The Three-Week Arrangement

The Three-Week Arrangement

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by Sarah Ballance
     
 

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With him, there's no faking anything...

Ethan Chase isn't interested in dating. After losing the woman he loved more than life itself, he'd much rather ride solo, but his family is dead set on fixing him up. To get them off his back, he hooks up with ultra-adventurous, ultra-temporary adventure photographer, Rue Campbell. All he has to do is survive three weeks in

Overview

With him, there's no faking anything...

Ethan Chase isn't interested in dating. After losing the woman he loved more than life itself, he'd much rather ride solo, but his family is dead set on fixing him up. To get them off his back, he hooks up with ultra-adventurous, ultra-temporary adventure photographer, Rue Campbell. All he has to do is survive three weeks in her orbit and he'll be single again, only without the pitying looks and pressure to move on.

Rue is literally counting the days until her plane leaves New York City.The last thing she wants is a relationship, but being Ethan's pretend girlfriend can't hurt, right?Wrong. With Ethan, there's no faking anything-in or out of the bedroom. With the sheets burning hot and the clock ticking on their arrangement, Rue realizes she's falling for a man guaranteed to derail her goals...and break her heart.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781682811610
Publisher:
Entangled Publishing
Publication date:
04/04/2016
Pages:
200
Sales rank:
630,392
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.99(h) x 0.46(d)

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Read an Excerpt

The Three-Week Arrangement

A Chase Brothers Story


By Sarah Ballance, Tracy Montoya

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2016 Sarah Ballance
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63375-589-5


CHAPTER 1

Not many women were able to capture Ethan Chase's attention nowadays — a likely side effect of losing the one he'd loved more than life itself. But in the blink of a minute, that changed. And it wasn't hard to figure out why. The distraction in question was kicking the crap out of a vintage, cherry-red Mustang.

Ethan winced. He wasn't a car guy, but he knew a '66 classic when he saw one. He didn't imagine many people who owned one so painstakingly restored would resort to kicking it, but hell, this was New York City, where anything could happen ... and usually did.

He didn't realize he'd stopped in his tracks until she turned to look at him.

"I locked my keys in my car," she said, and what should have been a simple statement of fact sounded far too much like she expected him to care.

He hadn't asked. He didn't want to be involved. He'd only wanted to walk down his old street in Flatbush like he did every year on the anniversary of his wife's death, past the house they'd once shared. This year, there'd been kids running around the place, a dog in the mix. Their obvious joy had pierced the darkness a little but with the burst of light, an unexpected shadow had grown. Those could have been his and Amy's kids, but that dream had died with her. He was more accepting of that now — especially when he wasn't standing on his old stretch of sidewalk, peering uselessly into his past — but he wasn't ready to let go of the quiet reflection that had crept up on him.

The car-kicking brunette didn't seem entirely concerned with his lack of a response. To the absolute contrary, she persisted. "I don't suppose you know how to break into a car, do you?"

Her voice was unexpectedly soft. She had a trace of an accent he couldn't place — something definitely not from New York. Maybe Southern, though not entrenched there. "Don't you have roadside service?" Ethan asked, desperately hoping to steer clear of her situation. What was he supposed to do? Break a window? As an afterthought, he really started to hope there wasn't a husband or boyfriend who expected to come home to find that car in one piece. Assaulting a tire was one thing, shattering glass another.

She pursed her lips and tilted her head, sunlight glinting from her glossy hair. The sections fell in varying, choppy lengths — probably one of those five-hundred-dollar haircuts a toddler could accomplish for free — but it suited her. "Sure, I have roadside assistance," she said. "The phone number is on my insurance card, locked in the car. Of course, I could look it up on my phone, but that's also locked in my car. And my computer is locked in my house."

"At least you're thorough," Ethan said. He wasn't prepared for her smile or the way it broke through the clouds that surrounded him despite the beauty of the day. He shouldn't have noticed anything so personal about this woman at all — not now. Not when he should have been thinking about his wife. Now he felt like a jerk.

A jerk with his breath stolen.

Fortunately, the woman didn't seem to notice his gawking. Her soft, full lips pursed in irritation, but not even that could take away from her striking beauty. He didn't see a hint of makeup on her flawless face, and between that and her unusual hair, she was at once wholesome and wild. Sunglasses hid her eyes, but he felt her gaze, and he definitely noticed when a slow smile traced her lips.

But he shouldn't have. The smell of fresh-cut grass drifting from someone's postage-stamp lawn teased his senses, reminding him of when he'd had a lawn to mow and a wife to love. He wondered if Amy would have ever kicked a tire out of frustration and decided probably not. She was the calmest, least excitable person he'd ever met. Not even her cancer diagnosis had riled her. She'd just smiled and assured him everything would be okay, even at the end when they both knew it wouldn't. She hadn't let him grieve with her. Maybe that was why he still couldn't quite let go.

