Title: The Arrangement (Soulmates #1)
Author: Felice Stevens
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: July 20, 2016
Reviewed by: Gigi
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Carter Haywood lives for the weekends—specifically the one weekend every month when he escapes real life, with all the pressures of work and caring for his special needs brother, to do whatever he wants, with whomever he wants. Sex is only a release; he’s not looking for love, a relationship or even a second night with the same man, until he walks into a bar and finds someone who makes leaving it all behind impossible. After one incredibly passionate encounter, he breaks his rule and goes back. He needs to see this man again. And again.
Damaged goods. That’s all Reed Kincaide sees and hears when he looks in the mirror. Anxiety and ADHD define his life and he’s learned to keep people at a distance, never letting them get close enough to know who he really is. When Carter proposes a monthly weekend of sex without strings, it’s the ideal arrangement for him. Or so he thinks. Every month, leaving Carter proves to be more and more difficult. It’s not only the intensely hot sex they have in their hotel suite; Reed wonders about the secret life Carter refuses to share.
As months pass and they grow closer Reed finds himself falling for Carter, but he needs more than hurried hugs and farewell kisses. He wants it all. Letting Reed into his carefully constructed family life could upset Carter’s whole world, but it might be the risk he’s finally willing to take, if it means keeping Reed. Once bodies are engaged, the heart is sure to follow, and Carter and Reed discover that holding on to each other is the first step in letting go of the past.
What is the arrangement?
Carter is a workaholic and raising his young brother after his mother took off. He has FAR too much on his plate for a relationship.
Reed is a bartender with terrible self-esteem and, at times, debilitating anxiety. His last relationship was a disaster so when he meets Carter he is all about some hot sex with no strings.
The arrangement is that both men go about their normal lives but meet once a month in the city for hot and sweaty sex. No attachments, no contact during the rest of the month, just lots and lots of sex.
While I did enjoy this book and love the sex-then-love trope, Reed was a problem for me. He became very demanding and kept bending the rules and while I wanted these two to get to the emotion and love, I feel he went about it the wrong way. But get there they did and it was romantic and sweet.
The Arrangement deals with some pretty heavy issues (mental illness, neglect, delayed child development) and packs an angsty punch, but the hot sex and (eventually) emotions make up for any of the pain.