Kelsie Leverich - The Valentines Arrangement
“I didn't want the line to get blurry, and I sure as hell didn't want you to cross it.”
Ronnie Clark, an edgy tattoo artist with hopes of high tailing it out of the forsaken Military town she followed her now ex-fiance to, is counting down 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. After her fiance slept with a female solider while deployed, she has vowed never to fall in love again, especially with a soldier.
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 deployment to finishing leading his soldiers on their mission. The last thing he wants is a relationship, but casual sex, that’s a different story. And when he meets the renowned tattoo artist Ronnie Clark, a snarky, blunt, takes no prisoners kind of woman, that seems to be all he can think about.
But when Kale realizes he has met his match with a bombshell woman who is hell bent against love, will just sex be enough? And if it’s not, will he be able to convince Ronnie that the proverbial hearts and flowers aren't so bad after all, even if he is a soldier?
“You changed something inside me, something I didn't ever think I would want, or feel—but you did, and now I can’t go back”
Here is a little teaser from the author!
This is an excerpt from when Ronnie and Kale are driving to Vermont, and Ronnie is asking Kale about the military. I like this part because it shows a crack in the hard shell that Ronnie has put firmly in place.
“What do you do?”
“Now who’s writing a book?” Kale teased, although she got the impression that he was using banter to cover up the fact that he didn’t really want to talk about it.
“Sorry, I’m just curious. You don’t have to tell me,” she said, and she was surprised by the sincerity in her words. She didn’t want him to talk about his deployments if he wasn’t up for it.
Kale sighed and his blue eyes went distant as he fixed his stare on the road ahead. Ronnie was pretty sure she was spot on with her intuition and she regretted asking.
“Na, it’s okay. I’m a combat engineer. Each deployment has been a little different though. We go on missions every day, some may be a few hours and some may be a few days. Going outside the wire could be as simple of a mission as making a presence patrol, shaking hands with local civilians and passing out candy to kids...”
Ronnie watched as Kale took in a deep breath, seemingly lost in thought. His eyes turned to hers for the briefest of moments but it was long enough for her to see the myriad of emotions swirling beneath them—anger and pride, pain and loss, honor and determination—it was like watching a funnel cloud form in clear blue skies.
“And in the blink of an eye the mission can turn into house raids and body bags.” His hands tightened on the steering wheel and the muscles in his jaw clenched as he swallowed hard.
Ronnie thought back to the beautiful poem she tattooed on his back.
And may my fallen brothers
Walk with you now, Lord.
She knew he was talking about them, the three men whose names she forever embedded into his flesh.
“Kale,” she said softly, unsure of where she was going with this but she knew she had to say something.
He shifted his eyes to her, never fully turning his head to look at her, but still letting her know he was listening.
Ronnie did something completely out of character, completely shocking the hell out of her, and something so out of line with their little arrangement that she prayed she wouldn’t regret it later. Unbuckling her seat belt, she slid across the seat until her thigh was pressed up against Kale’s. The instant her body touched his, she physically saw him relax. He exhaled a breath that she wasn’t aware he was holding and his shoulders rolled forward. She knew in that moment that even though she hated letting even a fleck of the minuscule soft side that she possessed inside her slip through, she wouldn’t regret it.
She grabbed his right hand, peeling it from his grip on the steering wheel, and kissed the inside of his palm. “I’m sorry,” she whispered, and then she kissed his palm again.
She released his hand and instead of placing it back on the steering wheel, he slipped it through her hair and ran his thumb over her cheekbone. “Thank you,” he whispered and the look he was giving her had her hard interior momentarily turning to putty; and just like that she slid back on over to her side of the truck.
I was sent an ARC of this book by the Author and I couldn't have been more excited, I fell in Love with the cover and defiantly now have a huge author crush on Miss Kelsie Leverich, she really knows how to tell a good story and I want/need to dig my teeth into more of her work. This is a book that is not to be missed, add it to your TBR/wish lists and get over the new-year hangover with this amazing read.
Ronnie is a girl after my own heart; she is tough, determined and doesn't take any bullshit. After splitting with her cheating arse of a fiance she begins to think about herself for maybe one of the first times in her life. She hasn't come from the best of backgrounds and now is the chance to make something with her life.
Kale Emerson, damn he is fine. On leave from a stint in the Army he has decided to get a memorial tattoo in honor of fallen soldiers. The last thing he expected was to fall under the needle of the sexy yet deadly Ronnie and hell if he didn't want to have her right there on the tattoo table.
Ronnie isn't the least bit interested in starting anything with anyone never mind Army man Kale, her Fiancee was with the army and managed to break her heart so what would make Kale any different. It doesn't matter that her body is reacting to him or the fact her mind is wondering to sinful places where all her wicked fantasies come true it just cannot come.
Kale soon learns that Ronnie doesn't do mushy, lovey dovey bull-crap she tends to do smart arse replies and dirty looks all wrapped up into a sexy package dressed in high heels.
Kale is similar to Ronnie is the sense that the last thing he wants is to embark in a committed relationship with hearts and flowers, what he wants is simple; a good hard fumble in the sack and possible one in the shower and or a counter top.
This book ticked all the boxes for me and more, the only thing it could have been was longer, but then again I am greedy and could happily read anything Kelsie writes.
5.5/5 for this book!