Friday 24 July 2015

Book ~ "Arranged" (2012) Catherine McKenzie

From Goodreads ~ 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, it seems to be working out - until Anne learns that Jack, and the company that arranged their marriage, are not what they seem at all.

Yet another of Anne's relationships has ended.  When her best friend, Sarah, gets engaged, Anne, who is in her early thirties, wants what Sarah has.  She had found a business card on the street for a matchmaking agency and she eventually calls them.  That's when she discovered that it's not a matchmaking agency but an agency that arranges marriages.  It costs $10,000 and there is a quite a rigorous process including an intensive questionnaire, counselling sessions before and after the marriage and a marriage/honeymoon in Mexico.

Anne signs up and is matched with Jack, another writer.  They feel a connection and go ahead with the marriage.  Things are going well between them until Anne discovers something about Jack.

I liked the writing style and thought it was well-paced.  It is written in first person perspective in Anne's voice.  As a head's up, there is swearing and adult activity.

I thought this was an interesting premise ... an arranged marriage between two professionals who wouldn't normally do it for religious or cultural reasons.  I can't imagine being brave enough to do it.  Everything happens really quickly but I was buying it.  I liked Anne and Jack and thought they were good together and was cheering for them.  I liked Jack's sense of humour, which was at times a tad sarcastic.  I also liked William, Anne's boss, and his interactions with Anne ... they were funny together.  Anne had a lot of support with her friend, Sarah, and her brother and sister-in-law, Gilbert and Cathy.

I would recommend this book, especially if you are looking for something different in a chick lit.

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