Anne Blythe is 33 years-old and coming out of another failed relationship, this time her boyfriend was caught cheating. While analyzing her past relationships, she realizes the problem might be the type of men she’s attracted to. She will be the first to admit that looks matter when picking out a suitable boyfriend. Anne’s new tactic is to try and stay single for a little while. This lasts until her best friend announces her engagement. Anne wants the happy ending too, and decides to consult the business card she found on the street; a dating service might be her last chance. When Anne sets up her first meeting, she is shocked to find out that they are actually marriage brokers who have a 95% success rate. Can science lead her to the man of her dreams? Anne decides to give it a chance, and not think too much about the money they are requesting. Jack H is her match, and she will meet him the day before their wedding. She can’t wait to meet him, and can’t believe she is actually going to go through with an arranged marriage.
I really enjoyed Catherine McKenzie’s first novel Spin, but I loved Arranged. There was just enough drama, romance, and twists to keep me wanting more. Anne is a lovable character, and she’s very relatable. She’s 33 and her biological clock is ticking down. Everyone around her is lucky in love, but her. Her name is Anne Shirley Blythe, named after Anne in Anne of Green Gables. The name alone screams, happily ever after. An arranged marriage may not be a typical romance story, but it just might be her romance story.
Arranged seems to take a predictable path, until the story begins to unravel and readers are scrambling to find out how the story will end. Anne and Jack really hit it off great, but telling family and friends you went on vacation and got married is hard, telling them that this was an arranged marriage, is not acceptable. Anne struggles with receiving support from her friends and family while getting to know her own husband. The mandatory therapy sessions seems to do more harm than good. Will Anne and Jack actually be able to make their marriage work?
In both Spin and Arranged, McKenzie manages to write very original, intriguing plots. The pace of the novel is just right, never dragging and always holding your attention. The plot may seem farfetched, but McKenzie makes it believable. This one is a great summer read.
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