The Marriage Agenda

The Marriage Agenda

4.7 24
by Sarah Ballance
     
 

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There's a scandal brewing in Washington...

Knox Hamilton wants his father's recently vacated Senate seat, but the only way his constituents are going to vote for Knox is if he loses his playboy reputation. Which means Knox needs a wife. There's only one woman with whom he's willing to share his life, but after the way he broke things

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Overview

There's a scandal brewing in Washington...

Knox Hamilton wants his father's recently vacated Senate seat, but the only way his constituents are going to vote for Knox is if he loses his playboy reputation. Which means Knox needs a wife. There's only one woman with whom he's willing to share his life, but after the way he broke things off with her, will she give him another chance?

Chloe Lochlan's job is on the line. If she doesn't grab a big headline, she'll be ousted from her gig at the major newspaper where she works as a reporter. Knox's offer of marriage chills her to the bone. He already crushed her heart once and she has no intention of letting it happen again. But being with him gives her the kind of access to top tier social events rarely granted to media, access that could land her the story of a lifetime. When the truth she uncovers threatens to destroy the man she still loves, will she bury the story...or his career?

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781633750524
Publisher:
Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date:
08/18/2014
Series:
Entangled Indulgence
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
223
Sales rank:
66,615
File size:
2 MB

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

The Marriage Agenda


By Sarah Ballance, Tracy Montoya

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2014 Sarah Ballance
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63375-052-4


CHAPTER 1

Chloe Lochlan swallowed in an attempt to chase away the nervousness bundled in her throat. It was useless. Somewhere in the crowd, a man waited for her. Not just any man, but the man — at least as long as Chloe was inclined to believe her best friend's forward opinions on the well-worn topic of Chloe's love life, or lack thereof.

Of course, if she'd learned to dodge Lila Powell's bright ideas, Chloe would be on her sofa with a spoon and a pint of Ben & Jerry's. Instead, she stood with her feet uncomfortably crammed into heels no sane woman should wear, four inches taller and uselessly scanning the clientele at Off the Record, an upscale hotel bar that doubled as Washington, DC's premier place to see and be seen.

Blind date. If only she could have said no, she would have avoided the whole awkward situation, but Lila knew Chloe too well. A blind date gave Chloe absolutely nothing to reject — it was impossible to find flaw with someone she'd yet to meet. But truthfully, her serial incompatibility with just about every man she'd ever encountered had less to do with failings of the opposite sex than with her admittedly one-track drive to be a kick-ass investigative reporter. Chloe had always harbored an ambitious streak, but a year ago, a devastating breakup narrowed her focus to a laser-like precision. Her job wouldn't break her heart.

But Lila wouldn't hear of excuses. A night with a carton of ice cream was no comparison to a man, as far as she was concerned, but Chloe had stocked her freezer anyway. She'd endure the date, all the while thinking of the threesome with Ben and Jerry waiting for her at home. A couple of hours wouldn't kill her, right?

Maybe not, but she was beginning to think they might come close. As she stood alone in the bar, second thoughts closed in. No one had approached claiming to be her date. Had he taken one look at her and left? Patience — and nerve — waning, Chloe scoured the room, hoping for a sign she should leave. And she found one. A big one.

Watching her intently from a corner table was her ex-everything. And in spite of a strict never-again policy for all things Knox Hamilton, her body melted in traitorous anticipation. His trademark bedroom-tousled hair, the same luscious brown hue as those smoldering eyes, did little to kill the energy coursing through her at the speed of orgasm. Her knees weakened, further threatening her unsteady perch on the stilts a salesclerk had tried to pass off as a wardrobe staple.

Chloe stared at Knox, an uneasy feeling crawling through her chest.

All her synapses fired "flee," but her GPS was off. Her attempt at escape landed her at the corner of his table, where she nearly collided with a waiter setting something in front of Knox that was suspiciously akin to Chloe's favorite drink, a strawberry daiquiri. Though the drink beverage seemed to confirm her suspicions, she eyed the glass with a touch of misplaced jealousy. It wouldn't surprise her if he had a date. Well-known and filthy rich, up-and-coming politico Knox Hamilton had everything, including his pick of eligible women.

"Chloe." He drawled her name, adding a seductive syllable or two. "You look amazing."

Her mouth watered at the sound of his voice. "Hi." Her voice squeaked with a less-than-dexterous reply.

He grinned. "It's been too long. Have a seat."

She eyed the daiquiri. "Actually, I have a date. As do you, it seems."

His gaze met hers over the deep amber mouth of his beer bottle. "I ordered that drink for you." The words simmered with the husky promise of the bedroom, slipping from his lips with an odd amount of reckless, deliberate ease.

