Cover Image: The Engagement Arrangement

The Engagement Arrangement

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Member Reviews

This month I've been very lucky with the ARC's I've read. I really enjoyed them. They remind me why I like reading series so much. Every book connect with the prior book in some way. You'll find that with The Engagement Arrangement. What a mouthful, right! 

I really enjoyed the first two books in the series and was so glad to read this one. I really like so many of the characters. The sisters are so funny, they can pick on each other but don't let anyone else try. 

Up this time is Brenna's story. I really liked her. She comes off very confident but really underneath she has so many issues. So much like the rest of us. She very much worries about her standing in the family which is only in her mind. No one thinks any different of her since she ended her marriage. But what she's willing to do just to show everyone how happy she shows you how she feels underneath it all is. 

I love Finn. He is so wonderful and funny. At times I wasn't sure Brenna was good enough for him then I remember just how much he loves her. In fact, until she needs his help she pretty much didn't think about him. Not in a mean way, just in her life was busy, and then she was wrapped up in what happened. 

The funny part is that these two together are so much fun. You'll love them together. When Brenna isn't thinking about them faking it she really enjoyed herself. The problem is that she's worried about things she can't control and misses the stuff she can. 

If you haven't yet started this series then you really should. I promise you will really enjoy it.
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Title: The Engagement Arrangement
Author: Jaci Burton
Publication date: June 29, 2021

Summary: Brenna Bellini will never get married again. She plans to live out her days as a happy, successful, single woman. When she's chosen to be a bridesmaid in her friend's wedding at the Bellini family vineyard, she's thrilled. That is, until she realizes who else is in the wedding party. Brenna's going to have to spend four days in the company of not only her ex-husband, but also her high school nemesis. She just knows the fact that she's single and alone is going to be rubbed in her face all weekend long. Well, not if Brenna can help it. She's going to find herself a fake fiancé.

Finn Nolan is thrilled to be offered the job. He's had it bad for Brenna ever since he came over from Ireland to live at the vineyard. After falling for Brenna from afar for years, this Irish cowboy is determined to show the woman of his dreams that he is her Mr. Right. 

So what does a confirmed never-getting-married-again woman do when the man of her dreams unexpectedly lands right in front of her? Because for the first time, she might not be able to walk away. This time it might be forever.

Review: I absolutely love how the story starts out. I also love how stubbornly independent Brenna is. I really expected this book to be a quick read as I thoroughly enjoyed it. However it did take me a full day to read it. I really want to read the first book in the series as well as whatever follows. The family is fantastic and reminds me of mine if it was all boys (obviously not including me) instead of all girls. I also love that Finn just adopted/immediately took in a stray. This story is so sweet I highly recommend it
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I enjoyed this story, more than book 1! But boy do those Bellini sisters know how to avoid talking about feelings!

Brenna Bellini is a winemaker, and works with her dad at their family vineyard. Her sisters work there too, Erin on the financial side of things, and Honor in charge of the weddings and events they hold. Brenna also lives at home with the fam, after her divorce. She doesn't plan on ever marrying again, though she has started dating, and it's not going well. She finds fault with all the men she's gone out with. She's a bridesmaid in a wedding at the vineyard soon, and her ex-husband's new wife, who is also Brenna's high school friend-turned-nemesis, will be one too. Brenna isn't looking forward to having her singledom rubbed in her face all weekend, so she decides she needs a fake fiancé. And she knows just who to ask. 

Finn Nolan is an Irish boy, who moved to Oklahoma to live with the Bellinis after his mother's death when he was 18, as Mrs. Bellini was his mother's best friend. He works at the vineyard, and he's built a little house on the property that he loves. He's even branched into making his own whiskey, and he loves it, and hopes to expand it one day. The Bellinis are his family, and he loves them all as such. All but Brenna, who has never been like family to him. He has always wanted her, since they first met as teenagers. He feels like now the time might finally be right for him to pursue her, and then she springs this fake fiancé idea on him. But, you can bet he'll be using their fake relationship and forced proximity to his advantage! 

Finn and Brenna had wild chemistry that Brenna just didn't know how to deal with, and as we saw in book 1, the Bellini sisters' tactic is to AVOID, AVOID, AVOID. Brenna can't figure out how she feels about Finn, so she just won't think about it. As if ostrich-ing your head in the sand ever fixed anything for anyone. Finn was a total cinnamon roll delight, and he 100% saved this story for me. He knew Brenna, and her strengths and faults, and he was willing to go slow and give her time to figure things out. Even though he's always known she was the one for him. I appreciated that he didn't let her indecision put him off. He was all in, and I LOVE a hero who is gone for the heroine from the beginning. 

