Monday, December 30, 2013

The Arrangement - Mary Balogh

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?

I am always looking forward to Mrs Balogh's books and while I wasn't totally enamoured of the first title in this series I was hoping that this would be more to my tastes. Now that I've read it I can honestly say that while this wasn't a bad book it definitely wasn't the fabulous read I was waiting for. Not only that but I had to put it down for a while and it took me weeks to want to grab it again. Not a good sign really...

Vincent and Sophia were both likeable characters but their getting together felt a bit contrived to me. Why couldn't Vincent just tell his family that he didn't want them to choose his wife? And why did he offer marriage to Sophie when he didn't know her at all? I'm sure he could have found another solution and, once he had gotten to know her better, then offer marriage.

Then, through their marriage there were several times where I felt they should just sit down and talk about what they were feeling. I did like that they acknowledged each other's faults and needs and genuinely cared for each other. Vincent's fight I did find a bit unbelievable though.

So it was an OK read but not a particularly memorable one. I'm looking forward to the next book but just because I like to finish the series I start and because I'm such a fan of Mrs Balogh's earlier titles. There's still a long wait till the next one though and I might delve into the TBR pile and see if I have one or two of the oldies to keep me company till then.

Grade: 3/5

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