Entranced, she caught herself staring at his mouth.

He leaned back in his chair, giving her a good, long look at the way his torso shaped his neatly buttoned and pressed shirt. "Will you join me?"

He had no right to look so good. She swallowed, getting a full taste of memories she'd sooner forget. "My date —"

"— is one unlucky bastard tonight. That is, of course, if you'll sit."

If she was smart, she'd give Knox a view of her amazing legs and phenomenal ass as she teetered out of the bar on those damned stripper heels. But curiosity would make a dead cat out of her yet. She pushed back the logic screaming at her not to risk involvement — a year ago, he'd made it clear the two of them had no future, and she had no interest in being a serial plaything to a confirmed bachelor — and assessed the offered chair. It appeared benign enough, and a reprieve from those shoes would be heaven. Sitting across the table from him didn't have to mean anything, and a free daiquiri made for good incentive as far as she was concerned.

With his eyes hotly following her every move, she eased into the chair and waited for the dull ache of his rejection to return. But joining Knox at a table made for two didn't fill her with quite the degree of heartbreak she'd expected. Of course, their split hadn't been due to anything unholy — he hadn't philandered, pillaged, or otherwise found himself aligned with the wrong end of a horse. To the contrary, he'd been a perfect everything, right until the moment he'd left her. Things had gotten too serious between them, he'd said, and he wasn't interested in being tied down.

Chloe hadn't exactly been aisle-bound herself, but the dismissal had come as a blow nonetheless. When he'd spoken those words, she had managed to stay on her feet until the door to her apartment had closed behind him. Only afterward had she fallen apart. Once her eyes were no longer swollen to slivers, she'd put all of her efforts into finding a reason to hate him — wife, girlfriend, a dog he didn't walk — but to no avail. Knox Hamilton was a great guy ... he just didn't want her.

The best relationship of her life — one with the only man she'd ever loved — had been merely a means for him to scratch an itch.

Chloe admitted to no one she'd yet to get over Knox. Still, her refusal to dip a stiletto in the dating pool ever since was evidence enough for Lila, who had heard the whole sordid tale over an all-night binge of hiccup-laden sobs. As far as finest moments went, that evening didn't make the list. Chloe had given up trying to figure out what had gone wrong. A year later, the most painful piece of the whole puzzle was the failure of her judgment. A reporter with horrible instincts ... no wonder she'd thrown herself into her work, trying to prove otherwise.

Acutely aware of Knox's gaze on her, Chloe toyed with the straw poking from her drink.

"Your date. Is it serious?" He sounded outwardly detached, but Chloe sensed a little more under the surface — almost as if he wanted to play it casual but couldn't quite keep his voice there.

She probably was reading too much into it — wanting it too hard. Playing his game, she said, "I don't know yet." She hoped the edge she'd managed in her voice would morph itself into a wall — one that would protect her from where this would likely go. "These days I'm more interested in furthering my career."

He smiled, a bit too secretively for Chloe's taste and scoured his jaw with his palm. "Seems we have that in common, then."

Of course they did. Chloe squirmed. Her admission, however vague, hadn't bothered her — she was rather proud of being a woman who didn't wither without a man in her bed — but something told her his eyes saw too much. They searched her, appraising. Beneath fabric suddenly far too thin, her nipples peaked as if magnetically drawn to him. And why shouldn't they be? The things that man could do with his tongue were lethal. If Chloe wasn't so determined to hold on to a shred of her self-respect, she'd probably reach for him, too.

She settled for her daiquiri, and what was supposed to be a ladylike sip morphed into a gulp of liquid courage. The resultant brain freeze made her skull throb but did nothing to settle her libido.

Neither did Knox's lopsided grin. "How long have you known this date you don't want?"

"It's a blind date. We've ... never met." It would have been a humiliating admission if she hadn't been so proud of her ambition and in no hurry to resurrect her disaster of a love life. Knox could think what he wanted.

"How will you know who he is?"

She twirled her straw. "He's supposed to approach me. My friend Lila texted him a photo. She wanted to surprise me."

"And if he sees you with me, do you suppose he'll give up and leave?"

She laughed. "Is that your ego talking?"

"Maybe it's just the way I'm looking at you."

She took another sip of her drink, measuring her words. "How do you know how you're looking at me?"

He leaned close. "I want you, Chloe."

She froze, her hand clamped on the daiquiri glass. "For what?"

He laughed, stirring the air between them. Somehow, the entire bar and everyone in it seemed to disappear, leaving just her, Knox, and a really bad idea. One on which he elaborated. "I want to apologize. Explain. Grovel for forgiveness. Come upstairs? We'll talk about it in private."

