Title: The Valentine’s Arrangement
Series: Hero for the Holidays, Book 1
Author: Kelsie Leverich
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Sensuality Rating: Steamy
Source: review copy from publsiher
Published: January 2013 by InterMix
Ronnie Clark, an edgy tattoo artist with hopes of high tailing it out of the forsaken Military town she followed her now ex-fiancé to, is counting down 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. After her fiancé slept with a female solider while deployed, she has vowed never to fall in love again, especially with a soldier.
Sergeant First Class Kale Emerson is home on his mid-tour leave from Iraq, but he only has one thing on his mind—returning to his deployment to finish leading his soldiers on their mission. The last thing he wants is a relationship, but casual sex, that’s a different story. And when he meets the renowned tattoo artist Ronnie Clark, a snarky, blunt, takes no prisoners kind of woman, that seems to be all he can think about.
But when Kale realizes he has met his match with a bombshell woman who is hell bent against love, will just sex be enough? And if it’s not, will he be able to convince Ronnie that the proverbial hearts and flowers aren’t so bad after all, even if he is a soldier?
Why I Read this Book: The blurb had me at “edgy tattoo artist”. I’m a sucker for tattoo artists and I love reading about them in romance novels. It’s sexy as hell and when it’s the heroine doing the inking, it’s empowering. I also love the it’s-just-casual-sex (but really it’s not, it’s more) trope.
What I Liked: The Valentine’s Arrangement had great leads. Ronnie and Kale are dynamite together. Kale is such an honorable guy. He’s not looking for love yet he doesn’t fight it when it falls in his lap. Ronnie is edgy, blunt, and very fiesty. RAWR! And I loved her witty comebacks! Ronnie doesn’t make Kale change who he is to make their ‘relationship’ work yet she doesn’t cave in to make Kale happy either. Instead, she succumbs to her own desires, after figuring out exactly what that is.
The author gives good reason as to why Ronnie doesn’t want to be in a relationship – her ex cheated on her and Ronnie doesn’t want to be in a vulnerable position like that again. And definitely not with another soldier. There was great progression for Ronnie’s character and I enjoyed reading as she discovered what she wanted, and what she was willing to compromise to get it, for herself.
The ending got me. I cried. And the epilogue gave me chills.
What I Didn’t Like: Mason. He was an unbelievable and unnecessary plot device. His character didn’t add anything to the story for me.
“You’re mind-fucking me again.”
Overall Impression: The Valentine’s Arrangement was a sexy, yet heart-warming read. The Valentine’s Arrangement appears to be book one of a series and I can’t wait to read the next book.