Private Arrangements

Private Arrangements

by Sherry Thomas


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Love has designs of its own.…

To all of London society, Lord and Lady Tremaine had the ideal arrangement: a marriage based on civility, courteousness, and freedom—by all accounts, a perfect marriage. The reason? For the last ten years, husband and wife have resided on separate continents.

But once upon a time, things were quite different for the Tremaines….When Gigi Rowland first laid eyes on Camden Saybrook, the attraction was immediate and overwhelming. But what began in a spark of passion ended in betrayal the morning after their wedding—and now Gigi wants to be free to marry again. When Camden returns from America with an outrageous demand in exchange for her freedom, Gigi’s decision will have consequences she never imagined, as secrets are exposed, desire is rekindled—and one of London’s most admired couples must either fall in love all over again…or let each other go forever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440244318
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/25/2008
Series: London Trilogy , #2
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 4.22(w) x 6.90(h) x 1.05(d)

About the Author

Sherry Thomas burst onto the romance scene with Private Arrangements, one of the most anticipated debut historical romances in recent history and a Publishers Weekly Best of the Year book. Lisa Kleypas calls her “the most powerfully original historical romance author working today.” Her books have received stellar reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Chicago Tribune, and Romantic Times, along with enthusiastic praises from many of the most highly trafficked romance review websites and blogs.

Her story is all the more interesting given that English is Sherry's second language—she has come a long way from the days when she made her laborious way through Rosemary Roger's Sweet Savage Love with an English-Chinese dictionary. She enjoys creating stories. And when she is not writing, she thinks about the zen and zaniness of her profession, plays computer games with her sons, and reads as many fabulous books as she can find.

Read an Excerpt

Private Arrangements

By Sherry Thomas


Copyright © 2008 Sherry Thomas
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780440244318

Chapter One

8 May 1893

Only one kind of marriage ever bore Society's stamp of approval.

Happy marriages were considered vulgar, as matrimonial felicity rarely kept longer than a well-boiled pudding. Unhappy marriages were, of course, even more vulgar, on a par with Mrs. Jeffries's special contraption that spanked forty bottoms at once: unspeakable, for half of the upper crust had experienced it firsthand.

No, the only kind of marriage that held up to life's vicissitudes was the courteous marriage. And it was widely recognized that Lord and Lady Tremaine had the most courteous marriage of them all.

In the ten years since their wedding, neither of them had ever uttered an unkind word about the other, not to parents, siblings, bosom friends, or strangers. Moreover, as their servants could attest, they never had spats, big or small; never embarrassed each other; never, in fact, disagreed on anything at all.

However, every year some cheeky debutante fresh from the schoolroom would point out—as if it weren't common knowledge—that Lord and Lady Tremaine lived on separate continents and had not been seen together since the day after their wedding.

Her elders would shake their heads. Foolish young girl. Wait 'til she heard about herbeau's piece on the side. Or fell out of love with the man she married. Then she'd understand what a wonderful arrangement the Tremaines had: civility, distance, and freedom from the very beginning, unencumbered by tiresome emotions. Indeed, it was the most perfect marriage.

Therefore, when Lady Tremaine filed for divorce on grounds of Lord Tremaine's adultery and desertion, chins collided with dinner plates throughout London's most pedigreed dining rooms. Ten days later, as news circulated of Lord Tremaine's arrival on English soil for the first time in a decade, the same falling jaws dented many an expensive carpet from the heart of Persia.

The story of what happened next spread like a well-fed gut. It went something tantalizingly like this: A summons came at the Tremaine town house on Park Lane. Goodman, Lady Tremaine's faithful butler, answered the bell. On the other side of the door stood a stranger, one of the most remarkable-looking gentlemen Goodman had ever come across—tall, handsome, powerfully built, an imposing presence.

"Good afternoon, sir," Goodman said placidly. A representative of the Marchioness of Tremaine, however impressed, neither gawked nor gushed.

