“The Marriage Pact” by Linda Lael Miller

 photo 18528420_zps78e94b70.jpgTen years ago, Hadleigh Stevens was eighteen and this close to saying “I do,” when Tripp Galloway interrupted her walk down the aisle. Now that she’s recovered from her youthful mistake and Tripp’s interference, Hadleigh and her single friends form a marriage pact. She doesn’t expect Tripp to meddle with her new plan to find Mr. Right—or to discover that she’s more attracted to him than ever! 

Divorced and eager to reconnect with his cowboy roots, Tripp returns to Bliss County to save his ailing father’s ranch. He’s not looking for another wife—certainly not his best friend’s little sister. But he’s never been able to forget Hadleigh. And this time, if she ends up in his arms, he won’t be walking away!

I received a copy from Katie, at Little Bird Publicity/the author, Linda Lael Miller, in exchange for an honest review.

The Review

This was another amazing book from a “new to me” author, but an “Oh My Goodness! I LOVE HER!” author to my mom. So again, thank you Katie, Harlequin and now Linda Lael Miller for bringing mother and daughter together!!

Tripp and Hadleigh grew up together.  He was best friends with her brother Will and also a regular visitor at her Gram’s home, where Will and Hadleigh were living after their parent’s deaths.  Tripp was there for many of the important events in Hadleigh’s life, including the death of Will. But most importantly, he was there when she was about to make the biggest mistake of her life and say “I do” when she was only eighteen. By this time Tripp was no longer living in Mustang Creek, but he felt he owed it to Will to step in and do what his best friend would’ve done, had he been alive. Stop the wedding.

When Hadleigh didn’t come willingly, he carried her out of the church, kicking and screaming.  Once he was able to get her alone and tell her what he’d discovered about her groom, her first reaction was to ask him to take her with him. His reply broke her heart worse than the crashed wedding.

Ten years later, Tripp comes back and wants to make amends with Hadleigh.  He also realizes the woman she has become and is definitely interested in becoming more than just friends. Hadleigh is still angry and hurt even after all this time, so Tripp really has his work cut out for him. Will Tripp be able to win her over? or will she discover something about herself and what happened all those years ago, that changes her feelings forever?

I really loved this story.  I laughed, cried and had several aww moments.  The supporting characters were just as animated as the two main characters. It was really quite unique how memorable each of the characters are, from the diner waitress, to the dogs, to the horses, to the main characters, even after the story has ended. I can give you names of everyone in the story, even the guy at the auction(beanie).  That is rare.

I especially adored Jim. He is the man we all wish we had as a father, husband, neighbor and friend. I definitely have a soft spot for him. I was a little shocked by his new relationship, but tried to adopt the same motto Tripp did. If he’s happy, I’m happy.

Hadleigh’s best friends, Melody and Bex are wonderful! I can’t wait to read their stories.  I’m really interested in the back story between Melody and Spence.  I have all these scenarios running through my head about what might have happened between them, so I’m anxious to see which one is right or if it’s something totally different.

My Final Thoughts:  I honestly don’t know anything about Linda Lael Miller’s other work/books, but I CAN say, this is an AMAZING start to a new series! If this is any indication what kind of author she is, I can say without any hesitation, she now has a new fan! I can’t wait for the next book in this series comes out and I also look forward to reading her other books and discovering the other worlds and characters she has created!!

~Robin Malone

*NOTE: RELEASE IS SCHEDULED FOR JUNE 1st, 2014, but it can be pre-ordered NOW!
 


 

Grade Scale:

(Based upon the Book Reads and Reviews Rubric)

  • Plot – 10
  • Characterization – 10
  • Style – 10
  • Threshold Quality – 10
  • Addictiveness – 10

Total –50

Rating –5 PERFECT Stars!