Private Arrangements

( 59 )


Love has designs of its own.…

To all of London society, Lord and Lady Tremaine had the ideal arrangement: a marriage based on civility, courteousness, and freedom—by all accounts, a perfect marriage. The reason? For the last ten years, husband and wife have resided on separate continents.

But once upon a time, things were quite different for the Tremaines….When Gigi Rowland first laid eyes on Camden Saybrook, the attraction was immediate and ...

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Private Arrangements

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Love has designs of its own.…

To all of London society, Lord and Lady Tremaine had the ideal arrangement: a marriage based on civility, courteousness, and freedom—by all accounts, a perfect marriage. The reason? For the last ten years, husband and wife have resided on separate continents.

But once upon a time, things were quite different for the Tremaines….When Gigi Rowland first laid eyes on Camden Saybrook, the attraction was immediate and overwhelming. But what began in a spark of passion ended in betrayal the morning after their wedding—and now Gigi wants to be free to marry again. When Camden returns from America with an outrageous demand in exchange for her 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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
~ One of the Best Books of the Year (Publishers Weekly)

~ Double-nominated for the prestigious RITA Award for Best First Book and Best Historical Romance

~ Best Historical Romance of 2008 (Tie; Romance Buy the Book)

~ WINNER of the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award for Best First Historical Romance

“A love story of remarkable depth…Entrancing from start to finish.”—Mary Balogh, New York Times bestselling author
“Exquisite, enchanting…An extraordinary, unputdownable love story.”—Jane Feather, New York Times bestselling author
"Ravishingly sinful, intelligent and addictive. An amazing debut."—Eloisa James, New York Times bestselling author
"Sherry Thomas is the most powerfully original historical romance author writing today. She is a rebel, a rule-breaker, and above all, a romantic. Searing, tender and filled with passion, her writing is nothing short of a revelation. Private Arrangements clearly heralds the beginning of a dazzling career, and I am looking forward to more brilliantly told romances from this accomplished writer."—Lisa Kleypas, New York Times bestselling author
“[A] superb debut, Private Arrangements…will win readers over with its elegant writing, exceptional characterization, expertly detailed late Victorian setting and exquisitely romantic love story.”—Chicago Tribune

“Deft plotting and sparkling characters mark this superior debut historical…Steamy and smart.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Thomas tantalizes readers as she skillfully peels away the layers of Cam and Gigi's relationship in an enchanting, thought-provoking story of love lost and ultimately reclaimed. Lively banter, electric sexual tension, and an unusual premise make this stunning debut all the more refreshing. Thomas is a writer worth watching.”—Library Journal, starred review
"A dazzling debut...a beautifully written, sizzling, captivating love story...Her compelling tale of love betrayed and then reborn will make you sigh with pleasure." –Romantic Times, 4 1/2-star review
"Sherry Thomas breathes new life into the historical genre with her rich, sensual tale of estranged lovers finding the love that first brought them together….You’ll not want to be interrupted once you start."--Jane Litte,
"I loved every single minute I spent reading it."--Sandy Coleman,
“So if you've worried (as I have) about the future of historical romance, just remember two words: Sherry Thomas. Readers, don't miss this one. It's a keeper and be very thankful that historical romance has a new, shining star."
“A superior historical romance….The author’s writing style is excellent throughout this book….Her characters are vividly portrayed, faults and all….Well worth a read.”—Curled Up With a Good Book
"This is an excellent story and one you need to pick up and experience for yourself." --
"Sherry Thomas has woven a wonderful tale of regrets and secret desires. Her characters are realistic and complex. Private Arrangements is definitely worth reading." --
"Captivating, a rich and luscious romantic treat."--Romance B(u)y the Book
"Once readers meet Gigi and Camden, they won't want to put this book down."-- Romance Reviews Today
“A deeply involving story….I loved the complicated plot and the subplot of Gigi’s mother and the Duke of Perrin. The author does a wonderful job of recreating the late Victorian era and her characters are vividly real. This author is definitely one to look for.”—Coffee Time Romance
Private Arrangements is the best romance of the year...Sherry Thomas has made me fall in love with historical romance again.”—The Mystic Castle

