Also in this series: The Proposal
Series: The Survivors' Club #2
Published by Dell on August 27, 2013
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Era
Narrator: Rosalyn Landor
Length: 11 Hours and 16 Mins
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?
This is the second book in the fun Survivors’ club, and I just love seeing friendships in romance both men and female friendships are so fascanating and endearing to witness. Mary Balogh is an author is so rich in her historical detail and I feel like everytime I read her, I feel like I have jumped right back in time and is one of the best to read for regency romance. And as a plus for this book, the audio format is narrated by Rosalyn Landor and I love listening to her with historical romance especially if its featured among the countries in the UK.
In this book we have a story where we get to one of my favorites of the Survivors’ Club. Viscount Rayleigh, is one of the survivor’s of the war who suffered a physical blow more than the others. He ended up losing his sight and has had to learn to live his life without his sight. He has his personal valet, who is a great friend to him that is his partner in crime of sorts. But he needs his freedom and space from the women in his family who are suffocating him with their protectiveness and determination to get him married. After meeting the woman they want for him, he packs his bags and runs away from the women in his family and to find some peace and quiet in his father’s home where he grew up, out in the country where he can find some solitude. But what he doesn’t plan on is being surrounded by the towns people or being manipulated by a certain family who are determined to have him marry their daughter even if that means tricking him into being the responsible man. But then he meets a young woman who he talks with and he is intrigued. But when she saves him from disaster with the machinations of her family, he offers her marriage when she is thrown out of home because of her protecting him. But he knows he needs to marry, and that they have become friends of sort and he has high hopes for a practical arrangement. But he doesn’t plan on falling in love with his bride and not wanting their practical arrangement to end.
The Arrangement is such a well written and richly detailed historical romance that I quickly became entrenched in. Now I was really excited for the hero of the story. We saw him in book one and I admired him SO much. He hasn’t let his blindness get him down at all. I love how positive he is about life, he has a confidence that is sexy and I admired his strength in facing his future in the manner that he does. He is probably one of the most upbeat and happier of the Surivors Club and I was endeared with his attitiude towards life. The heroine, Sophia, is one I really loved seeing come out of her shell. Now she hasn’t been treated right by hardly any member of her family. And her current situation is pretty horrible. She is referred to as the “mouse” and treated more like a servant than as a part of the family. Her parents are dead and has had to rely on her extended family for support. But she wants more out of her life than the drudgery she has come into. At first she doesn’t want to accept the arrangement with Vincent, she fears taking advantage of his kindness but she also could have her dreams if she marries him and not having to worry about being on the street. As they build on their friendship, and learn the value of their marriage, they also start to feel more than just friendship and sex, there is an emotional intimacy that develops that is consumming and one that neither of them want to give up on.
I adored seeing these two making a go of this marriage that at first is all about practicality, but they have a great fondness for each other. I adore marriages of convenience, and Mary Balogh always does them so very well. In this book we see how wonderful these two get along, and how wonderful they are for each other. Both of them are there for each other in such a beautiful way, and really builds on the romance. The dynamics of their relationship kept me totally into this story and I loved every moment of it. Sophia is always working on ways to make Vincent’s life easier and so that he can experience things in life that he misses out on from being blind. And Vincent is working on helping Sophia build back her self confidence and her talents for her artwork and writing children stories.
Overall I found the Arrangement, to be a wonderful romance that won my heart and took my breath away with his vitality, vibrancy and authenticity of the historical setting….a true gem!!