Monday, October 21, 2013

The Bargain by Christine S. Feldman

Tomboy Shannon Mahoney has always been a lot more comfortable with power tools than high heels or lipstick, and she wishes she could reinvent herself and finally tell her perfect boss, Drew Kingston, she has had a crush on him since high school. But she is just as tongue-tied and awkward around him now as she ever was, and long-familiar patterns are hard things from which to break free…

Ladies’ man Michael is a former bad boy looking for redemption. He is desperate to atone for past mistakes that he made with his family, but younger brother Drew has cut him out of his life and refuses to even speak to him. Which means Michael needs help getting to Drew.

And so he approaches Shannon with a proposition: If she will get Drew to agree to hear him out, Michael will mentor Shannon in how to win his brother’s heart. Suspicious of Michael’s motives, Shannon initially enters into the bargain just to make sure Michael isn’t actually in town to cause trouble for Drew, but the two unlikely allies are surprised to discover they enjoy each other’s company far more than either expected.

Shannon starts to realize that maybe love isn’t about reinventing yourself after all. It’s about finding your perfect match.

I love reading clean romance books.  I just can't help it.  It's the classic boy meets girl, the struggle, the toe curling kisses and of course, the resolution.  When I want escape, diversion, and dreamy romance, this is genre is where I go.

The Bargain is down to earth with real characters doing real things.  Shannon is endearing.  You can relate to the whole "back in the day" high school scene with her.  The way she gets all tongue tied and shy around her long time crush (who she now works for!) and the way she stands up to Michael like a bull dog brings out all the sides of her personality.  I love how she is so insecure but tries so hard to overcome that.  The battle at the car while Shannon internally debates with herself about going into the clothing shop is classic.  I loved that part.  Especially from Michael's point of view.  Second favorite part?  The wowza first kiss, of course.  :)

This book was easy, fun reading.  It had an excellent flow with great dialogue.  The characters were likable and easy to relate to.  It was the perfect book to cozy up with on the couch as the weather turns cold outside.  I love happily ever after endings.  :)

Content:  mild swearing, some sexual innuendo and references

Enjoy the following excerpt from The Bargain!

“So, ten years…That would take it all the way back to high school, wouldn’t it?”
She nodded, still very deliberately working on getting just the right amount of ketchup on her fry so she wouldn’t have to look at him.
“Wait—were you and Drew in the same graduating class?”
“Then that would mean…so you and I were actually in school together?”
“For a year, yes.”
He gave her a very thorough once-over as if trying to place her. “You and I—we never hooked up in high school, did we?”
Shannon’s mouth fell open. “No, we certainly did not!”
“So is that why you were really so mad at me the other day?”
“What?” she sputtered hotly. “You are unbelievable!”
“Oh, so we did hook up.”
A slow grin spread across his face, and she realized he was playing with her.
Taking a deep breath, she bit back a name she had been about to call him. “You get a perverse pleasure out of yanking my chain, don’t you?”
“Kind of, yes.”
“Aren’t you afraid I might back out of the deal?”
“No, I think you realize it’s in Drew’s best interest. Besides,” he added with a knowing gleam in his eye, “I think you get a perverse pleasure out of putting me back in my place, so we’re developing a great little symbiotic relationship here. Don’t you agree?”
“What? Oh, I’m sorry. I’m still recovering from the shock of hearing such big words come out of your mouth.”
Michael started to laugh, and Shannon felt a kind of rush go through her…

And now, meet the author, Christine Feldman:

Christine S. Feldman writes both novels and feature-length screenplays, and, to her great delight, she has placed in screenwriting competitions on both coasts—and has even won a couple of them.  In 2012 one of her screenplays was featured as a staged reading in New York City at the Gotham Screen International Film Festival (, and later that same year she signed her first publishing contract for her debut novel, Coming Home, with her second one, The Bargain, out this summer.  When she is not writing, she is teaching kindergarten, puttering around in her garden, ballroom dancing with her husband, or doing research for her next project.  Please visit her at her website or on Facebook at

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