He expected to be offered a calling card and a reason for the call. Instead, he was handed the gentleman's headgear. Startled, he let go of his hold on the doorknob and took the satin-trimmed top hat. In that instant, the man walked past him into the vestibule. Without a backward glance or an explanation for this act of intrusion, he began pulling off his gloves.

"Sir," Goodman huffed. "You do not have permission from the lady of the house to enter."

The man turned around and shot Goodman a glance that, to the butler's shame, made him want to curl up and whimper. "Is this not the Tremaine residence?"

"It is, sir." The reiteration of sir escaped Goodman, though he hadn't intended for it to happen.

"Then kindly inform me, since when does the master of the house require permission from the lady to enter into his own domain?" The man held his gloves together in his right hand and slapped them quietly against the palm of his left, as if toying with a riding crop.

Goodman didn't understand. His employer was the Queen Elizabeth of her time: one mistress and no master. Then the horror dawned. The man before him was the Marquess of Tremaine, the marchioness's long-absent, good-as-dead husband and heir to the Duke of Fairford.

"I do beg your pardon, sir." Goodman held on to his professional calm and took Lord Tremaine's gloves, though he was suddenly perspiring. "We have had no notice of your arrival. I shall have your chambers prepared immediately. May I offer you some refreshments in the meanwhile?"

"You may. And you may see to the unloading of my luggage," said Lord Tremaine. "Is Lady Tremaine at home?"

Goodman could not detect any unusual inflection in Lord Tremaine's tone. It was as if he had simply come in from an afternoon snooze at his club. After ten years! "Lady Tremaine is taking a constitutional in the park, sir."

Lord Tremaine nodded. "Very good."

Goodman instinctively trotted after him, the way he'd trail a feral beast if it happened to have made it past the front door. It was only half a minute later, as Lord Tremaine turned about and raised a brow, that Goodman realized he had already been dismissed.

Something about his wife's town house disturbed Lord Tremaine.

It was surprisingly elegant. He had half-expected to see the kind of interior he'd become accustomed to in the houses of his neighbors on lower Fifth Avenue: grandiose, gilded, aiming only to recall the last days of Versailles.

She had a few chairs from that era, but they had held their share of velvet-clad bottoms and looked comfortable rather than luxurious. Neither did he encounter the heavy sideboards and unchecked proliferation of bric-a-brac that were firmly associated, in his mind, with English homes.

If anything, her residence bore an uncanny resemblance to a certain villa in Turin, at the foot of the Italian Alps, in which he had spent a few happy weeks during his youth—a house with wallpapers of soft antique gold and muted aquamarine, faience pots of orchids atop slender wrought-iron stands, and durable, well-made furniture from the previous century.

During an entire boyhood of decamping from one domicile to the next, the villa had been the only place, other than his grandfather's estate, where he'd felt at home. He had loved its brightness, its uncluttered comfort, and its abundance of indoor plants, their breath moist and herbaceous.

He was inclined to dismiss the echoing similarity between the two houses as a coincidence until his attention shifted to the paintings that adorned the walls of her drawing room. Between the Rubens, the Titian, and the ancestral portraits that occupied disproportionate acreage on English walls, she had hung pieces by the very same modern artists whose works he displayed in his own town house in Manhattan: Sisley, Morisot, Cassatt, and Monet, whose output had been infamously likened to unfinished wallpaper.

His pulse quickened in alarm. Her dining room featured more Monets and two Degases. Her gallery made it look as though she had bought an entire Impressionist exhibit: Renoir, Cezanne, Seurat, and artists no one had ever heard of outside the most gossipy circles of the Parisian art world.

He stopped midway down the gallery, suddenly unable to go on. She had furnished this house to be a fantasy-come-true for the boy he had been when he married her, the boy who must have mentioned, during their long hours of rapt conversation, something of his preference for understated houses and his love of modern art.

He remembered her spellbound concentration, her soft questions, her burning interest in everything about him.

Was the divorce but a new ruse, then? A cleverly sprung trap to re-ensnare him when all else had failed? Would he find her perfumed and naked on his bed when he threw open the door to his bedchamber?

