Monday, September 16, 2013

ARC Review: The Arrangement

The Arrangement
Mary Balogh
Historical Romance
The Survivors' Club/Book 2
Dell/August 27, 2013

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?

Mary Balogh is one of my favorite historical romance authors.  She always brings something a little different, a little out of the ordinary.  Which is why I appreciate Ms. Balogh's writing so very much.

With the second book in the survivor's Club series, Balogh lets us into the life of Vincent Hunt.  He is young, at twenty-three years of age, and has already had a life changing event.  Vincent is blind and has been blind for six years.  He left for war when he was seventeen and was injured, blinded in his first battle.  I loved Vincent's determination and his patience with his helpful but overbearing female relations.  He knows they mean well but he doesn't want to be treated like an invalid.  He's become quit capable in dealing with his blindness.  Balogh could have made Vincent a drunken, depressed loner who hates the world.  Instead she made him a man who will not let his handicap define him but rather chooses to overcome it.

Sophia Fry finds herself lost in a world she has very little experience with.  When she has nowhere to go Vincent gives her a place and a purpose.  It's not pure altruism on his part, he wants something in return.  It's a lovely blend of give and take with neither Sophia or Vincent knowing where it will lead.  Their romance is sweet but sometimes it felt lacking in conflict.  They are both so very nice which shouldn't be a bad thing and it isn't but it can also be a bit dull.

While the romance came off as being a little too tepid, Vincent's character was a enjoyable change from the dark, brooding rakes we find so often populating historical romances.  I'm not sure what is next for the Survivors' Club but I'm curious to see how they all find their happily ever afters.

Rating:  B

The Survivors' Club

The Proposal
The Arrangement


  1. Leslie, I have this book in my TBR pile and hope to read it soon! I didn't read the whole review, but from your last paragraph I like the comment about "dark, brooding" Vincent. The Proposal wasn't an absolute winner for me, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for this one... a B is not bad. :)

  2. Nice review, Leslie :) Short, but to the point. Well I liked The Arrangement better than The Proposal. As you said, I liked that Vincent wasn't dark and that he didn't miraculously recover at the end. However, the romance was indeed a bit tepid... too actually and that brought the grade down for me to a B-.