Practical plans go awry when prim sensibilities unwittingly capture the heart of a scandalous seducer.
Miss Evangeline Grey, intelligent and sensible, has no desire to marry, her reluctance born from the dire warnings of her overly emotional mother. Her father has other ideas, however, and decrees that unless she weds by the spring, he will choose a husband for her.
Prim and proper Evangeline accepts her father's issue with little more than mild alarm. Knowing herself plain of face and sharp of tongue, she believes herself capable of warding off any perspective suitor. Her plan goes awry when the scandalous seducer, Mr. Thomas Masterson, visits her family's home, for Thomas has learned that he must procure a wife to receive his full inheritance.
When he discovers Evangeline's predicament matches his own, Thomas determines to orchestrate a practical arrangement. A war of wit and word results, and Thomas finds himself ever more beguiled by the soft heart he discovers under Miss Grey's stern, inhibited exterior. Patiently, he endeavors to gain her respect and awaken her passions. As tenuous trust blooms between the rake and the reluctant, unfortunate events – and Thomas' past reputation – threaten to destroy the peace and happiness he has found within the bonds of his Practical Arrangement.
I'm on a historical kick right now with my reading. I shied away from them for awhile because they tended to read the same way. Rogue/rake, virginal heroine/mouse of a woman, marriage of convenience/arranged, evil characters trying to break them up, and then of course, my favorite...hero ignores the heroine. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Boring. Well in the last two days, I've read some of the best historicals written in a long time.
Evangeline is a strong willed and sometimes too smart for her own good heroine. She doesn't want to marry. When her father hears about this, he decides to take the matter in his own hands. He decides that she must marry by spring or he will choose someone for her. Paying no attention to the edict set by her father, she is meets Thomas. A notorious seducer.
Thomas hears of her plight and when he proposes an arrangement to help each other out, he was not prepared to actually fall for Evangeline. Thomas is not your typical historical hero. He admits to his rakish ways, his ability to do nothing but play around. I liked him from the start and by the end of the book, he stole my heart.
The dialogue between Evangeline and Thomas was witty and intelligent. While their personalities were different, they complimented each other. The needed each other. The characterizations of the secondary characters were great. Not overpowering and they kept the pace going. While there is no "true" villain in the story, one of the secondary characters kept popping up and I wanted to smack them upside their heads.
Keeping in tradition of "mainstream" historicals, the bedroom scenes were passionate, sweet and emotional. I truly adored the building of their relationship and kept turning the pages for more. It never felt rushed and was sweet. I highly recommend A Practical Arrangement for the dialogue, sweetness of their relationship and the overall crispness of the story.
Nadja Notariani was born in Rochester, Pennsylvania. Her upbringing included very diverse environments, affording wide and varied richness of ethnic and religious tradition. Raised in both an Italian/Mediterranean American home and a traditional German household, Nadja gleaned the unique benefits of viewing the world through two widely different lenses.
Nadja resides in Northeastern Pennsylvania, ever embracing new adventures with her husband, three sons and faithful German Shepherd. She also boasts two grown daughters, who have flown the nest to pursue their own adventures.
Within her titles, readers can find romance and adventure, from contemporary to paranormal to historical, always with a happily-ever-after. Nadja enjoys hearing from readers and can be found at her website, on Facebook, Goodreads, and at Romance Novel Center. Readers are welcome to contact her via email.
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