Publishers Weekly

Deft plotting and sparkling characters mark this superior debut historical. Camden Saybrook, Lord Tremaine, returns to late 19th-century England to confront his wife, Gigi, about her petition for divorce. Still bitter from Gigi's machinations to snare him as her husband, Camden will grant the divorce under one condition-Gigi must give him an heir within a year. Sparks fly as the two embark on heated attempts to put the bun in the oven, despite Gigi's fear that her next conquest, the insipid Lord Frederick, will discover her duplicitously lusty reunion. A captivating subplot emerges when Gigi's mother, Mrs. Rowland, sets her own plan in motion for Gigi's next nuptials. Thomas propels the plot forward with revealing repartee and gives the leads real nuance. Intelligent and forthright with honorable hidden qualities, Lady Tremaine makes an exceptional heroine, and her deceptions are believably attributed to a desire for self-preservation in a sexist society. The results are steamy and smart. (Mar.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

For ten years, Camden and Gigi Saybrook, Lord and Lady Tremaine, have apparently enjoyed an exceedingly civilized marriage, which is the envy of polite Victorian society-she lives in England and he in America. However, when Gigi suddenly files for divorce and Camden arrives at her door with one condition-that she provide him with an heir-they are forced to confront the issues that wrenched them apart in the first place. Using alternating past and present chapters, Thomas tantalizes readers as she skillfully peels away the layers of Cam and Gigi's relationship in an enchanting, thought-provoking story of love lost and ultimately reclaimed. Lively banter, electric sexual tension, and an unusual premise make this stunning debut all the more refreshing. Thomas is a writer worth watching; she lives in Texas. (See the Q&A, p. 88.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440244318
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/25/2008
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 408,621
  • Product dimensions: 4.22 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Meet the Author

Sherry Thomas burst onto the romance scene with Private Arrangements, one of the most anticipated debut historical romances in recent history and a Publishers Weekly Best of the Year book. Lisa Kleypas calls her “the most powerfully original historical romance author working today.” Her books have received stellar reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Chicago Tribune, and Romantic Times, along with enthusiastic praises from many of the most highly trafficked romance review websites and blogs.

Her story is all the more interesting given that English is Sherry's second language—she has come a long way from the days when she made her laborious way through Rosemary Roger's Sweet Savage Love with an English-Chinese dictionary. She enjoys creating stories. And when she is not writing, she thinks about the zen and zaniness of her profession, plays computer games with her sons, and reads as many fabulous books as she can find.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

8 May 1893

Only one kind of marriage ever bore Society's stamp of approval.

Happy marriages were considered vulgar, as matrimonial felicity rarely kept longer than a well-boiled pudding. Unhappy marriages were, of course, even more vulgar, on a par with Mrs. Jeffries's special contraption that spanked forty bottoms at once: unspeakable, for half of the upper crust had experienced it firsthand.

No, the only kind of marriage that held up to life's vicissitudes was the courteous marriage. And it was widely recognized that Lord and Lady Tremaine had the most courteous marriage of them all.

In the ten years since their wedding, neither of them had ever uttered an unkind word about the other, not to parents, siblings, bosom friends, or strangers. Moreover, as their servants could attest, they never had spats, big or small; never embarrassed each other; never, in fact, disagreed on anything at all.

However, every year some cheeky debutante fresh from the schoolroom would point out—as if it weren't common knowledge—that Lord and Lady Tremaine lived on separate continents and had not been seen together since the day after their wedding.

Her elders would shake their heads. Foolish young girl. Wait 'til she heard about her beau's piece on the side. Or fell out of love with the man she married. Then she'd understand what a wonderful arrangement the Tremaines had: civility, distance, and freedom from the very beginning, unencumbered by tiresome emotions. Indeed, it was the most perfect marriage.

Therefore, when Lady Tremaine filed for divorce on grounds of Lord Tremaine's adultery and desertion, chins collided with dinner plates throughout London's most pedigreed dining rooms. Ten days later, as news circulated of Lord Tremaine's arrival on English soil for the first time in a decade, the same falling jaws dented many an expensive carpet from the heart of Persia.

