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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars medieval magic
The young heroine is obliged to wed a "commoner" - David de Abyndon who is a merchant, due to an indiscretion that nearly results in scandal. He has his own agenda - he is a really complex character - cool, intelligent,sometimes devious and the love that emerges between the two overcomes their differences and is as believable as the well-researched historical...
Published on 7 Nov 2000

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A romance overshadowed
As much as I love historical romances, there is only so much of the history I can take. Which explains why perhaps, I did not enjoy this book as much as I thought I would.

If I'm not mistaken By Arrangement is my first Madeline Hunter read, and I chose this not lightly - because when I checked her website I loved almost all the blurbs of her books! They were...
Published on 25 Jun 2011 by Dwayne @ Girls Without a Bookshelf


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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars medieval magic, 7 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: By Arrangement (Mass Market Paperback)
The young heroine is obliged to wed a "commoner" - David de Abyndon who is a merchant, due to an indiscretion that nearly results in scandal. He has his own agenda - he is a really complex character - cool, intelligent,sometimes devious and the love that emerges between the two overcomes their differences and is as believable as the well-researched historical context. I totally fell for David as a hero - quite apart from being gorgeous he just seemed grown-up - a real man who played the hand he was dealt rather than using a previous bad experience as an excuse to be emotionally stunted like some heroes! I have just ordered this author's next book "By Possession" and am looking forward to getting "By Design" when it comes out in 2001. This book has a slightly harder edge to it then some historicals (the fall of Caen is realistically brutal) but it has strong plotting, good pace, well rounded characters who develop throughout the novel...some toe curling moments, historical realism - basically - its got the lot!!! I loved it and would totally recommend it.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Series - Superb Writing, 26 April 2006
By 
M. Rondeau (West Springfield, MA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Based on rave reviews I bought my first Madeline Hunter novel BY ARRANGEMENT -- her debut and the first book of her medieval series. I was not disappointed in the least as the series as a whole was fabulous, totally stand-alone yet connected by the main characters. This first book was an invigorating story, extremely well researched, and packed with enough suspense to keep you turning the pages way into the wee hours of the morning.

Lady Christiana Fitzwaryn, a nobly born young woman and ward of the King had been betrothed but not to the handsome Knight of the Realm she believed herself to be in love with. No, horror of horrors, her guardian King Edward III betrothed her to a mere merchant. Though with time she would discover David de Abnydon to be a most unusual merchant!

Christiana was livid -- insulted that her status would be devastatingly lowered by a marriage so beneath her class. Her brother Morvan was also furious, but without wealth, powerless to stop such an unusual arrangement made by his king!

David de Abnydon was an intelligent and very wealthy self-made man. He hadn't planned to marry, but if negotiating a bride, sight unseen was the price to get what he was truly after - so be it! He never thought that with Christiana, he'd be so lucky to have found a treasure in what he initially thought would be a liability!

The author injected a nice bit of intrigue here while this reviewer tried to fathom why the very handsome, very wealthy David de Abnydon would have 'bought' a bride with apparently nothing to gain. Christiana had no dower and the phenomenally high bride price - sight unseen - certainly piqued my interest. Now for a medieval period this was certainly an intriguing and very unusual plot line.

For this reviewer I found this to be a highly imaginative and creative debut that catapulted this author into the spotlight of the leading 'who's who' of the historical romance genre authors. The plot was historically well researched and the level of sensuality in the romance area was superb. Christiana was dealt with realistically. First as the insulted noblewoman, then by the author's deft touch she was gently brought around to realize her great fortune. It was such a joy to see her finally seeing David as the caring, gentle and divine lover, who was more than just a merchant, but a very real, devastatingly handsome and caring man! All the secondary characters as well as the leads were very well fleshed out, their motivations clear and the portrayal of life during medieval period perfectly rendered. When initially released this landed on my 'keeper' shelf to be re-read many times over! Lucky for the romance enthusiast that you now have a chance to snag a copy now that it is being re-issued. VERY highly recommended.

Marilyn ROndeau, RIO - Reviewer International Organization
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A romance overshadowed, 25 Jun 2011
By 
Dwayne @ Girls Without a Bookshelf (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: By Arrangement (Kindle Edition)
As much as I love historical romances, there is only so much of the history I can take. Which explains why perhaps, I did not enjoy this book as much as I thought I would.

If I'm not mistaken By Arrangement is my first Madeline Hunter read, and I chose this not lightly - because when I checked her website I loved almost all the blurbs of her books! They were exactly what I would want to read about. Surprisingly though, I seemed to find more than I bargained for, because this book at least just doesn't fit the blurb! I mean, it does in a sense, because fact of the matter is, it has what it says in the tin. But it isn't quite all that it has, and the heavier, more important element - that is the political intrigue and mystery - has not been mentioned in the blurb. As I was expecting something entirely, it was quite a bore reading all those parts. I'm open to a bit more content in any book, but when it overwhelms the plot ... it's not very nice. I think that sums what I did not like in it entirely - the political intrigue/mystery overshadowed the romance a lot and I was tempted to flick through the pages and just read through the parts where the romance play an integral part.

