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Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Private Arrangements

Sherry Thomas
Historical Romance
Published in 2008

H/h - Camden Seybrooke, The Duke of Tremaine/Gigi Rowland
Setting: London, 1893.

Read in March, 2011.
My rating:
                                           [spoiler alert]
So, already finished reading 17 chapters of the book. Yah, I have, I'm gulping it down. And, how do I feel about it? Amazing in one word! The book is a revelation and so is Sherry Thomas. And, here I am, her newest fan. I love her writing style, her narrative's so flowing, so thoughtfully structured, I never quite felt I'm reading someone's debut novel. I've done my MA in Literature, so I know about narrative styles and structures a bit and I think she's excellent!

Now, to the story itself ... It's very very different than what I've read so far, so is the setting and the characters in it. It's so full of emotional upheaval/turmoil, at times I kinda felt apprehensive to read their next move, specially Camden's ... The whole scenario is so full of, a bleakness of sort, I am kinda bouncing up and down and all around the book and it hurts! Seriously.

I understand Gigi, what she did to get Camden. I know that kind of despair but she's certainly stronger and bolder than me, lolz. I so understand her insecurities in life, about her social status, looks and other things. I felt her yearning quite literally through the book, most specially in that scene at the night of blizzard (flashback), where she goes to Camden's room as he was staying the night in her house. No, I didn't support what she did to get Camden but hell, he is good ... At least the young Camden was. At first, I didn't like Gigi, the way she viewed the world and thought about people around her, about Theodora ... Her actual (now dead) fiance Carrington was a pretty boy gone spoiled but she just saw the financial side of the match. Her family's from business, she understands business and the society don't much care for 'upstarts' like her and her family ... I read on, things begin to unfold and I saw a Gigi who is as strong as she is vulnerable (the horse riding scene with Camden and the explanation to why she abhorred riding). Man, she fell for Camden so hard, she did what she had to do to get him ... And, when I tried stepping into her shoes, I understood...

Now, to Camden... I adored him, the young Camden. How can I not, when for a change, I see a man who doesn't just wanna 'dump' his virginity for the sake of doing it. He's a good, responsible son and brother, he cares for the people who depends on him, including his family. I knew his affection for Theodora was just 'affection' and a promise of sort, nothing of the soul searing passion and yearning he felt for Gigi. Still, he didn't want to give in. **There are scenes where he thinks back about all the propositions he'd got from various people, both men and women, when he was young and if he had a franc, ruble and pound for all of those, he'd be quite rich indeed! He's very very handsome and sexy, I get it** Until, what Gigi did to get him and I began observing a 'trust issue' at it's extremity ... They got married but Camden got to know about Gigi's deception just before the wedding day and he planed this punishment for her ... But Camden, dear, I would say you've been so so unfair to her. You just believed whatever you wanted to and never gave her a chance to explain. You have been rude and verbally abusive **As you said in one scene: shagged you to fare-thee-well, I cringed with Gigi and kept cringing at the things you kept saying**. The Paris scenes weren't very descriptive but whatever I got, I was saddened by them ... I actually cried for Gigi. You've never shown anything for her even when you got to know she miscarried after a few weeks ... You're being unfair now, after 10 yrs... You're just stuck there and I agree with Gigi here. She begged forgiveness and when you never gave in, tried so hard to move on. Had lovers though not many by any account (I actually was shocked at first, maybe I read too many virtuous heroines in my days lolz but I shouldn't have been, its perfectly understandable)... Finally, she is on with her life, met a man she wants to marry and wants divorce from you. Now, you've come up with this crazy scheme, to punish her more. Why? Why this stubbornness, a passion of such destructive nature? Guess I'll have some answers as I progress...

To say more, love scenes, the ones I've read so far weren't at all descriptive comparing to some I've read in other books but God, they are good. I know some wouldn't agree but the sexual tension and intensity in their coupling is explosive IMO, you'd literally feel it off the book. Some reviews said, Gigi never quite consent to have sex but I don't agree at all. She was forever ready for Camden, since the day they met I'd say. It might seem odd, the way they are on to their 'heir making' process but I think I see the bond even now...

The possible 'side-romance' between Gigi's mother Victoria and the Duke of Perrin is a bit annoying. Actually Gigi's mom is sorta annoying, then again she's no different than those ambitious mamas, even in the Victorian era. I hated that she wrote letters to Camden narrating Gigi's affairs (c'mon mama!), in hope that he'd be jealous and come back to reclaim her. He's a marquess and an heir to a dukedom no less! Another thing is Freddie, the man Gigi wants to marry. I usually don't like infidelity in a book but I have to agree, he's no match for Gigi. She should've put a halt to the relationship (he seems a nice enough guy) before doing 'it' with Camden. Gigi, leave him to Miss Carlisle for heaven's sake for they're a match made in heaven!

I know the post is long but I could make it longer. There are so many things I can say about the book, even though I'm not finished yet. I'll get back when I've read more.


Ah, sweet love! Two fools, that's what they are. And, I'm so glad I've read this book.

I got more than I hoped for. Even on chapter 27, I wasn't sure what's going to happen in the end, since it seemed like they're always at the wrong place on the wrong time, seeing the wrong thing! So many misunderstandings, I was sad to see them suffer so much. The Copenhagen scenes (flashback) did make me cry.

I loved Gigi's little charity work, Camden's following her around, their own thoughts about each other (those actually show how much they are meant for/love each other) ... Love scenes, specially the ones in the last chapter where there's this one scene that starts it all ... Marvelous! Made me adore Gigi more. And Camden is such a lovesick fool (in his own words no less!). Gotta love a man who actually realizes the truth more than the ones you have to hammer it in. Also appreciated Gigi's letting Freddie go, wish she did that before it all started. All in all, I really really loved this one. I was pretty sure I'm going to give it a 4, now I've decided on 4.5.

Now, have to say something about Gigi's mother Victoria and Langford, the Duke of Perrin. Their scenes together actually got better as the story progressed. I enjoyed those immensely. Wanted to know more about Langford's 'man-about-town' days and what was Victoria like when she was young. I wish they had more scenes together, at least something intimate.

Another thing (much later I read), that Camden found out about Gigi's miscarriage about 2 and a half yrs later. He got very very drunk and he usually doesn't get drunk. He was celibate all those times too, until he got to know Gigi was having an affair with Lord Wrensomething or the other. H/H sleeping with other people generally turns me off but in this case, nothing stayed the same. Such a complex story, yet I enjoyed every single paragraph of it.


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