Published by Metal Blonde Books
Published on June 14th 2015
Genres: Adult Contemporary, Contemporary Romance
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She thinks he's an arrogant playboy.
He thinks she's an uptight prude.
But he's about to make her an offer she can't refuse.
Nicola Price used to have it all – a great career, the perfect boyfriend, an excessive shoe collection and an apartment in one of San Francisco’s best neighborhoods. But when she gets knocked up and her asshat boyfriend leaves her high and dry, Nicola’s perfectly crafted world comes tumbling down. And stays that way.
Now, Nicola is the proud single mom to a five-year old daughter and living a giant lie. She can barely afford their ghetto apartment and all the men she dates run when they hear she comes with a child. She’s struggling and scared – and nowhere near where she thought she’d be at age thirty-one.
Her saving grace comes in the form of a tall, handsome and wealthy Scotsman Bram McGregor, the older brother of her friend Linden. Bram understands a thing or two about pride, so when tragic circumstances place Nicola at rock bottom, he offers them a place to live in the apartment complex he owns. It’s pretty much the perfect deal, so as long as she doesn’t mind living beside Bram, a man that, despite his generosity, seems to antagonize her at every turn.
But nothing in life is free and as Nicola gets her feet back on the ground, she discovers that the enigmatic playboy may end up costing her more than she thought.
She might just lose her heart.
Those McGregor brothers are nothing but trouble...
4 “Once you go Bram, you won’t give a damn.” stars
Funny, sexy and romantic with great banter, loveable characters and lots of heart, this is a fun contemporary romance that will have you laughing, fanning yourself and swooning all at the same time.
This book is a spin off from The Pact, where Bram was briefly introduced as Linden’s brother, and just like his brother, he is cheeky, smutty, gorgeous, and has a Scottish brogue. Hell yeah.
Nicola is the best friend of Stephanie (from The Pact). 31 years old and a single mother, she has hit rock bottom. She once had a great life, but it’s gone from bad to worse and she is now struggling to get by, practically living in the ghetto, and she’s just been fired. The only thing bringing her joy is her adorable 5 year old daughter, Ava.
Nicola knows Bram. In fact, the last time they met, the two of them shared a frank and very flirtatious conversation, and a scorchingly hot kiss that left her all hot and bothered, and considering the possibilities.
“Come on,” he murmured. “I know there’s a wild child somewhere deep inside you. I can tell. Let her loose. Let me help.”
But she knows Bram’s a manwhoring playboy who doesn’t commit, and when she unexpectedly sees him again, even though he makes her tingly in all kinds of places, she has no intention of getting close to him. She knows that he’ll only hurt her and she wants nothing to do with him, although it seems he lives to push her buttons.
He grins. “Sweetheart, you wouldn’t know what to do with my dick even if you tried.”
“I most certainly would!” I blurt out, unable to help myself. I regret my words immediately.
There’s one hell of a long, mortifying second as he slowly raises his dark brow, a twinkle in his eye. “Oh really?” he muses, smile dancing on his lips.
I cross my arms. “You know what I mean.”
“Not really. But you could show me.”
But when she reaches her lowest point, Bram is there for her, and when he offers her a place to stay in the building that he owns (in the apartment right next to hers, no less), she has little choice but to accept. Even if it means she has to put up with the sounds of him having loud and energetic sex with random women through her bedroom wall. And all the while, he maintains a steady stream of dirty flirting with Nicola that both annoys her and turns her on, and it’s only a matter of time before their constant flirting and the sizzling sexual tension leads to more – much more.
“You know what your real problem is, sweetheart?”
“What?” I ask, wanting to know and scared of the answer.
“You’re totally underfucked,” he says, his voice dropping a register. He leans in closer. “And I’m the one who can tip the scales in the other direction.”
OMG, these two are so, so hot together! Bram is a dirty talker, and his hotness unleashes Nicola’s sexuality like she has never known before, and it is smoking! Together they are wild and passionate, and they share a freakishly strong connection in the bedroom – and out of it for that matter. They’re both fond of a bit of exhibitionism, and let me just say, my next visit to Ikea will probably have me snickering like a 15 year old boy.
I’ve gotta say, I wasn’t sure about these two when they first hooked up. I thought Bram moved on from his slutty ways straight to needing Nicola, and only Nicola, pretty quickly. And once he turned his full attention on her, she was pretty quick to succumb – but I figure with their intense sexual attraction, it was inevitable, really. It did take me longer than I would have liked to come around to feeling them as an actual couple, but seeing them together and watching the emotion between them grow naturally over time as they open up to each other, I was eventually swept up in the blossoming romance.
“Nicola … please believe me when I say I’m not in love with anyone but I swear to you it will be you and soon … it’s going to be magic.”
Bram is a bit of an enigma. Yes, he’s arrogant, and initially he’s a total manwhore, but there’s so much more to him than that. He has a deeper side, he’s been hurt in the past and he’s done things he’s not proud of, but he has a huge heart and that more profound part of him is revealed slowly. But it’s most notable when you see him with Nicola and her daughter – Nicola holds back from fear of both her and Ava being left broken hearted, and I could totally understand that. And I thought Bram handled it brilliantly.
“I know you’ve been burned. But I’ve been burned too. Maybe our ashes can make something beautiful together.”
I really liked the addition of Nicola’s daughter, Ava, to the story. She brings some lightness and fun, and her own storyline blends really nicely into the growing relationship between Nicola and Bram, and I love the way that they are together.
But as expected, Nicola and Bram don’t have an easy ride. It’s angsty and painful at times, and with the story written in dual POV you can feel the emotion from both sides of the story. But it’s short-lived and it’s resolved well, and there’s even a great epilogue to finish the story off beautifully.
Fans of The Pact will be happy to know that Stephanie and Linden make a number of appearances, and there is even an introduction to a new McGregor – Bram and Linden’s hot, Scottish, rubgy playing cousin, Lachlan – who I’m hoping will make an appearance with a book of his own.
Once again Karina Halle has given us a book that is entertaining and fun to read. It’s a great combination of sweet and funny, dramatic and romantic, sexy and dirty, and I’m excited for the possibility of more.
An Advanced Reader Copy was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.