Arranged by Catherine McKenzie
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
From the cover:
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.
I was first interested in Arranged by Catherine McKenzie because the whole concept of arranged marriages fascinates me and I’ve always been interested in it. I’m always joking with my friends and telling them that life would be so much easier if I could just get an arranged marriage and skip through the whole dating process. Of course I’ll probably never be brave enough to go through with an arranged marriage, but that’s just a minor detail.
I haven’t read anything by McKenzie before this book, but I can definitely see why she has so many fans already! Her writing is funny and witty and the plot moves along at a fast pace so it was extremely to become invested in the story. I read this book during my flight to Chicago and I almost wished the flight was longer so I could finish the book.
And while I didn’t fall completely in love with Anne right away, I found her to be endearing and charming in her own way by the end of the book. When we first met her a part of me pitied her because she kept going from one failed relationship to the next, but the other part felt like it was her fault because she was a bit vain and always fell for the same type of guy. But as the story progresses, I quickly found myself rooting for her and hoping that she would successfully find love.
I really do truly enjoy McKenzie’s writing. I thought I had this story all figured out. Sure the relationship between Anne and Jack wasn’t perfect and it wasn’t all sunshine and butterflies, but you could see that they were slowly falling in love and that perhaps even though their relationship started as an arranged marriage, everything would work out. And then bam! She hits you with this surprise that completely rocks the delicate world that Anne and Jack had built.
Arranged by Catherine McKenzie was the perfect summer read and I highly recommend packing it on your next trip to the beach or wherever you’re planning on traveling to this summer. I had a great time reading it and I look forward to reading McKenzie’s future works.