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Showing 1-10 of 51 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 67 reviews
on January 11, 2015
Eighteen year old Hale doesn't have an easy life, but she's determined that her future will be better. She'll take advantage of needs-based scholarships, get herself a college education, and build the stable future she's always wanted. But when her alcoholic father stumbles in one evening with a drunken friend, planning on marrying her off to some boy she's never met, the future takes a turn she never would have imagined.

The Verdict: Hale is pretty easy to like right off the bat. She's just a normal teenage girl, barely an adult and still entirely dependent on her less than reliable father. They scrape by and often do without, but she pushes on, determined to make a better life for herself someday. Her father, however, has other plans for her.

When her dad and his old friend Mr. Maree get caught up in an accidental but prison-worthy crime, they're bound by a terrible secret and the need to make sure neither one of them talks. After a few too many drinks, they hatch a plan to marry Hale off to Mr. Maree's son Oscar, tying their families together in a way that ensures that if one takes the fall, the other's going with him. It's desperate and rather foolish, and it certainly doesn't take into account the feelings of their children, but when Hale's dad throws her out with only a few bags of belongings and no money, she has no choice but to go with Oscar until she comes up with a new plan.

I was honestly surprised by how much I enjoyed the story. There are so many aspects of it that I can't get my head around, but at the same time, Oscar was a pretty good guy, Hale was a rather lost and understandably naive girl, and in the end they were a really cute couple. Hale was that much more likeable for the way she fought the arrangement, not only staunchly refusing and arguing that she was not to be traded off like livestock, but actually making a run for it and fighting to get away when Oscar seemed to be on board with the harebrained plan. And while Oscar was clearly a hormone-ridden twenty-something who was very, very distracted by the consummation aspect of marriage, he was also kind to Hale and wanted her to genuinely want a relationship with him.

I didn't like the way Oscar was so pushy with her, though. Sure, he's a young man, and he's got sex on the brain 24/7, but when he figured out just how inexperienced Hale was, he didn't really back off. Instead, it seemed like he was more interested in talking her into bed than letting her determine the pace, and while that may be no different than plenty of other guys trying to get into their girlfriends' pants, it was rather off-putting. Hale was in one hell of a bad situation, with a drunk of a father who kicked her out and few options that would keep a roof over her head. I would have liked to see Oscar put his own sexual interests aside and be a bit more understanding of the uprooted girl he was looking out for. After all, he was a great looking guy, and they seemed to get along rather quickly; it was only a matter of time before her own hormones and romantic notions led to exactly what he wanted.

In reading the story, though, the arranged marriage thing didn't seem like such an unbelievable deal after all. Instead, the primary situation was simply that Hale was suddenly homeless, and Oscar took her in. Of course, he still believed in his father's idiotic scheme to patch the whole mess up with a marriage certificate, but that ended up feeling secondary to Oscar's attempts to develop a genuine relationship with Hale. Hale's sense of betrayal, hopelessness, and typical teenage hormones and insecurities played a big role in not only the story, but in making her decisions believable, even in their crazy situation. In the end, I still wanted to throttle both their fathers, and I would have been happy to see these two kids take slower steps in the direction of forever, but the happily ever after made sense for the foolhardy romantics that Hale and Oscar turned out to be.
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on November 3, 2012
Could. Not. Put. Down. Yes it is THAT good.

I am currently sitting here at 2am in the morning writing this review because honestly plain and simple it deserves it.
This book is completely different to your 'normal' love story. I love the way this book is written and yes after you read this you WILL have another book boyfriend to add to your lists ;)
Oscar is the complete package but the way he has so much patience and understanding for Hale it just makes you melt even more.

Congratulations Misty, he really is drool worthy in every way <3
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on November 3, 2014
in this story Misty Provencher writes about arranged marriage in modern society.

while i admit the idea is not foreign to me there are not many books discussing the situation. furthermore, here the characters have no say whatsoever.

the story was well written, and the pace was good as well. Hale's reactions were believable most of the time and the relationship developed quite fast but still in a steady rythem.