The Bellini family is a delight, and we got some of Erin and Jason (from book 1) planning and holding their wedding, which was fun. I love the sisters' relationship. They are always honest with each other, and I like their dynamic. They also always call each other out on their stuff, even if it's in the kindest way possible. The scenes with all 3 of them together are always enjoyable. 

Brenna had a lot of stuff to work through before she could be with Finn for real. Finn was willing to let her work through it all, which was lovely. I really enjoyed them together, and once they finally got to their HEA, I believed in it too, because of the work and thought that had gone into it. I think I might see where Honor's book will be going for book 3, and I'm not sure if I'm into it, but we'll see if I turn out to be right. 

Overall, this one worked for me by the end, though there were times I found Brenna's avoidance annoying. It was a solid small town romance.
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As a fan of Jaci Burton, I was excited to read her latest book--book two in her newer Boots and Bouquets series. Burton always manages to combine small-town charm and steam masterfully. Unfortunately, it is not her best work. It honestly felt like a different author wrote it. It wasn't as good as the first in this series, and definitely didn't hold a candle to her sports romance series, "Play-by-Play" (which is a favorite of mine and what I recommend to those looking to try a Jaci Burton book. And who doesn't love a sports romance?). 

This book sadly could have be written by a romance AI. The female lead ping-ponged emotions so fast it felt like I was watching a tennis match, and I had to check I didn't miss pages. Her rationale for not being with the male lead was unbelievably flimsy and became incredibly frustrating as a reader. The male lead was the true standout of the book and great #bookboyfriend material, though a bit of a sap for pining after the female lead for SUCH a long time. The best thing about this book is its vineyard location, which is always fun to read about. In the end, this book was overly predictable with too much of a roller coastering of emotions and not enough build. 

I'd recommend checking out her Play-by-Play series instead, though I hope book three in this series (I assume, featuring the last sister) is an improvement.

Thanks to Berkley and NetGalley for my eARC! All thoughts and opinions are my own.

3 stars - 5/10
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In this steamy romance we get Brenna Bellini's story of the Bellini sisters.  Brenna knew shouldn't have married Mitchell Walker.  Divorced and back into the dating scene Brenna just can't seem to find a nice guy.  She has no plans to ever get married again, but she'd like to have some fun.  Brenna is excited about her friend Esther's upcoming wedding that she is in until she finds out that Esther's matron of honor can't come and she asked Allison Walker to be a replacement.   Not only are Brenna and Allison high school nemesis, but Allison is now married to Mitch!  Not wanting to spend the weekend as the "single person", Brenna hatches a plan and knows just who to get to help her.

Finn Nolan has had a crush on Brenna since he first arrived to America from Ireland after losing his parents at 18.  When Finn came to live with his mom's best friend, Maureen Bellini, he was immediately taken by the fiery, redheaded Brenna and knew they were destined to be together.  He also had his heart broken when she married Mitch but now that they are divorced, Finn is ready to make his move.

When Brenna approaches Finn with the crazy suggestion of pretending to be engaged for four day festivities for Esther's wedding, he jumps at the chance.  Now if he can only convince Brenna that the feelings they are pretending are really real.  Of course the more time these two spend together, the closer they get and the more fun they are having until Brenna finds something out then everything blows up.  It will take a lot of grovelling and quite the trip, but these two will finally get together for real in a perfect ending.

I loved this steamy romance.  I just adored Finn.  He knew what he wanted and was just biding his time.  I understood where Brenna was coming from but because of her past, she had a hard time letting go.  Together these two just sizzled on the pages.  I can't wait to read Honor's story.
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The Engagement Arrangement is the second in the Boots & Bouquets series and this family is all about the weddings and the wine- what a perfect combo! I read the first in the series last year, so had been looking forward to Brenna and Finn’s story. 

Read this one if you love: 
💕Wine
💕Wedding planning
💕Hot, sweet, hard working Irishmen 
💕Fake dating 
💕Incredible steamy scenes
💕Dogs, family, and friends 

I will say Brenna was a pretty unlikeable character and I spent some of the book annoyed with her… but FINN. OMG. I couldn’t get enough. I wished for an epilogue, but I think we’ll get more in the next in the series!!!
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I enjoy a good friends-to-lovers/fake engagement story and after reading book one, The Best Man Plan, was curious to see how this one would play out. It was obvious Finn had it bad for Brenna. It was equally obvious that not only was Brenna completely oblivious to his feelings, she had no interest in reciprocating them...not with him or anyone else. This was not going to be an easy road to love.

