A Deal Before the Altar by Rachael Thomas

Reviewed by Desere

Every woman out there who has a sister knows how strong and unbreakable the bond is of sisterly love is. You laugh together, you argue and don't always see eye to eye, you cry together when life's troubles pop up and as years go by and you both grow up, the bond just get's stronger and stronger. But all of that aside there is also the 'we fight together'. You will kill if you have to, yes that sounds completely psycho but it's just how it goes. No one and nothing will hurt our sisters if we have anything to say about it.

In this debut from Mills and Boon author Rachael Thomas this is exactly what Georgina Henshaw sets out to do. Her darling sister Emma is head over heals in love, sadly it is with the brother of the one and only " I'll eat you up and spit you right back out" the ruthless Santos Ramirez. If he allows his brother to marry Emma he will lose the company he worked so hard to bring to success, first brother to make it to the altar gets it all,  a condition of their father's will he has never been able to find a way out off.

But when feisty Georgina walks into his office and demands he marries her in order for him to still have his precious company and thus allowing Emma to have her happy ever after, he sees her as a means to an end of all his problems. Only Georgina thinks this will be a marriage in name only, but Santos wants a heir and he'll do anything to make it happen even if it means seducing his lovely wife into his bed. After all the woman has no feelings what-so-ever she's done this whole marriage for business deal before and won't mind getting her heart a little broken, right?

This read was one of the most beautiful, soul touching, sends your heart racing, has you seeing stars reads I have ever read. The set up of the plot has been done before in other similar books but not quite with this much passion. This author had me hanging onto every word, feeling every emotion and desperately wanting to stay inside this book and continue to experience a love so strong and so romantic it will forever life on in my heart.

The character of Santos was the perfect bad boy, am going to knock this man over the head hero. I loved that he tried so hard to be ruthless all the time yet every now and then that special 'am not half as bad as you think' light shined through. Through this character the author showed that when we hurt we do tend to go all out to be as cold as possible in order to protect ourselves yet the good that lives inside us never truly fades away. The trick is to make sure when it does shine through to not let the darkness of fear overshadow the light.

The character of Georgina was all kinds of amazing and had heroine of the year shouting out from every page. Strong, ready to fight, never backs down and does what ever needs to be done to ensure other's happiness. It did make me very sad that she fights so hard to make everyone happy but never herself. I could understand why she does so for her sister, having two of my own I completely understand that ensuring their happiness is not a duty but springs from the undying love sisters share, but more than once I wanted to yell out at her to stop fighting for everyone else and start taking care of her own needs. Through this character the author showed that sometimes the love we have for others is so strong that we forget to remember we are also human and that we also need love. To make it happen of course we need to be able to gamble with our own lives every now and then instead of always being only the make-others-happy-gambler, if we don't we will end up losing more than just our hearts but the respect of those we love.

I have read many debut's in my lifetime and a lot of them have continued to move through life with me, the lessons I learned, the strong emotions I felt, the overwhelming joy at the end of the books when it all comes together, and this read definitely makes it into that category because the story of Georgina and Santos is one I will never forget.

The entire read was filled with passion, romance, suspense and beautiful on some many levels, but what stood out the most was the truly remarkable bond between the characters, sisters, brothers and the very realistic look at just how strong the bond can be. No matter what life dishes out, it's a bond that cannot be broken,yes it can be damaged but never beyond repair. I am taking away a message of life is full of surprises and sometimes they come in very unexpected forms, in this case , waltzing into a office and demanding marriage, but which ever form or way never only see it as a way to solve your own issues. Take the time to see it for what it truly is , life' s way of showing you there is so much more to life then always remembering the past and hurt, happiness is the only way to banish the past , just make sure you don't let it walk out the door., because unlike sister to sister or brother to brother love it might not be as easy to mend.

I highly recommend this read for all fans of romance reads. The book has so much life, passion and brilliant flare and is brought to one of the most stunning endings I have read.  It will leave you begging for more Rachael Thomas over and over again! A pure romantic bliss filled read that is for sure going to reach out to each and ever romance reader out there. Watch out world Rachael Thomas has arrived !

5/5 star review
" It's all business in front of the altar, but behind closed doors it's all about protecting their hearts" 


Reviewed by Nas

A DEAL BEFORE THE ALTAR by debut author Rachael Thomas is a Harlequin Presents release for October 2014.

Georgina Henshaw was prepared to do anything for her sister’s happiness, even go as far as getting married to Santos Ramirez as a business deal only. But the sparks that flew when Santos touched her made sure the marriage couldn’t be in name only.

But Santos had been hiding something and what would happen when Georgie finds out? Would she stay in this marriage? Could she stay in this marriage after finding out that Santos had no heart to love? Or would she be able to melt the ice surrounding Santos heart?

A DEAL BEFORE THE ALTAR is a romance filled with red-hot passion and tender moments. Rachael Thomas did a great job of bringing Georgie and Santos together when it seemed it was impossible for them to ever reach a compromise.