He located the master's apartment and threw open the door.

There was no her, naked or otherwise, on his bed.

There was no bed.

And nothing else either. The bedchamber was as vast and empty as the American West.

The carpet no longer showed depressed spots where chair legs and bedposts had once stood. The walls betrayed no telltale rectangles of recently removed pictures. Thick layers of dust had settled on floor and windowsills. The room had stood vacant for years.

For no reason at all, he felt as if the breath had been kicked out of his lungs. The sitting room of the master's apartment was sparkling clean and fully equipped—tuft-backed reading chairs, shelves laden with well-read books wrinkled at the spines, a writing desk freshly supplied with ink and paper, even a pot of amaranth in bloom. It made the void of the bedchamber all the more pointed, a barbed symbol.

The house might have been, once upon a time, designed with the single-minded goal of luring him back. But that was a different decade—another age altogether. He had since been eviscerated from her existence.

He was still standing in the doorway, staring into the empty bedchamber, when the butler arrived, two footmen and a large portmanteau in tow. The nothingness of the chamber made the butler blush an extraordinary pink. "It will take us only an hour, sir, to air the chamber and restore the furnishing."

He almost told the butler not to bestir himself, to let the bedchamber remain stark and barren. But that would have said too much. So he only nodded. "Excellent."

The prototype of the new stamping machine Lady Tremaine had ordered for her factory in Leicestershire refused to live up to its promise. The negotiation with the shipbuilder in Liverpool dragged on most unsatisfactorily. And she had yet to answer any of the letters from her mother—ten in all, one for each day since she'd petitioned for divorce—in which Mrs. Rowland questioned her sanity outright and fell just short of comparing her intelligence to that of a leg of ham.

But that was all expected. What made her head pound was the telegram from Mrs. Rowland three hours ago: Tremaine came ashore at Southampton this morning. No matter how she tried to explain it to Freddie as something par for the course—There are papers to sign and settlements to be negotiated, darling. He has to come back at some point—Tremaine's arrival portended only trouble.
Her husband. In England. Closer than he had been in a decade, except for that miserable incident in Copenhagen, back in '88.

"I need Broyton to come in tomorrow morning to look at some accounts for me," she said to Goodman, handing over her shawl, her hat, and her gloves as she entered the town house and walked toward the library. "Kindly request Miss Etoile's presence for some dictations. And tell Edie that I will wear the cream velvet tonight, instead of the amethyst silk."


"I almost forgot. I saw Lord Sutcliffe this morning. His secretary has given notice. I recommended your nephew. Have him present himself at Lord Sutcliffe's house tomorrow morning at ten. Tell him that Lord Sutcliffe prefers a man of sincerity and few words."

"That is too kind of you, madam!" Goodman exclaimed.

"He's a promising young man." She stopped before the library door. "On second thought, have Miss Etoile come in twenty minutes. And make sure no one disturbs me until then."

"But your ladyship, his lordship—"

"His lordship will not be taking tea with me today." She pushed the door open and realized Goodman was still there, hovering. She turned halfway and glanced at him. The butler wore a constipated expression. "What is it, Goodman? The back troubling you again?"

"No, madam, it's not. It's—"

"It's me," said a voice from inside the library. Her husband's voice.

For a long, stunned moment, all she could think was how glad she was that she had not invited Freddie home with her today, as she often did after an afternoon walk together. Then she could not think of anything at all. Her headache faded, replaced by a mad rush of blood to her head. She was hot, then cold. The air about her turned thick as pea soup, fine for gulping but impossible to inhale.
Vaguely, she nodded at Goodman. "You may return to your duties."

Goodman hesitated. Did he fear for her? She entered the library and let the heavy oak door close behind her, shutting out curious eyes and ears, shutting out the rest of the world.

The windows of her library faced west, for a view of the park. The still-intense sunlight cascaded through clear glass panes at an oblique angle and landed in perfect rectangles of warm clarity on her Samarkand carpet, with its poppies and pomegranates on a field of rose and ivory.

