Review: A Daring Arrangement by Joanna Shupe

Reviewed by Jen

I read a lot of historical romance, but it was fun to step out of the ballrooms of regency England for a change in order to enjoy this love story set against the New York City of the late 1800s. I really liked the change of pace.

Lady Honora is in America because her father shipped her off there after she was caught in a compromising position with an unsuitable man. All she wants to do is get back to her beau. So she concocts a plan to tie herself to a man even more unacceptable then her Robert. Surely, if she becomes betrothed to a wild gossip magnet like her neighbor Julian, her father will force her to come home.

Julian is a bit of a hedonist. But he is also a shrewd businessman. He is independently wealthy and more than anything else, he wants entry into polite society in order to ferret out the so-called gentleman who promised to invest with his father then abandoned him to a crippling debt. A debt that ultimately led to the man’s suicide. So when Honora approaches him with her crazy plan he has a reason to accept. Maybe she will be able to facilitate his acceptance into the ranks which have shunned him for years.

So they launch a phony engagement, one where they vowed to be honest, to be friends to one another, and to end their scheme after 10 weeks. Honora never expected to fall for Julian, because of course, she is in love with Robert. Julian swears he’ll never love or marry anybody, so he thinks himself safe as well. How wrong they both are.

I enjoyed the friendship that bloomed between these two during their fake engagement. Of course, I’m down with all the sexual tension and stolen kisses. But what I liked best was the way they talked to each other. I liked how real they were with each other. Honora was rather progressive for an HR heroine. I liked that she was no simpering virgin. I even liked how Joanne is Shoop managed to avoid making Julian’s mistress into a nemesis. That would have been an easy route and the book was better for her choice.

There were times that it felt a little slow. The pacing was not consistent, but for the most part I enjoyed it. A little bit of a surprise in how the Robert storyline was resolved, but overall it is kind of a warm, comfortable, predictable sort of read. You’ll get exactly what you expect from this one. Which isn’t a bad thing. I liked it.

Rating: B

*ARC provided by publisher

Click to purchase: Amazon

A Daring Arrangement
by Joanna Shupe
Release Date: October 31, 2017
Publisher: Avon

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