Maybe that was why he apparently looked like a guy who'd break into a car.

The tire-kicker slipped off her sunglasses and studied him with amusement. Bright blue eyes danced, a striking contrast to her dark brown hair. The color combination seemed impossible, and the cynic in him wondered which of the two had come from a store.

"You look like you know your way around a vehicle," she said. "Think you can help me out?"

Ethan looked down, wondering what led her to that conclusion. Couldn't be his clean white tee or his unscuffed shoes.

"By the way," she said. "I'm Rue Campbell."

Great. Now they were making introductions. He glanced regretfully down the street in the direction from which he'd come. Just five yards back, his life had been routine. Like that was worth anything. But at least he was handling it, whereas he had no desire to handle whatever was going on here. Nevertheless, he summoned his manners. "Ethan Chase."

"Nice to know you, Ethan Chase," Rue said brightly. Way too much so for someone who was locked out of everything she owned. "While you work on that door, I'm going to see if I can get in the house through a window or something. Be gentle with her, okay?"

Before he realized the her in question was the Mustang — the one she'd not-so-gently kicked — Rue had crossed the small yard and stepped into the flower bed that occupied the twelve inches between her house and the narrow drive that separated hers from the place next door. With her back to him, he took a moment to appreciate her curve-hugging dress — more classic than trendy, and practically pinning her knees together to create a vintage hour-glass shape. She made quite a sight, standing so matter-of-factly with her high heels wedged in a heap of Black-eyed Susans as she tugged on a window sash. It didn't appear to want to budge. Apparently resigned to the same conclusion, she rounded the back corner of the house, seemingly unconcerned that she'd left behind a total stranger with orders to break into her car.

Damned if he wasn't intrigued.

But not misdemeanor intrigued.

As much as he wanted to avoid the possibility of an angry boyfriend or criminal charges, he figured he could at least let her use his cell phone to call her auto service — surely she at least knew who her insurer was, and they could look it up from there — so instead of taking off, he waited. Hoping to be useful, he walked around the car, trying the passenger door just in case it was unlocked. It wasn't, so he returned to the driver side. The window was cracked about three inches — too small for his arm, but the coat hanger trick might work. Not that he had one on him. Maybe she could borrow one from a neighbor.

He glanced toward the house, but with no sign of Rue and no desire to come across as a creeper, he uselessly toyed with the door handle.

And for his trouble was promptly hit in the face with a blast of ice-cold water.

He was drenched in a split second, and the source of the water didn't relent, though an angry voice broke through.

"... and how dare you try to take advantage of that nice young woman? Get your goddamned hands off her car, you son of a bitch!"

He couldn't see a thing, since the blast aimed directly at his face followed him as he tried to dart out of its way. His attempt at a protest led to a mouthful of bitingly cold water. The idea to duck behind the car came about thirty miserable seconds too late. But once he had taken shelter, it allowed him to discern through the dripping car windows that the source of the onslaught was a water hose in the hands of a little old woman whose language would have stopped a sailor in his tracks. Though his vision was still bleary from the assault, he caught the fact that she was slight. Apron-wearing. He would have taken her for someone who fed strays and baked cookies had she not been cursing and trying to kill him with water.

"Wait!" Ethan sputtered. "She asked me to help her!"

He poked his head above the Mustang and then straightened, hands up in an attempt to sell his harmlessness, only to have the next blast slap him in the eye.

Screw this day. Twice.

"Mrs. Angelo!" Rue's voice cut through the chaos. "Stop!"

The stinging water softened, then ceased, leaving him dripping. And cold. Ethan blinked the water from his lashes. The tiny old woman stood glaring at him, gripping the hose nozzle like it was a pistol. She looked back and forth between him and Rue.

"It's okay," Rue said again, her face aghast. "I locked my keys in my car, but I found an open window." She held up a key. "He was only trying to break into my car because I asked him to. I needed his help." She ended on a shaky note, her gaze darting between him and his assailant.

Ethan stared, unsure how she'd managed to get through a window in that dress. Then he noticed the heels were gone, and her toenails were the same shade of pink as her lips, the former accessorized in white polka dots, the latter tense with horror.

He realized he was staring and shifted his gaze to the old woman. "So if you could just lower your weapon?"

"You shouldn't be entertaining like this," Mrs. Angelo said to Rue, ignoring Ethan. "Pretty single girl like you ought to be looking for a nice young man." Mrs. Angelo's eyes cut to Ethan, suggesting he didn't fit the bill. Probably not. He didn't know if twenty-eight counted as young — though it probably did to the old woman — but there wasn't much nice about him. Not since he lost his wife. All three of his brothers had a dedicated habit of informing him that he'd jumped in the grave after Amy, and maybe they weren't entirely wrong. He was too jaded to be nice.