Tremaine stood just beyond the direct light, his hands braced against the mahogany desk behind him, his long legs crossed at the ankles. He should be a figure in relative obscurity, not particularly visible. Yet she saw him all too clearly, as if Michelangelo's Adam had leapt off the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, robbed a Savile Row bespoke tailor, and come to make trouble.

She caught herself. She was staring, as if she was still that nineteen-year-old girl, devoid of depth but full of herself.

"Hullo, Camden."

"Hullo, Gigi."

She had allowed no man to call her by that childhood pet name since his departure.

Forcing herself away from the door, she crossed the length of the library, the carpet beneath her feet too soft, a quagmire. She marched right up to him, to show that she did not fear him. But she did. He held powers over her, powers far beyond those conferred by mere laws.

Even though she was a tall woman, she had to tilt her head to look him in the eye. His eyes were a dark, dark green, like malachite from the Urals. She inhaled his subtle scent of sandalwood and citrus, the aroma she had once equated with happiness.

"Are you here to grant me the divorce or to be a nuisance?" She got to the point right away. Trouble that was not confronted head-on always circled around to bite one in the bum.

He shrugged. He had taken off his day coat and his necktie. Her gaze lingered one second too long on the golden skin at the base of his neck. His shirt of fine cambric draped over him lovingly, caressing his wide shoulders and long arms.

"I'm here to set conditions."

"What do you mean, conditions?"

"An heir. You produce an heir and I will allow the divorce to proceed. Otherwise I will name parties to your adultery. You do know that you cannot divorce me on grounds of adultery if you happen to have committed the same sin, don't you?"

Her ears rang. "Surely you jest. You want an heir from me? Now?"

"I couldn't stand the thought of bedding you before now."

"Really?" She laughed, though she'd have preferred to smash an inkwell against his temple. "You liked it well enough last time."

"The performance of a lifetime," he said easily. "And I was a good thespian to begin with."

Pain erupted inside her, corrosive, debilitating pain she'd thought she'd never feel again. She groped for mastery and shoved the subject away from where she was most vulnerable. "Empty threats. I have not been intimate with Lord Frederick."

"How chaste of you. I speak of Lord Wrenworth, Lord Acton, and the Honorable Mr. Williams."

She sucked in a breath. How did he know? She'd been ever so careful, ever so discreet.