Misty Provencher created a tolerante, honest, completely hot guy in Oscar. and Hale was a honest, sensetive and charming heroine. I loved them both, and enjoyed how their feelings became more genuine over such a short period of time. it was a short time, yet they understood each other, they cared, they learned- and putting them together in a more or less isolated enviroment did the trick.

Even so, I admitt Oscar's acceptance of the whole marriage thing was kind of hard to digest, while I really liked Hale's reactions to the idea. more importantly, while this was quite a cinderella story- poor girl, rich guy- Oscar's wealth didn't affect Hale's reaction to him for better or worse, and she fell for him for the person he was with her. One of my favourie scenes was when the group went shopping, and Hale used the money Oscar gave her to buy him presents instead of things for herself.

Another favourite scene was when Oscar and Hale were discussing their expectations from the marriage, and Hale said she wanted Oscar to adore and admire her. that he would come running when she called him, that he would think he was lucky to have her even when she gained ten pounds or turned his shirts pink. and Oscar reaction to it was great. It touched me deeply.

Yet, In matters of writing I think Mercy, A Gargoyle Story (also by Misty Provencher) was far superior in matters of beautiful writing. don't get me wrong, Misty Provencher writes beautifully. but in Mercy the writing is more lyrical and fairy-tale like.
Also, I found Hale Maree companion novel, Full Of Grace to be more rounded in the character and relationship development even though less original (although she still managed to explore an ancient plotline through new eyes).

Anyway, I'd definetly keep a close eye on Misty Provencher development as an author. and I warmly recommand you read her books. ;)
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on February 10, 2013
I loved this book and had to read it as quick as I could. The writing style of Misty Provencher was fantastic and has such an easy flow that you don't realise how quickly the pages are turning. The characters are interesting and you can't help but pity Hale; her life isn't fun and gets even more complicated.

Hale Simmons aspires to improve her life and escape from poverty. She dreams of going to college on a scholarship and school is her priority. With a Mother that left when she was little and a Father that is an alcoholic, she does everything she can to keep food on the table and not let her Father waste all their money on booze.

One night, Hales' Father, Jerry brings home a man, Otto and as she is preparing her tin of stew, they are talking about her and a boy called Oscar. They are talking about Hale's pure virtue and her good looks and how Oscar will be able to take care of Hale. Hale is mortified and thinks surely they are not arranging a marriage for her.....that just doesn't happen anymore does it?

The next day, Jerry explains what is to happen and why. He wouldn't go into the details, says it is safer if she doesn't know them. Hale is to marry this man's son, Oscar and it will seal the deal of trust and give them all motivation to keep the secret. Jerry witnessed a murder and as such, to prove he won't break his promise, has offered Hale to marry Oscar.

Hale felt degraded and doesn't know what to do. She meets Oscar once, but isn't planning on marrying him. Jerry demands Hale marry Oscar and kicks Hale out of her house and into the arms of Oscar. They escape to Oscar's family beach house and are to become acquainted before they marry.

Hale is having mixed feelings as the days go on living with Oscar. He is being sweet and trying extremely hard to make her feel comfortable. Slowly, very slowly, Hale is starting to like Oscar, but to marry him is still a thing of distress. Oscar invites his best friend to visit, and his friends girlfriend comes along as well. They all try to get along. With the secret still hanging over their heads, Oscar and Hale try really hard to get along in front of company, but everything is still so very strange.

As the pressure escalates, Hale needs to make a decision and when Oscar proposes, she is shocked at how easily he seems to be able to accept everything. Can Hale overcome her thoughts and go with her heart? Will they really get married? What happened with the murder and was anybody implicated? Will Jerry turn his life around with the help of Otto? Can life really go on for Hale if she's married to Oscar?

