The Arrangement by Nicolette Hugo: Review

August 13, 2015 Reviews 4 ★★★★★

I was provided with an advance reader copy by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Any and all opinions expressed in this review are mine alone. I received no financial incentives to review this book.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence. So, if this kind of stuff makes you a little squeamish, this may not be the book for you.
The Arrangement by Nicolette Hugo: ReviewThe Arrangement by Nicolette Hugo
five-stars
Published by Momentum on August 27, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance
Pages: 282
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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Nell Harper's got her life all figured out:

Build a successful law career, find Mr. Right, then have 2.3 kids and a white picket fence. Everything is going to plan until a handsome stranger stops her from stepping in front of a speeding car.

Vincent Mason, rising politician, not only rescues Nell from death but from her safe but predictable life as he introduces her to the darker pleasures of domination and submission. What starts as a six month arrangement of sexual liberation turns into a deeper emotional exploration and Nell soon finds herself letting go of preconceived ideas of love and lust.

But can Nell trust Vincent enough to truly surrender herself?

And can she trust herself enough to listen to what her heart truly wants?

I know my usual warning is at the top for books of a spicy nature. However, before I get started, The Arrangement features themes of dominance and submission, in addition to some fairly graphic and intense sex scenes. If this isn’t up your alley, it’s probably best to step away. If you’re OK with this type of thing, read on, because it was AWESOME!

Here is what I thought of The Arrangement:

Nell is no ethereal virginal pixie, she’s a strong, educated and intelligent woman with a healthy respect for her own sexuality and desires. Of course, she doubts her course on occasion, however I liked that. To me, it shows that she considers things and doesn’t blindly accept a fate she’s not sure of.

Vincent – he may not be able to completely express himself in the way most people would, but he is not emotionally constipated. He simply shows his feelings in a way he is sure of.

From what I can see, this type of relationship only works when both parties are full and willing participants. There can be no room for fear and mistrust. Otherwise, it descends into sketchy territory. The physical chemistry between Nell and Vincent is completely incendiary – the heat fairly leaps from the page. But the highlight for me was in the emotional side of their connection – you never feel as if Nell is an unwilling or uneasy participant. If anything, she has more trust in Vincent than in herself at times.

The progression of the story is done beautifully – we see the last month of a six-month arrangement. The words and the setting knit together in such a way that I had total belief in the status of Nell and Vincent’s relationship. No headless chicken rushing around here.

What I really loved about The Arrangement was that even though it was incredibly erotic, it never felt skeevy or voyeuristic. That, to me, is the mark of an intelligent author – Nicolette has taken something potentially confronting,  and lent it an air of sensuality and respect.

The Arrangement was totally worth the sketchy looks I got from my seat mate on the train while reading it. I am most definitely keen to check out some more of Nicolette’s work now.

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