Excerpted from Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas Copyright © 2008 by Sherry Thomas. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Private Arrangements 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 73 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not a typical romance where the stubborn but virginal beauty wins the jaded rake. Gigi and Camden fall in love quickly but they are both too young and selfish for a lasting relationship. They are far from perfect and the author gives us flashbacks to tell their story while they struggle ten years later through a divorce. The best books leave you frustrated and wondering what-if. That is what made this book impossible to put down. I also love the flashbacks in her books. It is great to see characters have changed as they find their way back to each other-something Rhett and Scarlett did not have. The 1893 setting was wonderful as well.
new_user on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jane Feather called this book, "enchanting...An extraordinary, unputdownable love story." You would think a fellow author could conjure up better praise than "unputdownable," but Mary Balogh puts it better. She calls Private Arrangements "a love story of remarkable depth," and that's certainly true.In fact, the first half of Private Arrangements reads very much like a beautiful, artistic indie film. The first moments glimpsed between Gigi and Camden are intimate and sweet and summon a tone of magic. From the moment these two meet we feel the impression that they are soulmates, the kind of kindred spirits who finish each other's sentences and share silent exchanges. Sherry Thomas skillfully conveys their bond by capturing the real life nuances between a man and a woman, the instant connection that a man and a woman feel when they can share a joke in a glance. The silences are as telling as the words. This act in the story is possibly the most romantic I've seen in a romance. So I loved these flashes back. They're integral to the rest of the story, and they were placed ideally in the book to describe current events. (Don't worry, the flashbacks stop, they're not endless, LOL.)So it's all the more tragic when that communion is shattered. Both parties are to blame, but when we see, as we must, the sad straits to which the Tremaines come, two people once in love now unable to stop hurting each other, we feel the pain that Gigi and Camden must feel. Again, the author is brilliant at proving all her claims (aka "showing"). Gigi is meant to be intelligent and strong, and we see this in her actions and words, in the vulnerable heart of her that she protects so carefully. She is a real woman that we have all met at one point, not a manufactured heroine too stubborn or stupid to live or ridiculously naive. She is a proud woman, at once her strength and weakness. Likewise, we come to know Camden with his intelligence and calm, his humility and humor, his quiet dignity and strength. He's not arrogant or overbearing (though he can surely be aggressive/firm when the needs calls for it) and not led by the nose into the heroine's tricks or drama. At one point, he even makes light of a man flying into a jealous rage when a rival for the heroine's attentions is dangled before him-- which I found amusing, because we all have seen that device in historical romance. He is a very real hero, whom we probably all have met at one point or another. He makes mistakes and despite himself he's not invulnerable, though he's not a rake or resistant to love for the sake of resistance. Their histories have made the characters who they are, and they are not overdramatic or contrived.The ice between Camden and Gigi, the cold, polite relationship is Victorian British to the core and the barbs traded between them intelligent and biting. This is the first time I've seen this done right. This is the cut direct delivered with a smile, but the book is prevented from becoming too bleak or depressing because not only we do read about the longing and undying attraction, despite all, between these two, but we're promised an end in sight, a HEA. Needless to say, Thomas has done her research-- if you need proof, she drops a paragraph on the economics of the times, the only point in the novel where she reveals her research outright. She also roots us in the period with little windows into the time in a way that we can relate. We read a telegram from Camden to his mother-in-law, and it is as long-suffering as any modern man could be. At another point, instead of a description, we read a building plaque directly, Thomas illustrating the story herself. However, she remains firmly in the period. I particularly like that she doesn't try to make Gigi a modern woman from 2008 suffering the 1800s. In fact, Camden even looks back at medieval times as we would his time, saying something along the lines of, "Too bad we've made so much progress." That was a brillia
