Reviewed by Jessi Buchmann

I thought I knew what I was getting when I asked to review Arranged. I was anticipating a quick romantic beach read (yes, chic-lit). What I wasn’t expecting was for this novel to be a wacky enjoyable experience.

In the United States it’s not customary to have arranged marriages and this book takes an unconventional approach to a problem facing many of today’s singles. The problem: how exactly do you find ‘the one’ when you have a trail of lack luster relationships strewn like trash behind you? Author Catherine McKenzie’s answer for our heroine Anne Blythe’s problem is an arranged marriage.

Anne is a thirty-three year old professional who – having mastered the art of failed relationships – seems to call it quits altogether when she finds out that her boyfriend Stuart has been cheating on her. It certainly doesn’t help matters when in the midst of her break-up her brother Gil and his perfect wife reveal that they are expecting child number three. Anne feels helpless after a string of bad dates and happens upon a card with a number for Blythe and Company-Arrangements Made. When she calls the number and discovers Blythe and Company is more than a dating service is when the plot thickens. The questions she asks herself are what I would have expected to be asking myself. Can someone in this day and age take the leap and marry a complete stranger? Does the philosophy of being friends first work?

I shed a tear at the end of this novel and didn’t expect the twists and turns it took. Don’t expect a happily ever after in a traditional way but more of a modern messy take on what real love can be like. I recommend this book for anyone who is looking for a fast, easy and enjoyable read.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Also by Catherine McKenzie: Forgotten & Spin

Jessi Buchmann lives in Beaverton, Oregon and works as a Project Manager. When she is not reading she can be found: writing, painting or wreaking havoc on her house doing home repairs.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by William Morrow Paperbacks. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.