The Arrangement by Sarah Dunn

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After Lucy and her husband Owen get a little drunk at a dinner with friends, they learn that their friends have opened their marriage. They claim that opening their marriage reignited the passion they had for each other that had long been lost, and that they were happier than ever. Lucy balks at the idea, but after thinking on it for a while, decides to give it a try in hopes that she’ll stop feeling so invisible. She and Owen set ground rules, and add a end date to the experiment – 6 months, no questions asked, and no falling in love. When Lucy realizes she’s broken one of these rules, she has to decide if she wants to stay in her marriage or if this new romance is more intriguing.

Overall, I really liked The Arrangement. It was definitely a premise that I’ve seen on Lifetime, and we know this story never ends well for our protagonists! This story was no exception, and there were definitely bumps in the road, however I did like the ending of the story.

One thing that was unique about the book was the fact that the chapters alternated perspectives through not just Owen and Lucy, but also from a number of other characters detailing their own marital problems as well. I definitely liked Lucy and Owen’s story the most and honestly, it felt a little random that all of a sudden we’d have some random character in the middle of Lucy and Owen’s story. While it was interesting to see from the other characters as well that just because a relationship looks great on the outside doesn’t mean it actually is, it felt unnecessary and didn’t add a whole lot to the plot in my opinion.

The two other things that bothered me a little bit were the fact that there were a number of sexist comments in the book, and that there was some hate/shaming of a transgendered character. I do think that the author tried to write the characters as sexist/transphobic and that she herself doesn’t actually hold these beliefs, I feel like it didn’t necessarily come off that way to me. The statements happened enough that it made me uncomfortable to read them at parts. For example, “The women in this town could take over the world, their husbands all thought as they sat on the sidelines, watching. Thank goodness they’re happy to raise our kids.” – it was comments like that one that rubbed me the wrong way, and ultimately caused me to lower my rating from a 5 star to a 4 star review.

Overall, despite my issues with some of the language, I did enjoy the book and had a really hard time putting the book down! I flew through it, and it was definitely a light read. This is a perfect beach read if you’re looking for a light romance that also outlines the struggles of a long term relationship and coming to terms with the fact that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

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