"Well, Mrs. Angelo, I can't do anything about being single if I don't entertain a gentleman or two, now can I? So if you'll excuse us ..." Rue smiled sweetly as she approached Ethan, turning her back on her neighbor to whisper to him, "I am so sorry. Come inside, and let's get you dried off."

"I'm fine," he protested. But she'd already slipped her arm through his and was tugging him in the direction of the house. He was too stunned by the contact to do anything but follow, at least until they got to the porch. When she went for the front door, he untangled from her grip and took a step back. "I appreciate the ... hospitality, really, but I'm fine, and you don't even know me. Not a good idea to bring me into your house."

"If you were someone I needed to worry about, you wouldn't be trying to get away from me." Mischief danced in what he'd decided were the bluest eyes he'd ever seen. "You were soaked because of me. The least I can do is dry your clothes."

"Actually," he countered, "the least you could do would be nothing. The sun will dry my clothes. I'm pretty sure a clothesline will vouch for that." In an epic stroke of bad luck, his body chose that moment for an involuntary shiver. He blamed the shade of her porch, but the cause was moot. All she cared about was fixing the fact that he was cold.

Her eyes narrowed, a now-familiar smile threatening. "Unless you plan on hitching yourself to a clothesline, come inside and use my dryer."

"I'm pretty sure the sun works even if I'm not attached to a line," he said wryly. The fact that he was enjoying their exchange irritated him. He tried to revisit that urge to flee, but leaving would put him back on that street, alone with these memories.

And within hosing range of the elderly woman next door.

He averted his eyes from Rue's. The porch was bare, he noted. No furniture or planters. Not even a bicycle. Though the house appeared to be well-kept, there was nothing but the car in the drive to suggest the place might be occupied. Even the wildly-growing Black-eyed Susans on the side suggested abandonment, as if they, too, felt the need to flee the confines of their bed. A different kind of interest tugged at him — something beyond unwanted attraction. Something more along the lines of whether that car was hers, or if she lived alone, or why it looked as if she didn't live there at all.

All questions he couldn't afford to ask. Not when he needed to get away from this woman and back to his memories. This was Amy's day, and he wouldn't share it with anyone else.

Certainly not anyone who had polka-dotted toe nails, a killer smile, and something going on with her hair that made him think she hadn't been able to sit still at the hairdresser.

Oblivious to his thoughts, Rue grinned and tipped her head toward the trigger-happy neighbor, making all those glossy layers dance. The foreign sensation of wanting to touch them, to see if they were as silky as they looked, invaded his thoughts, but he pushed it back.

It resurged when she poked at his wet shirt with her free hand. "Lending you the use of my dryer may not be the least I could do," she said, "but I won't take no for an answer." With a hapless, none-too-innocent shrug, she added, "It's either me or the neighbor. At least I don't have any weapons."

When she turned to go into her house, he realized his attention was involuntarily pegged on her perfect ass. No weapons? He wasn't so sure about that.

But he followed her inside anyway.


* * *

Rue couldn't help side-eying her hero in distress. She was zero parts shy and didn't have any qualms about staring head on, but he looked as if he couldn't wait to escape, and he was just too gorgeous not to enjoy a while longer. His hair, now water-darkened and plastered to his head, had been a striking platinum color with dark lowlights that perfectly set off stunning green eyes. He was tall — tall enough that she'd have to tip back her head and completely lose herself in him in order to taste those incredibly sensual lips, but that was only the wretchedly delicious beginning. His soaked T-shirt clung to every rise and fall of his ripped upper bod, from broad shoulders to the provocative V lines that disappeared into a pair of well-worn jeans slung low on his hips.

Oh, hel-lo. Her fingers itched to walk over all that hard, slick skin, but she kept the feeling — and her hands — to herself. The fact that her last fling had been both months before and woefully inadequate was no reason to accost her very sexy, very unhappy-looking ... neighbor? She'd never seen him around, but he'd been walking. He had to have come from somewhere, although he hadn't used a nearby destination as an excuse to get away from her. Still, he seemed distracted, and while he'd graced her with a glimpse of a smile that she'd think about for days, he hadn't exactly warmed to her. Probably because he's shivering.

"Let me toss your clothes in the dryer," she offered again. An unnecessary reminder, considering that was why he was in the house to begin with, but he didn't look to be in any hurry to strip down. Her intent was genuine, but if it got him naked, she'd be okay with that, even if the last thing she needed at the moment was to fall hopelessly in lust with anyone. She was up for an internship out of the country, and with an ounce of luck, in three weeks she'd be so far from New York City, she'd forget all about it — or if not the city, at least the string of disastrous, short-lived relationships she'd suffered within its borders.

