Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Title: By Arrangement
Author: Madeline Hunter
Published: 2000, Dell
Category: Historical Romance
Rating: 6.5/10

I've never read Madeline Hunter before, but she's been talked about a lot lately because her newest book, The Rules of Seduction, is getting very good reviews. I heard several people mention that they thought Rules is her best work since her early medieval series. And I thought, ooh a good medieval! Haven't read one of those in a long time. So here we are.

Lady Christiana Fitzwaryn is in luuurve with a noble knight, so she is devastated when King Edward (she is a ward of the crown) tells her she is to marry David de Abyndon, a merchant who is plenty wealthy but (oh horror!) a commoner. Christiana goes to David, tells him that she is in love with another, and asks him to release her from the engagement. David suspects that her paramour is a little more interested in getting her into the sack than in actually following through with a wedding, so he tells her that he won't give up the betrothal, but that if the man returns, then he will release her. Meanwhile, he sets out to show Christiana that the puppy love she felt for Sir Knight is nothing compared to the Real Thing.

Oh, I'm feeling lazy tonight. A bunch of other stuff happens--there's a little political subplot and a mistaken identity subplot. Rather typical romance novel stuff, but I enjoyed it very much. It didn't light my life on fire, but it was good. The setting was sadly a little nondescript, but it worked and the characters were lovely.

Like I say, I'm feeling lazy. Suffice it to say that I will be reading more Madeline Hunter. The edition I got is actually a two-in-one--it has By Possession in it too, so I'll be reading that soon. I do like the value of two-in-ones, definitely more bang for your buck, but they're pretty unwieldy. Kind of hard to read (and hard to carry around). And as I was reading the first novel, I was continually annoyed that I couldn't see how much of the book I still had left to go. Silly, I know, but I kept flipping forward to see how much longer before the resolution. I ended up putting a Post-it note in between the two books. :P


Kellie said...

I haven't read one of hers yet either- but I added this one to my wishlist after seeing some of the reviews.

Still, you only gave it a 6.5? I've read so many romances lately that I've been disappointed in ... is By Design worth a try?

nath said...

Hey Jennie!

You seemed to enjoy it more than a 6.5 :P I'll wait for you to read more of hers before I started :P Although I do have Rules in my TBR pile! by the way, let me guess, David turns out to be more than a commoner?

Jennie said...

Zeek--I did like it very much. And 6.5 isn't so bad for me. (I'm totally stingy with grades.) Maybe I should have given it a 7. Mostly I didn't give it a higher grade because I didn't feel like it stood out that much from your average romance novel. Better than a lot of them though. I'd definitely say to try out one of her books.

Nath--You're psychic! :p Actually I liked the resolution a lot--it could have been a boring old cinderella story, but it wasn't. I think I'm going to buy Rules too.

Rosario said...
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Rosario said...

Ahh, yes, the resolution was excellent, you're right. I've been meaning to reread these books for some time now. I think my fave was By Possession (which takes place chronologically before By Arrangement, BTW. You will see a very young David)

Jennie said...

Rosario--OMG! Why on earth in my two-for-one edition did they put By Arrangement first then?! Someone at Dell was not using their brains. Maybe that was the order in which they were published? Oh well.

I read the blurb for By Possession and thought it sounded appealing, though I can't remember exactly why now.

Kristie (J) said...

I like this!! There seems to be a bit of a Madeline Hunter medieval revival, your review and Renees for By Possesion. I'm glad readers are finding these as there are all very good books - and they are medievals - one of my more favoured genres!

Jennie said...

Kristie--Ooh, I'll have to head over to Renee's and see how she liked By Possession, cuz I want to read that next. :)

Anonymous said...

ooh! Can I confess that I'm a big fan of Madeline's? By Arrangement is my all-time fave of hers. In fact, I've got more of her books on my shelf than other authors althugh P C Cast is catching up.

Anyway, while you're at it, give By Design a try (zeek, go for it!). I like her first three books for the historical insights and details.

Nath - yep, David is more than a commoner.