Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Arrangement by Nicolette Hugo



Reviewed by Tabatha


I really felt like this read more like a diary than a novel with how fragmented it was. I found myself constantly saying "show me don't tell me," and the story overall lacked any real emotion between the characters. We are told how she feels, but not shown what made her feel this way. How are we to believe that they fell in love over the course of these six months when we miss out on key relationship building moments? We barely even skim the surface of their relationship. It starts out with Nell about to sign her first contract with Vincent for six months, but then it skips all the way to month six in the first chapter. Unfortunately, that's a huge chunk of their relationship building we don't get to see. Now I'm not saying we need a daily play by play or anything, but it would have been nice to watch the slow build of their relationship instead of just being told that Nell is in love with him after five months.

""Give up control and trust you.' The devil makes it sound so reasonable."

Given that we don't see much in the way of their relationship actually building, it made the story seem very surface level when the characters are more complex than that. I thought they were both interesting, so I think a dual point of view would have helped make this better. Maybe the lack of connection between the characters was intentional by the author given Vincent's edict that things stick strictly to the agreement, but we as the readers like to hear what isn't being said by both characters with internal dialogue.

"When there is no pleasure for me...when he gives pain just for him...that's when I steal my pleasure from him. I have my own darkness."

Now I'm not saying this book was bad. I was just frustrated a lot of the time, because I felt like I was missing key parts I felt were necessary. Like I said, I liked both characters and the bits we get of their intimate times together were incredibly hot. That breath play scene was...intense and I loved it. It made me want to see more complete scenes with them than the fragmented ones we got. Overall, I'd say that this story has real potential. I wanted it to be longer, but I really wanted it to be from both points of view so we understand more about their relationship. The characters were complex, and they have an intensity in the bedroom that I found intriguing. I'm definitely going to give Nicolette another try in the future.

"I like his simple commands, submitting to them is easy, free from the struggle between the desire for his domination and the guilt of wanting it."

*I received a review copy from the publisher/author via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.*

If you'd like to check out more about this series or other books by Nicolette, please head over to her website.




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