"Forget it, Knox. You can grovel right here." In public.Where it's safe. He'd left her so she wouldn't distract him from his political aspirations, and there he was, trying to get personal. Playing her ... But to what end? Was this some kind of joke? She glanced around. Oddly enough, despite the fact that he and his family ranked right up there with the Kennedys, he wasn't drawing attention. At least not outwardly, though the more closely she looked, the more she noticed a growing number of sideways glances from other patrons. Fortunately the Off the Record clientele wasn't easily impressed. Politicians were a dime a dozen inside the beltway, and rubbernecking wasn't generally a sport of the elite. It was more of a pastime for the uncouth, a grand specimen of which seemed headed in their direction.

Eyes like saucers, the guy went straight to Knox. "Mr. Hamilton ... it's an honor. I'm Jeff Lenox."

Knox stood and extended his hand, which Jeff shook eagerly ... and extensively. But where Chloe would have yanked back her appendage and hit the guy with her purse, Knox merely endured for way too long before he finally extricated himself and clapped the guy on the upper arm. Not hard enough.

"I'm afraid you have me at a disadvantage, Mr. Lenox. I don't believe we've met."

"Actually, we haven't. I'm here to meet —" He paused and extracted a cell phone from his pocket. He looked from the image to Chloe and back again.

Oh, God no.

"Her! You must be Chloe." He grinned like the proverbial idiot.

Oh, yes. Lila was a dead woman. Jeff was attractive enough, but the way he swayed at Knox's feet reminded her a little too much of a Twihard fangirl. Sure, Knox was impressive ... but he wasn't spittle impressive. Well, maybe a little. But Jeff was supposed to be her date, and he was gawking at the wrong person.

Knox caught her eye. Lifted a brow. She could only smile pleasantly.

"What business are you in?" he asked Jeff.

"I'm a software systems analyst."

Knox smiled widely, as if Jeff had said something mildly earth-shattering. "This must be my lucky day, Mr. Lenox. How about you come by my office next week? I might have something on which I could use your opinion."

Chloe blinked. Knox was just making time for all the little people that night. First a lowly reporter, then a computer geek. Next, he'd probably save a puppy from a burning building.

Jeff looked to Chloe, as if he needed her permission to date them both. But he didn't wait for it. A split second later, he'd turned back to Knox.

Knox poured on a killer grin and still somehow managed to look sheepish. "Before you answer, I'm afraid I have to admit there is a caveat. It turns out I'm going to have to borrow Ms. Lochlan for the evening. I know she hoped to consult with you — "

"No, no. Of course! I understand."

Chloe narrowed her eyes. Had she just been dumped ... for Knox? Damn the legendary Hamilton charm.

"Good, then. I'll leave your name with my admin." Knox handed over a business card he'd extracted smoothly from his pocket. "I look forward to meeting with you."

One more enthusiastic handshake, a nod for Chloe, and Jeff quickly disappeared into the crowd.

Knox turned that killer grin on her. "You're welcome," he said.

"He wasn't so bad."

"He wasn't your type. Now, about our trip upstairs."

"Why did you tell him I wanted to consult with him?"

"I want to talk to you. Give me the chance, and I'll explain."

"Do it here."

He drained his beer and chased it with a long, lingering look at her. "It's a private conversation."

"If it's the same lame excuse you used when you left me, I can guarantee most of the people in this room have either used it or heard it. If it's all the same to you — "

"It's not all the same to me," he said, his words quiet but firm. "Unless you want the recap to make tomorrow's news."

Chloe sighed and looked to the ceiling, as if doing so gave her a glimpse into the hotel rooms overhead. Bad, bad idea. But he was right. Everything Knox did made headlines, and the last thing she needed was to have their personal conversation end up on the society page — she'd never be taken seriously as a reporter if her name was mired in tabloid gossip. Besides, he promised an apology and an explanation — something, she expected, more than the old it's-not-you-it's-me line. At least it had better be, because if they took this upstairs, they'd be sorely lacking witnesses.

She threw back the rest of her daiquiri. "I guess I owe you one."

"Damn straight." He tossed a fifty on the table. The move sealed their unspoken agreement.

She was screwed.

CHAPTER 2

It didn't really matter how Chloe justified accompanying Knox upstairs, for no matter how foolish her actions, she was no fool. She may have been set up for disaster, but she'd roll the dice for some closure. With any luck, Knox would manage to knock himself off the pedestal on which she'd planted him, giving her a chance to move on.

He kept his distance in the elevator, the silence between them thick with anticipation. Sex wasn't on the table, but the promise hung hot in the air, steamy enough to dampen her skin and probably enough to curl the locks Lila had spent hours trying to gloss and straighten for her. He'd always liked that messy look. Bedroom hair, he'd called it, and he'd seen it plenty.

