June 7, 2018

Abbreviations #56 | The Pact, The Offer, The Play + Winter Wishes

As with most of the new adult series that I end up featuring as part of my mini-reviews, this one also has a back story. I actually read The Pact ages ago, as recommended by my friends Rachel & Kelly. But even though I'd been acquiring the rest of the books slowly, I still hadn't gotten around to reading them... until this year. Rachel reminded me that they're books worth reading during a conversation we had, and so, back in April, I decided I would reread The Pact and then binge read the other books in the series I owned (AKA The Offer, The Play, and the novella Winter Wishes).

It was, as Rachel promised, a really good set of books to binge read (though I have yet to read the last two, and who knows when that's going to happen...). These first three novels and the novella focus on a group of characters with very close ties: best friends Stephanie, Nicola and Kayla, Stephanie's other best friend Linden, his brother Bram and their cousin Lachlan. Each novel focuses around a different main couple, of course, but everyone makes an appearance (or two) in each other's stories, which just emphasizes the close-knit ties and series feel for these stories.

The Pact is something that I actually enjoyed a lot more upon my reread, which could partly have been because of how perfectly it suited my reading tastes at the moment I picked it up again. It focuses on best friends Steph and Linden, who make a pact that if they aren't in any serious relationship by the age of thirty, they'll get married to each other. What both of them don't know is that they're each secretly harboring feelings for one another, and just aren't acting on them for their own reasons. But years pass and it gets harder to deny the attraction and emotion they associate with one another... Now, this novel plays out exactly like you'd imagine a romance would. Halle does a great job giving Stephanie and Linden both distinctive voices, as well as showing how their relationship dynamic shifts over the years from friendship to secret attraction to maybe something more. It had funny moments and sweet ones, and while there were some decidedly dramatic ones in there too, it all came together in a story that was an addictive read.

Of all the books I've read in the series so far, The Offer is my favorite! The first thing it's got going for it? It centers on a romance where the guy part of the equation is an older brother who comes across as devil-may-care but secretly has a heart of gold, and that's just my type. The second thing it's got going for it? It has a romance where the girl part of the equation has a child, and the guy is easily able to accept that as a part of her life and come to care for the kid too. It was just so wonderful to read about Nicola and Bram's fiery initial encounter, and how that eventually morphs into a tentative friendship when Bram offers her a helping hand. And watching the two of them eventually realize that they mean more to each other than just friends? Well, it was beautiful. I was head over heels for their love story (and how they became a little family unit)! It made me very emotional because I was so invested in the outcome, and I just think that this story was also well-done.

The Play and Winter Wishes actually go hand in hand, as it's the same main couple for both offerings: Lachlan and Kayla. Now, compared to the previous stories, The Play was actually definitely heavier when it came to the issues the main couple is forced to confront. Lachlan and Kayla meet when Lachlan comes to the US to help Bram with a project, and Kayla instantly finds herself attracted to him. As they get to know one another, even though they fight it, their attraction soon develops into a full-blown love affair. The intensity of their feelings and relationship leads Kayla to go to Scotland to be with Lachlan, but can they both face the demons in Lachlan's past together and come out unscathed? I'm being deliberately vague, I know, but trust me when I say that everything they have to face is really best learned while reading. It pained me to see these two have to go through so much together, especially when they clearly had such strong feelings for one another as well. But I appreciated the way that it felt realistic to have everything happen the way it did, and I ended up really liking this story as well. Winter Wishes also involves these two, and it's a cute novella that serves as a great addition to their story.

So, do I think you should check out this series? I definitely think that if you're into romances that are sweet, funny, and have a touch of drama (except for The Play, which has a little more than just a touch), these books would be right up your alley.

The Pact / The Offer / The Play / Winter Wishes by Karina Halle
Series: The McGregor Brothers #1-3.5
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: December 28, 2014 / June 14, 2015 / November 3, 2015 / December 22, 2015
Source: Owned the Kindle e-books


  1. Ohh, great reviews Alexa :D So glad you enjoyed these romance books. I have not heard of them, but gosh, those covers are pretty :D Thank you for sharing. <3


Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)