Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Arranged, by Catherine McKenzie.

Could it work? Could they really have a 95 percent success rate? Is love just a front, a distraction? Is expecting the love of my life to show up what's been keeping me from acquiring what I really want?

I brush these thoughts aside. An arranged marriage is not going to happen. Because it costs ten grand. Because it's a crazy idea. Because I'm not going to marry a complete stranger. Because marriage is about love.

Isn't it?

Anne Blythe has had it with dating - she's dated only jerks in the past few years (though of course they didn't seem like jerks at first), and every blue-eyed, black-haired man (her type) that she runs across seems to be the same. When she sees a card on the ground for "Blythe & Company: Arrangements Made" she initially picks it up because of the similarity to her last name, and doesn't do anything with it; later, however, she calls them. Anne originally thinks Blythe & Company is a dating service, but she soon finds out it's an arranged marriage service ... which both shocks and interests her. For $10,000, you get therapy sessions - mandatory - before and after your marriage, a personality test to make sure you are compatible (or at least not crazy), and a trip to Mexico where you will meet and marry your future husband or wife.

Normally Anne doesn't have that sort of money, but she's just received a $15,000 advance on her new book, and so she decides to go ahead and try it. They match her with Jack, whom she meets in Mexico and likes, and they decide to get married. But Jack and the company is not what Anne thought they were, and she will soon find out their true colors.

This was definitely a different type of book, and now I want to read Catherine McKenzie's other novel, Spin, though the subject matter is completely different (it's about celebrity rehab). It made me think whether I would enlist the services of Blythe and Company (probably not - $10,000 is a lot of money!) and whether their services are suitable in the "modern world." Blythe and Company promotes "friendship first," and that a good marriage is based on friendship and respect and possibly love will come later; however, Anne finds herself very attracted to Jack when she first meets him, which is why they still decide to get married. When she finds out that Jack has been lying to her about something big, though, she will have to choose whether to follow her instincts or follow her heart.

3.5 stars out of 5.

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to review. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.


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