"I'm fine," he said, eyeing her like he expected her to rip the clothes off him herself. "I appreciate the gesture, but — "

"But nothing. We're adults here, and you're not fine. You're soaked, and there's no good reason to wander the city that way." With a wink, she added, "You'll chafe." That said, she went into her extra bedroom and grabbed a pair of pajama pants she'd bought for her brother but had never gotten around to giving him because he was in Europe, and they were too hideous not to see his face when he opened them. She and Ian had a long-standing thing of trying to out-ugly the other when it came to sleepwear, a tradition inadvertently started by a particularly hideous matching set their grandmother had given them one Christmas. Rue bit back a grin as she returned to hand the uber-serious Ethan a pair of flannel pants covered in freaky clown faces that more closely resembled John Wayne Gacy than cheerful party entertainers. "You can wear these."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Three-Week Arrangement by Sarah Ballance, Tracy Montoya. Copyright © 2016 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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The Three-Week Arrangement 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Anonymous 3 months ago
This was such a cute story. I loved the rescued animals, both characters were the perfect. Some stories talk about death; but this took the part of the one left, and it really was beautiful
SaraBetty 3 months ago
Ethan is a very young widower who can't stop loving his deceased wife... Two years after losing the "love of his life'" he is still not dating until he meets Rue, thanks to a flat tire and her kicking her vintage TBird... Both sad and sexy they have a hard time getting through his loss and her job.. She travels the world as a photographer (another whole story)... Loved the book... Again, it was short but again, a complete story and a perfect read for an evening or an afternoon at the beach... I have read the first three books in the series and have not felt short changed by any story... Lots of fun, sex and humanity in all of these stories... Love the brothers plus Mom and dad and will now move on to book 4... Recommend this series to all... If you need a book for days and days there are lots available... I often like something I can read in an evening or afternoon and these are perfect...
Anonymous 3 months ago
There are only 155 pages in this book rather than the 200 that the publisher claims. Also, the days seem all confused--we read that it is Tuesday, then we learn that tomorrow is Sunday, but the gala was supposed to be last Friday, but it has not happened yet. Very hard to follow. There are way to many typos to count and then the meaningless sentences are just annoying.
rabidreaderSR 4 months ago
The Three Week Arrangement was an enjoyable read, and great addition to the series. I really liked Rue, she was such a sweet, endearing and strong character. She did not shy away from hard situations, instead she tackled them head on. And one such situation was the much loved Ethan who had lost his wife, and found it so difficult to move on and love again. I delighted in how Rue challenged Ethan, and how she pushed him out of the shell he'd not realized he was desperate to leave. I believed it when they declared their love, for their attraction and passion was realistically drawn and felt. I loved the interaction with his family. I only wished I saw a scene where Rue really gave it to her Mom so she understood Rue values. Overall a good read
Linda_RochesterNY More than 1 year ago
It's not hard to feel Ethan's sense of loss over the death of his wife in this emotional but beautiful romance. Meeting Rue sparks an interest he hasn't felt in a long time but in his heart, he's still married. Rue's only going to be around for a few weeks until the photographic internship she's hoping to get takes her far away. He needs his family to stop worrying about him and she needs her mother to stop pressuring her to date a man she dislikes to further a business deal. So the arrangement to pretend date seems an easy solution to both their problems, as long as they can keep their hearts from becoming involved. Three Week Arrangement is a sweet and touching story that had me hooked from the beginning, watching these two very likable characters gradually move from strangers to lovers. I loved this beautiful romance by Sarah Ballance. I received a complimentary copy of this Entangled Publishing romance from NetGalley in return for an honest review.
LightningCityBookReview More than 1 year ago
It's love at first sight, and then the Hero meets the Heroine. Seriously, who cannot fall in love with a cherry red 1966 Mustang. There is a Meet Cute in "The Three Week Arrangement" but it's between the Hero and the Heroine's batty old neighbor lady and her spray hose. Sarah Ballance always ... Always knows how to start a book rocketing off the Launch Pad! The Hero, Ethan, is a widower of three years still in love with his wife and haunted by the memories of her. The Heroine, Rue, is a rebellious adventurer enjoying her life and having already had more experiences than ten people would in their lifetime. The Three Week Arrangement" is the third installment of the Chase Brothers series, which I love so much. This book does not have overly descriptive spicy sex scenes but there is a lot of emotional depth there. Ethan is deeply entrenched in the memories of his wife that has his feelings for Rue seriously messing with his mind. Rue has had really bad experiences in her relationships with men and has dedicated her heart to her career of conservation photography. The only thing she really comes back to New York for is the home she bought that once belonged to her grandparents - not any person. But Ethan and Rue are surprises to each one another and although their relationship begins as a convenient, short term, solution - which is all they want and need - it grows into something almost too big for them to handle. But life is full of surprises and happy endings. "The Three Week Arrangement" seemed to take place within a small area of New York, with one detour to New Jersey. The action is focused mainly on Ethan and Rue and a few scenes involving the Chase boys and Mrs. Chase. Rue is fabulous - she is energetic, outgoing, and just plain fun. Ethan is amusing in his discomfort ... his fish out of water - deer in the headlights - what am I supposed to do now - moments are priceless. When he lets go he's on, especially "Caveman Ethan". When he shuts down - he's out. At the end of the novel Sarah Ballance leaves you with a big ol' grin on your face. To read the entire review please visit: http://bit.ly/1TGlLBZ This novel was provided in exchange for an unbiased review.