I'm enjoying getting to know the Bellini family and learning the inner workings of their vineyard, winery, and event planning business. Burton brings it all to life with her vivid descriptions and details. She also brings authenticity to this close-knit family, including the loving but sometimes complicated relationships among the three Bellini sisters, each with a unique personality and place within the family and the family business. There are definitely flaws in these characters that keep things real...and keep me turning pages.

It was fun to learn more about Finn, how he came to live with the Bellini family, his vision for expanding the business, and his long-held feelings for Brenna. I liked him a lot, loved his dog, and was firmly in his corner. Brenna, on the other hand, took a long time to warm up to. There's a whole slew of emotional baggage for her to sort through and a prickly personality that's hard to crack. She has her moments but it wasn't until the final chapter of the book that she convinced me she was the right person for Finn. This was the first book in a while where I wanted to see major groveling from the heroine. ;-)

There's one more Bellini sister waiting for a happily ever after and I'm eager for her story, especially if my guess about her hero turns out to be correct. 

*ARC received for fair and unbiased review
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Thank you to Netgalley, Berkley Books, and the author for the opportunity to read an ARC of this title. An honest review was requested but not required.

This was not for me. I have read some older Jaci Burton sports romances and liked them but this one had no magic or charm. The writing style didn't help: this one was all tell, no show. It felt like reading a book-length recap: He went there, and did that. Then she did this. Then they did that. Very dry. I felt no real connection to either main character. On top of that, Brenna was an extremely off-putting MC: all book long, she ran hot and cold, giving me (and Finn, her purported love interest) a major case of whiplash. She kept needing her sisters and her mom to talk actual sense into her, when it was super obvious that she was in the wrong, EVERY time. Finn had the patience of a saint and frankly, I think he deserves better. I hope they live close to Brenna's family after they get married because he'll need them around to talk her off a proverbial ledge at least once a week.

Giving a second star because I was glad to see that at least Brenna and her supposed "nemesis" (who has a nemesis at their age?!) acted like mature adults, FINALLY, and talked things out. She even talked things out with her ex. So, one wonders, if she could do THAT, why couldn't Brenna bring herself to talk things out with the man she supposedly had feelings for????????? A mystery for the ages.

I don't think I'll be back for Honor's book, which I'm GUESSING from the context will involve Owen.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This is unfortunately a DNF at 20% for me.  I do not think I mesh with the author's writing style, a lot of it is personal preference.  The MMC was just a lot from the beginning and I felt like he was telling me the FMC was attracted to him rather than me being shown that.
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3.5 STARS

Brenna Bellini had a very short, bad first marriage so she is determined not to do that ever again. Working at the family vineyard, Brenna is married to her job and as a workaholic, that suits her just fine. When she agrees to be a bridesmaid at a friend’s wedding which is being held at the family vineyard and wedding venue, Brenna is dismayed to learn that her high school enemy, who just happens to be married to her ex, is the maid of honor. The last thing Brenna wants is to spend four days being sniped at and belittled by her former friend turned enemy.

Brenna decides she needs a fake fiancé to head off any grief and unwanted comments on her single status. Brenna enlists the aid of a man she has known for several years who is considered part of her family. A very charming Irishman, Finn Nolan owes much to the Bellini family; he came to live with them at age eighteen. Finn has long held feelings for Brenna which she is clueless about and now, he has a chance to act on them.

Brenna is one of those frustrating characters whose stubbornness can easily cross the border to irritating for readers. Clearly, she has strong feelings for Finn; their shared attraction is obvious. She continually plays push me/pull me with Finn much to his frustration. Brenna has some valid reasons for concern including Finn’s working with her family were she to be with him for real although they begin to sound weak even to the inflexible redhead’s ears. Finn is quite likeable and deserves a medal for putting up with Brenna’s denial of their mutual feelings giving him very mixed signals for much of the book. This is the second book in the Boots and Bouquets series, but can be read as a stand-alone.
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I had enjoyed the first book in this series and thought that the second looked like it might be fun as well and friends-to-lovers is one of my favorite tropes. Fake relationship is a trope that I don't mind (not catnip; not something I avoid) but it was interesting to me that so little of the book was actually spent with Brenna and Finn actually having to pretend to be in a relationship when it is literally in the title of the book. There are a few chapters where Brenna needs Finn to pretend to be her fiance so that her ex-husband and his new wife (Brenna's high school BFF turned worst enemy) can't gloat. Then there is a larger part where they are moving toward a real relationship with a couple of chapters thrown in for faking the relationship again though that seemed to be mostly for Brenna mending fences. 
Finn Nolan has loved Brenna Bellini ever since he arrived at her family's vineyard after his parents died. Now that she needs a buffer for an upcoming wedding, he's ready to make her see that he can be more than just part of the family. 

