Customer Reviews for

Private Arrangements

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2008

    Good Start

    It is extremely difficult for this reviewer and avid romance reader and seller, who loves to support new authors, to say that Private Arrangements is simply not a debut as good as many other new authors. Sherry Thomas has the talent, no doubt about it, but the book as a whole was disappointing and very depressing. I had read the first nine chapters and wanted to toss the book aside and not pick it up again because I was so confused by the story that has chapters jumping back and forth between the present time period and the previous 15 years too quickly, which caused the characters and their connections to be confusing to the reader. So I woke up the following morning and started once again from the beginning, deciding to give this author and her book another chance especially because top-notch authors like Mary Balogh and Jane Feather had comments on the front and back covers. These authors are masters at romance, so I thought maybe there is something I am missing here and I had a bad night or was too tired and missing something. And I was missing something: No romance. No sensuality. No passion or desire. No real deep love. Just two characters Camden Saybrook and Gigi Rowland, who are extremely flawed, too bull-headed early on in their young lives and relationship to realize this, and after such manipulation early on in the relationship especially by Gigi, Gigi and Camden simply do not seem to have the deep down goodness to admit their wrongs and communicate properly with each other. That is what is in most romances with this type of theme, but there is no sense of that here. The characters are just too flawed and want to hurt rather than love and forget. Thus, Camden and Gigi create years and years of problems and suffering that go unsolved. When they are thrown back together again because Gigi wants a divorce to remarry an artist friend, Freddie, who is obviously not a good match for her, Camden and Gigi harbor such deep dislike for each other and both want hurtful revenge and continue to make the same mistakes at hurting each other even more and exposing old wounds that have grown even deeper. It didn¿t make sense to this reader that if these two individuals loved one another, they would have worked out the problems from the beginning, not have lived so long apart, and then finally decide to see each other when one finally decides to divorce and remarry again for all the wrong reasons. And when they get together again, it is not to work harder at making amends, but to hurt each other even more. The whole idea of Camden returning to Gigi to get an heir and then divorce her is horrible, and the times they come together for sex it is not in love, but borders on rape sex used as a weapon to hurt, not heal and create love. Even the secondary characters, Gigi¿s mother and friends are weak and sort of ditzy people. Again, the reader keeps reading, I believe, to try to see if anyone develops some sense at all by the end of this story. This type of storyline has played out before in romances, with characters that made mistakes and walked away from their marriages early in the beginning, but the reader felt a deep love from the characters and there were usually circumstances that created the problems, not the characters themselves creating such planned, mean-spirited hurt to one another. But most of all there was remorse and forgiveness and an attempt to fight for their love, seduce, woo and love - not hurt more. At the end when the truth of the major mess ups are finally exposed, it seems so odd that suddenly Camden only wants what is best for Gigi and agrees to the divorce and then Gigi realizes she must have Camden and she goes to him and they are suddenly passionately in love and it is the end and they are to finally be together. I did not get the feeling that this would last and it would be ¿Happily Ever After.¿ This book was too much like REAL life, not a romance novel. If I wanted to read this type of storyline

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