BookSnuggle More than 1 year ago
"The Three-Week Arrangement" by Sarah Ballance is book three in the "Chase Brothers" series. This is Ethan Chase and Rue Campbell's story. Ethan lost his wife who was his childhood sweetheart to cancer. He hasn't really been living since she died. Ethan avoids relationships to protect his heart. Rue is a catalog photographer's assistant and is hoping to travel and photograph wherever her travels take her. Ethan and Rue's paths cross. Ethan needs his family to believe that he is back dating. Rue needs a date for a special event. They make a three week arrangement to help each other out. The chemistry between Ethan and Rue is so hot! So, what happens when the three weeks are up? This is another winner by Sarah Ballance! I love her style of writing. She incorporates a great balance in her stories. The story provides humor, heartwarming moments, love, and passion. I love the cover too! I received a copy of this book from NetGalley/Entangled Publishing for an honest review. FYI, contains mature content.
JensReadingObsession More than 1 year ago
I think I might have fallen in love with Ethan myself as I read. He’s so closed off after the death of his wife, just going through life without any pleasure or joy. Rue is his complete opposite, full of life, adventure, and love. He's thrown off by her when he meets her on the anniversary of his wife’s death, and before he knows it, they are pretend dating to get their families to back off about their love lives. At first, Ethan feels awkward around Rue, but she’s easy to be around and most importantly, will only be around for three weeks. But the more time he spends with her, the more confused he is about his feelings. He slowly begins to feel happy when he’s with her and thinking of ways to spend more time with her. But her job is risky and he doesn’t want to take the risk of what losing her could do to him. It was great to see him opening up to Rue and his brothers about his feelings and really move on with his life. Charming, emotional, fun and sexy, I was entertained from beginning to end. 4.5 stars I received an ARC via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review, all conclusions are my own.
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
Oh my goodness, Sarah Ballance got it exactly right when it came to Ethan Chase :) I feel as if it'll always be that way. I feel like I can't move on from Amy because then I'm the jerk who left his wife in the ground. But when I don't move on, I'm the idiot who won't let go. It's like when she dies, the middle ground died with her. It took away my normal for good." Yes. What he said. :) On the one hand, Ethan knows his family--and everyone that knows him--cares about him and just wants him to be happy. On the other hand, "happy" feels like it's in a different universe. Until he sees Rue Campbell kicking her cherry-red '66 Mustang... It starts out as a convenient lie--Rue will get her overbearing mother (and a jerk who doesn't know the meaning of "no") off her back and Ethan will stop getting pitying looks from everyone around. Plus, there's a three week expiration date, because one way or another Rue will be out of there at the end of that time. Waaaaay out of there. So...win-win, right? Obviously you know where this is going to go--the genre is contemporary romance, after all--but for Ethan and Rue it really is all about the journey. And theirs--Ethan's especially, since he's the one who really needs to get himself unstuck--is an absolutely awesome one. It has puppies and kittens and shirtless guys and scary clown pants and a guy who's finally taking a chance on moving on with his life and taking the ultimate risk with the woman who has been willing to risk everything but her heart. Until now. The Three-Week Arrangement worked fine as a standalone, but those darn Chase brothers (only one left now! Watch out, Liam...) will definitely tempt you to add to your TBR...again. You've been warned. Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
CCarroll More than 1 year ago
Introducing Ethan Chase, a delicious specimen of a man. This book is so opposite of the last Chase Brothers book it is almost funny. Ethan had lost his wife and has no interest in women but was thrown into pretending to date Rue to keep their families off their back. Seems innocent and easy to do until he started actually enjoying himself and liking the fact he is around her. I love the interaction between the two. This is a fast paced read, with plenty of family interference for some laughs and anxiety along the way. We have to survive the heat buildup between these two for quite a while before they decide it is worth becoming involved, but the scenes are steamy, sweaty, and panty dropping too! I love how the author depicted Ethan. Slow to realize his feelings and yet very afraid to make a commitment too. Rue on the other hand - I love her energy and the fact she made Ethan stretch his comfort zone. Definitely polar opposites that somehow figure out something that works for them. The author knows how to write a hot scene and she does not disappoint in this book. With plenty of steam and a fast paced read, this is a fun addition to the Chase Brothers series.
aprilrenee1976 More than 1 year ago
