Today, I am super excited to be part of the tour for Joanna Shupe’s new book, A Daring Arrangement. This is a historical romance that I really fell for. I loved the unique setting (well, okay unique for me since I haven’t been reading many historical romances lately) and I really loved the two main characters.
Lady Honora “Nora” Parker has been sent away from England to the wilds of New York City. Her father is determined to make sure that the scandal she found herself in with the man she loved does not spread to America. The romantic artist Nora loves will not due for Nora.
Nora is determined to get back to England and to her true love. She just needs to figure out a way to get her father to notice her antics in New York. Nora comes up with a rather unconventional solution. She proposes a fake engagement to the most awful man in New York, rich financier Julius Hatcher. She is sure that her father, hearing about this engagement and Julius’s wild background, will put a halt to it tout suite and have her sent back to England.
Of course, such a ruse is determined to fail, especially when Nora and Julius start having feelings for each other. Julius has always been determined to never marry (OF COURSE) but he needs Nora’s society connections to figure out who the businessmen are that caused his father to invest badly and then, take his own life. Julius has been looking to avenge his father for years. Nora may be the missing link he needs to find the men he believes led his father astray.
Let me just start by saying I absolutely loved the setting of New York in the Gilded Age. It felt decadent and posh and over the top, which Nora comments on. Joanna Shupe does a fabulous job of bringing that era to life and setting a rather unusual romance amongst the glitter and shine.
I also really enjoyed seeing Nora and Julius fall in love. Any romance reader worth her salt will know that Nora’s beau back in England is not her true love. Instead, it’s the brash American that makes her happy. He doesn’t behave the way she thinks he should for a faux engagement but soon, that doesn’t matter as real feelings grow. This is a sexy romance for sure but also quite sweet. I loved how these two tried to fool themselves into believing they would walk away from such an intimate arrangement unscathed.
I do wish Julius had realized sooner than later that maybe his feelings for Nora were real. Hearing his “I will never marry” rant several times in the book became tiresome. And Nora didn’t want to be a burden on him so she wasn’t going to show her hand first. But she eventually braves her feelings and tell Julius how she feels.
There is much to like in A Daring Arrangement. This is my first Joanna Shupe story but I am eager to read the next book in The Four Hundred series. (Incidentally, I learned on Goodreads that “The Four Hundred” was a term coined by Mrs. Astor that meant the very best families in New York at the turn of the century. Very interesting!
A Daring Arrangement is available now!
Set in New York City’s Gilded Age, Joanna Shupe’s Avon debut introduces an English beauty with a wicked scheme to win the man she loves—and the American scoundrel who ruins her best laid plans…
Lady Honora Parker must get engaged as soon as possible, and only a particular type of man will do. Nora seeks a mate so abhorrent, so completely unacceptable, that her father will reject the match—leaving her free to marry the artist she loves. Who then is the most appalling man in Manhattan? The wealthy, devilishly handsome financier, Julius Hatcher, of course….
Julius is intrigued by Nora’s ruse and decides to play along. But to Nora’s horror, Julius transforms himself into the perfect fiancé, charming the very people she hoped he would offend. It seems Julius has a secret plan all his own—one that will solve a dark mystery from his past, and perhaps turn him into the kind of man Nora could truly love.
About the Book
A Daring Arrangement
by Joanna Shupe
Four Hundred #1
October 31, 2017
About Joanna Shupe
Joanna Shupe has always loved history, ever since she saw her first Schoolhouse Rock cartoon. While in college, Joanna read every romance she could get her hands on and soon started crafting her own racy historical novels. In 2013, she won Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart® Award for Best Historical. She now lives in New Jersey with her two spirited daughters and dashing husband. To connect with Joanna, visit JoannaShupe.com.
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