Chloe smoothed her dress and tried not to notice the natural bulge in Knox's pants. He stood casually, half-leaning against the wall. The top two buttons of his shirt were undone — he'd shed the formality of a neat collar when the door slid shut. His shirttail, newly freed from the confines of his chinos, lay wrinkled, caught under one of his forearms to give her that stellar view of his goods. The whole display was just enticing enough to send her heart careening around a forbidden corner or two.

"You remembered I like strawberry daiquiris," she said.

His gaze never wavered from her face. "I remember a lot."

"That's good. Then you probably remember that stupid line you exited on. I deserved more than that, Knox. Anyone would." Chloe pressed the back of her hand against her forehead and sighed dramatically. "So gallant, how you held on to the memory of my drink preferences like a talisman, hoping for the day you'd get to order one up again. It's a wonder you haven't been nominated for sainthood."

For an endless moment — one that couldn't have lasted more than two seconds — he just stared at her. Then, "You're right. I'm sorry."

That was it. No trace of the smooth, political façade he wore for the public. It wasn't that he'd ever been anything but genuine, but when he slipped into professional mode, the transition carried with it the slightest shift. A nuance, really — one that separated her intimate knowledge of him from the suit-and-tie version he presented to the world.

The apology — devoid of excuses and denials — inexplicably riled her.

The elevator door slid open. Knox gestured for her to exit first, so she did, clutching her handbag as if it could save her. Then, realizing what she held, her face heated. Lila had tossed in some condoms — assorted neon colors, which Lila likely found hilarious. Could anyone use those with a straight face? Chloe doubted it.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Marriage Agenda by Sarah Ballance, Tracy Montoya. Copyright © 2014 Sarah Ballance. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

Sarah and her husband of what he calls "many long, long years" live on the mid-Atlantic coast with their six young children, all of whom are perfectly adorable when they're asleep. She never dreamed of becoming an author, but as a homeschooling mom, she often jokes she writes fiction because if she wants anyone to listen to her, she has to make them up. (As it turns out, her characters aren't much better than the kids). When not buried under piles of laundry, she may be found adrift in the Atlantic (preferably on a boat) or seeking that ever-elusive perfect writing spot where not even the kids can find her.

She loves creating unforgettable stories while putting her characters through an unkind amount of torture—a hobby that has nothing to do with living with six children. (Really.) Though she adores nail-biting mystery and edge-of-your-seat thrillers, Sarah writes in many genres including contemporary, historical, and ghostly supernatural romance. Her ever-growing roster of releases may be found at http://sarahballance.com.