Three stars
Follows The Best Man Plan
This book comes out June 29th, 2021
ARC kindly provided by Berkley Publishing Group and NetGalley
Opinions are my own
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What do you do when your ex-husband is coming to the wedding venue you own/run (along with your family) AND his new wife is a total …well you know. And you are all in the wedding, and you don’t want to give the ex’s new wife the satisfaction of being able to “smirk” at you about not having a +1? You come up with a fake fiancée. Well, we know how that might work out! But surprise, surprise it’s not as it seems. Hmm. Who is this guy Brenna is faking it with, and why is she so attracted to him? And him to her? Is there a spark, will it work out?  Only way to find out is to read the always excellent story that Jaci Burton has shared with us known as The Engagement Arrangement. You won’t regret it.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of this book for an honest opinion
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Note: I requested this without realizing it was a second book in a series (I need to read series in order). A kind friend who had read book one read my copy of this and is allowing me to use their review. These are her thoughts on The Engagement Arrangement:

The Engagement Arrangement is the second book in Jaci Burton's Boots and Bouquets series and while I haven't read the first one, I was able to read this one with no issue.

Brenna Bellini handles the wine and works with her father as a wine-maker at the family vineyard and wedding venue business. She loves her job and is good at it. When she learns that her ex-husband will be at a wedding she is going to be in, and his new wife, and her ex-friend, is going to be the matron of honor, the last thing she wants is to have them thinking she's single. She knows how that would go down, so she devises a plan.

Finn Nolan has lived with the Bellini family for many years following the death of his parents. His mother and Mrs. Bellini were very close, so she brought him over from Ireland. Now that he's grown, he's the handyman for the vineyard and pretty much can do anything. He's always thought of Brenna's sisters as siblings, but he's never once viewed Brenna that way. He's always been drawn to her.

When Brenna proposes to Finn that he act as her fake fiancé for the four days of her friend's wedding so she can avoid the catty comments by her ex-husband's new wife, he agrees, but he is hoping he can make her see that it should be anything but fake. Will he be able to make inroads with her?

Brenna and Finn's chemistry leaps off the pages. It's clear how much they care about one another and I enjoyed the way they were with one another. Finn was extremely patient and Brenna learned to say she was wrong and offer forgiveness when she needed to. This was a very entertaining read and I look forward to going back to read the first one and also any others that come in the series.
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The Engagement Arrangement by Jaci Burton is the 2nd book in her Boots and Bouquets series. Brenna Bellini, our heroine, loves making wine for her family’s winery, and working with her sisters on the family’s wedding planning business.  When one of the weddings is a friend, she is asked to be a bridesmaid using the Bellini vineyard; she is thrilled to be part of it until she learns her ex-husband and former friend (now married her ex) are also attending.  Brenna knows she will have to spend time with them, especially her ex-friend Allison would be giving her snide remarks the whole time; she decides to devise a plan.

Finn Nolan, moved from Ireland years ago (after the loss of his parents), and is considered a member of the Bellini family.  Brenna approaches him to help her at the upcoming wedding of her friend; she wants him to be her fake fiancée. Finn has secretly been in love with Brenna for a long time, and has watched from afar her bad marriage, and dating others.  He accepts to become her fake fiancée for the 4-day event, knowing he plans to pull out all the stops to get her attention. 

What follows is a wonderful fun story that has us rooting for Finn to show Brenna that he is the one perfect for her.  They made such a cute couple, and I adored them both together.  Brenna though despite her beginning to have feelings for Finn, has issues from her disaster divorce, that holds her back from ever marrying again.  Finn needs to escalate things to win Brenna over.  The chemistry between them was sizzling, and both will act on their lust for each other, but can Brenna allow herself to get past the fake fiancée Finn to the man who has stolen her heart?  Will she be able to get past her fears of being hurt again and walk away? 

