by Joanna Shupe
Series: The Four Hundred #1
Genres: Historical Romance
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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 desires. 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.
A Daring Arrangement by Joanna Shupe is the first novel in the Four Hundred series surrounding the elite families of New York during the Gilded Age. I was completely drawn to this story by its description. An English beauty with a scheme and an American scoundrel make an arrangement..all set against New York City during the Gilded Age? How could I refuse?
Coffee Dates with A Daring Arrangement
- First Date: I was craving a historical romance when HarperCollins brought this book to my attention. I had not read Shupe, but dove in after reading the synopsis. From the very first chapter, I was hooked. I love the arrangement trope and upon meeting our heroine and hero I never set this book down until my third date was complete. Lady Honora Parker has been sent to America to stay with her Aunt after her father discovered she was in love with a starving artist. Honora thinks herself in love and sets about to find a way to be sent home. While dining, the chandeliers begin to shake and she discovers through others at her table, that Julius Hatcher, a self-made investor, and notorious scoundrel is celebrating his birthday above with horses. Horses in a restaurant? While eating her meal she hatches the perfect scheme.
- Second Date: In a bit of a stupor, Julius unwittingly agreed to pose as Honora’s fiance’ in return for her help in gaining entry into four hundred. The four hundred are the elite of New York, and Julius has never been admitted into their circle. Something he desperately needs to solve a mystery from his past. I absolutely adored these two together. The chemistry, banter, and snark were delightful and felt genuine. Both are flawed, she is naive but fearless and he is damaged but doesn’t know it. Together they take New York by storm. She will be the death of him, as her need for adventure and outlandishness may very well have him expelled from society forever.
- Third Date: This story was incredibly clever and offered mystery, secrets and of course an arrangement that turns into something more. I loved the suspense kept drama to a minimum and the age-old mystery Julius had to deal with brought growth, forgiveness and sense of value. Honora was a delightful heroine and watching her take on Julius mother, sneak about and come completely undone at the hands of Julius kept me flipping the pages and laughing aloud. Julius is devilishly handsome and while he may behave like a scoundrel the man is all heart, causing me to swoon more than once. As I ended this date, I couldn’t help but smile. It was perfect from beginning to end and I cannot wait to read more from this series.
From the Gilded Age to the wonderful characters and well-developed plot A Daring Arrangement was an absolute delight and sure to earn a place on my top ten romances for 2017.A delicious romance set against the Gilded Age in NYC -A Daring Arrangement by Joanna Shupe Click To Tweet