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The Marriage Agenda 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
ToniSheldon More than 1 year ago
Sex and Politics go together, but Love and Politics? Sarah Ballance deserves kudos for a “couldn’t-put-down-page-turner” romance that captured my attention from the start.   Knox Hamilton is the one man that broke Chloe Lochlan’s heart when he decided to walk away from her with no explanation during what seemed like the perfect relationship.  Now the heartthrob politician is back with a no-love-attached, but instead a steamy-hot-chemistry-attached marriage proposal to boost his poll ratings to win his father’s recently vacated Senate seat. Chloe Lochlan is a reporter with a major newspaper but her current job is on the line if she does not deliver a major headline and fast.  This marriage proposal gives her a chance to win the heart of the man she loves and the security of the job she loves. The lies and truths that are uncovered and discovered by the characters throughout the story kept me entertained and wanting more!  Just when I wanted to reach in and smack especially Knox and Chloe, the ending made me fall in love with Knox and Chloe all over again!    
Jodi_C More than 1 year ago
AAAHHHH!! I LOVED IT!! I loved it so much, I almost don’t know what to say—how do you put something so incredibly awesome into words?? Yes, it is THAT awesome! In this modern-day romance, reporter Chloe Lochlan teams up with politician Knox Hamilton to form the ultimate marriage of convenience. And boy, is it ever convenient! He needs a wife to bump his poll numbers, she needs a story- the kind of story she could only get with inside access. When Knox first approaches Chloe, she is hesitant, but the marriage idea isn’t so bad. They have a past together, and the flames are quickly rekindled- or perhaps they never really burnt out. Either way, their reunion is HAWT! I love Ms. Ballance’s casual and contemporary writing style. It felt like I was chatting with my bestie! This book has it all- great character interaction, steamy sex scenes, witty one-liners, and an interesting plot. A fun twist on the classic marriage-of-convenience story. And did I mention the steamy sex scenes?? OMG, soooo hot!! This one is definitely a keeper! I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
KaylaSue1 More than 1 year ago
SARAH HAS A GREAT BOOK ON HER HANDS...YOU WILL LOVE THE ROMANCE AND THE GAMES TO PROVE LOVE IS REAL, February 20, 2015 I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK FOR AN HONEST REVIEW AND HERE IS MY HONEST REVIEW First we have Knox Hamilton, who wants his fathers vacated seat in the Senate, But he needs to do some things before he can even hope to win it. Clean up his playboy reputation, and get a wife, But there is only one that he wants to marry but after the way he has treated her will she marry him...., enter a real marriage but he says he doesn't and can't love her or anyone. Then we have that one woman Chloe Lochlan, a reporter who if she doesn't get a big story, she could loss that job. Now she still loves Knox and is afraid he'll hurt her again. but marriage to him would give her a chance to go where most reporters would never get a chance to go. Knox agree to help her find a story. But his no love is chancing with the games she plays with Knox. She is smart , sweet and knows what she wants, a story and Knox. Knox is sweet and kind but because of his parents he doesn't believe in love. But that is what makes this story funny and enjoyable. They come from two different worlds, His more indulgent and hers where you work hard for anything you get. She finally find a great story,but it could hurt someone she loves.What will she do with the story, send it in or cover it up. This book has laughter, mystery,humor what more can you want. I couldn't put this book down and I want to read more by her.
BottlesAndBooksReviewsJA More than 1 year ago
Knox Hamilton is following in his father's footsteps after a scandal forces his father to step out of the running. Now he needs a wife. Growing up having a front seat view to his parents practically loveless marriage leaves Knox bitter against love. He knows he can never allow himself to fall in love and put a wife through that kind of disaster but when he needs one for his campaign only one woman comes to mind. The only woman he ever came close to having true feelings for. Feelings in which Knox ran from and broke Chloe's heart in the process. Chloe needs a story and she has something in mind. When Knox offers her a chance at a fresh scoop and first hand account of politics with one catch: Chloe needs to marry him, she has to decide if her career is important enough to risk getting her heart broken twice by the same man.  The Marriage Agenda is full of suspense, romance, and passion that has you craving more. Sarah Ballance has written characters that are real along with a captivating and at times smoldering book.  Knox Hamiliton is every woman's dream. Handsome, intelligent, and from a family that rivals the Kennedy's, Knox Hamilton has it made, and yet he's still down to earth with a personality that is more home grown than flashy.  Chloe is Knox's perfect match. Sweet, smart, and far from perfect Chloe knows what she wants from life and isn't afraid to go the extra mile to get her story.  The plot was something new to me. I'm a pretty eclectic reader and yet the one thing I haven't read yet was a book where the male lead was involved in politics. I have no idea how that could be, but yet it's true. I really enjoyed the complete opposite pairing between a man in a political runnings and a reporter. I found it quite fascinating.  The thing I loved the most was their relationship prior to their arranged marriage. It made me wonder what really went on during those months and how it ended. If only Sarah Ballance would write a prequel to satisfy my curiosity!  I loved the Marriage Agenda and I'm sure readers will too. Entangled Publishing has so many great imprints, authors and books that readers have grown to love over the years. The Marriage Agenda is new book that deserves the 5 star rating Bottles & Books Reviews gives! 
sharonc06 More than 1 year ago