Having said that, I think the author did an excellent job with the characters. More than anything, the book shows a path to romance that is beyond the 'love-or-lust-at-first-sight'. Christina and David learn to grow accustomed to each other, then trust each other and finally love each other. Like any couple, they go through misunderstandings, but their coming together is handled very excellently. A little humour, misconceptions and tears made the book more interesting too! The incomplete ending aside, this is an entertaining read, particularly if you like romantic mysteries.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Realised Romance!, 20 Mar 2010
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This review is from: By Arrangement (Mass Market Paperback)
By Arrangement has proved thus far to be one of my favourites of Madeline Hunter's excellent collection. It is a simply unforgettable romantic classic which quietly grows on one's consciousness and eventually insists upon return visits again and again.

The strength of this novel lies in Hunter's portrayal of the two leads, in particular the divine David De Abyndon with whom there have been many (all too brief) dealings in this story's predecessors (By Design, Stealing Heaven) and indeed it's successors (The Protector, Lord of a Thousand Nights). David really is delicious for want of a better description. He is synonymous with Hunter's typical depiction of the Alpha male but his quiet beauty and wisdom make him simply irresistible in this genre.

The interplay between him and the heroine of our story, Christiana is believable and consistent and Hunter patiently unfolds their story whilst the reader eagerly and impatiently awaits for their eventual love to grow.

Christiana's youth and immaturity at the beginning of the novel is beautifully realised, highlighting David's wisdom and patient understanding perfectly. The intrigue in the novel is perfectly paced to provide an exciting and fulfilling denouement and the love story in general is simply gorgeous with these two completely and convincingly fulfilling their destiny to be together.

The historical detail is everpresent as always and the tiny `humdrum' details which Hunter excels at for making a story believable are here in abundance creating a real `life' for these characters which engages the reader and stays in the mind long after the novel is finished.

Wonderfully fulfilling romance!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Historical Romance Novels i've Ever read, 9 Mar 2010
This is the first novel that I have read by Madeline Hunter. I read a short story of hers in a book called Tapestry over a year ago and really enjoyed it but for some reason (mostly the huge pile of books that I have to get through) I never got around to reading another of her books until now. After finishing this book in two days I was left feeling very satisfied and anxious to get hold of more Madeline Hunter novels. In short, I was very impressed.

One of the things that really impressed me was the historical accuracy. I'm certainly not an expert on history and the 14th century is not a period that I have studied in any detail at all but I do have a fairly good general historical knowledge and there were very few things that seemed to not fit in with the historical period. This may not seem worth noting but romance novels are so often historically inaccurate that it made a really nice change. I did look on her website after reading the book where I read that Madeline Hunter has a PhD in art history so I guess it should be expected that she would pay attention to historical details. She does also justify the parts that she made historically inaccurate. For example, she made Christiana older than would have been realistic for an innocent, young bride (she's about 18 in the novel) and I thought that her justification for this was fine, I wouldn't want to read a romance novel about a fourteen year old.

I felt that the way that Hunter wrote really brought the century and the place to life for me. I am very interested in the history of London and spent a lot of last year visiting historical places in London and learning about the history. Reading this book was amazing because I could really picture the way things would have been back then. I particularly like that she acknowledged that many of the places that we consider to be part of London now would not have been then. I guess these are quite trivial things but I find the history of London fascinating, particularly the way all of the different places have come together to make the city that we now know today and I liked reading a book that seemed to give a reasonably accurate portrayal of this area in the 14th Century.

The other great thing about the historical setting (and I promise that after this I'll shut up about history and move onto romance) is that it's so unique in this genre. Most historical romances that I have read are set in the 19th century. There are a few exceptions but these are exceptions. This book has opened my mind to the idea of romance novels set in other historical periods. It made a nice change.

The romance in this novel was wonderful. I loved David. He was so dominant and powerful, the classic romantic hero. Christiana fulfilled a lot of the classic heroine criteria too. She was very innocent, beautiful and naive and that often annoys me but in Christiana it didn't. I think part of the reason is that Hunter doesn't shy away from Christiana's flaws (or from Davids). She may be beautiful and virginal but she is far from perfect. The relationship between David and Christiana is very intense (in a good way) and the way Hunter writes you can actually feel the attraction between them. There were a couple of chapters where the romance didn't grip me as much as it did previously, they were still enjoyable chapters and I still wanted to keep reading but the pace felt a little bit slower the rest of the book. Fortunately it does pick up again later in the book.

There is a plot to this novel too, although it is of course secondary to the romance. I'm not going to say too much about it because I don't want to give anything away. There are a lot of surprises and twists in this novel, some I could see coming and others really took me by surprise. The romance on its own made me keep reading but had there been no romance in this book it still would have been a page turner. Even when I could guess what was going to happen I was still anxious to keep reading so that I could see if I was right. I think at times it was a little bit far fetched but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

I really enjoyed this book and couldn't put it down. It's one of the best historical romance novels that I've ever read and I will certainly be reading more Madeline Hunter books in the future.
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By Arrangement
By Arrangement by Madeleine Hunter (Mass Market Paperback - 6 Jun 2000)
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