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on 4 August 2008
This novel which was a debut by ST was brilliantly plotted & the characters were so different from your "typical" protaganists & so was created this amazing storyline. I read this continally & I found that when i was not I constanly felt "aglow" just thinking about reading more about these 2 characters. I truely loved the fact that Lord Tremaine felt for Lady T & so developed this vitalic history between the pair of lies, passion, despair,near misses & true gut feelings. ST is a fabulous writer & I highly recommend this read & cannot wait for DELICIOUS which I am just about to order from Amazon & the next one in 2009......
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on 17 March 2008
This was definitely a superior historical romance. It was also a rather unusual storyline, exploring a marriage that has died and how a request for divorce could cause the spouses to think again about their needs and their past.

Set at the end of the 1800s, Lord and Lady Tremaine have been married for ten years but have spent just one night together in that whole time - their wedding night. On the day after the wedding Lord Tremaine left for Paris and then America and has only seen Gigi, his wife, on a handful of occasions since then. The reason for the estrangement is unknown to all in society and is only gradually revealed to the reader as they progress through the book.

Gigi has had a few lovers over the time that they have lived apart and yet when she decides she wants to marry the lovely and gentle Lord Frederick and petitions her husband for divorce, the Marquis of Tremaine reappears suddenly in her life. He wants an heir before the divorce, Gigi just wants their break to be permanent so that she can settle down with Freddie.

But Lord Tremaine's influence in Gigi's life and emotions is enormous. Can old wounds be healed as they spend time together? Can they begin to understand each other better? Is the divorce really the best thing for this estranged couple?

The author's writing style is excellent throughout this book. Although historical accuracy sometimes slips in the dialogue, the overall feel is very much that of London in the time of Queen Victoria. Her characters are very well portrayed, faults and all, and the interest is always kept up in the story even though not that much actually happens. All the activity is taking place within the minds and hearts of Gigi and Camden and this is vividly portrayed. There's also a side-plot of a romance for Gigi's mother which is nicely handled with some very amusing dialogue.

There are a great deal of Historical Romances published that bear little relation to the historical period in which they are purportedly set and whose characters seem to have been plucked from the 21st century. This book was different, with believable and likeable characters, despite their flaws, and with some interesting angles about the importance of money and position in the society of that day. It's well worth a read and I look forward to more from this author.

Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2008
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on 28 August 2008
When a lie turns into betraying all that he holds dear their marriage becomes: a private arrangement, it epitomizes a perfect marriage of London's society but not of the heart as they live on seperate continents.

I have been incredibly surprised by the debut novel of Sherry Thomas, PRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS. This is not escapism romance written by a talented author, no, this is right in your face romance noir so intense I could only flip the pages in bated breath of what would happen next. Sherry Thomas gives the reader a couple that shows us how wrong everything can go in a relationship and yet the longing for one another remains and is an overwhelming presence in the most hidden corners of their heart.

This is a story that has a past and present storyline and takes a minute to adjust to but in the end enhances the overall understanding of these two strong minded characters superbly. Gigi and Camden are kindred spirits and have a bite to their character. When emotionally hurt they act upon it, not always in a nice way but nevertheless very human and it makes them a very believable couple. I cannot think of one without the other though events will lead up to a perfect acceptable society that exists only in name.

Gigi is smart as a whip and has the money to back it up while Camden is a man of blue blood but almost penniless. For them both applies the saying:
There is more than meets the eye. When the two of them meet Camden wants to finish his school to get his degree and is elsewhere engaged. However, the mutual intrigue for one another's nature draws them together. It is the intensity of those few courting weeks that holds the seed of their further relationship and every emotion that comes along with it. I was consumed by their feelings, the progress of attraction and rejection as this is intertwined with a passionate desire that simmers under the surface.

PRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS contains the classical elements of a London's society structure which is accompanied by its etiquette. With the elegance and prose in Sherry Thomas' writing it only contributed to the feel of the world in the late 19th century. It fills the pages with blooming scenery, colors, sounds and smells that makes the imagery leap of the pages and adds a rich splendor to this tale. Suffice to say that I feverishly turned the pages as I wandered in the world of Sherry Thomas and meeting the characters she created.

Each character became near and dear to my heart, especially the mother of Gigi, Victoria Rowland. She adds a secondary love story that also speaks of second chances, of a love found again, of being bold and a bit wicked to top it off. If there in one thing which an author can please me with is when I am allowed to become a part of the emotional struggles of a couple. I went through the motions with Gigi and Camden, in all their stubbornness I could feel the love and longing radiate from the pages.

