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Posted December 6, 2012
A fun, romantic, and emotional story of a couple who get pushed
A fun, romantic, and emotional story of a couple who get pushed into the "deep end" of love.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Hale Maree is a story I'd been looking forward to reading from the moment I read the synopsis. Seriously, an arranged marriage in the US in 2012? I was so curious to meet heroine Hale Simmons (love that name!) and sexy playboy Oscar.
It's not often that you find a contemporary story with an "arranged marriage" plotline. I, for one, was very intrigued, and I wondered how in the world Provencher would make this work. But if there's one thing that you learn about her writing after reading the Keystone series, it's that Provencher always covers all her plot bases. As I read the story, I would stop to ask "Well, what about...?", and within moments, that question was being explained. The reason Hale's and Oscar's fathers need them to get married actually makes a lot of sense. I appreciate that we aren't just given this crazy, outlandish reason and are forced to swallow it.
Besides the arranged marriage, I also had reservations about Hale and Oscar. If they jumped into the situation with both feet, eager and happy, I would have found the whole thing unbelievable. If they both acted hatefully towards one another because of their unhappiness over a situation neither can control, I would have likely found them irritating. Though Oscar and Hale are thrown into this awkward/insane situation, Provencher really takes her time with the build-up between the characters. More than anything, this story is the slow, sweet creation of the relationship between Hale and Oscar.
Hale is understandably upset. She feels as if her father has basically sold her out. She doesn't know what is expected of her. She's confused, upset, and angry. I love that Hale realizes that Oscar isn't to blame, and that she doesn't place it with him. But, Hale does not make it easy for Oscar. He must work, be patient to earn her trust. You really see the fun side, and get some insight into Hale's thoughts when she talks with her best friend, Sher. And I want to just say now, I would so be down with a story about Sher.
Oscar was nearly pitch perfect as the resigned son who wants to protect his father. Oscar isn't exactly happy about the situation, but he is decidedly optimistic. It's almost as if you can sense in him that he feels instantly drawn to Hale, and will do whatever it takes to make her happy with the situation. Oscar treats Hale like a skittish colt, slowly draws her in and earns her trust. I loved that he was kind, thoughtful, and gentle with Hale. But wow, when Oscar turns up the heat, look out! That boy is smokin'. Hale Maree had loads of sensual, steamy moments, slowly building up to a hot, hot, hot scene that makes me want to knock out my ceiling and put in skylights. Nicely done.
Hale Maree was ultimately a fun story that kept me reeled in until the very end. It was so funny at moments, dangerously alluring and surprising mysterious. Hale Maree is a great choice if you're looking for a romance that's out-of-the norm, and gets it done right.
Posted September 22, 2014
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