The Pact by Karina HalleThe Pact by Karina Halle
Published December 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance
four-stars
Format: eBook
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It all started with a pinky swear…

Linden McGregor is tall, rugged, and gunslinger handsome; a helicopter pilot with a Scottish brogue and charm to spare. He’s also one of Stephanie Robson’s best friends and has fit into that box for as long as she’s known him.

But some relationships can’t be boxed, can’t be classified, can’t be tamed.

Back in their mid-twenties and tired of the competitive hit-or-miss dating scene of San Francisco, Steph and Linden made a pact to marry each other if neither one of them are in a serious relationship by the time they hit thirty.

It sounds like fun and games but as the years to thirty tick past and lovers come and go out of their lives, the pact becomes larger than life.
Sex is inevitable. Friendships are tested. Hearts are on the line.

The pact is about to change everything.

Linden McGregor and Stephanie Robson have been friends for ages. In their mid-twenties, while lots of their dates are more a miss than they are a hit, Linden offers Steph to make a pact: if by the time they hit thirty, and both of them are single, the two of them should marry.

It all feels like fun and games when the two of them seal this pact with a pinky swear. It’d didn’t mean anything. Except it just meant about everything to Linden when he made the suggestion.

What I loved about this book:

  • Great characters and side-characters
  • Absolutely loveable male heroin
  • Interesting friends-to-lovers story with a bit of suspense

What I felt needed improvement:

  • A rushed ending and too short of an epilogue
  • The realisation that the whole story was due to 1 single obstacle that could very well have been dodged

It seems like Karina Halle is trying to get into a more mainstream type of writing (thus leaving the druglords and cartels behind), but still wanting to keep the less mainstream characters that make up for a more unique story – and I believe this new style suits her well. Her first attempt Love, In English wasn’t exactly perfect, but I feel like Karina Halle has improved a lot with The Pact.

The Pact has a very unsual but extremely interesting writing style. The reader will enjoy a ver well-crafted dual-POV 1st-person writing alternating between Linden and Steph. So intially, there are no secrets and the reader is quite aware of the fact that “the pact” was anything but fun banter between friends. There’s no surprise here!

But what will ultimately create suspense, is how the years go by as the chapters advance, and the reader grows more and more apprehensive of hitting the 30-years mark. Will the pact ever “happen”? Will the conditions be fulfilled by the time they hit thirty? Does it stay at the back of both Linden and Steph’s mind at all?

I loved dimension of how scary it can be to fall in love with your best friend when so much is at stake was very well explained here. Both Linden and Stephanie were wonderful characters that just so real in their struggle to deal with just that situation.

And while it was a heavy, difficult one, the book still managed to be utterly hilarious, which gave it even more appeal! And the steamy scenes were very much to my liking!

“It’s the most gorgeous penis I’ve ever seen and it makes me wish I could paint because I could have a whole gallery devoted to the beauty of his dick and I would consistently sell out all of my paintings.”

Linden was definitely true to his feelings, and although he was made out to be a bit of a womanizer, he always treats women with respect, and especially Stephanie, who he puts on a pedestal. What’s more, he is extremely mindful of the fact that he is treading on uncomfortable territory, given that Stephanie is in fact his best friend’s ex-girlfriend – and that said best friend might still have feelings for her. And guess what? He’d rather be unhappy himself than to make his best friend James unhappy by making a move of Steph. That alone – his being considerate and a real gentleman – earned him huge plus points in my book.

“I want her to realize we’re both not with the people we should be. And if she already knows that, I want her to know it’s not too late.”

And while Linden is perfectly aware of his feelings towards his best friend, Stephanie – who is quite busy with her clothing store – takes more time to realize her feelings toward Linden. But that’s only because she is scared and would rather never know what it’s like being romantically involved with him than to lose him completely, in case the feeling would not be mutual. And in the end, this book is all about explaining that sometimes love is worth the risk, and two soulmates are entitled to be together even if that means that some people won’t agree with it!

“Since when is it ever OK to want your best friend?”

“If I tell Linden how I feel and he doesn’t feel the same way that would ruin our friendship. It would ruin everything we have together.”

While The Pact was an extremely good book, I still felt that some things didn’t work out. Linden, for instance, comes across as someone cocky and determined, yet he never really delt with James disapproval. James was well-aware of Linden and Steph’s pact and was never supportive of it (while at the same time claiming he had no feelings for her anymore). In the end, James turned out to be the guy who made the shit hit the fan all along, but no one really accused him of that.

Also, the end was a bit rushed and too cliché, but I understood that the story had to wrap up at some point. Some readers didn’t enjoy to fact that during almost half of the book, Steph and Linden where with other people, but I don’t see that as a bad thing – au contraire, it made me very anxious to find out if The Pact would come to life.

All in all, I really loved discovering this new side of Karina Halle, and enjoyed the heck out of The Pact, and definitely recommend it.

 

Detailed Rating
Storyline
4 Stars
Characters
5 Stars
Writing
5 Stars
All the feels
5 Stars
Overall: four-stars