Friday, August 23, 2013

The Arrangement (Survivor’s Club #2) by Mary Balogh


Historical Fiction

What Goodreads says:

"A mesmerizing story of passionate awakening and redemption, Mary Balogh’s new novel unites a war hero consigned to darkness with a remarkable woman who finds her own salvation by showing him the light of love.

Desperate to escape his mother’s matchmaking, Vincent Hunt, Viscount Darleigh, flees to a remote country village. But even there, another marital trap is sprung. So when Miss Sophia Fry’s intervention on his behalf finds her unceremoniously booted from her guardian’s home, Vincent is compelled to act. He may have been blinded in battle, but he can see a solution to both their problems: marriage.

At first, quiet, unassuming Sophia rejects Vincent’s proposal. But when such a gloriously handsome man persuades her that he needs a wife of his own choosing as much as she needs protection from destitution, she agrees. Her alternative is too dreadful to contemplate. But how can an all-consuming fire burn from such a cold arrangement? As friendship and camaraderie lead to sweet seduction and erotic pleasure, dare they believe a bargain born of desperation might lead them both to a love destined to be?"

There are books I like and books I love.  The Arrangement is one I love and here is why it goes on my favorites shelf. 

Writing:  Mary Balogh has perfected the writing art.  The Arrangement is well written. There is just the right pace to keep the story going without losing the readers interest.

World: The Arrangement is set in the same Regency Period as the Slightly series and the Simply series..  There are some cross-overs in characters between the series. I like seeing characters I loved in previous books.  It is a comfort for me as a reader to drop into a familiar world.  I immediately settle into the story as much of the world building is already done.

Characters:  Vincent Hunt and Sophia Fry are great leading characters.  Vincent has come to terms with his blindness and that makes him a great leading character.  Sophia has always seen herself as a mouse.  The fact that Vincent is blind lets him see her in a whole new light.  That lets Sophia grow into the perfect partner for Vincent.  There are some wonderful side characters in the book and of course a hook for the next story in the series.

Plot:  This is a plot based on the feelings of the two main characters.  Balogh uses a common trope to drive the story but it is very well done.  Vincent gets Sophia to marry him by making an arrangement where they only have to live together for one year.  Vincent really never means to stick by the agreement. When he and Sophia sit and talk she does not treat him as someone ill or even hampered by his blindness.  She treats him as normal man who happens to be blind.  He needs someone like that in his life and for his wife.  Now he just has to convince Sophia.   That sets up the main tension in story.

While The Arrangement is book 2 in a series it can be read as a stand alone so don’t let the fact that it is part of a series keep you from reading the book.  For those of us who are already Balogh fans this is a great add on to her books.

Dell will release The Arrangement by Mary Balogh on August 29 of 2013.

There is time to pre-order so you can read as soon as it comes out.

I received an print ARC of The Arrangement from Amazon Vine.

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