Title: The Arrangement
Series: Homestead Legacy: Book One
Author: Alex Jane
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 194 Pages
Category: Historical Romance, Paranormal
At a Glance: A marriage of convenience, a complicated past, a touch of fantasy, hurt and heartache amidst the fears of confession, and some love overcoming obstacles all come together in a sweet and touching happily ever after.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: 1895. New York.
Gabriel Webster’s pack is in trouble. His father’s failing health and his mother’s untimely death mean that the vultures are circling. It won’t be long before his family’s assets are stripped and his pack disbanded. When an offer of help arrives in the form of a marriage of convenience, he has little choice but to accept.
The arrangement would be the perfect solution, if not for one thing. Gabriel is to marry Nathaniel Hayward, the Alpha who was badly injured in the accident that killed his brother ten years before—and the man Gabriel has been in love with for as long as he can remember.
Trapped in a business arrangement masquerading as a marriage — in a strange, empty house with a damaged husband who barely tolerates him — isn’t what Gabriel expected from life.
But sometimes the last thing we want is the beginning of something more.
And an ending can be the start of something beautiful.
Review: Author Alex Jane offers more than a passing nod to the Beauty and the Beast theme in the historical romance The Arrangement, a spinoff of the author’s Alphas’ Homestead series. Add in a marriage of convenience, a complicated past, a touch of fantasy, hurt and heartache amidst the fears of confession, and some love overcoming obstacles, and you’ll find the makings of a poignant tale of recovery and redemption in its pages.
The mate bond plays no small role in the story, its impact realized most significantly in the aftermath of an accident that left Gabriel Webster’s brother dead and Nathaniel Hayward permanently scarred—something that, for an Alpha, is such a profound stigma and signal of abject weakness that he was disowned by his parents and shunned by his pack for not healing from the wounds he’d sustained in the accident. Nathaniel’s scars and physical afflictions have caused him to become more reclusive than not, only venturing out when he absolutely must, but mostly shut away within the boundaries of his estate—a property that clearly needs a little TLC when Gabriel comes to stay—along with the bare minimum of staff who have become a small pack of their own. Nathaniel’s plan to marry Gabriel and to offer relief and support to the Webster pack after the death of their own Alpha, Gabriel’s mother, includes underlying motives, the implications of which play out beautifully over the course of some mutual pining and unresolved tensions.
Actions speak louder than words becomes a significant detail within the difficulties inherent in Nathaniel and Gabriel’s relationship and their fears of reopening past wounds—not to mention the complications of their relationship even before the accident and Nathaniel’s subsequent disappearance. Gabriel might even say abandonment. The clues and missed cues are in the details that reveal underlying feelings, especially Nathaniel’s, which Alex Jane parses out in true romantic fashion. It’s the forced proximity coupled with their mutual attraction and desire that ultimately drives them to the turning point in their relationship. A little meddling of an affectionate nature on the part of Nathaniel’s sister, Priscilla, goes a long way as well.
If you’re looking for a true shifter romance, this book isn’t it. While it does contain some of the more familiar tropes of the sub-genre, the transitions are more figurative than literal in the sense that no one becomes a full-blown wolf. The imperatives are here, though: the bonds, the mating bite, the enhanced senses of touch and scent, the mutual claiming of a soul mate, the possessiveness, and the care and fellowship of the pack, which reinforces both the romantic and the instinctive need to belong. It all comes together in a lovely fashion that embraces the happily ever after in a sweet and touching way.
You can buy The Arrangement here:
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