Re-review & Giveaway – Arranged -Catherine McKenzie

15 May

William Morrow Paperbacks (HarperCollins)
Released: May 15th, 2012 (U.S. release)
Genre: Chick-lit, general fiction
Review copy from publisher

Anne Blythe is lucky. She’s got a brand new book contract, a great newspaper job and a steadfast best friend, and she can land just about any man she sets her sights on — and the ones that appeal are typically tall, dark and handsome.

Problem is, the men she chooses never last. Shortly after yet another relationship goes down in flames, Anne comes across a card for what she believes is a dating service, and pockets it just in case. If she’s so unlucky in love, maybe she could use a little assistance. Then her best friend announces she’s engaged, and envy gets the better of Anne. Now’s the time, she decides, to give the service a try — and she is shocked to discover that what the company specializes in are exclusive, and pricey, arranged marriages. After learning of the company’s success rate, however, she overcomes her reluctance and signs on. After all, arranged marriages are the norm for millions of women around the world, and she’s not done so well selecting a mate on her own. So why not use a professional service that claims it can produce the perfect match?

Some time later, Anne is travelling to a Mexican resort, where in one short weekend she will meet and marry Jack, the man they have chosen for her. And against all odds, it seems to be working out, until Anne learns that Jack and the company who arranged their marriage are not what they seem at all.

From HarperCollins website.

First of all, I need to say a big HAPPY U.S. BOOK BIRTHDAY!!!!! to Catherine and Arranged. I was part of the Canadian launch and I am all giggly and smiley that I get to be a part of her U.S. launch, too. If you’ve been to my blog before, then you know how much I ADORE Catherine’s books and Catherine herself. And you know how much I like to stalk, er, promote my fave authors.

As you can tell from the post title, this is a re-review. And I’m happy to say I was as taken with Arranged as I was the first time I read it.  Reading it for the second time, one thing became very clear to me: Catherine is a master of quick, snappy dialogue. And not overly clever, sappy dialogue either. No, the dialogue in Arranged, to me, rang very true. It had that quick back and forth banter that I love. And she’s not afraid to drop the F bomb. At all. And as someone who could make a sailor blush, I appreciated that.

I like how Catherine really digs into the issue of looks and attraction, and how it isn’t always the best thing in the world when it comes to relationships. Since about grade 4 I kinda had a type, a weakness for redheads. In fact, my type was so particular that in university, when I brought home a boy I was dating, my parents sat me down afterwards and held an intervention because he looked so much like my ex, they thought at first we had gotten back together. When I met my husband, we corresponded on line first for about a week before we exchanged pictures. At that point we had hit it off so much, that when I found out he was pretty much bald, I didn’t give a hoot. If we had met in a bar or supermarket first would I have taken notice of him? Hard to say. I think that a lot of us are so attached to our type that we miss a lot of great opportunities with other, just like Anne.

I once again sat down to read Arranged and didn’t stop until I was finished. And I was a bit of a sobby mess at the ending, once again. Actually I found myself tearing up a few times. This says a lot about the book, the writing and the emotional attachment that I still felt on second read.

Oh, and a bit of a spoiler, but not a huge one: there’s a Gilmore Girls reference in Arranged. You have no idea how happy this made my heart. My other obsession, besides books, is The Gilmore Girls. And the episode Catherine mentions (season 4 finale) is one of my FAVES. 🙂

So, yeah, I still stand behind my original judgement that this is one kick-ass chit-lit book. If you’ve read either of Catherine’s other books, or are a fan of the genre, I can’t see how you wouldn’t love Arranged. And if you are curious about chick-lit, this book is a great place to start.


So, I have a copy of Arranged to give away to one lucky US winner, courtesy of HarperCollins in the U.S.. AND, since I’m a Canuck and I love all my Canadian readers, I’m going to be giving one lucky Canadian reader a copy (ordered from book depository). I like to keep things simple, so to enter all you have to do is comment below and tell me either your favorite Gilmore Girls episode or moment, your favorite rom-com moment or if you have a “type” when it comes to dating. Also mention in your comment of you are from the U.S. or Canada. The contest will close May 22nd, 11:59EST.

13 Responses to “Re-review & Giveaway – Arranged -Catherine McKenzie”

  1. Catherine McKenzie May 15, 2012 at 11:52 am #

    Thanks so much for your support, once again! You rock!! – Catherine

  2. jpetroroy May 15, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    I love when Lorelei and Luke finally get together. So heartwarming! Can’t wait to read this one.

    • lavenderlines May 15, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

      Ah, that’s one of my favorite moments, too! But I think my fave is the family dinner after Rory moves back home. The back and forth, from yelling to laughter to tears to silent was just perfect.

  3. MarnieColette May 16, 2012 at 9:09 am #

    I love all the coffee shop moments between Luke and Lorelei. I also liked Family Dinner with the Parents/Grandparents… hilarious.

    • lavenderlines May 16, 2012 at 9:31 am #

      Are you in Canada or the US?

  4. Kate May 16, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    oh this book looks good! My favourite rom-com moment is anything from The Notebook. Cliched and vague but so very true.

  5. Karen Shaw May 16, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    I’ve been racking my brain trying to think of a fave Gilmore Girls episode, but I can’t pick, but I do have a few favorite Gilmore Girl moments :o) Anytime Lorelai and Sookie are in the kitchen together at the inn, Lane’s secret music stash, Lorelai and Luke and their great chemistry, and Rory and Dean’s first kiss, and Rory at the lunch table at school, with her food tray placed exactly where it won’t interfere with her book ( I do the same thing at home, plate slightly to the right, and an open book to the left, makes for a perfect lunch break)

  6. Jody B May 16, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

    I love any of the Lorelai and Sookie moments too…I love Sookie.

    • lavenderlines May 16, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

      I LOVE Sookie’s wardrobe

  7. Bonnie May 17, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

    My favourite Gilmore Girls moment was when Lorelei and Christopher made the decision to be together. Unfortunately, they found out his girlfriend was pregnant shortly after that. I am Canadian.

  8. Mary May 17, 2012 at 11:33 pm #

    I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about this book. I would love the chance to win it !

  9. Elizabeth West May 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    I loved the Thanksgiving one, where they had four places to be and that deep fried business at Sookie’s.

  10. Carol Belles May 21, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    My favorite Gilmore Girls episode was the one of the trial night of the Dragon Fly opening and Luke and Lorelei first kissed – the whole episode was funny – and like lavenderlines.the episode after Rory moves out of the grandparents. It’s really such a toss-up because I can’t think of a single thing I didn’t like – moments with Snookie and Lorelei in the kitchen – Rory and Logan – Rory’s relationship with Paris – Lane was such a breath of fresh air and you related so much to her if you had strict parents. I cried at the end of the episode when Rory moved into the grandparents and Lorelei stood looking in at her in the pool house. I laughed hysterically when Emily took on Logan’s mother at the USO benefit. Sigh… I really miss that show!

    I am in the US.

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