Rating: 4.5 / 5
I heard a lot of good things about THE ARRANGEMENT by Robyn Harding, so I was thrilled when it arrived in my Unplugged Book Box along with some other amazing goodies! For a picture of all the box’s contents, see below! This is definitely a book I would have wanted to track down on my own!
In THE ARRANGEMENT, the book begins with Natalie making a call to her father, seeking help because she has been accused of killing someone. From there the story takes a 4 month jump back in time. Natalie is a struggling art student living in New York City. She is having a hard time paying rent and bills with her job at a bar and keeping up with school to maintain her scholarship. She’s also dealing with a bitter ex and a lot of family drama with her mother remarriage and new “perfect” children.
When a classmate and friend confesses that she supports her lavish lifestyle by going through a website to find a sugar daddy who will pay for dates, Nat gives in to desperation and decides to give it a try. While the idea of dating a man older than her estranged father is disturbing to Nat, she is shocked to meet someone who she actually likes.
Gabe is handsome, successful, confident and wealthy. He’s willing to pay her an allowance and not pressure her for sex. Soon Nat is head over heals in love with Gabe and she believes he is as well. Nat isn’t aware that Gabe isn’t as single as he claims.
Trigger warnings for violence, sexual assault and rape.
I really enjoyed this book and it really did a good job hooking me in from the very first chapter. The majority of the book comes form Nat’s POV and a good case is made for her desperation and how she found herself in such a precarious situation just a few months later. There are also a good number of chapters from Gabe’s POV so the reader is often privy to information that Nat doesn’t have.
It was difficult to really like any of the characters in this story. Nat is young and naive and makes a lot of bad decisions. Gabe too is guilty of a lot of bad decision making, though he certainly can’t blame youth. Gabe is used to his wealth and privilege getting him what he wants out of life with little thought to his family or to his new ‘sugar baby’ who he claims to care for.
For me the story and the twists the author threw in carried the story enough that I didn’t mind too much that I didn’t like either of our main characters. The book kept me turning the pages, wanting to know who was dead and how it came about! I do recommend picking up THE ARRANGEMENT for a fast paced thriller!