I can talk about every aspect in this historical romance novel but it is Gigi and Camden that enthralled me and stole the show, the rest made it possible to enhance that feeling to even greater heights. If I have to say what was bit of a flaw in this novel it is that the conclusion between them as a couple and the resolution of their issues fell a bit short and lost a bit of its impact. The ending itself is wonderful but I would have liked the emotional closure of certain aspects to have been more fleshed out.

Sherry Thomas has made an impressive statement with her debut novel PRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS. I would recommend it to all who wants to dig into a historical novel with a bit of a different vibe and intricate, multi-layered emotions. Gigi and Camden's story should sustain your every desire!

reviewed by Leontine
Courtesy of realms On Our Bookshelves
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on 22 November 2012
This was a first for me by this author but won't be the last if her subsequent books are anything like as good as this debut novel. An interesting plot - the Tremaines seperated the day after their wedding and have lived apart for 10 years - on different continents in fact. Now Gigi wants a divorce to remarry and Lord Camden Tremaine comes back to England and they meet again for the first time. He lays down the condition that she must attempt to give him an heir before he will agree to her divorce and amidst great hostility she agrees. It is evident from the first that there are still deep feelings for each other still here. In fact, it emerges that they didn't part through disinterest but because on the eve of their wedding he discovered that she had tricked him into marriage and he feels he could not trust her and embarks on vengeance by leaving her. She is devastated but after some years has given up. Living together brings everything back to life though and from that point on their passion reignites and it is then a question of whether Camden has been able to forgive her and whether she can trust him enough to try again. There is a lovely secondary plot where her mother - an attractive woman in her own right - begins a quirky romance with a Duke she has first identified as a possible match for her daughter. Absolutely cracking writing, wonderful characters that you just love and it all adds up to a winning formula. One to be kept and reread.
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VINE VOICEon 16 June 2010
Okay - I bought this because of the other, very positive reviews, especially Auntie Helen's, 'cos we usually like the same thing. However, while this rolls along, with positive characters and good scene setting, I found myself getting increasingly ticked off with the hero. To be sure, she did a rotten thing, but sheesh, does that man hold a grudge! We're meant to believe he loved her but that didn't stop him wreaking a nasty, and prolonged revenge, both immediately after the wedding, and then when he returns and essentially blackmails her into sex, which, given the circumstances of her request for a divorce, could have been horribly difficult for her. Even the last grand gesture, an enormous gamble, with its associated risks of exposure and ridicule, had to be hers. His heart may have melted when he saw her, but not so much he could find it in him to say I'm sorry, I love you, come back. He made her come to him - not a nice man, not really.

And they never talk about what went wrong - so its all sitting there, waiting for the first argument!

Loved the auxiliary story about her mother - that was really nicely done.

So, this is well written, and nicely developed, but I'm afraid I found the hero to be an unforgiving so'n'so who really didn't deserve her love. Not a keeper for me.
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on 17 August 2013
The book jumps out of the starting gate with a crazy premise! Very original. For that alone I give it major points. I like that one of the love interested was not the most handsome of men, however it would have been nice to see his be stronger in other ways. I felt like he was a throwaway, which is too bad because a little tension would have added nicely. The side story felt like filler.

If I didn't see the end coming a million miles away, it would have been amazingly better. Sherry Tomas has a great writing style and made me enjoy a historical romance, which is really not my thing. I will likely read more by her, even though this is not my genre.
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on 17 June 2008
Hero and heroine wed when very young and then live separate lives for 10 years as a result of confusion and betrayal. On the verge of divorce they meet and fall in love again. What a delight to read something that is very original, witty and excellently written. For me this one is a keeper and I have pre-ordered Ms Thomas's second novel.
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on 7 May 2013
I enjoyed this and found it well-written for the most part - though there are a few oddities here and there. The premise was a bit of a stretch - the hero and heroine being besotted with each other but managing to keep the Atlantic between them for 10 years; and though I really liked him, I wasn't quite so keen on her. But their Christian names were extremely peculiar. Camden and Gigi. Really?
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on 15 February 2015
I like this genre because it is entertaining and books can generally be read in my spare time over a couple of days. I'm not so sure about the general premise of this tale (see other reviews for the synopsis) but it's as well written as other Sherry Thomas novels and I finished the book. I preferred Not Quite a Husband.
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on 8 February 2009
Great debut and I really enjoyed this book. It was a bit different from the usual story lines in this genre. I look forward to reading her next book.
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