Sweet and Spicy Complex romanece #ChaseBros-good read Ethan Chase has given up on dating ever since his childhood sweetheart died & he definitely doesn’t want to get fixed up by his stuffy family so he hatches a plot with the photographer whose come to town to take pictures of the sights- since their moms are friends, then they can help each other out and pretend to date? Sounds great and oh so uncomplicated ? Wrong! Because sooner rather than later, Ethan and Rue soon are falling in love for real and those feelings that at first they were play acting are supoer real. Will Ethan grow up and let Rue in and show he is ready to pursue a real romance or will he run at the first real sign of danager to his bachlorhool which means he has to care about someone more than him. Does Ethan and Rue get their HEA? Spoilers were horrible because I would love to tells you but what I can say is that I believe there is a HFN ending, not the HEA ending. I hope we get to see more Ethan and Rue again. They are very sweet and complex characters. My rating: 4.00 stars **** **I was given an ARC the publisher in exchange for an honest review***
gromine49 More than 1 year ago
Goodness this was a wonderful that had me intrigued from reading the excerpt and I was not disappointed at all. The arrangement involves our male hero, who has lost his wife and needs a date for a gala. Enter Rue(cool name). Something special happens when they start spending more time together. Like I stated before, wonderful story that will make you want to re-read it again and again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ethan is a grieving widow who worshipped his wife. Now that she is gone, he lives with her memories and getting involved with another woman is out of the question as far as he is concerned. He works for the family business and his apartment is his sanctuary. Rue is an assistant photographer who is biding her time to leave New York to further her career. She is an adrenaline junkie and dedicated to animal welfare. Her mother is a socialite and if she had it her way, Rue would marry someone rich and forget about her career. Rue isn't slightly interested but her mother can be very persistent. On the anniversary of his wife's death, Ethan retraces his steps to where he used to live when she was alive. Rue has locked herself out of her car and recruits Ethan for assistance. He is not very enthusiastic about having to interact with a woman! They soon discover that they could help each other. Rue can get out of a date that her mother is trying ever so hard for her to accept, whereas Ethan can pretend that he is seeing someone to get his family off his back. They soon become friends and Ethan is fascinated by Rue's outlook on life. Rue is very taken with Ethan but due to her past experience with the opposite sex, she tries to concentrate on their arrangement. Can they resist this mutual attraction? If they do, will Ethan be able to move on instead of being consumed by guilt? Will Rue's jetsetting career put a spanner in the works? This is an easy to read romance. Despite the sad aspects of the story, there is humour, love and laughter. The emotions are very palpable. The characters are very well developed. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel and would recommend to other readers. I received a complimentary ecopy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
ValerieStuckInBooks More than 1 year ago
I love a good pretending story! And I do mean good. Some are too contrived and just wrong but this one gets pretending right! And once I started it, I didn't stop till it was done. Ethan...I love that name btw...is three years past the death of this wife. He's fine. Really, he is. He'll tell you so. But he's shut down on living and just goes through the motions. His family worries so much for him but he never sees it until they believe he has a date to some fancy gala. And as it happens, Rue needs that date to avoid some unpleasantness. Perfect set-up for pretend relationship. What I love about pretend relationships is that the couple never thinks they could work for whatever reason. But the pretending gets them together, may force a kiss or two and pretty soon they're shocked into emotions they weren't expecting. I love that. Because the best couples never saw themselves as couples. I love that these two are so different. They really are opposite. Yet they are each what the other needs at this point in their life. I love that. The relationship didn't feel rushed at all but genuine. As Ethan deals with feeling he hasn't felt in a long time, he pulls back often. That felt real. Rue is so outgoing and passionate that she's the perfect one to call him out on it or push him to take risks. It was a perfect blend of two opposites that just worked. This is a quick read that I devoured in an evening. A perfect nights entertainment with a side of sexy and sweet.
Lori-Gonzo More than 1 year ago
Wow! I loved Ethan and Rue's story. This book was filled with so much heart, bittersweet, heavy emotions. Or maybe that is how I felt for Ethan. He is a beautiful man, still loving his wife who passed away, struggling to go on. And then he meets Rue, making his whole life come alive. I loved the way she brought him out of his comfort zone, never pitied him, and even let him share his wife. This book was sweetly written that I could not put it down. Rue was a fun woman, eager to do all life has, but a big heart for animals and certain chunky widowers. She was great on dealing with her mom and those in the upper social circle. She marched to the beat of her own drum and encouraged Ethan to do the same. The familial glimpses we got with Ethan and his family were priceless. Their brotherly banter and interactions were hilarious. I adored their close knit bond. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
2kasmom More than 1 year ago
This is book # 3 in the Chase Brothers series. This book can be read as standalone novel. It has mention of earlier characters from other books in the series, so I caution readers to please read the books in order intended. Ethan meets Rue outside at her classic car. She needs his help and he unwittingly becomes her rescuer. When they compare notes, they find they have quote a bit in common. They also agree they need to have a date for an upcoming event, where they can help one another. Rue is overwhelmingly attracted to Ethan right from the start. She feels for him, and while this is temporary, she cannot help but fall for a man who is nearly a martyr in his situation. Ethan is changing slowly, and his family starts to notice as well. The humor and banter shared is a happy point for this series and this book for certain. I enjoyed having the characters from previous books in here as well. So good and very hard to put down! ***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley and its publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