This is a fantastic love story that had some shocking twists along the way. They betrayal Hale felt from her father was so vivid, that I was crying along with her. This is such a unique story for me that I want more from these characters; they are just so addictive and intriguing. I am glad to hear there will be a companion, Full of Grace and cannot wait to read it.
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on November 4, 2012
OH WOW!!! AB-SO-LUTELY LOVED LOVED LOVED IT!!!!!!!
Freakin fantastic!!!

So, not even a full day after finishing HALE MAREE and I am still captivated by the phenomenally awesomeness of this book....
I have read Misty Provencher's Cornerstone series and loved it, but HALE MAREE is different, spunky, HOT, suspenseful...I mean, all the great things to make a fantastic novel.
For starters, we have Hale, the heroine, that is bound and determined to live her life the way she wants and not fall in to any kind of trap that is laid before her. Even when her heart and body tells her a whole different story, she is relentless to not back down on what she feels she will lose.
But, then we have Oscar...AND OMG!!! here is the new guy that everyone will be talking about because of how wonderful he is...Oscar is the guy that is loyal to the end. He is also just as bound and determined to make Hale change her mind as Hale is to keep him from changing hers....
The chemistry between these two is explosive. From their first meeting and until the very end, you are wound so tight waiting to find out exactly what is going to happen...did our heroine and hero actually become a couple??? Hmmmm....just gonna have to read and find out!!
And let me say, this book is soooo much more than just the two of them....with a mystery tying all of the lives of our characters together, you are caught on pins and needles, wondering what actually happened, who is actually who in this story...
Overall, HALE MAREE is a freaking brilliant! Misty Provencher blew me away with the nail biting moments, the hot budding romance, and the suspense of our underlying mystery all through the book.
HIGHLY RECOMMEND!! Go get your copy today...like me, you won't be able to put it down!!
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on November 7, 2012
Read the book blurb for the story premise.

This was the first novel I read by Misty Provencher, so I honestly had no idea what to expect other than the blurb about the book and some talk I had read on line. On the day this book was released I decided to give it a try and read it immediately. I'm really glad I picked up this book. Here's why: the writing was smooth and fluid throughout which made it easy to pick up the book and keep on going until the end. I didn't feel that any part of the writing was out of place in the story - there weren't any of those awkward moments that don't feel right. The story telling was funny, sexy, exciting, with a smidge of suspense and deliciously hot without going over the top.

The characters were put together and developed quite well. I loved that each had personality and were inimitable. Their banter and inner dialogue was smart, funny, and sexy at times, adorable, and tender. Some of the banter between Hale and her best friend Sher was hilarious. The author perfectly captured their conversations. So many of the exchanges in this book were quotable and memorable! I imagined some of my girlfriends having the same type of ridiculous chatter and laughing uncontrollably. Now, when we are first introduced to Oscar I was blown away. He is sweet and SEXY! I think he could melt me with a look. I loved that he put it `out there' that he was not like all other guys. More importantly he knows his way around the sex and getting your blood boiling! Oscar is all that and then some and qualifies for book boyfriend status immediately (the line forms behind me). He was determined and made a believer out of me. Hale held her own and I liked her way of going about life, her situation and the challenges and decisions she faced. I liked her personality - she wasn't whiny, she wasn't indecisive, she was just youngish, but not immature and she was put in a bad situation. Her point of view was quirky and she had solid character.

Okay, so the writing was imaginative and solid. This book was not run of the mill, it was refreshing. I found it to be so much more than I expected. It had a few twists and turns and was overall captivating. If anything, I wish the book had been longer, I feel it was a bit short (because I was enjoying it so much). The author could have played me and kept me going with more angst and relationship development. I just wanted more!

Misty Provencher's writing was impressive and made a fan out of me. I will be looking forwarding to reading more of her adult contemporary work. Give it a try! Hale Maree is worth it.
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on January 13, 2013
Once you get past the initial plot there is a mystery to be solved in addition to the developing love story.

