Published by Metal Blonde Books
Published on December 28th 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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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 full-length, standalone, contemporary adult romance.
PLEASE NOTE: This book will go on sale this weekend (12/28!), and there are no preorder links available at this time. When the buying links go live, we’ll post them straight away!
Sweet, funny, sexy and romantic with a heart-wrenching dose of angst, this is a gorgeous story of friends-to-lovers with that unique edginess that is all Karina Halle.
Linden and Stephanie have been best friends for years. In their mid-twenties, with both of them despondent about the state of their love lives, they make a pact that if both of them are single by the time they reach 30, they will marry each other – they even pinky swear on it!
(this is apparently Karina’s casting, and I think it’s absolutely perfect!)
I love these characters. Stephanie and Linden are both awesome. Fun-loving, funny, sarcastic and deeply caring for their loved ones, they are flawed but realistic, and the kind of people that you’d want as your own best friends. Hastily approaching their 30s, they’re still figuring their lives out – jobs, friends, family, and of course, relationships, sex and love. I thought they were totally relatable, and I could empathise with all that they were experiencing.
Everything is changing. I’m nowhere but I’m somewhere and it’s not where I want to be.
I don’t really know what I want.
But I know I don’t have it.
As the years pass, lovers come and go, and both Linden and Stephanie remain deeply involved in each other’s lives – all the time keeping their pact in mind, and their true feelings hidden – until the big 3-0 approaches and their chemistry can no longer be denied.
Sometimes, when he looks at me, I can swear something in him has changed. The glances are more intense, his eyes seem molten and charged. Sexual.
And I like it. I love it. I want it. I want there to be this change, for this to be a thing because then maybe, maybe I would act on it. Maybe I would take that chance and turn him into something more than a friend.
The story is told in dual POV, so we get up close and personal with Steph and Linden and everything that they are feeling for each other. They admit to their attraction, but they are both terrified of losing the other and of ruining not only their friendship, but of the effect them being together would have on the other friends. And with the different dynamics at play here, I completely understand that. And as frustrating as it is, it builds the tension deliciously and the UST is sensational! And then everything changes when they unexpectedly get a brief glimpse of what could be.
“It’s okay to want me, you know,” Linden says thickly.
My stomach quivers. I manage to shake my head and now his fingers are trailing behind my neck, running into the base of my hair and another shiver escapes down my back.
“Since when is it ever okay to want your best friend?” I say softly, nearly choking on the words. Because that’s what he is, that’s what he’s always been.
He smiled gently, his eyes crinkling at the corners. “Isn’t that the best person to want? The person that knows you inside and out. The person who has seen you at your ugliest and most beautiful and still wants to be with you. The person who believes in you and has your back, no matter what.”
I love that they have the guts to talk about it, and I love that they find the strength to dive in and experience it while still staying true to themselves and their friendship.
“All of this, you and me, is brand new, you’re right. Let’s just take this one small step at a time.”
“These small steps include sex, right?”
Hell yes, it includes sex! And OMG, it’s hot! Karina writes a great love scene, and Linden and Steph get fantastically hot and steamy while still maintaining the banter and easiness that has always been a big part of their relationship. And something very special starts to develop as they open up to the possibility of everything that is between them.
“I don’t want to lose you.”
He reaches for my hand and pulls me to him. “You are not going to lose me,” he says, peering down at me. “I promise.”
I want to believe him so badly. I need to believe him. “What if you lose me?”
He smiles at me, his grip hard. “Then I’ll just hold on tighter.”
OMG, Linden! As much as I love Steph, it’s Linden that made this book for me. He is a gorgeous, roguish playboy with a Scottish brogue who is confident yet vulnerable. His inner monologue is fantastically sarcastic and smutty, but he has a huge heart. I fell in mad love with him.
Warning – totally spoilery —>View Spoiler »[ But I just HAVE to include this bit of epicness… “I loved you. Never as a friend. Always as something more. From the moment you walked into the bar, you owned the word and what it meant for me and I prayed and I dreamed that one day I would get to tell you myself. That no matter how you felt, I would tell you that I loved you and nothing could change that. That it was mine to give to you.” He inhales deeply and says, “And so, I love you, baby blue. I am in love with you. You are love to me. And I’m honoured I’m finally able to tell you.” SWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON! « Hide Spoiler
I loved watching the two of them experience everything that came with their relationship – from the mad lust to the sweet ‘coupley’ moments, to the pure wonder and happiness that comes as they start to understand the depths of their feelings for each other. It’s all absolutely fantastic! But those fears are still there, and this book is not without its angst or heartbreak.
My poor emotions went on a bit of a rollercoaster with this one. It was light and funny, and then I was frustrated, excited (yes, I actually squeed out loud), swoony, angry, heartbroken and back again. And although I did feel the need to get my smack stick out, I could empathise with them, and was way too in love with the characters to hold a grudge View Spoiler »except for James, I’m still pissed at his stupid, selfish behaviour! « Hide Spoiler. And in the end, this book left me swoony and satisfied with a big smile on my face.
Life isn’t a linear journey. Sometimes it’s one step backwards, two steps forward and then a jump out to the side. It’s kind of like the “Time Warp”, when you think about it.
Life follows many directions and hopefully, eventually, your mind and body and life and love, all catch up with each other.
Karina Halle has taken a shift away from her usual style with this one (I’m going to call it ‘edgy fluff’), and it is deliciously entertaining and enjoyable. And if this is her brand of fluff, I’ll definitely be looking forward to more!
I loved it – 4 stars.