Review: The Offer by Karina Halle (The McGregors #2)

On the evening of her best friend's and his younger brother's wedding, Nicola Price and Bram McGregor shared an unforgettable kiss, one that held promise. Then Nicola had to return to her five-year-old daughter Ava and Bram went on to hook up with someone else at the wedding, proving to Nicola that he's every bit the manwhore she's heard him to be. But after a medical emergency concerning Ava that adds on to Nicola's financial woes, Bram does the unexpected: he offers Nicola and Ava a rent-free apartment next door to his in the building that he owns. It's a no-strings-attached offer of help, and soon, Nicola discovers a side to Bram she never imagined possible. Nicola becomes increasingly drawn to every layer of the enigmatic man she's falling for, but will she still love and accept Bram when she learns his darkest secret?

The Offer is the follow-up to Karina Halle's The Pact, both of which are contemporary romances, and while both can be read as standalones, I recommend you read the books in order because characters from the first book do appear in this sequel. I've had both books on my to-be-read list for a while and bought them on Kobo while they were on sale several months ago. I've enjoyed the author's past work and quite liked that both The Pact and The Offer, plus the new release The Play, are a different fare from what I've read before (the Experiment in Terror series and the Artists trilogy). There's no suspense or mystery to be found in The Offer and its sibling releases, but the stories and characters are all quite engaging and one thing that the other has never failed to do is to keep her readers entertained regardless of the genre read.

Nicola and Bram start off and continue to have moments that reminded me of two school children--Bram being the stereotypical little boy who tries to catch the little girl's attention by any means necessary, and that includes teasing her and pissing the heck out of her. Bram often comes off as immature and cocky, but there are parts of him that are simply waiting to be discovered that prove that he isn't some vacuous guy who's only good at getting girls into bed with him. I do wish, though, that his relationship with both his brother Linden and their parents was explored a bit further, especially since both Bram and Linden have made remarks at how strained and unloving things were with their diplomat father and socialite mother. I would have also wanted to see him interact a bit more with Matthew and not just focused on Nicola's Ava.

Just like with Linden McGregor and Steph Robson in the first book, Nicola and Bram go through a pretty easy period once they get together that then hits a very rough patch that threatens to destroy what they've created as a couple. The secret that Bram keeps from Nicola is a big one, and I can fully understand why he would have chosen to keep it from her for as long as he did, but then we all know how each day that was spent keeping the secret is going to end up costing them even more when everything comes to light. Nicola was a strong and independent single mother and her resolve was something that I really liked about her. She certainly wasn't quick to forgive and that allowed her time to take stock of what mattered most to her in the end. The Offer was a worthwhile sequel to The Pact and one that I'm giving four out of five stars to. ♥

Date Read: 04 November 2015

Learn more about Karina Halle.

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