Hale Simmons (18 years/just graduated high school) is wonderful, memorable and so very charming.
Oscar Charles Maree (24 years/businessman/black hair/dark eyes) is one of those adorable heroes, sweet, likeable, handsome and sexy.

I enjoyed Landon and Sher as well!

***
Hero rating: 4.5 stars
Heroine rating: 5 stars
Story line rating: 3.5 stars
******************************
Overall rating: 4 stars

Would I recommend this book: Yes.
Would I re-read this book: Probably not.
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on November 13, 2012
I ordered this book via Amazon for the Kindle because of a recommendation I saw by Michelle Leighton on Facebook. I wasn't sure what to expect given the premise but was truly pleased that I got it because it was fantastic! The story is about an 18 year old girl (Hale) who is basically forced into an arranged marriage by her father and the father of the man she is supposed to marry (Oscar). Given this background I found it a little creepy to form any kind of love story or even relationship in a situation that is forced. The story unfolds perfectly and the relationship develops with lots of surprises along the way. I was anxious to see how things would (or wouldn't) progress and what would happen at the end. I was taken in by the story and all the twists and turns. Great book!
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on January 27, 2014
Just finished reading some of the CORNERSTONE series (that I really liked). While waiting for the next book in that series, I ordered Hale Maree. This is more adult than YA. It is hot, hot, hot with a good story. A girl is sort of foisted off on a young man as a type of hostage to a deal between fathers. Not a comfortable place for anyone. Now she has to make the most of a pairing that wasn't her idea. The man who has been paired with her is attractive, but a total stranger. Can she make the most of a very bad situation. Good reading with bent page corners, if you get my drift!
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on September 17, 2014
I read Hale Maree back in the fall of 2012 and it’s a book that I can recall as clear as if I read it yesterday. It happened to be one of the first (so extremely special to me) of the few new adult contemporary romance reads I had read. I was reading Misty’s phenomenal young adult fantasy series, Cornerstone, and as I was awaiting the next book in that series, I knew I just had to devour her newest release even though it was out of my comfort zone. Misty’s writing can’t be defined, can’t be put in a box but it is amazing, unique and keeps me turning the pages. She has this talent that not only can she transcend any genre or category, she can write the s*** out of it! She makes me laugh, cry and swoon over and over again with each new book! OK now that some gushing has been done, how about more Hale Maree!

I had no idea what I was getting into when I started reading Hale Maree, but like I mentioned I had high hopes! The story started out very intriguing, but as a non-seasoned romance reader, all I could think about was who the heck even considers an arranged marriage in this day in age? But the complexities and hilarity of the story and the swell writing kept me going and boy am I glad I did! I loved Oscar! What a name, right?! Who thought I could ever find an Oscar charming…but by the end I was totally swept off my feet! Hale was strong and stubborn, which I thought was appropriate for her situation. She struggles with trust and her plans for a future. It was hard enough for her to pin down any semblance to what she wanted in life so she starts to think why not take a chance on a hot, romantic, wealthy guy?

The characters are well so well done. The story is a fun, witty, romantic read! Oh and HOT! Swoon, swoon, swoon!

My tiniest bit of criticism that kept this from being a 5 star book is I found it a little unrealistic with the arranged marriage scenario in these modern times, but that is part of the conflict of the story. Also, I struggled a little bit with the virgin chasing, which I found strange, but also know it can be a trope found in romance reads. Like I said, at the time I read this I was a totally newb when it came to reading contemporary romance.

This book is highly recommended by me for fans of New Adult. There is angst, growth, silliness, and romance! There is seriously no risk in picking up your copy of Hale Maree, you *will* enjoy it and why not get while it is free! Just a limited time (at the time of this posting)!

This review was originally posted on 9/17/14 on my blog: [...] *I have not been compensated for this review & purchased this book myself*
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