I love Kelsie’s writing, she speaks to my inner romantic <3
Book Title: The Valentine’s Arrangement
Author: Kelsie Leverich
Release Date: January 1, 2013
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions
Tattoo artist Ronnie Clark is counting the days until Valentine’s Day is over. Ronnie doesn’t do romance. She doesn’t do flowers or dates, and she sure as hell doesn’t do love—not anymore. Love leads to heartbreak, and she’s vowed never to let herself get hurt again.
Sergeant First Class Kale Emerson is home on his mid-tour leave from Iraq, but he only has one thing on his mind—returning to his soldiers to finish leading their mission. He’s dedicated to his men and to his country, and he’s not interested in getting wrapped up in a distracting relationship…but casual sex, that’s a different story. From the moment he sees Ronnie, he wants her. And he agrees to her terms—no romance, no fluff—just passion.
But as their sexual chemistry ignites, the lines of their arrangement get blurry, and Ronnie starts to push Kale away. And when Kale realizes he’s found his match in this razor-tongued, gorgeous woman who is hell bent against love, winning her heart could be the toughest battle he has ever fought.
Ronnie squeezed her way to the bar sending a few “go-to-hell” looks at some drooling guys as she passed them. Luckily, a heavyset redhead stood up from her bar stool at the same time Ronnie reached the bar.
“Can I snag your set?” Ronnie asked the woman.
“It’s all yours,” she said before she walked away. Thank God, because Ronnie’s feet needed an intermission.
“What’s your poison?” a voice said close to her ear making her already heated skin even stickier from the warmth of his breath. She turned around on her stool to see a very sexy Sergeant First Class Emerson standing behind her with a scruffy smile on his face. He was in the same worn jeans as before but he had changed his shirt to a snug-fitting, black button-down with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. He was such a pretty boy.
She forced herself to tear her eyes away from him to keep from staring at his chest and the way his damn preppy shit pulled across it. “Patron.”
“Two shots of Patron,” he told the skanky bartender in a tube top and a pair of jeans that was unfortunately close to showing off her lady goods. The bartender smiled and was all to happy to tend to him.
She leaned seductively over the bar as she slid the shots to Kale. “Here ya go.” She winked.
“Seriously?” Ronnie huffed, raising her eyebrows at the bartender before grabbing her shot and tossing it back. The bartender looked from Ronnie to Kale—who was more than likely mind-fucking Ronnie at that very moment by the way he was looking at her—before pouting her way on to the next customer.
“What are you doing here?” Ronnie asked, peeling the paper off her beer bottle.
“Turns out, this tattoo I got on my back stings like hell, figured I could use a drink to dull the pain a little.” He leaned in close to her. “Plus the idea of watching you dance held its own persuasion.”
A wanton shiver slithered down Ronnie’s spine and she hoped like hell Kale didn’t notice. “So what, now you want small talk?”
“Small talk, no talk, I don’t care,” he said, motioning with his hand for the bartender to bring them another round. Great, Ronnie was going to have to witness that bimbo make a fool of herself again.
Kale slowly and deliberately stepped closer to her. She could almost feel him against her side. “Dance with me.”
“I’m not dancing with you.”
“Dance with me,” he said again, offering his hand to her.
“Look, Soldier, I don’t know who the hell you think you are, but you can’t just order me around.”
He leaned down and ran his nose up the side of her neck and she stilled. “Well as of right now, I’m finding it extremely difficult not to push you up against this bar and put my mouth on your body you’re tempting me and I just might do it. So, you can either dance with me and let me attempt to get the image of you squirming beneath me out of my head, or you can leave with me now and we can replay that image in real time.”
Ronnie’s formerly clear mind started swimming with the memory of his body crushing her against the door eagerly kissing her, and the feel of his body pressing her into the couch, and then the feel of his mouth, oh his fucking mouth on her…damn it.
“And you think I’ll just leave with you, why?” she asked, pulling her mind back to the present where Kale was leaning dangerously close to her. She could smell the faint scent of soap on his skin.
“Because I know you enjoyed the little taste of me that you had back at the shop, and God knows I enjoyed tasting you.” He smirked. “And because I can see it in your eyes now. Dance with me.”
The bartender slid the shots in front of them, thankfully without attempting to flirt, and Ronnie once again tilted the shot back, letting the clear smooth liquid run down her throat.
She stood up and grabbed his hand causing that fucking dimple to drill deep into his cheek. “You better not make me regret this,” she said, leading the way to the dance floor.
I knew Ronnie and I would become BFF just from the synopsis!
Ronnie is a sarcastic, snarky, take no BS, get to the point straight shooter very much like myself…and like me she HATES Valentines day (or as I like to call it “singles awareness day”) because to Ronnie
“It’s excuse for women to whine and dote and bat their eyelashes for glittery gifts
in the hopeful forms of diamonds. It’s an excuse for men to have an opening for sex”
I mean really now, why people go bat crap crazy on Valentine’s day is beyond me, what about the other 364 days a year? Right? Because nothing says I love you like getting one of these singing Wild Thing!
So yes I can relate to Ronnie’s view on V-Day…mind you these were her feelings BEFORE she found out her fiance (who’s been deployed in Afghanistan for the past six months) has been sticking it to his squads female medic for the past three months so now she’s just too through with love and soldiers she’s just throwing herself into her work; she’s a sought after tattoo artist waiting till she can get the hell outta Fort Drum and put the Army & soldiers behind her because done with soldiers…until…one night a Captain America looking tall, built, and all kinds of sexy SFC Kale Emerson comes in to meet with the BEST tattoo artist around, Ronnie Clark. Yea Kale’s buddies thought it would be funny to leave out the part that Ronnie was a smokin hot WOMAN…the minute these two lay eyes on each other you can feel the sparks fly! Just one problem, remember, Ronnie is done with “fu*king soldiers” and Kale doesn’t do relationships,
“just casual sex for him. Casual is simple, sex is simple to Kale relationships were hard enough and then to throw in field time, late nights, and overseas deployment”
Now like I said the sparks were flying from the start so they decide, on Valentine’s Day that for the rest of Kale’s R & R leave it’ll be just sex between them till he heads back overseas BUT someone starts to have more than just sex feelings for the other…
Kelsie did a great job conveying both Ronnie and Kale’s feelings, you could feel Ronnie’s fear, hesitation and reluctance for dealing with a soldier again and you felt Kale’s confusion at the feelings he was having towards Ronnie. It was great seeing these two deal and work out the feelings they were having towards the other; the writing was honest and real and the sex between these two was hot plus it was nice seeing Kale work so hard to chip away at the ice surrounding Ronnie’s heart, he was like a man on a mission lol! I like how we also got a glimpse into what relationships are like for those in the military, what it feels like for the deployed soldier and for the loved one back home (I give military spouses SO much respect and credit because I don’t think I could handle deployments and what could come from them)
*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review*
Kelsie Leverich grew up in the small town of St. Joseph Illinois before getting married and following her husband from one Army post to another. After eight years, they finally settled down in Avon, Indiana with two adorable knuckleheads that are better known as her kids. Kelsie’s life revolves around her family (to include two dogs and a cat) and most of the time, actually all of the time, it’s a crazy mess—but that’s the way she loves it! When Kelsie’s not writing, you can usually find her snuggling on the couch with her kids and a good book or out on the lake with family and friends. Kelsie is not a morning person, has a soft spot for animals, loves musicals, hates seafood, and thinks laundry is the source of all evil.
Kelsie is currently working on the third book in her military series with editor Danielle Perez with NAL/Penguin.
Represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.
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