The Marriage Agenda by Sarah Ballance is the story of Knox Hamilton who is looking take is father seat in the place.  The best way to get elected is to find a wife.  He knows there is only one choice: Chloe Lochlan. Chloe is reporter trying to find the next big story.  The last thing Chloe is think about is to get back together with Know Hamilton who broke her heart.  This however will be Chloe's chance to find her big story.   This was a wonderful story.  I love how Sarah Ballance writes the story. Sarah Ballance creates great characters . Chloe is a strong character with a big heart.  You can't help but love her.  Knox is a that tough guy who doesn't believe in love.  I enjoyed Knox's character the little things he did made a lovable character.  I love the storyline and how Chloe has to make a decision between the love for Knox and her career.   I loved the book from beginning to end.  It is a great read. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love and plitics...great combo!
ChristineWarner More than 1 year ago
It’s no secret that I love everything Sarah Ballance writes. She has an amazing way of putting words together to eek out all the emotions necessary in a scene—she’s exceedingly well at making me smile or laugh. This book is no exception. As a matter of fact this just might be my favorite book of hers, and that’s no easy accomplishment because all her previous books are fabulous. I loved the characters in this book. I connected right away and wanted to share their journey. And share I did…with lots of twists and turns and a few unexpected curves. Chloe is a strong heroine who makes you turn the pages faster and faster as you read in hopes she’ll get her story and her man. And Knox—ooh la la—Knox is not only sexy as sin, but a wonderful hero who has struggles of his own to overcome. Together they light each page on fire with their sometimes witty dialogue and their amazing chemistry. Pass me a fan please because these two were hot together!!! This is truly one of those books that you’ll have a hard time putting down, and truly a book that will remain on my keeper shelf to be read over and over again. As I’m writing this review, I’m smiling from ear to ear as I relive all the magic between the pages in this story. If you only read 1 book this year, make it The Marriage Agenda :)
ToryMichaels More than 1 year ago
Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I expected this to be tried and true along the lines of a Harlequin Presents and for a while I wasn't particularly surprised at it. But the ending. Oh, the ending was absolutely incredible. I don't think I've seen a gesture like Knox's in a book before and I absolutely, totally, fell in love with him in the end. Chloe - She's who she is and makes no bones about the fact that she's a reporter. Knox proposes to her KNOWING she's a reporter and she never hides the fact that she's out to find a good story, and if the marriage helps her so be it. Yes, she's attracted to him, but she's up front that she'll report if she finds a story. Knox knows that, even providing her with files so she sees he's being upfront with her too. And when she finds her story....wow. I love love LOVE what she does with it. Knox - A bit standoffish and aggravating with his whole never intend to fall in love thing, but that's part of this kind of novel. I liked that he was an honest man, even as a politician. He was wealthy, but also didn't hesitate to wear jeans and a t-shirt to be comfortable. There were lovely secondary characters who didn't overshadow the story (campaign manager hopefully will one day get a story, and Knox's mom was such a gracious woman for the most part). The romance moves along at a very nice pace and some of Knox's gestures were fantastic...I loved the garden plants he sends Chloe when her job changes after their marriage. Overall, this was just a very enjoyable read. And then there's the ending. Wow. I absolutely (yes, I said this earlier) LOVED the ending and what Knox and Chloe do for each other. Such love... Check out this book. You won't be sorry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jasmyn9 More than 1 year ago
This was a fun read and was a nice change from an overly serious political romance I had tried to read. While the concepts of bribery, environmentalism, and political fraud are serious, the story had plenty of light and fun points to balance it all out. Chloe is an amazing character, but I don't think I'll ever quite understand why she agreed to marry Knox to begin with. I'm glad she did and it turned out to be a wonderful thing, but it didn't look that way at first.  Knox was an interesting character as well. A handful of cliches mixed with some more unique characteristics lead to a great character. While he is afraid of love, he's working towards overcoming that - even if he doesn't realize it yet. His move to help Chloe at the end really shows how great of a guy he is. He would be a catch for any girl. The scandal that Chloe digs up is personal on multiple levels, and she knows that it will hurt a person she loves deeply. But the journalist in her knows that it must be brought to the public's attention so they know what their politicians are doing. The investigation is mixed in very nicely and it isn't really the center of the story. Sarah Ballance doesn't dwell on it more than she needs to in order to tell Chloe and Knox's story. Overall, this was the perfect mix of intrigue, politics, and romance. Knox left me a little wanting for a good chunk of the story and some of the sex scenes (or lack thereof) seemed to be drawn out or repetitive though. *This book was received in exchange for an honest review*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a good story.about 140 pgs. Was okay to follow but could of had more details. Chloe was set to go on a blind date. It was the first date since her break up from a year ago to Knox. But when she walks into the bar and Knox is sitting there with her favorite drink, she doesnt want to go with her date sibce her was more into talking to Knox than her. Knox was getting ready to run for office and he needed a wife, since his dad just left the office due to an infadelity. So he decides that no one could compete with Chloe. She was the only one he could see as a wife even though he didnt believe in love. He could promise her a future but no love. Chloe decides to be his wife even though she loves him and he doesnt love her. But all changes when she discovers that his did was a fraud. Will she expose his dad or will she chose love? Kristy dean