AdonisGuilfoyle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Weak writing, contrived plot, and a 'Hollywood lite' take on Victorian England. The premise is intriguing, and the characters likeable if two-dimensional, but far too fluffy. 'Gigi' falls head over heels in lust with her handsome, titled husband (a duke, naturally, there existing no other type of hereditary peer in these novels), fibs a bit to trap him into marriage, and then spends the next ten years pretending that she doesn't care where in the world he is or what he does with his life. Camden (or Kensal Green, whatever his place name is) ships off to New York to earn some Honest Money by Working With His Own Hands in a bid to pretend that he doesn't care who his wife shags or what she does with her inheritance. Gigi asking for a divorce throws a spanner in their mutual nonchalance, and Camden returns to indulge in some alpha-male post-marriage courting (mostly involving subjugating his wife in ever desperate scenarios).Gigi is lively enough before Camden comes home to roost, cynically looking for the next rung up the social ladder, but she is pathetic where her husband is concerned. And the pretence of the plot is flimsy at best: why would a woman independent enough to ask for a divorce submit to such demands, obviously jeopardising her future marriage plans? Camden is viewed through Gigi's lovelorn eyes, all manly chest and smouldering charisma. The subplot with Gigi's mother and the neighbouring duke takes up too much of the book, and consists mainly of misunderstandings and happy coincidences.However, the real deficiency of this novel is the overabundance of excrutiating similes - every other description is tagged with 'like', conveying what the author must assume to be poetic imagery. The faux-formal English lapsing into modern Americanisms ('mooning' - in Victorian England? How witty!) was to be expected and endured. (Was there no English editor to check in what context slang words and swearing should be used?) Apologetic presentation of the English upper classes comes as standard with American authors - Camden is a duke, but also runs his own business and likes to work with his hands, and Gigi is the daughter of a self-made man who sets up her own charity for fallen women. Liberal discarding of Victorian morals and gender relations that jar with the overall modern tone of the story is part of the formula. But being overpowered by similes like a ballerina dancing with a wrestler really lowered the tone of the whole book. Borrow and return, or read and donate. Not a keeper.
thebookbabe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm going against popular belief that this is a terrific book. Hey, isn't the first time I've read a book that left me cold and which had received positive buzz and it won't be the last - but maybe that's the problem: too much instant access to information, you expect to come away from the final page with what everyone else has: a big sigh and an oh-boy-this-was-the-best-book-I've-read-this-year. I don't read reviews for this very reason: usually too many spoilers, too much plot, and that can take the surprise out of any book. It took me nearly a month to slog through this book. Granted the writing and feel for the era were good enough, but I couldn't warm up to any of the characters and didn't much care what happened to them, felt they deserved what they got through the years, and ought to have lived with their miserable decisions. I'm just glad I didn't BUY this book, what a waste of good, hard-earned money that would have been, although I did have to waste gas picking it up at the library. The only way I will ever read subsequent Thomas books is if someone hand-delivers it to me at home so I wouldn't have to waste my time, physical energy and gas fetching it. I still can't believe I finished the book, had set it aside after 80 or so pages but I was determined to not let it get the better of me. I suppose that's something to be proud of - it doesn't happen very often when I set aside a non-starter. I don't know whether to pat myself on the back for being a big girl, or whether I should add points to my rating because the book apparently had *something* that drew me in. Naw, I'll leave the 2-star rating.
m8lt2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the most interesting romances I have read in a long time: an atypical storyline, excellent character development, sexy... The leading lord and lady have been married for a long time but have lived seperately after having deceived and hurt each other during their courtship leading up to their wedding. When they are finally in the room together, their mutual dislike does not prevent their attraction for each other, but overcoming their painful history does not happen easily and overnight. On top of that, the lady's mother has an interesting affair with her neighboring duke in a wonderful sidestory. A great read!
reneebooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Gigi, Lady Tremaine, has been separated from her husband, Camden, for 10 years. Gigi loves her husband but she is tired of waiting for him and has decided to get on with her life and remarry someone else for some small chance at happiness. Camden doesn't want her but doesn't want anyone else to have her either. Especially dim-witted Freddie, her intended fiance. So Camden demands that they live together for one year so he can get an heir off her in exchange for the divorce she wants. And Gigi agrees.The story goes back and forth between the past and the present and slowly reveals why these two imperfect and somewhat unlikeable characters are so bitter and cruel to each other. When they first meet both characters are immature and Gigi has no self confidence in her beauty or personal attributes needed to attract a man aside from her considerable fortune. Camden is on the verge of proposing to another girl and Gigi is very determined to have him so she plots and schemes to bring Camden to propose. On the eve of their wedding Camden discovers her deception and is very angry (and I suspect, very hurt). He decides to proceed with the wedding and consummates the marriage, then very cruelly humiliates and rejects her. Of course, in this way he can throw her out and still have access to all her lovely money. Let's just say I was not too fond of Camden at this point. Especially after Gigi grovels and begs for him to take her back. Gigi is at fault for her deception but I found her much