I got Private Arrangements from JMC in a book-swap back in May, but haven't had the luxury of time to get down to it. In some ways I'm so glad I waited because the book is really good! Then I'm annoyed because I did spend time reading things that I was pretty disappointed with and had gotten to a state of: There's nothing for me to read. Thank god that pity party of flaccid novels is done with and Sherry Thomas has saved the day. I loved this story. I liked it a lot when I finished it on Saturday night, having taken me two days to read it - that may not sound like much but I have constant distraction and finding a half hour to read non-stop is rare and it often takes me four days to finish a book and not because I'm a slow reader, but the interruptions. Now I've been left in its wake and have time for lingering thoughts about it: I love this book. I love it. Present tense because I'm not ready to part with it yet and even have the rare urge to pick it up and read it again. Only other books I have that with is The Stand by Stephen King (which for its size I could never do now - oh how those college days are so far gone now) and P&P (stop gagging Beth *wink*).
The story: (taken without permission from the Sherry Thomas webpages but I'm raving so I hope she won't mind)
To all of London society, Lord and Lady Tremaine had the ideal arrangement: a marriage based on civility, courteousness, freedom—and living on separate continents.
But once upon a time, things were quite different for the Tremaines…When Gigi Rowland first laid eyes on Camden Saybrook, Lord Tremaine, the attraction was immediate and overwhelming: she simply had to have him. But what began in a spark of passion ended in betrayal the morning after their wedding—and Gigi wants to be free to marry again. Now Camden has returned from America with an outrageous demand—an heir—in exchange for Gigi’s freedom.
Gigi’s decision will have consequences she never imagined, as secrets are exposed, desire is rekindled—and one of London’s most admired couples must either fall in love all over again…or let each other go forever.
Endure me a moment while I get a bit boring. This is one of the most professionally written books I've come across in a few years. The voice is friendly, almost as if the story is being told to us by a gossipy best friend that we love to bits for her best stories. Plot is airtight and expertly executed, characters are well rounded and shown in all lights - they are believable people. All be it spoiled hoity-toity people when really, ahhhh! They're not. There are many moments when you think you know them and then - you didn't know about that now did you! No loose ends. Granted the plot was predictable but I wasn't let down by that - I was quite happy to go along with it. It's the difference between Colombo, where you see the murder first and have to watch Colombo figure it all out, and CSI where all the facts are meanly given for suspense throughout the show. I adore Colombo. I know I'm rambling but there's a four year old on my lap and she's annoying me.
Well now I've lost all train of thought in the tantrum over my rejection of huggy-hugs while trying to write - see why I'm not getting a MS done any year soon. Oh! The secondary plot of Gigi's "Stage Mother" Mom is almost more enjoyable. In my head I was casting the roles. Not very well mind, as I ended up with Goldie Hawn and Patrick Stewart.
Anyways, I loved it. Very well written - jealous of how well written. Even more jealous when I found out English isn't Sherry's first language. Actually after learning that I just felt a bit pathetic. On the blurb link if you scroll down you can read an excerpt of the story where you get a sense of the playful narrative that comes with the book.
I'm going to go find Delicious now and become a proper fan girl. Shame I missed out on the freebie on SBTB. Sorry this review isn't better. I blame the kids incessant need for Mommy attention. I hope I get across how happy I was with this book. Thank you JMC! Thank you Sherry Thomas! If you're reading this and haven't read Private Arrangements yet: Go do it now!