The story of what happened next spread like a well-fed gut. It went something tantalizingly like this: A summons came at the Tremaine town house on Park Lane. Goodman, Lady Tremaine's faithful butler, answered the bell. On the other side of the door stood a stranger, one of the most remarkable-looking gentlemen Goodman had ever come across—tall, handsome, powerfully built, an imposing presence.

"Good afternoon, sir," Goodman said placidly. A representative of the Marchioness of Tremaine, however impressed, neither gawked nor gushed.

He expected to be offered a calling card and a reason for the call. Instead, he was handed the gentleman's headgear. Startled, he let go of his hold on the doorknob and took the satin-trimmed top hat. In that instant, the man walked past him into the vestibule. Without a backward glance or an explanation for this act of intrusion, he began pulling off his gloves.

"Sir," Goodman huffed. "You do not have permission from the lady of the house to enter."

The man turned around and shot Goodman a glance that, to the butler's shame, made him want to curl up and whimper. "Is this not the Tremaine residence?"

"It is, sir." The reiteration of sir escaped Goodman, though he hadn't intended for it to happen.

"Then kindly inform me, since when does the master of the house require permission from the lady to enter into his own domain?" The man held his gloves together in his right hand and slapped them quietly against the palm of his left, as if toying with a riding crop.

Goodman didn't understand. His employer was the Queen Elizabeth of her time: one mistress and no master. Then the horror dawned. The man before him was the Marquess of Tremaine, the marchioness's long-absent, good-as-dead husband and heir to the Duke of Fairford.

"I do beg your pardon, sir." Goodman held on to his professional calm and took Lord Tremaine's gloves, though he was suddenly perspiring. "We have had no notice of your arrival. I shall have your chambers prepared immediately. May I offer you some refreshments in the meanwhile?"

"You may. And you may see to the unloading of my luggage," said Lord Tremaine. "Is Lady Tremaine at home?"

Goodman could not detect any unusual inflection in Lord Tremaine's tone. It was as if he had simply come in from an afternoon snooze at his club. After ten years! "Lady Tremaine is taking a constitutional in the park, sir."

Lord Tremaine nodded. "Very good."

Goodman instinctively trotted after him, the way he'd trail a feral beast if it happened to have made it past the front door. It was only half a minute later, as Lord Tremaine turned about and raised a brow, that Goodman realized he had already been dismissed.

Something about his wife's town house disturbed Lord Tremaine.

It was surprisingly elegant. He had half-expected to see the kind of interior he'd become accustomed to in the houses of his neighbors on lower Fifth Avenue: grandiose, gilded, aiming only to recall the last days of Versailles.

She had a few chairs from that era, but they had held their share of velvet-clad bottoms and looked comfortable rather than luxurious. Neither did he encounter the heavy sideboards and unchecked proliferation of bric-a-brac that were firmly associated, in his mind, with English homes.

If anything, her residence bore an uncanny resemblance to a certain villa in Turin, at the foot of the Italian Alps, in which he had spent a few happy weeks during his youth—a house with wallpapers of soft antique gold and muted aquamarine, faience pots of orchids atop slender wrought-iron stands, and durable, well-made furniture from the previous century.

During an entire boyhood of decamping from one domicile to the next, the villa had been the only place, other than his grandfather's estate, where he'd felt at home. He had loved its brightness, its uncluttered comfort, and its abundance of indoor plants, their breath moist and herbaceous.

He was inclined to dismiss the echoing similarity between the two houses as a coincidence until his attention shifted to the paintings that adorned the walls of her drawing room. Between the Rubens, the Titian, and the ancestral portraits that occupied disproportionate acreage on English walls, she had hung pieces by the very same modern artists whose works he displayed in his own town house in Manhattan: Sisley, Morisot, Cassatt, and Monet, whose output had been infamously likened to unfinished wallpaper.

His pulse quickened in alarm. Her dining room featured more Monets and two Degases. Her gallery made it look as though she had bought an entire Impressionist exhibit: Renoir, Cezanne, Seurat, and artists no one had ever heard of outside the most gossipy circles of the Parisian art world.