So much emotion was flowing through me when I read this story. The Three Week Arrangement will make you laugh, cry and scratch your head in puzzlement at times. Sarah Ballance's offbeat stories have a way of getting a person to see things differently with her great sense of humor and her heart stealing characters.
TheBunny1 More than 1 year ago
It is hard to review this one without spoilers...and even if I were to give all of the details away, it wouldn't matter, as it is the reading of the well-written story that draws you in. It's Ethan and how much you like him, and believe in him. After you get to know him, you understand how his family feels about him and why they so much want him to move on, because he has so much to give even when he is adopting dogs and stocking iced coffee in his refrigerator. Rue is charming, and free, and so open to being with Ethan that it scares both of them, him more than her. The story is a journey for both of them, and it is told in such a way that you find yourself falling for both of them, feeling what they are feeling and hoping that it is going to work out for them so they get their HEA. It's so hard to describe this adequately in a review, other than to say that Sarah Ballance lets you feel what the characters are feeling and it draws you in, completely. It is well written with great dialog and moments that just break your heart, before putting it back together again. I highly recommend this one...it is going on my "re-read" list.
Rhondaz More than 1 year ago
The Three Week Arrangement by Sarah Ballance...Oh my Ethan is my new sweet hot book boyfriend. Sarah never disappoints in the book boyfriend heroes, they are always hot, sweet, loving and did I say HOT. This story is beautifully written with everything I look for in a great book, sadness, happiness, Romance and love. Sarah Ballance is one of my go to authors, she never lets me down. If you are looking for a great book, here it is. I received a complimentary copy of this book by publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Splashesintobooks1 More than 1 year ago
I’m so glad that Ethan has his own story with a HEA! I’ve enjoyed reading about the escapades of the Chase brothers and the author has skilfully made the reader feel that I’ve grown to know the family through her stories. Having said that, I suspect that you could also read this as a standalone novel and thorough enjoy it. Ethan had found love whilst in school and had been happily married to his childhood sweetheart until she tragically lost her battle with cancer three years ago. He’s been going through the motions of living ever since but has protected himself against further heartache by barricading his emotions away, keeping his heart protected and avoiding any possible romantic relationships. However, after trying to help a damsel in distress, a feisty elderly citizen assumes the worst and tries to deter him by attacking with a spraying water hose, drenching him! So much for gallantry being rewarded! This then introduces him to the young lady in question and, after a somewhat reluctant arrangement is brokered between the two, life is about to take a turn for the better as they both try to ensure their family and friends believe they are in a relationship with each other – if only for the three weeks she’ll be in the country. As they say, the best laid plans …… This is a great romance, with a strong male lead who has closed himself away from relationships after his wife’s untimely demise. How his self protective layer is broken down following an accidental encounter is portrayed brilliantly. The reactions of family and friends are central to the story, as are all the animals involved! The plot is well structured with plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing how everything can be resolved in the end. A great addition to the series, all of which I have no hesitation in highly recommending to anyone who enjoys reading romantic stories about families, where past grief is overcome to enable a future HEA to be achieved. I can’t wait to eat Liam’s story! Thanks to the author, publishers and NetGalley, too, for letting me read an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
MELHUTCHINSON More than 1 year ago
This is a cute story about Ethan Chase and Rue. How they meet is priceless and sets the tone for the book I think! Very well written with great developed characters. This was a quick read for me which made it nice!! Ethan Chase is still getting over loosing his wife a few years back. She died with cancer and Ethan is having a hard time getting over loosing the love of his life. When Ethan goes to visit the house and street they used to live on together on the anniversary of her death, he never dreamed that he would get roped into the mess he does. Rue is having one of those days when nothing is going right for her and has locked her keys in her car. She asks Ethan if there is any chance he could help her and being the nice guy Ethan is, he talks to Rue and they try to figure out a plan of attack to open the car. Ethan is not in the mood to talk with anyone because of the day that it is, but realizes that Rue is nice enough. When a hilarious scene unfolds, Rue and Ethan begin to talk and learn that they know each others families and that they work together for a charity. When Rue gets a call while Ethan is in her house, he listens in but tries not to be too nosy. When Rue slips and tells the person on the other line that Ethan is going to be her date for the Gala coming up in 3 weeks, they are both in a pickle now since their families are all involved with the charity. What in the world are they going to do? Play pretend boyfriend and girlfriend until then?? Yep, that is exactly what they do! As Ethan and Rue get to know each other and spend more and more time together, the sparks begin to ignite between them and there is no denying them after so long. Rue tries to be very respectful of the space that Ethan still needs, but she also knows that Ethan needs to move on and that his family is also trying to get him to move on. Will these two be able to make it the 3 weeks before the Gala? Will things get serious for them and will Ethan be able to conquer his past? You have to read this one to find out! Such a great quick read that you will fall in love with quickly. Thanks Sarah Ballance for a great read with real life issues!
