Monday, September 2, 2013

Blog Tour Review: The Arrangement by Mary Balogh

From the Back Cover:

A mesmerizing story of passionate awakening and redemption, Mary Balogh’s new novel unites a war hero consigned to darkness with a remarkable woman who finds her own salvation by showing him the light of love.

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?

My Thoughts:

Click here to read my Q&A with Mary Balogh and enter to win The Arrangement!

I'm a big Mary Balogh fan and I was super excited to read her latest, particularly because it features a blind hero. Vincent is a big sweet potato, caring and charming, but feeling smothered by the attentions of his mother and sisters, who are determined to find him a wife to take care of him. All he really wants is the freedom to live his life in peace, and to make them understand that he's blind, not an invalid, and perfectly capable of taking care of himself. Every woman they push his way underscores that desire since none of them seem to be able to see past his blindness to the man beneath. So he runs away to the small village where he lived as a child to escape his family's well-meaning though unwelcome matchmaking schemes, hoping for a few weeks of blessed isolation before they figure out where he's gone. He never dreams he could be walking right into another marriage trap.

Sophia Fry is the orphaned child of a notorious rake and gambler, living on the charity of her aunt and uncle, who treat her more like a servant than a member of their family. When Viscount Darleigh arrives in the village, her aunt and uncle become determined to see him married to their spoiled daughter, Henrietta. But Sophia finds herself taken with the handsome viscount who surprises them all with the way he has seemingly mastered his disability, and Sophia vows to help him avoid a forced marriage with a shallow woman who views his blindness as a curse. When she rescues him from a potentially compromising situation, she finds herself quickly and unceremoniously homeless and penniless for her efforts. But Vincent can't let the sweet, shy woman who saved him from disaster suffer on his account, and he proposes an arrangement: marriage, with an escape clause after the first year. Of course, as they settle into their new life together, they both realize they don't want to utilize the escape clause. As Sophia flourishes and discovers her self-worth under Vincent's attentions, and Vincent becomes more independent than ever thanks to Sophia's ideas for making pastimes he never thought to enjoy again safe for him, they both erroneously believe the other would be better off without them. Can they convince themselves and each other that they belong together, forever, before it's too late?

Unfortunately, The Arrangement is not going to be one of my favorite Mary Balogh romances. I really liked both characters, but I felt like there wasn't much conflict between them other than their own self-doubts. Everything came together rather easily for them, and while I enjoyed watching them get to know each other, and watching Sophie's thoughtful touches help Vincent regain his independence, I never got caught up in that emotional whirlwind of rooting for them to overcome all obstacles to make it work, because there's really nothing standing in the way of their happily ever after. I also thought the pacing was slow and I felt like there was a lot of filler material. It was a very sweet story, and certainly not a bad book by any means--there's no such thing as a bad Mary Balogh book--but at the end, there was really nothing memorable about it to make it stand out from the crowd. But I am certainly looking forward to reading forthcoming books in the Survivors Club series.

My Rating:  3 Stars out of 5

The Arrangement is on a blog tour!
Click here to view the tour schedule.
Click here to visit Mary's website.


  1. Too bad this wasn't a favorite for you but it sounds like an enjoyable read all the same. Thanks for being on the tour.

  2. I enjoyed this book. Like you, it will be an "I liked it" 3 stars rather than "I was delighted" 4 stars. The best bits were the ways that Vincent's independence increased through the book.

    Joy's Book Blog


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