Monday, December 29, 2014

A Scottish Man Walks Into A Bar

"And I find myself hoping that no matter what happens in the future, 
with Linden or with anyone, 
that I never settle for something less than fireworks."
--Karina Halle, The Pact

Genre: Adult Contemporary
Publisher: Metal Blonde Books
Publication Date: December 28h, 2014
Source: eARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review
Previous Books in Series: Standalone
Goodreads Description

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.

After reading Love, in English earlier this year, it became very clear to me very quickly that Karina Halle will always be an auto-buy author for me. The Pact solidified my love for her writing even further. The Pact is SUCH a bright and shiny book that I was laughing out loud in the first chapter and grinning like an idiot, mostly, throughout the rest of the book. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

The Pact all starts with a pinky swear. Linden and Stephanie are best friends who make a pact at 25 that if neither of them are in a serious relationship at 30, they'll get married. Who DOESN'T make this sort of backup plan at least once in their life. I made one at 16 to my male BFF...who I no longer talk to...anyways. SO Linden and Steph make this a joke..right?'s all a joke...because *le sigh* neither of these two boneheads want to admit their true feelings for one another but if they did we wouldn't have this delicious books so que sera, sera.

From there, we get treated to these hilarious chapters of Steph on each of her birthdays from 25 to 29 with some Linden birthdays mixed in for fun. First of all, these chapters and this book is hilarious. The banter between these two characters is snarky, fun, and laugh out loud. Ugh, did I really just say laugh out loud? Ignore the horrible turn of phrase but it's true. I was LEGIT laughing out loud. Now let's talk about the sexual tension that builds up between these two characters. Holy fuck, you could cut it with a whisper, it is that thick and fragile if that makes sense. They both CLEARLY have deeper feelings for one another and neither of them wants to potentially ruin their amazing friendship. Understandable...but hot damn if I had a sexy Scotsman in my life I'd throw down that kilt before you could blink...ANYWAYS...

Throw into the mix of a third best friend, James, who Steph used to date who is always side-eyeing them and a toxic girlfriend of Linden's and we get a lot of obstacles and some fun drama. Ok, well not so fun when I wanted to physically maim the bitches of this world but I digress. The journey for these two to finally get together is hard-won with lots of doubt but when it does happen...please excuse me while I fantasize about men in kilts. Holy crap, Batman these scenes are hot hot hot. This Scot has a mouth on him in more ways than one. I love the dirty talk and was actually sweating while reading the sexy times.

Linden...oh, Linden. You are so snarky and sexy and passionate, I just love you. Linden has difficulty expressing his emotions but he knows who his people are. He loves his friends more than anything else and will sacrifice his own happiness for those of his friends in a heartbeat. He is loyal to a fault and the perfect match for Stephanie. I LOVED Stephanie!! Can Karina Halle write a female lead that I don't love or identify with?...The answer is no. Stephanie is a young woman trying to wade the waters and swim in the adult world. She doesn't really feel like she knows how to navigate it and I loved this about her character. She has dreams and she goes after them. She questions her decisions and how her life should be. She struggles to realign her vision of what she thought her life would be versus what her life is. She is sassy and spunky with a fantastic sense of fashion. She is vulnerable yet strong. She is just an amazing character and I LOVED reading about her. And most of all, I loved rooting for her relationship with Linden.

A lot of this book, like I briefly touched on with Stephanie, explores what it means to grow up and be an adult. Stephanie especially questions her decisions and life and whether or not she is acting like an adult or not. What 20-something woman or man doesn't feel like a life-size child through most of their 20s? It seems like we all feel as if we're just pretend playing at being adults a lot of the time because what is it that makes us feel like we've finally arrived into the world of the grown-ups? Children? Marriage? Career? Any, some, all, none of the above? I'm in my *cringe* late 20s and while I know I've matured from my early 20s, I still don't really feel all that different from when I was 22 versus 27. I did a lot of growing up in regards to being independent but I still feel about the same. How Stephanie also discussed and struggles with this is something I loved reading about and something I could really relate to.

Ok, what else about this book? The writing is, no surprise, effortless. Halle has a way or writing that makes you feel like one with the book and you're right in the scene just watching it unfold. She brought San Francisco to life as well as the characters living there. The dialogue is on point and the plot was realistic and organic to this type of friends to lovers to more situation. Without giving away any plot spoilers, know that the conflict is realistic and the resolution is heartfelt. It is the perfect read for fun and sexy with the right amount of emotion.

Backstage Pass
If you love fun, sexy, emotional yet light-hearted...this one's for you.


  1. Awesome review! Cannot wait to start it myself, tonight :)

  2. So basically, just after reading your review, I think I should probably read The Pact. It sounds like just the type of story I would have fun reading! But do you think this should be the first one I start with from her?


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