What I loved about this series is the three sisters, and the whole Bellini family and winery business.  Jaci Burton has created a wonderful group of characters that are so much fun and enjoyable; such a wonderful couple and family.  The Engagement Arrangement is a wonderful pure romance that was fun, entertaining, witty banter, and sexy.  If you enjoy wonderful romances, then look no further than Jaci Burton.
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Brenna Bellini handles the wine and wine-making aspect of her family’s vineyard and wedding venue business. She agrees to be a bridesmaid in a friend’s upcoming wedding. However, the event requires her to be around her ex-husband and her nemesis for four days. She persuades Finn to pretend to be her fiancé for the occasion. Will their fake engagement turn into a real one? Or will Brenna’s uncertainty ruin a good thing with Finn?
Finn Nolan works as a jack-of-all-trades handyman for Red Moss Vineyards. He has always loved Brenna since coming to live at her family’s vineyard in Oklahoma. Finn agrees to play her fiancé at her friend’s wedding. He hopes to convince the feisty redhead they belong together. But first, Finn needs to prove he is nothing like Brenna’s ex-husband. Will Finn’s plan backfire? Or will his love continue to be one-sided?
Brenna took me a while to warm up to. I empathize with Brenna’s reluctance to enter a new relationship, especially after experiencing her ex-husband’s aloofness. However, her hot-and-cold dealings with Finn got repetitious and a bit annoying. What I admire the most about Brenna is how she dealt with her nemesis throughout the story.  She behaved civilly, and she purposely ignored the woman’s insults, especially when they were around others.
Finn has the patience of a saint! I love that he never once rushed Brenna into anything. He understood that her previous relationship bruised her emotionally. I adore how Finn readily adopted the stray he found. He never second-guessed his decision. What I love the most about Finn is how he refuses to sugarcoat the truth. He gives Brenna the unvarnished truth about a situation, no matter how much it might hurt, him or her.
THE ENGAGEMENT ARRANGEMENT is book two in Jaci Burton’s contemporary-romance series, BOOTS AND BOUQUESTS. The story can easily standalone. However, the first book hints at the brewing chemistry between Brenna and Finn. I like how the couples from the prior novel and novella appear throughout the story.
THE ENGAGEMENT ARRANGEMENT is a wonderful tale of one person’s determination to help his love reconcile her past, so they can be together. I am curious to see who the author plans to pair the last Bellini with.
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The Engagement Arrangement is the second book in the Boots and Bouquets series by Jaci Burton. A sweet contemporary romance that is sure to sweep you off your feet! The characters are well-written and relatable. The Engagement Arrangement is a charming romance featuring the friends-to-lovers trope with heated chemistry that is off the charts. What a beautiful story that is perfect for the wedding season.
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This was an entertaining story with some humor and some heat.  I found myself frustrated by the heroine's complete denial of her feelings, however, a devoted hero, a cute dog and some fun family dynamics make this an overall satisfying read.
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This is my first book by Jaci Burton and her twist on a cowboy romance definitely worked for me.  I loved the winery setting and the wedding business.  It gave me big nostalgia for Nora Roberts wedding trilogy from several years ago.  I like a series with connecting characters, so the sisters and friends of these books is right up my alley.  Brenna and Finn's fake engagement provided all of the tension and steam and fun that a good fake relationship story is known for and placing that in a situation with loveable characters, cute dogs and lots of outdoor fun created a story that definitely kept me reading after a run of just ok books.  I am definitely keeping my eyes out for Honor's book!
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For Finn, Brenna is the one who got away. I found the characters hard to like and root for. As a result I was not able to finish it.
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In typical Jaci Burton style, this book is awesome!  

This is the 2nd book in this series, and this is about Brenna and Finn.  Brenna's family owns the winery and Finn works there.  

Finn has always been in love with Brenna on some level since he started working there.  The winery is hosting a wedding where her ex-husband and his wife will be in the wedding.  His wife was also Brenna's former friend,  and takes pleasure in letting Brenna know that she thinks she is better than  Brenna.  Because Brenna doesn't want to have to deal with her snide comments all weekend, she enlists Finn's help to pretend that they are engaged..  

It turns out that Brenna, whose self-confidence in the relationship area is not up to par yet, doesn't realize that she actually is in love with Finn.  After some soul-searching when telling Finn that their relationship is over, she realizes that she does love him and wants their relationship work and sets off to find him when she realizes where he went to.  

An awesome book!
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