more sympathetic and I actually liked her quite a bit.The weaving of the past with the present was smoothly done and the use of language by Thomas was superb making this book hard to put down. When Camden and Gigi first marry they are very young and so I gave their initial poor behavior some slack, but it is now ten years later and Camden is still bitter and angry and seems to still want to punish Gigi for making him fall in love with her. Gigi has grown up and acts much more honorably towards Camden and I found her a much more sympathetic character.There is a lovely romantic sub-plot involving Gigi's mother, Mrs. Rowland, and a reclusive duke who lives next door. Mrs. Rowland tries to bag the duke for her daughter but ends up falling in love with him herself. A very amusing and well done sidebar to the main plot.Overall this was a somewhat deep historical with three dimensional characters and a very satisfying and romantic ending. Everything I enjoy in a romance. I enjoyed this book so much Thomas is an auto-buy for me now. I have read Delicious and have Not Quite a Husband on my wishlist. GRADE: A-
theepicrat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Private Arrangements was Sherry Thomas's debut, and WOW! Does it ever take historical romance to a whole new playing field! She has a knack for creating such an intriguing story - a husband and wife who pretend each other does not exist and would rather not sleep in the same room - or the same continent?! I simply could not resist - and Gigi and Camden both complement each other so excellently that you wonder how they could have gotten in such a heart-rendering mess.If you are looking for a contemporary but historical romance (I know, it sounds almost impossible), then I would definitely recommend this book - it will definitely get you hooked on Sherry Thomas! :)
FrostKitty on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the best Historical Romances I've ever read! I was amazed to discover that this was her debut novel.
stephiesmith on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There's a fine line between love and hate and Camden knows it all too well. On the eve of marrying a woman who seems perfect for him, he finds out about her deceit and vows to make her pay by marrying her anyway, giving her one night of passion and then disappearing from her life. Yet he still loves her and the torment he hoped to leave Gigi with follows him everywhere he goes.Gigi has remained in love with him too but she's given up the hope of getting him back and now wants to get on with her life by marrying someone else. Poor Camden can't let her until he rids himself of his demons, and he's finding that impossible to do. The more he hates her, the more he wants her and vice versa. And this makes him hate himself too. His healing is long in coming, but when he decides to let her go on to her new life, you know he's almost there.I'll admit I wouldn't have liked Camden had I not seen him in his earlier years--before his anger and need for revenge consumed him. But Gigi, I loved Gigi from the start. She was a woman ahead of her time, strong and determined to get what she wanted at any cost. Whenever I think of her I remember the scene where she sees Camden unexpectantly on a boat that passes hers and she runs along the length of the boat unable to look away from him. Even when she trips and falls headlong, she gets up and keeps running to the end of the boat until he's out of sight.This isn't the typical historical romance and Sherry Thomas isn't the typical writer; she's one of the freshest voices in historical romance. I can't wait for her next one!
mschweer432 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was my first by Sherry Thomas. I have to say I am a fan! I really enjoyed it. Even if some of the story line seemed a little bit far fetched, it was still fun to read. The main characters, Gigi & Camden were great. They were friendly and I found myself caring about and rooting for them. I also loved Gigi's mom! She was funny and her love story was also interesting and fun to read. I love historical romances and I really enjoyed this one as well. I would highly recommend it!!
doxiemomx2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really like the depth in Sherry Thomas's books. The writing is beautiful -- lyrical and descriptive. Once again, the theme is a relationship gone wrong and how the two find their way back together. It made me cry in one place and I read it in a day so I guess that makes it a pretty good book!
ThePublicLibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. The heroine is feisty and smart. It is typical with all romance novels and includes sexual content.
Cottontail on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. The heroine is feisty and smart. It is typical with all romance novels and includes sexual content.
