Review: The Arrangement by Mary Balogh

October 17, 2013 2013, B+, book rating, reviews 0

arrangementThe Arrangement
by Mary Balogh
Series: The Survivors Club series, #2
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by Dell, 2013
e-book, purchased
400 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: 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?

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‘But how devoid of music our lives would be,’ he said, ‘if we allowed the making of it only to those of outstanding talent. Sing while I play.’

What I like about this book:

  • The two main characters–Vincent and Sophia (Sophie)–are interesting, flawed and damaged characters. They grow and change because of each other.
  • The marriage is a real marriage.
  • I thought the “arrangement” was an arranged marriage, but it’s not. They make an arrangement with each other before they get married.
  • Mary Balogh does a good job portraying a blind person–the feelings of panic he still sometimes has, his vulnerability, the early days when he was both deaf and blind, his desire for touch, the desire of his family to protect him, his desire for independence,
  • His family loves him, but also smothers him with their love and concern for his safety. He’s not an independent person when the book begins and he’s chafing at the dependence he let his family create.romance
  • Sophie is such a giving person with a great sense of humor. She has a great imagination and is able to put herself in Vincent’s shoes so she’s able to empathize and come up with ways to make him more independent.
  • Vincent realizes what’s important: Sophie’s fierce loyalty to him (not how she looks to others); that he and Sophie can trust each other; his loyalty to Sophie.
  • Vincent doesn’t regain his sight. I was afraid there would be a miraculous return of his sight.
  • Mary Balogh is very good at portraying loving families.

What I don’t like:

  • I thought the “arrangement” and accompanying unhappiness went on for too long.

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My thoughts: 

I think I liked the first book in this series–The Proposal–a little better (but not by much!), but I do like Mary Balogh’s writing. She’s very adept at portraying well-rounded, flawed characters who can grow and change, loving but stifling families and a great love story. And Vincent and Sophie are a great couple!

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Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

No Responses to “Review: The Arrangement by Mary Balogh”

  1. Lark of the Bookwyrm's Hoard

    I loved this book — more than The Proposal, in fact. I completely agree with you about how well Balogh portrays Vincent’s abilities and feelings about his blindness, as well as family interactions. All your “plus” comments are right on the money. I can’t wait for the next book in the series!

    As a side note, I thought they did a great job with the cover art; the model’s eyes are beautiful like Vincent’s, but also appear unseeing.

    • Jan

      Thanks, Lark!

      I’m really looking forward to the next book in this series, too. Mary Balogh is certainly one of my favorite authors. I think the cover does a good job of subtly portraying Vincent’s blindness, too.