Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Release Blitz + ARC Review + Giveaway: The Arrangement by Felice Stevens

The Arrangement
by Felice Stevens
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: July 20, 2016

Carter Haywood lives for the weekends—specifically the one weekend every month when he escapes real life, with all the pressures of work and caring for his special needs brother, to do whatever he wants, with whomever he wants. Sex is only a release; he's not looking for love, a relationship or even a second night with the same man, until he walks into a bar and finds someone who makes leaving it all behind impossible. After one incredibly passionate encounter, he breaks his rule and goes back. He needs to see this man again. And again.

Damaged goods. That's all Reed Kincaide sees and hears when he looks in the mirror. Anxiety and ADHD define his life and he’s learned to keep people at a distance, never letting them get close enough to know who he really is. When Carter proposes a monthly weekend of sex without strings, it's the ideal arrangement for him. Or so he thinks. Every month, leaving Carter proves to be more and more difficult. It’s not only the intensely hot sex they have in their hotel suite; Reed wonders about the secret life Carter refuses to share.

As months pass and they grow closer Reed finds himself falling for Carter, but he needs more than hurried hugs and farewell kisses. He wants it all. Letting Reed into his carefully constructed family life could upset Carter’s whole world, but it might be the risk he’s finally willing to take, if it means keeping Reed. Once bodies are engaged, the heart is sure to follow, and Carter and Reed discover that holding on to each other is the first step in letting go of the past.


5 'emotional' stars

I know the premise of the book isn't anything new. Heck, if this is by any other author I would overlook it. Strangers hooking up and settling for a no string attach arrangement, how many times have I already read this plot? But Felice manage to make an overuse ploy into a moving read, one that had me in tears over and over. Or maybe my easy that way.

Carter Haywood is a workaholic who also committed to taking care of his little stepbrother. He didn't have time for relationship and didn't believe in love due to his need for independence for survival since at a very young age. 

Reed Kincaide is someone who deals with ADHD and anxiety issue. Although he seems like a well put together young man and in pursue for a postgrad degree while working the bar, he still deal with a lot of stress that came with his condition. 

Carter and Reed have an explosive chemistry together and despite the arrangement being a bad idea in the beginning, they both can't deny that they rather have the physical connection than nothing at all. Of course, feeling is bound to get in the way eventually.

I like the smooth progression we seen in their physical relationship that transform little by little into an emotional one. In the beginning, they keep hiding their true self to avoid getting too involve. When Reed realized that falling in love with an emotionally unavailable Carter is bad for his own well being and decided to put a stop to it, this is when things get more interesting on the emotional front.

Is hard to describe the actual reason for my love for this book because is the way Felice manage to evoke all kind of feelings in me. The way Carter and Reed share their painful past, bare their souls and vulnerabilities, it was so touching and make me feeling all sappy. This is the kind of story that filled with flowers and roses, and if you are a cynical reader who don't believe perfection, maybe you won't enjoy it as much. But for romantic at heart who loves puppies and rainbows, this is the one for the team.

It wasn’t the same standard room this time, Reed noticed. Carter had a suite, and Reed hadn’t ever been in a hotel room quite as large or luxurious. The outer room boasted a dining table with four chairs, a credenza with a flat-screen television, a large, comfortable-looking sofa, and two club chairs. A low light glowed from an interior room, which Reed assumed to be the bedroom. His stomach clenched tightly in response.
“Uh, sure. I wasn’t working the bar, just doing some of the office work for Vernon, so he didn’t care if I left.” Still holding on to his waist, Carter walked him over to the sofa where Reed dropped his knapsack and duffel bag, then managed to break Carter’s hold on him so he could remove his jacket. On the pretense of looking around the room, Reed walked around a bit before halting by the wall of windows overlooking the congested streets of Times Square.
“It’s bizarre, you know?” He touched the cool pane of glass. “There’s so many separate worlds going on all over the city. We’re in this secluded bubble up here where we don’t even hear the sound of the traffic. Anything could happen, and no one would realize it; love, death, every day it all goes on around us and we remain oblivious.”
He sensed Carter behind him. “That’s very philosophical. Is that what you’re studying—philosophy?”
The disbelief in Carter’s voice caused Reed to smile, but he kept his gaze fixed on the glittering light show outside the window instead of turning around to meet Carter’s eyes. “No, I’m studying hospitality management. I’d like to eventually manage my own restaurant or a hotel.”
“Good. For a moment I thought you were wasting your tuition money on nonsense. You’ll never make any money studying that crap. It’s not like you can open up a philosophy store and spend your day spouting all that bullshit to people.”
Strangely enough, Carter’s obvious disdain quieted Reed’s nerves. “I don’t know; I could see myself sitting in a nice quiet space, talking to people about their lives, thinking deep thoughts.”
“Oh yeah?” Carter pressed him against the window, covering Reed with his body. He’d forgotten Carter had been naked when he entered, and Reed could feel the thrust of his cock against his ass. “Maybe you have something there ’cause I like it when you get deep.” Carter kissed behind his ear, sending shivers down Reed’s spine. “Deep inside me.”
A surge of lust jolted through Reed, stiffening his dick, and heat flooded through him. Carter’s tongue traced a slow deliberate pattern across his neck and Reed’s pulse raced. “I like that too,” he whispered, and Carter’s lips curved in a brief smile against his ear, his breath hot and humid.

I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner. My character have to work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love. 

I live in New York City with my husband and two children. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be a little angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

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