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
grandmareads102 More than 1 year ago
Knox Hamilton is part of a powerful political dynasty. Now that he's campaigning for his father's senate seat, he needs a wife. The only woman that he wants is Chloe Lochlan. They dated but he wanted to protector from the craziness in his life so he let her go. Now they are married. Does love stand a chance with this arranged marriage? This book is filled with charming, likeable characters and disastrous political misconduct. Knox is all charm and sex appeal and inside he's an honest man. Chloe is a go-getter who is down to earth and quirky. When these two are together sparks fly. What a fun time I had reading The Marriage Agenda. I enjoyed watching the Washington elite deal with Chloe. I'm hoping that Toby gets a story. He was an enjoyable distraction who's always checking the polls. Sarah Ballance wrote a wonderful story that had me sighing. What a delicious romance!
Kaleln6 More than 1 year ago
This was a sexy and humorous read for me. The leading lady was no pushover and I enjoyed that about her. She was desirable and smart and I certainly saw why Knox was so enthralled by her. The leading man Knox was also a very good character , strong and honorable, and I found how they got together and eventually fall in love very believable. I enjoyed the plot, the overall writing and I will be reading more from this Author. Kudos. 
Cheryl-S More than 1 year ago
Chloe Lochlan and Knox Hamilton were perfect for each other until he broke up with her a year ago.  The sex was off the charts hot but Knox doesn't believe in love.  Now he's back because he needs her.  He's on the political fast track and he needs a wife.  Chloe is the only woman he would want to ever be his wife.  He'll be faithful, have amazing sex with her, give her children, care deeply for her but NEVER love her. Is that enough to make her say yes to the only man she's ever loved?  Can she marry him but keep her heart locked away? Awesome cover and story!   Knox Hamilton is one sexy alpha man!  This story flowed perfectly from the first to the last page.  I didn't want to put it down.  Character growth was steady.  There were NO moments where I found myself thinking of my grocery list or how much I needed to clean my house.  Sarah Ballance has a gift for being able to put together the perfect words to describe situations happening with her characters.  I truly enjoyed her writing style and I look forward to reading more from this amazing author. Received a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Anlenhart1 More than 1 year ago
The marriage agenda is a classic marriage of connivence storyline set in Washington DC. Knox is the son of a disgraced senator who has decided to run for his father's seat. He has been advised to marry to become a more electable. Knox decides to proposed to Chloe his ex-girlfriend a reporter. She is confused by his proposal and ultimately decides to accept, because she want the exposure to the important politicians for her career. They are both determined to accomplish their own agendas and along the way they end up falling for each other. The main characters are refreshing realistic, with the possible exception of Knox's mother and father. The book was fast paced and fun. I received a free copy for an honest review from the publisher.
CherubsLibrary More than 1 year ago
I flat out loved this book!  It's entertaining and easy to read. It's sexy and oh, so hot!  I loved the characters and the dialogue between Knox and Cloe.   At times I wanted to smack each of them, yet overall the story made me smile.  The Marriage Agenda is a lovely summertime read, one you won't want to put down.   Go get it - you won't be disappointed.
ReadYourWrites More than 1 year ago
Reviewed for Read Your Writes Book Reviews by Julie I really liked The Marriage Agenda. It could have done with a little less "fear of him finding out she's going to deceit him" but other than that, this was a good story. It just goes to show that men really have no clue about love. Knox Hamilton is a politician and has fallen in love with a reporter, Chloe Lochlan. He breaks it off with her because he's afraid of bringing her into his political world. Knox ends up needing a wife to help his political career and although he claims he can't love Chloe, he asks her to marry him after they've been split up for almost a year. Chloe's never gotten over him so after she decides she'll get the story of her journalistic career, she agrees to marry him but acknowledges it's a business arrangement only. Everything Knox says and does shows how much he loves Chloe and she knows he loves her but it takes a swift kick in the you know what before he finally can acknowledge it himself. The Marriage Agenda is a fun read. Source: Publisher
caitbellleigh1 More than 1 year ago
I had expectations from the synopsis leading into this story, but I have to say, they were quickly blown out of the water.   The synopsis may make you think “oh another marriage of convenience” But Nope, not your usual MOC book at all.   I LOVED Knox from the moment we meet him in the book. Yes at times he made me a little crazy but  I found him to be very focused on his goals,  not in a negative way  just very sure of himself. He wanted things to go his way, or not have them go at all.  Knox’s life has been affected both in good ways and bad by his upbringing. Being a child raised in a political home, and then going into politics himself have worked at shaping him to be a certain way.  Knox grew on me more and more as the story progressed.   Chloe never got over Knox so when he comes to her a year later with this somewhat crazy idea of marriage, she eventually gives in and says Yes.  Of course she does this knowing she loves him, but knowing as he’s told her that he won’t love her back.  Chloe is sweet but sassy, hilarious, and she’s absolutely the kind of girl who you would want to be your friend.   Being a reporter, Chloe is serious about her career, she wants to find the BIG STORY and make a big name for herself.   The Marriage Agenda is Fun quick read that is also filled with both Sweet and HOT moments too.  I enjoyed the mix of politics and romance and  touch of mystery as Chloe works towards a story and I loved how Sarah Ballance worked each of these elements as she wove this story together. Five stars from me for this one!
