Anne Blythe has a pretty good life - a job she likes, great friends and she's just landed a book contract. It's just that she keeps picking the wrong guy, over and over again.
"Have you ever noticed how no story that begins, ' I read his emails' ever finished with, 'I was completely wrong, he wasn't cheating on me'?"
When she picks up a business card that reads Blythe & Company - Arrangements Made, she sees it as a sign. She'll give arranged dating a try. But, it's not dating...it's arranged marriages. Why would anyone..?? Why not...??
And so Anne does. I was frantically flipping pages at this point, eager to see who Blythe & Company had chosen for Anne. And the teaser from the back cover had me wondering ..."until Anne learns that Jack and the company that arranged their marriage are not what they seem at all." More frantic page flipping until the book was finished.
What a fun premise for a book. It's a great fairy tale idea - what if someone could help you find 'the one', the perfect match for you? Would you do it? (There's a reading group guide that includes that very question).
I enjoyed the character of Anne -she was an interesting mix of confidence and uncertainty. I also enjoyed the supporting cast, especially Anne's brother Gilbert and his family. Anne's friends Sarah and William also rang true. But I wasn't enamoured with Jack. I just never found him as emotionally attractive as Anne did. There were a number of reasons for this, but I don't want to give the plot away. The ending is of the fairy tale variety, but isn't what I would have predicted or wanted. Arranged was an enjoyable read though - 4/5 for me.
Catherine McKenzie has firmly established herself in the chick lit genre. I'll be watching for her next book. Read an excerpt of Arranged.
Keep up with what's going on at Harper Collins Canada through their great website - The Savvy Reader.
And thanks to Harper Collins Canada, I have a copy of Arranged to giveaway. Open to Canadian addresses only. Ends Saturday Jan 22/11 at 6 pm EST. Simply comment to be entered.