Published: December 23, 2010 (in Canada); May 15, 2012 (US)
My Rating: 5/5
Summary (from chapters.ca):
Anne Blythe has a great life: a good job, good friends and a potential book deal for her first novel. When it comes to finding someone to share it with, however, she just can't seem to get it right.
After yet another relationship ends, Anne comes across a business card for what she thinks is a dating service, and she pockets it just in case. When her best friend, Sarah, announces she's engaged, Anne can't help feeling envious. On an impulse, she decides to give the service a try because maybe she could use a little assistance in finding the right man. But Anne soon discovers the company isn't a dating service; it's an exclusive, and pricey, arranged marriage service. She initially rejects the idea, but the more she thinks about it - and the company's success rate - the more it appeals to her. After all, arranged marriages are the norm for millions of women around the world, so why wouldn't it work for her?
A few months later, Anne is travelling to a Mexican resort where in one short weekend she will meet and marry Jack. And against all odds, it seems to be working out - until Anne learns that Jack and the company that arranged their marriage are not what they seem at all.
**NOTE: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher. However, no compensations were made and this review reflects my honest thoughts and feelings.**
Are you tired of waiting for the right guy to come around? Have you given up on love? Would you be willing to try an arranged marriage? It's like a blind date only FOREVER!!
I am going to start this review by saying I was so upset with the ending of this book... and not because of the WAY it ended but because it did! I absolutely, 100%, loved this book and would have been happy to read it forever.
Arranged is the second book of Catherine McKenzie's that I have read and while it appears I am reading her library backwards (started with Forgotten), I am so happy to have found her books. Her writing style hits me in that sweet reading spot and allows me to fully immerse myself in the story. It's not a matter of wanting to keep reading, it's NEEDING to.
The characters in Arranged were amazing. Anne has everything that main characters are made of and you couldn't help but cheer her along. Jack, a mysterious romantic that left me with a heart full of happiness. The supporting characters were just as great - Sarah (the protective best friend), Gil (the 'perfect' big brother) and William (the boss). There was not a single character out of place and each and every one was well developed and well used in the story.
The whole concept of this story was something I have never read before and I have read a lot of books. Arranged marriages aren't something I think of when I envision a romantic story and yet, Catherine McKenzie wrote Arranged in such a way that it made me want to recommend it to some of my single friends... heck, if I was single I would be seeking out some more information.
If you have read chick lit books before, you know that most follow a typical pattern - girl falls in love, boy does something stupid, girl's heart is broken. As I reached the middle of this book, I found myself anticipating what would happen next and for the first time, I didn't really want to continue. I wanted the story to stay exactly as it was but knew that it just couldn't. Going against the grain, Catherine McKenzie introduced new twists and turns that I wasn't expecting and made for an extremely enjoyable ending.
Overall, a fantastic book. I am sitting on the edge of my seat with anticipation of what Catherine's other novel, Spin, will bring because right now... the bar is set VERY high! Arranged is an absolute MUST read!