by Sarah Ballance
Chase Brothers, #3
Publication Date: April 4, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Entangled Lovestruck
Synopsis: 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.
“You’re leaving,” he said softly. “The lines are there, and they’re nonnegotiable. Neither of us has to worry about falling…not when there’s nowhere to go.”
He said the words so matter-of-factly, like he hadn’t made her world turn and spin and dip and twist off its axis. It didn’t matter that he was denying anything between them because within that denial lived an admittance.
She hadn’t imagined this thing between them.
She was too dazed to resist when he pulled her close, not that she would have. Nope, that ship had long sailed, and by her estimate, it was headed straight for an iceberg…as if an iceberg stood a chance against the utter hotness that was Ethan Chase.
She barely heard the music, even though it was one of her favorite songs. She was too intoxicated by the sweet torture of his body as he held her. There was no way that kind of distance—or lack thereof—was mandatory for a public event. Hell, it wasn’t even appropriate for public. But it was so wholly, sweetly him. He really did pour his heart into everything he did, and she hoped one day he’d find a way to move on. He deserved that happiness more than anyone she knew.
Even if it would never be hers. Maybe especially so.
And he didn’t step on her feet. Not once.
“You clearly haven’t forgotten a thing,” she said, looking up at him.
“Actually, I’ve never gotten through a single dance without some sort of assault to a foot.”
“Maybe you just needed a break.”
“Maybe I just needed the right dance partner.”
Idiot. Wisely, she didn’t say the word out loud, but damn it all to hell. She took a step back, slipping from his arms. Gulping for air. “Look, while I absolutely love that you’re getting the hang of this woman in vicinity thing, you’re killing me. You’re making me ache in spots I didn’t know I had, and you’re setting fires I don’t know how to put out.” Ethan opened his mouth, but she cut him off before he could speak. “And trust me when I say I’m really enjoying it, but you don’t want pity, Ethan, so I’m not giving it to you. I’m not going to stand here and fall apart for the greater good because when the week is up, I’m going to have to find a way to pull myself together and get on a plane and leave all this behind.”
“I know we had an arrangement,” she ranted, “but this isn’t Broadway. We don’t throw down our scripts at the end of the week and just walk away. At least not me because I—”
He silenced her. He silenced the hell out of her with a kiss that went way past sweet and had them heading straight to the bedroom.
And then he shut the door.
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.
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.
CHECK OUT THE OTHER BOOKS IN THE CHASE BROTHERS SERIES…
Synopsis: California landscape artist Estelle Donovan hates big cities. Between the grime, the smell, all the drab concrete, and the suffocating summer heat, how can anyone breathe? Housesitting her brother’s New York apartment, complete with broken elevator and smoking air conditioner, is her kind of hell. It’s only for two weeks, though. What could possibly go wrong?
Dumping a jar of pickles on the hot girl at the grocery store wasn’t Crosby Chase’s finest hour, nor was getting bitten in the butt by the demonic cat on her fire escape. But he is going to change her mind about his beloved city, damn it. In fact, if they could just make it five minutes without falling into bed, he bets Estelle he can find five things she’ll love about New York.
Falling in love wasn’t part of his plan. And with an entire country between them, Crosby realizes he doesn’t need five reasons to make Estelle love New York.
He needs one big reason to make her stay…
Each book in the Chase Brothers series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Synopsis: Kelsie Reed is over bad luck and bad men. Newly dumped, she’s now the pathetically single maid of honor in her sister’s wedding—and her ex is the best man. Her bad luck continues when a plumbing meltdown in her apartment sends her sexy neighbor running to her rescue. He’s got “serial dater” written all over him, which is unfortunate because the man is hot.
Sawyer Chase loves women, but settling down? He’ll leave that to his brothers. But when Kelsie confesses she’s a dating disaster and is about to become the laughing stock of her family wedding, Sawyer takes control. He’s got one week to teach her how to land the man of her dreams, and he’ll do it on her terms: no touching, no kissing, and definitely nothing more.
But some rules need to be broken, especially when, for once, there’s something on the line worth fighting for…
ABOUT SARAH BALLANCE:
Sarah and her husband of what he calls “many long, long years” live on the mid-Atlantic coast with their six young children, all of whom are perfectly adorable when they’re asleep. She never dreamed of becoming an author, but as a homeschooling mom, she often jokes she writes fiction because if she wants anyone to listen to her, she has to make them up. As it turns out, her characters aren’t much better than the kids, but nevertheless, you’ll find her writing sexy contemporary romance for Entangled Publishing until they throw her out. To learn more, visit http://sarahballance.com.