Sarah-Ryan More than 1 year ago
I have to say for starters that I am an absolute fan of Ms. Ballance. I've read her other works and was so very eager to read this one. As a whole her stories and writing always leaves me wanting more, and I find myself transported feet first into worlds that I feel I can walk in with the characters. “The Marriage Agenda” is no different. Ms. Ballance has a wonderful way with characters, and you can see  her development in not only the main characters of Chloe and Knox, but in Lila the best friend, and even Toby the campaign manager for Knox.  Their quirks and existence makes them more than just words on the page, they become real in the sense that you can attribute  them to people that you've met before.  The main characters of Chloe and Knox, a reporter and politician respectfully, have also been so well developed that you see how they mesh perfectly. The relationship between politicians and reporters is testy at best, but the combination of the two characters  and their relationship is perfect. They're written beautifully, bringing the reader into the world of D.C politics and political agenda.  That being said, at the core this is a love story, a story of two people coming together whether they realize it or not. The growth in  Knox Hamilton is seen fluidly through out the novel, as well as when Chloe starts to realize that she can't keep hiding her true self. It's a powerful story, as well as a really good love story. I think everyone should take a shot at this novel, because with the way that Ms. Ballance writes, you're in for an absolutely wonderful ride!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WOW. I don't know what I can write to make future readers understand just how amazing this book is. From the very first sentence I was hooked - glued - to these vivid characters. I mean, I WAS THERE sipping on drinks with Chloe, wishing I was her wing man. I absolutely loved Chloe and Knox's romance throughout the entire story. I found myself giggling over Chloe's kryptonic whit (who can really walk in stripper heels and not look silly? And she carries her own condoms. You go, girl!) and found myself swooning over Knox erm... more than once. I think my kindle got a little hot reading this one. One moment we would all be in the throws of passion, and then next, find ourselves engrossed in such tender moments, I found myself getting a little weepy. I could not put this book down. Whenever I was able to sit, this book was in my hand. I think I may just read it again, because I am sure I will find even more hilarious one liners that I missed the first time. This book is entertaining, fresh, spit out your coffee funny, romantic, HAWT, charismatic, and overall just lovely. It will be one that I revisit when I need to get away from a while. With characters who both know what they want, and just how to get it, you'll find yourself deep in the middle of their romance. I could completely see this book turning into the next big romance to hit the theaters. Grab your popcorn, the show is about to start.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Marriage Agenda was delightful from start to finish. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down.  Due to her lack of love life, down-on-her-luck reporter Chloe lets her BFF set her up on a blind date. Who does she bump into? Her gorgeous ex, Knox, who's desperate to fill his disgraced father's Senate seat.  The author's writing style is quite lovely, and I will be reading other titles by Sarah Balance. I adore books like this -- fast paced, with high stakes and characters one fall in love with. I know I did :)  Even the secondary characters, like Chloe's BFF and Jeff (the guy she was supposed to date! Lol!) add to the story. I also love the touch of intrigue; I don't want to give much away. But this book made Washington and the world of politics seem sexy :)  The Marriage Agenda is one of the best books I've read this year! :)
rabidreaderSR More than 1 year ago
Simply fabulous.I thoroughly enjoyed Knox and Chloe romance. I had several laugh out loud moments and man I even have favorite lines.  What a thoughtful ass (I so identified with this line here…have this thought many a times about the love of my life. Bawhahahaa) “What is it you don’t want me to do?” Do anything you want. I’ll figure out how to breathe again in the morning. The only thing between them was his zipper, and she’d take it down with her teeth if it meant he’d drive into her until she couldn't breathe. I loved Chloe and Knox equally! And I can honestly say I fell in love with Knox. He was charming, sweet, damn sexy and he had honor. The chemistry between him and Chloe sizzled, and while the sex was not brazen style, man the sexual tension leaped off the page and drew me in. Whenever they came together I found it scrumptious, sweet, endearing and so hot. The perfect combination that made me realized they were not just having sex, they felt each other, and they were invested in each other’s pleasures and emotions. Their banters and exchanges only pulled me deeper, and I saw them falling in love. I did not wonder how the heck they reached to such a state when “love” was declared. I was there the entire journey. :) Chloe herself was this perfect blend of feminine beauty and courageous strength. Loved her snarky internal reflections, how she loved Knox without reservation, and how she stood for what she believed in. Chloe was a sexy smart woman with integrity… totally kick ass in my opinion. I quite enjoyed the plot. Fresh and entertaining. I have read this book twice in one week. Yep. I was feeling ill and miserable and this is the book I pulled up on my screen because I wanted to feel good, to laugh and to have my chest ache in that sweet way when you read a good romance. What can be better than that? Loved it! Will be reading more of Sarah Balance’s work.