Sunday, 12 May 2013

Review: Hale Maree by Misty Provencher

Hale Maree
Hale Maree by Misty Provencher
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication date: November 19th 2012
My rating: 4.5 stars


Hale Simmons dreams of climbing out of her impoverished life, going to college, and getting herself a titanium crash helmet, so she can eventually bust through the Plexiglas ceiling of her crappy life. But for now, she’s just a 18-year-old girl with a flimsy hope, barely getting by with her alcoholic father, Jerry.
But for Hale, ‘crappy’ suddenly takes a nosedive, when Jerry becomes the sole witness to a horrible accident. It is an event which means to effect everyone, especially Hale, who wasn’t even involved.
While the depth of the accident has just begun to unfold, Otto Maree, a prominent business man and old family friend, stands to lose everything because of it. Otto is desperate for Hale’s father to stay quiet about what occurred the night the two men met for a drink. Out of mutual moments of desperation, the two fathers forge a deal. Jerry is desperate to gain financial stability for both himself and Hale, and Otto Maree is more than willing to pay to keep his secret just that.
But deals like this need to be made of the strongest vows and bound with the most faithful of loyalties. Otto proposes a marriage between Hale and his playboy-son, Oscar, in order to assure that the secret remains ‘in the family’. The mystery surrounding the accident continues to grow and Hale struggles against her own mysterious feelings that begin to develop for Oscar, who turns out to less of a playboy, but just as fiercely loyal and dedicated as his father.
As the pressure around her continues to escalate, Hale realizes that she’s got to decide if this arranged marriage is really just a big mistake or an amazing twist of fate that has been waiting around for this particular accident to happen.


I never thought I’d fall in love with a story about an arranged marriage, but I did! This is one of those stories I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to finish. I loved it that much!

Eighteen year old Hale has plans to go to college, better her circumstances, and live a normal life. Her plans DO NOT include being forced into an arranged marriage, but her father has other ideas.  When a tragedy happens to her father and an old friend, they get together and hammer out a plan to keep each other’s secret by uniting their families with the marriage of their children.  Hale married to Oscar.  Oscar is a stranger to Hale, someone she’s never laid eyes on, so she’s beyond shocked that
her father comes up with this cockamamie plan!  Plus, hello, this is the 21st century, not the middle ages!  As the circumstances are revealed, Hale realizes this is indeed going to happen and she can’t say no.  Panic sets in, as it would to any sane person.  That’s when she meets Oscar.

Oscar is gorgeous, rich, and sweet.  While this makes the proposition marginally better (hey, it could be a 60 year-old hairy ogre of a man!) but still, Hale feels like she is the cow being bartered away without any thought to her wants and needs.  In view of the agreement, Oscar sweeps Hale away to the family’s beach house to get better acquainted before making things official.  In the midst of all this the mystery behind the fathers’ pact is slowly revealed and things become more dangerous for all involved, especially Hale.

I’ve had my eye on this story for some time.  The synopsis immediately caught my eye, because it was so different from any other reads, but then I’d get distracted by review books and had to put this off.  Finally after a few trusted blogger friends reviewed this, (Andrea @The Bookish Babes, Heidi @Rainy Day Ramblings and then finally Maja@The Nocturnal Library) I gave in and read it! I’m sorry I waited so long!

Okay, so this may not be the most realistic set of circumstances.  I was wondering how the author was going to convince me this could be believable in any way.  I was surprised to find that Ms. Provencher pulled it off, even with Oscar being the swoony catch he is.  How lucky can a girl get?  Apparently, very!!  Oscar in all his loveliness:

“I got incredibly lucky that I don’t have to take a toad for the team. In fact, if you are half as much on the inside as you are on the outside, Hale, than I didn’t even have to dodge a bullet. What I did was hit the mother of all jackpots.”

“I think you are perfect for me, Hale, and I’m just waiting for you to realize that I’m perfect for you.”

“Will you?” Oscar asks again, removing the ring. He takes my hand, and slips the ring onto my finger. “Say yes.  Please, Hale. Not just because we’re supposed to, but because you think you might actually be able to fall in love with me.”  

This isn’t a very long book (190 pages) but I loved every delicious page! It’s a testament to Misty Provencher’s addictive writing that I stayed up until three in the morning to finish this!! She had me hook, line and sinker!!  Now I MUST pick up her other series: Cornerstone.  I already have the first book locked and loaded on the Kindle!  While putting this review together I notice Landon, Oscar's best friend has his own story: Full of Grace. There may be another late night reading in my future!

Favorite quote: 








31 comments:

  1. This is the second high-rating I've seen of this one (other was by Maja). I'm super intrigued by this one but wasn't sold on the concept of arranged marriage either... will definitely have to check this one out though. Great review, Rachel!!

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    1. I hope you will check it out, Bonnie, and come back to let me know what you thought. I would love to hear from you!

