Arranged by Catherine McKenzie

S many things are right in Anne Blythe’s life… she loves her job working for a respected magazine, she enjoys great friends, and has a book deal coming together….

so why for the love of all that is good and holy – can she not find a decent boyfriend?

After yet another disastrous breakup and the announcement of her best friend engagement, Anne feels it is time to take drastic measures…. obviously her criteria of “dark hair, steely blue eyes, and perfect build” in a man in getting her nowhere.  When she finds a business card to what she believes is a dating service she feels this is divine intervention telling her to take a chance on a different method to happiness.  Upon making a meeting with this service she discovers to her shock that this is an exclusive, by appointment only – arranged marriage service.  AND $10,000 at that.

At first Anne balks the idea – the cost is out of her price range, and marrying a guy you have never met (the services rules – they believe that when you choose a partner by looks first you are setting yourself up for failure) is crazy.  Yet, her best friends overwhelming happiness and her book advancement of $10,000 makes her decide to give it a try… after all, what does she really have to lose and she can always pull out of the program before the final and largest payment in made.

But there is that nagging… what if?  What if all these testings and therapy sessions, graphs and life styles actually could lead up to the man of her dreams?  What if she too could be gushingly happy like all those married couples she is surrounded by?  Would it work? 

Finland Minnesota, the deck to our cabin.

I first read Catherine McKenzie’s book SPIN and really enjoyed it.  What I thought would be a light fun chick lit book actually had bite.  Again, in Arranged, Catherine McKenzie sets the bar a little higher with a book that has more to discover within its pages than one may first think.

Anne (named after Anne Of Green Gables, and has a brother named Gil…) is a protagonist I could relate too.  Driven to succeed but tired of hitting that wall of “let’s try that again!”.  I enjoyed her immensely and can even imagine in a similar situation how I may be tempted to take that leap or “fast pass” to happiness (as in do not have a dating period, do not pass memories and proceed directly to the altar!).
There is actually so much more than what I share in the synopsis but honestly as I thought of what else to write it all felt a little “spoiler worthy” to me and none of us want that.  This is one of those reads that so many interesting things are happening that I fear saying too much.
I just dove into this book.  I was at the cabin this past weekend and read off and on as I had time through the weekend, finishing this last Monday morning sitting on a sunny deck, telling my son we would start the 3 1/2 ride back home once I finished this book. 
Final thoughts:  I really enjoyed this book, it was a different concept than I had ever really considered so it was fun to live in that world for a few days.
Thank you TLC Book Tours for allowing me to hang out
with Anne Blythe on a whirlwind adventure!

About Sheila (Book Journey)

Bookaholic * Audio Book Fan *Bike Rider *Rollerblader *Adventure Seeker *Runner*Coffee lover *Fitness Fan * Movie junkie

Posted on May 24, 2012, in Book Review and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. I have enjoyed both Spin and Arranged, and because they were so much more than light, fun reads, I have preordered her next book, Forgotten.

    I like that photo of the book at the cabin…I could almost breathe in that outdoorsy scent!

    I would love to read in the mountains or at the beach…this summer I plan to do that!

  2. I agree, Sheila! I enjoyed this even more than I expected (and I expected to 🙂 ). I have Spin on my kindle and look forward to reading it and Catherine McKenzie’s latest novel.

  3. This sounds really good! I’ve known people in arranged marriages but can’t imagine it for me.

  4. Coming from a country where arranged marriages are the norm, I’d love to read about an arranging marriage service and how that operates!

    • Mystica – I love when you write posts about your culture. It is so interesting. This book would probably make you laugh as to how they do it as no traditions are involved at all. 😀

  5. I too come from a culture where arranged marriages are pretty common, but you definitely get a chance to meet and interact with the person before you decide. It’s more like parents setting up blind dates.
    Arranged sounds like a fun, intriguing book. I will try to borrow an ebook from someone 🙂
    First time on your blog, Sheila, and I liked it very much! You have an adorable taste in books! Following you now!
    Please do visit my blog about books, and if you like it, please follow! looking forward to your visit!

  6. So this was better than SPIN? Sounds like a real treat!

    Thanks for being on the tour Sheila.

  7. Glad you enjoyed it too, it went on my wishlist after seeing Laurel’s review 🙂

  8. boardinginmyforties

    I love it when a book captures my attention like this. Glad you enjoyed it so much. It sounds like a fun one for my book club to discuss.

  1. Pingback: Catherine McKenzie, author of Arranged, on tour May 2012 | TLC Book Tours

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