Title: The Deal
Author: Stella Gray
Publisher/Year: Stella Gray 9/10/19
Length: 235 Pages
Series: Arranged #1
On my eighteenth birthday my father, the senator, gives me the gift he thinks every little girl dreams of.
The man of my dreams, and the wedding to match.
Stefan Zoric is heir to an elite worldwide modeling agency. Practically a prince.
My arrangement is simple, as far as sham marriages go.
I give him my virginity, behave as the perfect wife and he’ll pay for the college degree my father found irrelevant.
But I don’t want to be the perfect wife.
I want him to want me the way I want him.
I want him to confide in me.
But Stefan has secrets that he holds close, dangerous secrets.
And soon I’m wondering what kind of devil have I made a deal with?
I don’t think that i’ve ever read anything by Ms Stella Gray before, but I have to say that i’ve really enjoyed the introduction here to the Arranged Series. It’s the expected dynamic of the innocent being given to the powerful man for business reasons yet there’s something unique here.
We find our journey starting on Tory’s eighteenth birthday where she’s finally an adult and she’s trying to find her own path in the world outside of her Senator father’s and yet, just when she thinks that there’s hope, she’s thrown for a loop and finds herself under the finger of another man. Granted a very very attractive man.
Enter Stefan – the man who’s powerful and sexy and controlling and the one that we end up wanting to root for but the same man who does everything i his power to make us hate him. He agrees to a marriage in order to get the role in his family’s business that he feels that he deserves to have and i think that perhaps all the dark and dirty that we learn is the reason that he wants control. to make changes that are for the better.
This first installment to the series takes us from the wedding to a European honeymoon that has it’s fair share of ups and downs, more downs in fact than ups. We see Stefan’s devotion to his work at the sacrifice of Tori’s attention, leaving her essentially locked in a hotel room not able to see the amazing places that he’s taking her to. He seems afraid of her innocence and no matter what she does to lure him in, to catch his attraction, we find that it’s impossible for her to succeed – making her think that she’s not a woman and not the wife that will even manage to be in a relationship that is worth surviving.
One of the nice things about this story is that our author does a fantastic job of making sure that we sense the chemistry and intensity between them, and it amps things up that much more until we get to the point of no return. The way that these steamy scenes are written are so hot that you can’t help but to wish that you were the one in the relationship experiencing everything.
As this book progresses, we see there are moments of hope, we see corners turn as Tori gets into her school program and finds a rhythm with Stefan. We want to believe that there’s a way to make this into a real relationship instead of a temporary arrangement for the better good of business, but that all crashes and burns when Tori overhears something and realizes that she’s the only one who didn’t know about it. We’re left on a cliff and i can’t wait to see what comes out and happens in book 2. Enjoy!