He stopped midway down the gallery, suddenly unable to go on. She had furnished this house to be a fantasy-come-true for the boy he had been when he married her, the boy who must have mentioned, during their long hours of rapt conversation, something of his preference for understated houses and his love of modern art.

He remembered her spellbound concentration, her soft questions, her burning interest in everything about him.

Was the divorce but a new ruse, then? A cleverly sprung trap to re-ensnare him when all else had failed? Would he find her perfumed and naked on his bed when he threw open the door to his bedchamber?

He located the master's apartment and threw open the door.

There was no her, naked or otherwise, on his bed.

There was no bed.

And nothing else either. The bedchamber was as vast and empty as the American West.

The carpet no longer showed depressed spots where chair legs and bedposts had once stood. The walls betrayed no telltale rectangles of recently removed pictures. Thick layers of dust had settled on floor and windowsills. The room had stood vacant for years.

For no reason at all, he felt as if the breath had been kicked out of his lungs. The sitting room of the master's apartment was sparkling clean and fully equipped—tuft-backed reading chairs, shelves laden with well-read books wrinkled at the spines, a writing desk freshly supplied with ink and paper, even a pot of amaranth in bloom. It made the void of the bedchamber all the more pointed, a barbed symbol.

The house might have been, once upon a time, designed with the single-minded goal of luring him back. But that was a different decade—another age altogether. He had since been eviscerated from her existence.

He was still standing in the doorway, staring into the empty bedchamber, when the butler arrived, two footmen and a large portmanteau in tow. The nothingness of the chamber made the butler blush an extraordinary pink. "It will take us only an hour, sir, to air the chamber and restore the furnishing."

He almost told the butler not to bestir himself, to let the bedchamber remain stark and barren. But that would have said too much. So he only nodded. "Excellent."

The prototype of the new stamping machine Lady Tremaine had ordered for her factory in Leicestershire refused to live up to its promise. The negotiation with the shipbuilder in Liverpool dragged on most unsatisfactorily. And she had yet to answer any of the letters from her mother—ten in all, one for each day since she'd petitioned for divorce—in which Mrs. Rowland questioned her sanity outright and fell just short of comparing her intelligence to that of a leg of ham.

But that was all expected. What made her head pound was the telegram from Mrs. Rowland three hours ago: Tremaine came ashore at Southampton this morning. No matter how she tried to explain it to Freddie as something par for the course—There are papers to sign and settlements to be negotiated, darling. He has to come back at some point—Tremaine's arrival portended only trouble.
Her husband. In England. Closer than he had been in a decade, except for that miserable incident in Copenhagen, back in '88.

"I need Broyton to come in tomorrow morning to look at some accounts for me," she said to Goodman, handing over her shawl, her hat, and her gloves as she entered the town house and walked toward the library. "Kindly request Miss Etoile's presence for some dictations. And tell Edie that I will wear the cream velvet tonight, instead of the amethyst silk."


"I almost forgot. I saw Lord Sutcliffe this morning. His secretary has given notice. I recommended your nephew. Have him present himself at Lord Sutcliffe's house tomorrow morning at ten. Tell him that Lord Sutcliffe prefers a man of sincerity and few words."

"That is too kind of you, madam!" Goodman exclaimed.

"He's a promising young man." She stopped before the library door. "On second thought, have Miss Etoile come in twenty minutes. And make sure no one disturbs me until then."

"But your ladyship, his lordship—"

"His lordship will not be taking tea with me today." She pushed the door open and realized Goodman was still there, hovering. She turned halfway and glanced at him. The butler wore a constipated expression. "What is it, Goodman? The back troubling you again?"

"No, madam, it's not. It's—"

"It's me," said a voice from inside the library. Her husband's voice.

For a long, stunned moment, all she could think was how glad she was that she had not invited Freddie home with her today, as she often did after an afternoon walk together. Then she could not think of anything at all. Her headache faded, replaced by a mad rush of blood to her head. She was hot, then cold. The air about her turned thick as pea soup, fine for gulping but impossible to inhale.
Vaguely, she nodded at Goodman. "You may return to your duties."

