Monday, May 07, 2012

Book Review: Arranged

About the Book:
Every single one of Anne Blythe's relationships has ended in disaster, so when fate leads her to the doorstep of a highly secretive arranged-marriage agency, she decides to take a chance

Anne Blythe has a great life: a good job, good friends, and a potential book deal for her first novel. When it comes to finding someone to share it with, however, she just can't seem to get it right.

After yet another relationship ends, Anne comes across a business card for what she thinks is a dating service, and she pockets it just in case. When her best friend, Sarah, announces she's engaged, Anne can't help feeling envious. On an impulse, she decides to give the service a try because maybe she could use a little assistance in finding the right man. But Anne soon discovers the company isn't a dating service; it's an exclusive, and pricey, arranged marriage service. She initially rejects the idea, but the more she thinks about it-and the company's success rate-the more it appeals to her. After all, arranged marriages are the norm for millions of women around the world, so why wouldn't it work for her?

A few months later, Anne is travelling to a Mexican resort, where in one short weekend she will meet and marry Jack. And against all odds, everything seems to be working out....

My Comments:
Romance novels are great when you want a predictable read with a happy ending.  The pattern is pretty set--boy meets girl, attraction, problem, resolution...and you know the resolution, if it brings tears to your eyes, will bring tears of joy, not sorrow.  In some ways, this is a romance, but in other ways, it is not.  I won't tell you what the problem is, or the resolution--except that it isn't  a guaranteed happily ever after.  I will tell you that it can make you stop and think about your own relationships--not only dating relationships but also marital ones, and to some extent even close friendship.

When preparing for and entering into an arranged marriage, Anne is forced to look at her past relationships and what they had in common, and why they failed.  The set up of the arranged marriage made her re-think her priorities and consider other parts of the relationship than the heady "in love" feeling.  I can't say that I think arranged marriages are the way to go, but I think a lot of people would be a lot happier if they worked on the relationship they are in rather than looking for a new one.

Anne does end up in bed with her husband, but it is after the wedding and we don't get to watch.

I can't say I particularly liked Anne.  Sometimes I felt sorry for her; at others I thought she was clueless or worried too much about dumb stuff.  Her guy comes off as the lovable rogue, but I understand the feelings she had about him at the end of the book.

I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via edelweiss.  Grade:  B+

About the Author:
Catherine McKenzie was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. A graduate of McGill University and McGill Law School, Catherine practices law in Montreal. Her novels SPIN and ARRANGED are International Bestsellers. They, along with her third novel, FORGOTTEN, will all be published in the US by William Morrow in 2012. SPIN has also been published in French (Ivresse) and German (Sternhagelverliebt), and ARRANGED will be published in French in June, 2012.  Her website can be found at

Other Books by McKenzie:

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