Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Own book
Blinded by a cannon blast on the Napoleonic battlefields, Vincent Hunt, Lord Darleigh, needs to escape the well-meaning meddling - and matchmaking - of his family. But anonymity proves impossible, and soon another marital trap is sprung. Luckily, he is saved by a stranger with a captivating voice... And when Miss Sophia Fry's intervention on his behalf finds her unceremoniously booted from her guardian's home, Vincent can see a solution to both their problems: marriage.
At first, quiet, unassuming Sophia rejects Vincent's proposal, fearing her attraction to this handsome yet heartbreakingly vulnerable man. But when he convinces her that he needs a wife of his own choosing as much as she needs protection from destitution, she agrees. Could an arrangement born of desperation lead them both to a love destined to be?
The Arrangement is #2 in the Survivors' Club series by Mary Balogh. I have now enjoyed the first two books in this series and it will certainly be a series that I read through all of the books.
Sophia has had a rather unfortunate life up until the time she meets up with Vincent. Her parents are dead and she has endured some tough treatment at the hands of relations who have treated her worse than a servant. Eventually when she comes to the rescue of Vincent as her cousin is trying to compromise him, she is turned out at midnight by said relations.
Once Vincent proposes to her and the marriage is set, all that follows is a story of Sophia coming into her own person. She proves herself to be loveable, thoughtful and considerate. While she and Vincent have an arrangement that at the end of a year they can perhaps go their separate ways, and Sophia can have the little cottage she always dreamed of, it is obvious it's never going to happen.
Vincent, blinded in battle, finds himself dependent on his mother and sisters and he dislikes it very much. With marriage to Sophia he sees the promise of his becoming independent from them all. In general he manages blindness very well, especially with the help of his friend from childhood - Martin's help. However at times he finds himself overcome with panic. He appreciates Sophia in a way she has never experienced before, and is very angry with how she has been treated by her relatives.
I loved this gentle story, and the experience of seeing the differing points of view of both the main characters. I loved how they supported each other, and were open and honest in their communication. The book needed no crisis where both characters were pushed apart, rather it was a rising culmination to two people finding happiness in themselves and with each other.