Goodman hesitated. Did he fear for her? She entered the library and let the heavy oak door close behind her, shutting out curious eyes and ears, shutting out the rest of the world.

The windows of her library faced west, for a view of the park. The still-intense sunlight cascaded through clear glass panes at an oblique angle and landed in perfect rectangles of warm clarity on her Samarkand carpet, with its poppies and pomegranates on a field of rose and ivory.

Tremaine stood just beyond the direct light, his hands braced against the mahogany desk behind him, his long legs crossed at the ankles. He should be a figure in relative obscurity, not particularly visible. Yet she saw him all too clearly, as if Michelangelo's Adam had leapt off the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, robbed a Savile Row bespoke tailor, and come to make trouble.

She caught herself. She was staring, as if she was still that nineteen-year-old girl, devoid of depth but full of herself.

"Hullo, Camden."

"Hullo, Gigi."

She had allowed no man to call her by that childhood pet name since his departure.

Forcing herself away from the door, she crossed the length of the library, the carpet beneath her feet too soft, a quagmire. She marched right up to him, to show that she did not fear him. But she did. He held powers over her, powers far beyond those conferred by mere laws.

Even though she was a tall woman, she had to tilt her head to look him in the eye. His eyes were a dark, dark green, like malachite from the Urals. She inhaled his subtle scent of sandalwood and citrus, the aroma she had once equated with happiness.

"Are you here to grant me the divorce or to be a nuisance?" She got to the point right away. Trouble that was not confronted head-on always circled around to bite one in the bum.

He shrugged. He had taken off his day coat and his necktie. Her gaze lingered one second too long on the golden skin at the base of his neck. His shirt of fine cambric draped over him lovingly, caressing his wide shoulders and long arms.

"I'm here to set conditions."

"What do you mean, conditions?"

"An heir. You produce an heir and I will allow the divorce to proceed. Otherwise I will name parties to your adultery. You do know that you cannot divorce me on grounds of adultery if you happen to have committed the same sin, don't you?"

Her ears rang. "Surely you jest. You want an heir from me? Now?"

"I couldn't stand the thought of bedding you before now."

"Really?" She laughed, though she'd have preferred to smash an inkwell against his temple. "You liked it well enough last time."

"The performance of a lifetime," he said easily. "And I was a good thespian to begin with."

Pain erupted inside her, corrosive, debilitating pain she'd thought she'd never feel again. She groped for mastery and shoved the subject away from where she was most vulnerable. "Empty threats. I have not been intimate with Lord Frederick."

"How chaste of you. I speak of Lord Wrenworth, Lord Acton, and the Honorable Mr. Williams."

She sucked in a breath. How did he know? She'd been ever so careful, ever so discreet.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 59 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 59 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2011

    Privately Lovely

    Not a typical romance where the stubborn but virginal beauty wins the jaded rake. Gigi and Camden fall in love quickly but they are both too young and selfish for a lasting relationship. They are far from perfect and the author gives us flashbacks to tell their story while they struggle ten years later through a divorce. The best books leave you frustrated and wondering what-if. That is what made this book impossible to put down. I also love the flashbacks in her books. It is great to see characters have changed as they find their way back to each other-something Rhett and Scarlett did not have. The 1893 setting was wonderful as well.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2014

    Had a hard time getting through this book

    I hated how the book shifted from the present then the next chapter there past ...again and again...also how her mother had her story in there to....instead of focusing on one romance it felt like to...also gigi was not a character I even cared for...she was a cold hearted b*tch, who plotted to get what she wanted a titl and says she only wanted a marriage of convenience, then falls in love...I wont spoil it, but this book was surly lacking..I love books with cheating , scandal and rogues..and romance . Makes for an interesting read..this fell flatt.

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  • Posted November 12, 2013

    A beautifully written book! Loved the characters and the sparks

    A beautifully written book! Loved the characters and the sparks that flew between them from the moment they met.