theshadowknows on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Gigi Rowland did something terrible in the name of love, which nabbed her Camden Saybrook, but lost him the day after their marriage once he found out. For ten years they've lived separate lives. He hates her, apparently, and she's gotten over him, apparently. Our story starts when Gigi wants a divorce in order to marry a devoted swain of hers, and Camden will only allow it if she gives him an heir. Private Arrangements was fairly predictable, though it managed to keep my interest with its well written prose - great descriptions sprinkled liberally with literary allusions and a fluid style that made the book very readable. Though be warned the similies can get a little out of control. At one point the heroine found her heart caught in the jaws of Cerberus of all things : ) Regardless, I can forgive a lot if the book offers a voice so well crafted, and that voice is what earned Private Arrangements its 3 1/2 stars from me. I also liked the parts where it jumps back in time to when Gigi and Camden first meet. During these episodes, the set up for their romance was nice, and Gigi seemed like an interesting heroine, unrepentantly mercenary and practical, but felled instantly by true love in a way that was believable and, considering its outcome, sad. This picture of young, naive love was well done - and usually I find such romances too nauseating to bear. But after a while the flashbacks became redundant (fortunately they stop eventually). When it comes to the reconciliation in the present the story really fell flat for me. Considering his antipathy towards Gigi, which borders on the psychotic, I don't understand why Camden returns to her with his ultimatum. Nor do I understand his reaction once he's discovered Gigi's deceit, particularly if he's so in love (yeah yeah, he hates her so much because he loves her so much, but still I'm not buying it - the love or the hate.) His prolonged separation from her seemed overly dramatic, the conflict between them overly contrived in order make me believe I was reading about some grand, doomed love of the century. Even worse, near the end of the book people start acting all noble and self-sacrificing, Gigi acts stupidly (but honorably), and Camden's feelings for Gigi do a 180 so abrupt it's disorienting. Their relationship didn't make much sense to me. All this diluted the emotional punch I was hoping to get from this book. Compared to other troubled marriage romances I've read, this doesn't really compare. But still, like I said, I liked how the story was told, and I'll be sure to read more by this author - what the story told just failed to engage me in the end.On the plus side, the cover is pretty. And there's also a secondary romance between Gigi's mother and a reclusive, former rake of duke, that was very cute. If anything, the book earns points for generating a lot of discussion both by people who loved and people who hated it. It's interesting that such different opinions can be formulated about Private Arrangements, make of that what you will...
crashingwaves38 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I cannot say enough good about this book. Thomas has a way with words that really pulls you in. I laughed, I cried, I screamed in frustration, I giggled, and I felt for both the hero and the heroine. When Camden complimented his wife, I felt her bemused confusion. When they fell in love the first time, I felt the bouyancy of their feelings. When he walked out of their house and away from their life, I despaired with Gigi that they would never be together again. When she decided to fight for him, I felt her determination. One of the things that I liked about this particular book is that it's unique. I don't know of any other romance that proceeds quite like this one, or has its basic premise. Certainly not in historical romances. Of course, this is set in a time period a little further into the future than what I usually read, but I think my statement is still true. The idea that girl meets boy, girl and boy fall in love, boy resists because of another he is only kinda promised to, girl plots to catch him and succeeds, boy finds out, marries her anyway, has amazing sex with her, then leaves her the next morning and doesn't see her again for ten years is a new one to me. Thomas weaves the story adroitly, inserting flashbacks in a such a way that have you falling in love with the couple the first time while witnessing their reunion after a ten year haitus. By the time you see the betrayals occur, you're enmeshed in what's happening in the present.I loved this book and can't really find fault with any of it. Sherry Thomas is definitely going onto my "must read" list.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hated how the book shifted from the present then the next chapter there past ...again and again...also how her mother had her story in there to....instead of focusing on one romance it felt like to...also gigi was not a character I even cared for...she was a cold hearted b*tch, who plotted to get what she wanted a titl and says she only wanted a marriage of convenience, then falls in love...I wont spoil it, but this book was surly lacking..I love books with cheating , scandal and rogues..and romance . Makes for an interesting read..this fell flatt.
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Great book - dark undertones
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am surprised by all of the great reviews for this book. I actually read Thomas's Not Quite a Husband before this one and loved it. I thought I would give Private Arrangements a try because it was her debut and had such great reviews. I also like darker romances and edgy plot lines. This book failed completely in keeping me engaged in the characters. Despite more emotional stories, the characters still need to have redeeming qualities and the writing still needs to keep the story going. Camden has to be one of my top 5 WORST romantic lead characters. There is almost nothing redeeming about his character. I also dislike Gigi but Camden definitely has to take the lead in more disgusting character in this story. And why she goes after him at the end is beyond me. While I don't mind some flashbacks the constant back and forth in this story was pretty disjointed for me and didn't really help the flow of the story. Of course, I didn't like where the story flowed so that could have been a problem for me throughout the book.
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