Vagabonda Reads

Bohemian in Thought and Deed . . .

Tour and Review: Melanie Moreland’s The Contract and The Baby Clause 2.0

Today we are part of the feature blog tour for THE CONTRACT series by Melanie Moreland! You can grab THE CONTRACT now, and the recent novella in the series, THE BABY CLAUSE 2.0.  Buy links, and teasers, for each title are below.








A tyrant by day, a playboy by night. That is the reputation that precedes Richard VanRyan. He lives life the way he wants, no concern for the opinion of others. He cares for no one, is completely unrepentant, and he has no desire to change his ways.

Katharine Elliott works under Richard as his PA. She despises him and his questionable ethics, but endures all the garbage he sends her way, because she needs the job. Her end goal is far more important than the daily abuse and demands she tolerates from her nasty tyrant of a boss.

Until the day, he asks her for something she never expected. A new role with a personal contract — fiancée instead of PA.

What happens when two people who loathe each other, have to live together and act as though they are madly in love?


That’s what happens.

Can the power of love really change a person?

Will they survive the contract?

What do you do when the one person you hate the most becomes the one person you can’t live without?




(Originally posted June 14, 2016


“Think of this as an opportunity. A lucrative one . . . A deal with the devil, if you want.”

The Contract

p. 13

Katherine “Katy” Elliott is in dire straights. So much so that when her boss, douchebag extraordinaire, Richard VanRyan offers her a ticket out of her financial troubles in exchange for participating in a sham romantic relationship, Katy has no choice but to sign on the dotted line.

Poor Katy — she’s had a tough life, but it hasn’t broken her — yet. Her job at the advertising firm, Anderson, Inc., is the only thing keeping her afloat and to that end, Katy is the model employee. She cannot afford to lose this job. Unfortunately, she’s been reassigned to be the new assistant to Richard VanRyan  – a job so odious that the company pays Katy a premium over her standard salary. How bad can this guy be?

Meet Richard VanRyan. Handsome and wealthy with a reputation as a love ‘em and leave ‘em playboy, Richard is a rising star in the advertising universe. Infuriated when passed over for a partnership at Anderson, Richard decides to take his talents elsewhere but advertising firms in Victoria, B.C. are not plentiful. The only other company in town worthy of his genius is The Gavin Group — a first class, straight-up family owned firm that openly embraces family values. Richard realizes that getting into the door of The Gavin Group will require that he clean up his playboy act immediately.

Hell bent on sticking it to his boss at Anderson while at the same time scoring points with his prospective employers at Gavin, Richard comes up with the idea to stage his exit from Anderson as one necessitated by a deep love for his assistant, Katy. You see, Anderson, Inc. has a strict “no fraternization” policy that is fully enforced, regardless of stature within the Company. It’s a win-win for Richard — all he has to do is get his doormat of an assistant, Katy, on board. Good luck with that, buddy . . . .

Since Katy has been Richard’s assistant, he’s tried everything to get her to quit — he can’t stand her. Richard makes no secret the level of contempt he has for Katy — she’s dowdy, a spineless creature that he bullies at will.  (Here one must credit author Melanie Moreland in creating, with an economy of words, such a despicable character in Richard that this reader feels the need to caution other readers to consider purchasing the paperback as opposed to the eBook — the hard copy can handle the inevitable impact with a wall — the eReader, not so much.)

Katy is fully aware of her boss’s disdain for her, but is clueless as to why he’s so cruel. Make no mistake — Katy’s neither a fool nor a doormat — she has legitimate reasons for tolerating Richard’s attitude towards her.

When Richard does an about-face towards her, Katy’s survival instincts kick into overdrive, and Richard discovers Katy is neither spineless nor a doormat. Buy the time he gets Katy to sign the contract to pose as his fiancee, Richard is already re-evaluating his opinion of Katy on all counts. Maybe she’s not so bad . . . .

The Contract is Melanie Moreland’s best writing to date.  While the tropes utilized by the author are very familiar (the contractual relationship that grows into the authentic, tossed about with small bits of the Cinderella/Pretty Woman scenarios), it is the magical writing of Melanie Moreland that keeps the reader invested in the story. The Contract is neither repetitive nor tiring — author Moreland’s writing has the capacity to evoke visceral reactions from her readers to the degree that one just wants to step into the story, grab Richard VanRyan by the scruff and shake some sense into this enorme chapeau de cul.

Whether you’re looking for a great summer read or just enjoy a well-written contemporary adult romance, Melanie Moreland’s The Contract is time well spent.



*ARC received in exchange for an honest review.*




Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  iBooks  |  Kobo  |  GooglePlay




Samuel Richardson’s famous quote, “That dangerous  . . . notion, that a reformed rake makes the best husband” is a sentiment that one would think certainly applies to Richard VanRyan, antagonist of Melanie Moreland’s wildly successful The Contract. But of course, if you’re reading this, you probably know that author Moreland performed some wizardry in that book, via a character named Katy Elliott. In the follow-up novella, The Baby Clause 2.0, Richard is not quite the énorme chapeau de cul of a man he was in The Contract, the love of a good woman (Katy) having tempered his personality, um, a bit . . . .

The Richard VanRyan of The Baby Clause 2.0 is now a doting husband, and a frantic, but loving, family man. When the occasion arises, he’s still quite capable of putting on his infamous hat — whether it’s bullying his way into a hospital or pounding floor numbers on an elevator panel. Katy is, as ever, the softening agent (if you will) in Richard’s life. Her love for Richard, smoothing out his rough edges and bringing out a tender side in her husband that no one thought existed. Katy VanRyan is one smart, miracle-working cookie, and because of her, everybody wins.

In The Baby Clause 2.0, author Melanie Moreland successfully continues Richard and Katy’s story, as they expand from a loving couple into a family. Even in this very short novella, Moreland gives her readers what has become her trademark as a romance author — memorable characters sharing sweet, enduring love.

If you’ve read The Contract, you will not want to miss The Baby Clause 2.0 — it’s like getting a few pieces of chocolate candy after eating an extravagant dessert.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2


*ARC received from author via InkslingerPR in exchange for an honest review.”




Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  iBooks  |  Kobo  |  GooglePlay







New York Times/USA Today bestselling author Melanie Moreland, lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her beloved husband of twenty-seven-plus years and their rescue cat Amber. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.

While seriously addicted to coffee, and highly challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties, and also enjoys travelling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.

Melanie delights in a good romance story with some bumps along the way, but is a true believer in happily ever after. When her head isn’t buried in a book, it is bent over a keyboard, furiously typing away as her characters dictate their creative storylines to her, often with a large glass of wine keeping her company.




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