    A wonderful story of love and second changes. This book is why I continue to be a fan of Sherry Thomas.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2013

    Enjoeyed Enjoyedit Enjoyed it

    Great book - dark undertones

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2012

    I am surprised by all of the great reviews for this book. I act

    I am surprised by all of the great reviews for this book. I actually
    read Thomas's Not Quite a Husband before this one and loved it. I
    thought I would give Private Arrangements a try because it was her debut
    and had such great reviews. I also like darker romances and edgy plot
    lines. This book failed completely in keeping me engaged in the
    characters. Despite more emotional stories, the characters still need
    to have redeeming qualities and the writing still needs to keep the
    story going. Camden has to be one of my top 5 WORST romantic lead
    characters. There is almost nothing redeeming about his character. I
    also dislike Gigi but Camden definitely has to take the lead in more
    disgusting character in this story. And why she goes after him at the
    end is beyond me. While I don't mind some flashbacks the constant back
    and forth in this story was pretty disjointed for me and didn't really
    help the flow of the story. Of course, I didn't like where the story
    flowed so that could have been a problem for me throughout the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 22, 2012

    Excellent story

    I just started to read this novel. So far it's been a good read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:


    This review is from: Private Arrangements (Mass Market Paperback) The protagonists, Camden and Gigi are wonderful, multi-dimensional characters and the plot is so not a cookie cutter romance. Sherry Thomas has an absolutely stellar command of language, grammar, syntax, and all the nuance that separates the good from the great writers. With Camden and Gigi, nothing is as expected. They have been estranged since right after their wedding ceremony when Camden left her 10 years earlier. She is now seeking a divorce and marriage to a sweet gently Freddie who adores her. An obvious mismatch. It is clear all along that there is something that between Camden and Gigi that will not be buried in spite of all their efforts. Gigi's mother has her own interesting love story that runs along with the action and adds a lot to the love story aspects of the book overall. The ending was joyous and moving and had me laughing and crying simultaneously. Sherry Thomas ranks with Robin Schoen as"the best of the best". I recommend ALL of Ms. Thomas' books, in addition to those below.

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  • Posted December 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Strong-willed heiress Gigi Rowland seeks a title, egged on by mama.

    She meets, manipulates, and marries impoverished Camden Saybrook, newly titled Lord Tremaine, but loses his trust on their memorable wedding night and gains his derision. Camden went to America while Gigi, heartbroken, remained in England. After 10 years, her request for a divorce stirs things up. Camden will give it to her on his terms: he wants to beget an heir. The Camden she knew had left England a shy youth, the Camden who returns is an experienced man, who uses Gigi's obligation and his wiles to seduce her and make her his. Secondary story, mama Victoria Rowland gets the Duke of Perrin and her very own title.

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer


    Takes you back to a world we can only dream of. I love the stories of the past. This book keeps you reading. It feeds the need for romance and true love through the characters. This is a great read. Finished in in one day I couldn't get enough.

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  • Posted August 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Pour me another Sherry!

    Private Arrangements was Sherry Thomas's debut, and WOW! Does it ever take historical romance to a whole new playing field! She has a knack for creating such an intriguing story - a husband and wife who pretend each other does not exist and would rather not sleep in the same room - or the same continent?! I simply could not resist - and Gigi and Camden both complement each other so excellently that you wonder how they could have gotten in such a heart-rendering mess.

    If you are looking for a contemporary but historical romance (I know, it sounds almost impossible), then I would definitely recommend this book - it will definitely get you hooked on Sherry Thomas! :)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 25, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Rhett and Scarlet meet Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy!

    This book was a cross between Gone w/with The Wind and Pride and Prejudice.
    How far would you go to get what you wanted? That is the basis of the story. You can't trap love. No, it's not a love story of the greatest kind, but I really enjoyed the book. The characters are stubborn, prideful and shallow. But the moral of it, it they are in love, just neither wants to be the first to give in to their pride and set the last ten years right. I loved the ending. I liked the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2008

    Not a good debut

    Frankly I am surprise to see this book endorsed by Mary Balogh and Jane Feather. Ms. Thomas prose does not flow easily, it seems that she wants us to know that she is familiar with Greek mythology, the topography of the Alps, etc...and 'haute cuisine' the way, in the 19th century England, the 'creme brulee' was called 'Burnt cream' or 'Trinity cream'. I bought this book as 'an easy read' while on a cruise. What a bore! Could not finish it. The story is not interesting and the 'players' do not appeal

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2008

    This was not a love story

    I am an avid reader and was excited to read this book but struggled often to get through it. The characters were not well developed, the dialouge in this story did not flow and I was completely lost at times. The author's use of different names for these characters was such a drawback, I couldn't keep track of who these characters were. This book was awful. It had such potential and then was a major disappointment. I couldn't wait to finish this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2008

    A great new writer!

