I have a confession. Until Arrange Me, I hadn’t read Katy Regnery. I believe I connected with her newsletter subscription through a group giveaway and began receiving emails from her about upcoming releases. One of those emails was offering ARCs for Arrange Me. The premise sounded interesting: Courtney is tired of the dating game and decides to use a website to arrange a marriage. Yes, you read that right. She isn’t interested in the dating scene anymore. She wants an arranged marriage, as a way to forgo the challenges of the dating scene. Josh is the bartender at the local haunt that Courtney and her friend, Dina, frequent. Courtney believes Josh is attracted to Dina, so she doesn’t have eyes for him…initially. One night, when Courtney announces her intent in only seeking marriage without dating, Josh’s interest in Courtney is peaked. He has always had an interest in her, but something about her quest intrigues him. Once he recognizes his attraction to her, Courtney begins to recognize her attraction to Josh. Unfortunately, she has already committed to the process of the marriage arrangement. Oh, so many complications!
First, you need to realize that Arrange Me is part of a duo. It doesn’t necessarily end on a cliffhanger like some duets end where you feel like strangling the author who left you waiting and wanting for more…now. Instead, it leaves Josh and Courtney’s situation open. I appreciate that I don’t currently find myself anxiety-ridden for the next book. I’m ready to read the next book, but this doesn’t feel like a “do-or-die” type of cliffy.
I wasn’t sure what I would think about this book. Again, I was intrigued by the arranged marriage premise. I hadn’t read it before, and it’s interesting to consider the consequences of this type of arrangement. What I didn’t expect was the fact that I couldn’t put this book down. I began it on a whim in the morning and finished it in the early afternoon. It’s a seamless read, as the characters connect so easily, the style is engaging, and the story is compelling.
I’ve been reading so many romances lately where the female h struggles with finding someone who will simply love and accept her. It seems to be a running theme in my current literature choices. It is also a current struggle for me so I could connect in some ways to Courtney’s struggle with a committed lifetime acceptance with a partner. She is a strong, successful, beautiful woman who should inspire the readers of this book. In Josh, she finds someone who sees her and wants her to feel loved. Unfortunately, he has his own struggles. His parents have been married for over thirty years in a very traditional marriage. He carries the notions of this type of marriage into his interest in Courtney, complicating much of the story. However, together, these two are very sweet with each other. I loved their chemistry, and you recognize quickly why they are attracted to each other because they bring out the best in each other.
Arrange Me is more than the trope of arranged marriages. It’s asking us to consider our best match in life. It’s challenging us to consider the idea that “love at first sight” isn’t necessary; instead, beginning with friendship and admiration might be the best place to begin a lifetime commitment. I won’t tell you the secrets of this book because you really need to read it for yourself. I know this reader cannot wait for April to come to read the second part of this engaging, compelling, and thoughtful story.
In love and romance,