote everything to her – which he can’t due now because of his military status. 

Kale goes to Ronnie to get a tattoo and instantly becomes transfixed. He decides she would be the perfect girl for a no-strings attached sexual relationship while he’s on leave. Obviously, Ronnie’s response is along the hell to the no type and truthfully, when have no-strings attached sex relationships ever worked out. I could already see where this was heading. Throw in foul language, jealously, and ex-fiancés, and Kale and Ronnie have their work cut out for them.

I honestly really liked Kale. He was straightforward, honest about what he wanted, and something about a soldier boy is endearing. He cared about the troops serving with him and their families, and took every loss to heart. The only negative about him was his forcefulness. When a girl says “back off, I don’t want you” that normally doesn’t mean push her against a door and kiss her. At least it doesn’t for me. There’s nothing wrong with a strong man who knows what he wants, but this trend in books where the guy forcefully takes what he wants regardless of if he can read the need of the girl doesn’t make sense to me. 

And then there was Ronnie. Ronnie who was all yes, no, yes, no, I don’t want you, I want you…ahhhhh! I liked that she was strong and feisty and fought back. I didn’t like how rude she was to Kale then would internally yell at herself only to be rude when she saw him again. The appearance of the ex who hurt her was extremely predictable that I spent most of the book turning the page looking for him. And then when he finally did show up, everything about what happened was predictable. GAH!!!!

Overall, it was okay. I liked it. I don’t know if I liked it well enough to continue the series, but we shall see.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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