    I can read a romance novel in a few hours if I can not put it down, and this one was a quick read. Sherry Thomas' writing is lyrical. Her characters are both flawed, Gigi at first in her ruthlessness and Camden in his righteousness. As a couple their timing is so awful it breaks your heart, until of course they come to their senses. I can not wait for 'Delicious'!

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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

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2008

    Thank you !

    I've been waiting for some new voices in this genre to use as much of the English language as Ms. Thomas has treated us to. I won't do a recap of the plot because I couldn't do it justice. Let me just say that I give this book my highest compliment - I did NOT get bored, nor read ahead to the end. Wonderful characters and scenes painted with words that had me thinking about GiGi and Camden long after I put the book down. It will take its place on my bookshelf as one that can be read again. Thank you for your humor and wizardry with the language.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2008

    A Keeper.

    This book deserves 6 stars. I read a lot of books and this author has the right stuff. I picked it up because Mary Balogh recommended it. I am very happy that I did. You will not be sorry. Don't wait for a used one, you will want to buy it new.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2008

    An Excellent Debut!

    If you are in need of a refreshing historical romance to read, then you don¿t want to miss Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas. This story is a breath of fresh air in both its plot structure and delivery. As a young woman, Gigi Rowland makes a dreadful choice to secure the marriage of her dreams to Camden Saybrook. Her plan backfires and Camden abandons her the morning after the wedding. Fast-forward ten years. Gigi wishes to marry again, but to do so she needs Camden to grant her a divorce, a request that forces him back into her life. She insists they have nothing left between them, but Camden refuses to give her up without something in return. Ms. Thomas kept me on a roller coaster of emotion throughout the novel. With her humor and rich vocabulary, she drew me into the story from page one. I admit at times I hated both Gigi and Camden for their behaviors, but still I devoured the book, eager to watch their love story unfold when I was so convinced it could never happen. Thankfully, Ms. Thomas didn¿t disappoint me. With this amazing debut, Sherry Thomas is surely an author on the rise. Don¿t miss her Private Arrangements!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2008

    A reviewer

    Wow! What a glorious, smart, sexy, beautiful book this is. Sherry Thomas weaves her tale so deftly and writes with such wonderful assurance that it's hard to believe this is her first novel. She sweeps you along as Lord and Lady Tremaine break each other's hearts--and yours--and learn to love again. Along the way, you'll smile and laugh and cry and adore every minute of the ride. I loved PRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS, and I can't wait for Thomas's next novel, DELICIOUS.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    An excellent historical romance

    During late Victorian England, ten years ago Lord Tremaine, Camden Saybrook and Lady Gigi Rowland met and fell in love at first sight they married, but instead of happy ever after, the next morning Camden learned of his new bride¿s schemes to become his Lady Tremaine. Feeling betrayed and a dupe, he left for America. He finally returns to England still filled with animosity towards Gigi, who has filed for divorce so that she can remarry trite Lord Frederick. He agrees to free her if she meets one stipulation. She must birth his heir in one year. Although she fears her future spouse will learn of her sexual activity with her present spouse and she knows she still loves Camden who deserted her, Gigi accepts his terms. PRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS is a well written Victorian second chance at love starring two likable protagonists. Gigi is terrific as her Machiavellian maneuvers matched only by her mother showcases the limited options high society allows to a woman even with Victoria on the throne for decades. Camden internalizes the hurt that he was just a pawn who was out flanked by his wife. Their return engagement scores on all levels as both come across as intelligent injured party still deeply in love with one another in this excellent historical. Harriet Klausner

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