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  2. I haven't read a book about arranged marriage..or I can't remember one. This one sounds really great! Only please tell me that this girl Hale didn't fall on knees when she saw Oscar for the first time. I mean girls in novels do that a lot. You know love at the first sight. I'm really glad you've enjoyed this book. I'm really curious about it. Great review Rachel :)

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    1. No, she doesn't fall to his feet when she meets him. Quite the opposite. She's VERY reluctant about the whole situation. And thanks! I really enjoyed this one. I hope you do too, if you pick it up. :)

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    2. YAY TANJA! Thank you for considering HALE MAREE and if you enjoy it (and since you don't like swooning girls) I hope you'll try out FULL OF GRACE (the companion book to HALE). I think Sher will be spot-on for you!

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  3. Rachel, like you I've been holding off on this for some reason or the other despite positive reviews from so many of my friends. I think I'm just going to have to give it a try now, though. It seems too good to miss out on. Great review, dear!(:

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    1. Oh, I hope you will try it out Keertana and I hope that the story will surpass your expectations. Please let me know if you decide to read!

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  4. Love late night readings! Fantastic review Rachel!
    Sounds like an interesting take of arrange marriage. Love the first quote you choose, it is so romantic.

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    1. I hope you'll try it out, Rachel! It is a great success when I hear it keeps someone up late and I hope it will keep you up late too!

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  5. Okay you mentioned this one yesterday Rachel and I was intrigued so I went and bought it, and now I'm thinking I'm in for a late night tonight. WIN! I didn't even read the blurb, so I had no idea it was about an arranged marriage and now I'm DYING to see how everything works out. Thanks so much for the awesome recommendation!

    PS - Are you loving Tyler yet?

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    1. Now I'm EXCITED to hear what you think, Jenny! You and I are alike- I rarely read blurbs and enjoy going in kind of blind. I hope Oscar delivers- I'm counting on him to keep you up late!!

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  6. This does sound good. I would never have picked this one up before but I think i'll give it a read now :)

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    1. THANK YOU SO MUCH, SARAH! That is a huge compliment and THANK YOU SO MUCH RACHEL for this review and letting others know what you thought!

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  7. Thank you so much for tweeting me your review, Rachel! You've made my Mother's Day times ten! Thank you so much for reading, reviewing, and letting others know what you thought. I am crossing fingers that you will enjoy the CORNERSTONE series as much and, folks have been telling me that if they LIKED Oscar, they LOVE Landon in FULL OF GRACE. I hope it is true for you and that you'll let me know! Thank you so much again for making my Mother's Day that much better!!

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  8. Great review Rachel. Besides the medieval idea of an arranged marriage, this actually sounds like a really sweet read. The quotes are lovely, and I read the spoiler one too. This sounds like a book that would leave a big happy smile on your face :)

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    1. Hope it will make you smile too, Suzanne!

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  9. I agree, it's a short read, but one that packs a punch,a nd the fact that it's so unusual is its strongest point! I really liked Hale.. I liked Oscar too, but she seemed more realistic of the two.
    And here's the best thing: Full of Grace is even better!
    I'm glad you enjoyed this, Rachel!

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    1. THANK YOU, MAJA!! You are more lovely than words!

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  10. I just bought this book because of your review, Rachel! I'm so excited to start it soon :)

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    1. Oh, I hope you love it, Aman! Either way, please let me know what you think! I'd love to hear from you!

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  11. Okay, I was intrigued by the cover and even more so by the synopsis, but I had to do a little dance when I heard "arranged marriage." There should be more of those in my opinion! LOVE the review, I'm so glad you liked it :) this has now moved up very high in my TBR list...well and it now is ON my TBR list!

    Sunny @ Blue Sky Bookshelf

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    1. Thank you so much, Sunny! I understand the towering, teetering TBR pile, so thank you very much for adding HALE to it! I hope you will enjoy it!

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  12. This would definitely be a different type of book for me, but it does sound cute! Great review!

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  13. Oh, I am so happy you read Hale Maree, Rachel! And better yet, you adored it. Oscar snd Hale were so endearing. Fabulous review!

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  14. Ohmyohmyohmy this sounds AMAZING! Yes, kinda bizarre circumstances but so glad to hear the author pulled it off very well! I definitely want to read this one soon as well :D great review!

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  15. Wow, it is awesome to hear that you loved this one so much! I can't say I'm familiar with it at all, but I do recognize Misty Provencher's name from other works that she's done and I get the impression that her writing is well liked by many bloggers. So I ought to try out her stuff sometime!

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  16. Oscar being sweet and charming sounds great, and I wouldn't think that I would be one for arranged marriage either, but glad it was a good one despite.

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  17. I loved that spoiler quote as well. I had a lot of fun with this one even if Oscar seemed too good to be true. He totally won me over. I am reading Full of Grace I think this week or beginning of next and I am looking forward to it. Oh definitely get on Cornerstone. It is totally different and I think you will love it!!

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  18. Whoa, what are you doing to me today, Rachel? 4.5 stars, for a self pubbed book, about an arranged marriage? Sheeeessssh. *adds to TBR* You are so bad for my pocketbook. And I love it. :D

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  19. I've also read good things about this book but, like you, have been reluctant to look further into it due to the subject matter and all. And, on a completely superficial level, I really don't like that cover lol. But it does sound like it has more substance than I would initially assume. I'll have to kepe this in mind when I want an adult romantic read. :)

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