Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Review of Hale Maree by Misty Provencher

Publication Date: November 19th 2012

"Hale Simmons dreams of climbing out of her impoverished life, going to college, and getting herself a titanium crash helmet, so she can eventually bust through the Plexiglas ceiling of her crappy life. But for now, she’s just a 18-year-old girl with a flimsy hope, barely getting by with her alcoholic father, Jerry.
But for Hale, ‘crappy’ suddenly takes a nosedive, when Jerry becomes the sole witness to a horrible accident. It is an event which means to effect everyone, especially Hale, who wasn’t even involved.
While the depth of the accident has just begun to unfold, Otto Maree, a prominent business man and old family friend, stands to lose everything because of it. Otto is desperate for Hale’s father to stay quiet about what occurred the night the two men met for a drink. Out of mutual moments of desperation, the two fathers forge a deal. Jerry is desperate to gain financial stability for both himself and Hale, and Otto Maree is more than willing to pay to keep his secret just that. 
But deals like this need to be made of the strongest vows and bound with the most faithful of loyalties. Otto proposes a marriage between Hale and his playboy-son, Oscar, in order to assure that the secret remains ‘in the family’. The mystery surrounding the accident continues to grow and Hale struggles against her own mysterious feelings that begin to develop for Oscar, who turns out to less of a playboy, but just as fiercely loyal and dedicated as his father. 
As the pressure around her continues to escalate, Hale realizes that she’s got to decide if this arranged marriage is really just a big mistake or an amazing twist of fate that has been waiting around for this particular accident to happen."

*I Hereby Award This Book 5 Wings*

I bought this book on it's release date and couldn't wait to read it. From the cover and the synopsis, I knew this was going to be a book I would enjoy immensely. Let me tell you now, I was not wrong.

I've been on a self-imposed ban over the Christmas period to not read, review or write. But I couldn't help myself picking this up. Every time I looked at my bookshelf at screamed at me, begging to be read.
So eventually, yesterday, I gave in. 
I was hooked from the first word until the very last. I wasn't really sure how this book would play out. I have to be honest, I thought to myself 'an arranged marriage in this day and age?' I wasn't sure how the author would manage to pull it off. But oh my goodness, I was wrong. If I'm perfectly honest, I would go through with an arranged marriage myself, just as long as Oscar Maree was my intended husband! *Swoons* Oh Oscar....

It all starts one night when Hale Simmons' dad returns home from the pub with his friend Otto Maree. Hale overhears some of their conversation but wishes she hadn't, for what she heard would change her life immeasurably. Why? Well the men were discussing an arrangement whereby Hale would marry Otto's son, Oscar. Hale can only hope that this drunken conversation will be forgotten in the morning. 
Unfortunately in the cold light of day, Hale's dad explains that he expects her to marry Oscar. He doesn't tell her why, only that he needs her to go through with it.
Hale meets Oscar and begrudgingly admits to herself that she thinks he's attractive. Well, beyond the normal parameters of 'attractive' - this guy is HOT. His sculpted muscles, his gorgeous face... But no, she won't go through with marrying him just because their fathers concocted some scheme whilst they were drunk.

Otto gives Hale's dad a truck and all the things he needs to start a new business venture as part of the deal. Though Hale likes seeing her dad sober and working, she doesn't want to marry a guy she doesn't know. She wants to go to college and do things that normal 18 year old girls do. She won't let her dad force her hand in this.

But when Hale is alone with Oscar, he tells her the reason behind them having to get married. It's in order to keep a secret. I can't tell you what that secret is, but, the fact is, it's huge and needs something put in place to stop it from getting out; this being the marriage.

Hale and Oscar end up at the Maree family's beach house. 

Hale isn't at all happy about this arrangement and would do just about anything to get out of it. But the more time she spends with Oscar, the more she comes to like him. Oscar is a genuinely nice guy. He doesn't take advantage of Hale. He knows that she's uncomfortable with the situation and though it isn't ideal, he does his best to accommodate her. 

Oscar doesn't see any other option than to go through with this. But that doesn't mean that he doesn't come to genuinely like Hale. At one point he tells her that he's hit the mother of all jackpots by being her suitor. 

Though Oscar was in a relationship with Sophia, it had to come to an end the moment his father made this arrangement. But if he's honest with himself, he wasn't all that happy with Sophia anyway. 

Oscar knows how Hale feels about having to marry him but he wants to win her round. He wants her to like him and maybe even love him one day. This means that he takes things slowly, building her trust in him gradually. 
He's such a gentleman. Any girl in their right mind would fall for him. But Hale is dubious of just about everything. She fights with herself about how much she really likes him. It doesn't help matters when his friends come to the beach house to stay for the weekend. She knows that she has to play part of the 'happy couple' so she does her best to convince Landon and Amy that her and Oscar are in love. 

I can't tell you more without ruining the story for you, suffice to say that there is a twist I certainly didn't see coming. 

Misty Provencher managed to make this story something out of the everyday within the Adult Contemporary Romance genre. Her writing style sucks you in and doesn't let go of it's hold on you right up to the end. Once I started reading, I literally could not stop. I had to be prized away to go for a shower and as soon as I was done, I was back reading until the end. There was no way I could go to bed without knowing the outcome.
It took me about 8 hours to finish and I can honestly say that they were the most enjoyable 8 hours I could have had. 

Misty managed to make me laugh and cry but overall, she managed to make me feel happy. The fact is, this book could have been written by someone else and they may not have pulled it off but Misty had the skill to develop the story beyond what I initially thought it might be.
I love how she didn't just throw the two of them together and they were like 'oh yeah, let's fall instantly in love and get married'. Instead she made Oscar woo Hale. He's one of the most romantic, sweet love interests I've read in a while. 
This was the first book I've read in 2013 and all I can say is my year started off with a BANG!
Oscar Maree is my first book boyfriend of the year and let me just give a message to all book boyfriends to come; 'You all have a lot to live up to. Oscar is sexy beyond what any man should be. With his incredible body and his wonderful heart'... Oh I could talk about him forever, but I better not for fear of boring you guys to death. 

Thank you Misty for introducing me to Oscar and Hale. I had so much fun with them.

Thank you to anyone who dropped by today to read my first review of the year.


  1. Now I'm happy too, Keren! Crazy, wildly, kick-up-my-heels happy that this story did what I hoped it would do for you. I will be cloud-walking the rest of the day for sure. Thank you for reading, my Angel!!

    1. Thank YOU for creating such a gripping, sexy story. It was superb. If it was a project for an English essay and I was the teacher, I'd have to give you an A* LOL :D

  2. I have to say, I loved Hale Maree. I read it in about 24 hours. It's sexy, sensual and has a whole lot of heart.

    By: Irene (Auto Service Bellevue)


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