mamalovestoread22 More than 1 year ago
Ethan Chase is trying to channel his inner hermit, and just live a life of solitary confinement for a while, but his family refuses to let him go there. They are worried about him, for good reason, and are certain all he needs is to find the right girl, so they are determined to find her for him, and are constantly trying to fix him up... and Ethan is fed up with it. So, when the opportunity to have a fake three week relationship with a complete stranger comes into play, he jumps at the chance, and thinks it will be the perfect way to get his family out of his business, and stop their incessant need to set him up. He can handle spending three weeks with a beautiful stranger right?? Rue Campbell is a nomad of sorts, she likes to travel, and isn't too keen on sticking in once place for very long, which pretty much puts a damper on having any kind of a long term relationship... and she is totally okay with that! Relationships just aren't her thing, and being tied down just isn't an option she is willing to consider, she would much rather keep her romantic entanglements on a one night basis... but when one night with Ethan Chase just isn't enough and it turns into the best three weeks of her life, it has her reconsidering her no strings attached rule! This uniquely crafted pair pulled me into their world right from the start, and kept me their long after the last page was turned. Their story was brimming with emotion, humor, and lots of heart, and Ethan had me smiling and swooning the whole way through!! This turned out to be a very enjoyable and highly entertaining read for me and I think it is one everyone should add to the top of their reading lists, I promise it will leave you with a happy heart!! ARC requested through NetGalley, and kindly provided by Entangled Publishing, LLC (Lovestruck) in exchange for a honest and unbiased review.
IreneC More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars The Three-Week Arrangement was a heartwarming read. I've really enjoyed the Chase Brothers series & I've been eagerly awaiting The Three-Week Arrangement, Ethan Chase's story. I'm very happy to report Sarah Ballance has not let her readers down. She's written an entertaining, emotional, fun, sweet, frustrating and romantic read with lovable, passionate characters that shared a strong attraction with amazing chemistry. I loved Rue, she was the perfect person to help Ethan learn to live and enjoy life again after the death of his wife, Amy. With Rue's full of life personality Ethan couldn't help but open his heart & mind to the possibility of falling in love & being loved back. How rare was it for someone to find their perfect partner twice in one lifetime? Overall I was very happy with how Ethan and Rue's relationship developed & the epilogue was a heartwarming look into the future that left me with no doubt that these two truly had found their HEA. While each book in the Chase Brothers series can be read as a standalone, I highly recommend you read them all as you too will fall in love with the Chase Brothers.
Maria-Rose More than 1 year ago
I've been waiting for Ethan's story after seeing him as a secondary character in the previous stories in the series where his brothers met their partners. He's always come across as reserved and quiet, no surprise as he's still been grieving the loss of his wife and unable to move on. Meeting Rue, who has no idea of his past when she meets him and therefore treats him without sympathy or pity is refreshing and makes him aware of how much his current state has to do with the expectations of friends and family. Though she does find out almost right away about his loss, she still treats him as she would any other attractive man, something Ethan must adjust to, having considered himself off the market for so long. Having him slowly come out of shell and start to live again was wonderful to see. It's natural that he feels guilty for starting to have feelings for another woman, and watching him deal with that and accepting that his wife would have wanted him to be happy was emotional but heartwarming too. Rue was such a fun character! She's lively and spirited and plain spoken. She doesn't try to take the place of Ethan's wife and is accepted by his family on her own merit. It doesn't take her long to fall for Ethan, even knowing that it's not supposed to be anything more than a friendly arrangement between them. But she's got too big a heart not to want to share it with him. The scenes between Ethan and his brothers are some of my favourites, the banter between giving lots of laugh out loud moments as they initially question the validity of his relationship with Rue, and then encourage him to fix things with her when he inevitably screws things up. There are some really adorable scenes involving the shelter where Rue is volunteering her time to photograph animals as part of their adoption campaigns (which results in Ethan adopting his own rescue dog much to Rue's delight). The more Ethan fights his attraction to Rue, the more he falls for her, and the eventual love scenes between them are sweet and sexy. They really made a wonderful match and I found the story a delightful romantic read that I wanted to start all over again as soon as I finished. This series is easily one of my favourites. 5 stars.
Crystal_Yawn More than 1 year ago
I've seen others say the book brought tears to their eyes and I disagree. Yes Ethan's story is based in sadness, but it's also growth and moving on. Ethan's story is about strength and facing scary moments. Strong family bonds that care about you, feel sorry for you, but push you to move on, point out when you screw up. it's a book of healing and very beautiful. Rue is a strong, indepent roaming character, but maybe what she needs s reason. reason to date, reason to love, reason to return home. She's colorful and full of life/adventure. very well done and a great addition to the Chase brothers!