The Bachelor Contract
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Godparent Trap comes a funny, fantastic second-chance romance!
She's everywhere: His ex-wife. The love of his life. The last person in the world he wants to see...ever.
And now that he's working beside her every day, he can't escape her. Her scent, glimpses of her smile, even the tension in the air that makes his body hum with the kind of need he'd only experienced with one person-all of it is driving him over the edge.
Brant Wellington is certain of three things: Alcohol isn't going to solve this. He's going wild. And his gorgeous ex-wife is going to be the death of him.
Van Dyken weaves a rich tapestry of love, loss, and redemption in her tear-jerking third Bachelors of Arizona contemporary (after The Bachelor Auction and The Playboy Bachelor), the best installment yet. Brooding widower Brant Wellington uses whiskey and willing women to quiet his grief over the deaths of his second wife and their son. He's jolted out of that pattern when he comes face to face with his ex-wife, Nikki, who carries her own pain from the death of a child and a fire that left Nikki nearly blind. She's trying to rebuild her life while working as a massage therapist at a posh resort. When Brant shows up on her massage table, they can't deny that the old spark is still there, but it seems impossible that they could let go of the past and forge a future. Van Dyken surrounds her superbly drawn couple with a cast of lovable supporting characters, especially Nikki's protective best friend, Cole, and the outrageous elderly Nadine. The characters' raw emotions will leave readers awash in heartbreak and hope.
THE BACHELOR CONTRACT
3 1/2 STARS!
Can there truly be a second chance at forever? Brant & Nikki find themselves hoping against hope that there can be! These two wounded hearts have spent their time apart being gutted and wishing things had been different. Now they are faced with the opportunity of being in the same vicinity again and have to decide whether to forget it all and go about their separate lives ... or to bear their wounded souls to each other in hopes that the other might decide to stay. This is my first book by this author, and I wasn't a huge fan of her style of writing ... but I did enjoy the story as a whole. I'm not a fan of a story that leaves us to play a guessing game of what happened and fills in bits and pieces here and there. I find it easier to connect and become one with the characters if I'm living the heartache right there along side them. In all, it wasn't my favorite style of book, but in the end I did become a fan of the characters and stood right there beside them rooting for that happily ever after!
Brant Wellington comes from a supportive family who also loves to butt their nose in where it doesn't belong every chance they get. None of them have been able to pull his head out of the sand over the years since he split with his ex and have worried that he's a lost cause. Finally someone comes up with a plan to make him address his heartache head-on, once and for all ... but having her in front of him again, no, he's not going to be able to handle it!
His ex-wife Nikki is also blindsided to have him all of a sudden in the same room with her. She thought she was working towards moving on and starting a new life ... but she's really just been spending these years wishing he'd turn back around and give her another chance.
An Emotional Read
I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about The Bachelor Contract to be honest. I was a little nervous because I didn't like The Playboy Bachelor as much as I normally like all of Rachel's books. I also wasn't the biggest fan of Brant in the other 2 books so I didn't know what to expect from him. I am happy to say that I ended up enjoying The Bachelor Contract more than I thought I would. The book is filled with loads of emotion, mainly sadness and anger, but it's a story about overcoming those emotions and realizing that happiness can be found when you let go of the past. Brant isn't always the most likable guy, he's often angry, drunk, or both, but once he gets out of that funk he can be a really great and sweet guy. Both Nikki and Brant have been through unbelievably sad things in life that I wish people didn't have to experience. They lost so much and basically turned into shells of their former selves. Nikki is a kind and caring person who is trying to move on from her tragic past, but just can't. She's often sad and reminded of what she doesn't have anymore. Both Brant and Nikki deserve to be happy again, and that happiness is found with each other. Their relationship is far from typical. They have had so many ups and downs and that continues to be seen now. It was hard to read at times with all the anger and sadness. There were definitely times that I didn't like what characters were doing and/or saying, especially in the first half of the book. It was hard to connect with some of them when I couldn't understand why they were acting a certain way, and basically just being mean. I really liked the second half much better. A lot of that anger is lost and now it becomes more about moving on and focusing on the present and future. One thing that I would have liked is more explanation about the past, especially about Nikki and the fire. It felt breezed over in a way. I still don't fully understand what happened with all of that besides that it was super sad and scary. Overall it was a good read and I'm happy with the way it ended.