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A Daring Arrangement by Joanna Shupe
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A Daring Arrangement

by Joanna Shupe

Series: The Four Hundred (1)

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756286,226 (4.07)1
One of Goodreads' Best Romances of October! A 2017 RT Reviewer's Choice Nominee for Best Historical Love & Laughter!   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.… (more)
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Lady Honoria (Nora) Parker has what she feels is a fail safe plan, to find the most unsuitable man possible to pretend to be engaged to. Why must she do this? Well, in order to avoid scandal that has already plagued Nora's family, her father has sent her to New York to find a good man to marry. Nora is in love with an artist named Robert. As the daughter of an Earl, this is highly unacceptable Furthermore, the cause for scandal is that Nora was found in a compromising position with Robert. However, she has come up wit her own ideas. To her benefit, Julius Hatcher happily agrees to pose as the gorgeous stranger's fiancé. However, the next day Julius has no idea what in the world she could be talking about. He was celebrating his birthday the previous night and was far too drunk to be able to remember.

Nora convinces Julius that her plan is sound. After all, she quickly discovers that she is not the only one with something to be gained from the experience. Julius is of the elite in New York, but he is self-made and despite his massive riches, is still quite looked down on by polite society. Pretending to be engaged to Nora can definitely open doors for him. Also, Julius would like to lay to ruin those he feels responsible for his father's death. Julius is a mathematical genius as well as a financial wizard. He owes everything he has to his father, and this opportunity is just too good to pass up.

Plans go awry for more than one reason. Primarily, Julius is basically a good man. He isn't quite the rake Nora actually hopes he is, so how is her father going to believe her true love is better for her? Julius's kindness and charm excel rather quickly, but especially towards Nora. How in the world is any sort of scandal going to reach Nora's father in England if Julius is the perfect gentleman, and quite possibly, perfect husband material?

I thoroughly enjoyed A Daring Engagement. It is a funny and sexy story with a bit of mystery, which is delivered on at least two points. I absolutely loved Nora's free spirit and her decisions were well-thought out. Julius was a joy too. He was handsome, kind and wicked smart. Therefore, I found both the story and the characters to be engaging. Also, since I read the third book in the series first, I felt I knew a bit about the setting in which this story takes place. This entertaining read was devoured in one sitting and I immediately read the next book in the series.

There are three books in The Four Hundred series, and the following two are A Scandalous Affair and A Notorious Vow,

Please see all my reviews on my blog at https://www.robinlovesreading.com. ( )
  RobinLovesReading | Oct 25, 2019 |
A Daring Arrangement (The Four Hundred) by Joanna Shupe  
Ms. Shupe never fails to fascinate.  Her stories are full of contradictions but are a charming display of what it means to be human.  Flawed, real and alluringly sensual, within her stories she speaks of courageous women with hot tempers and enduring dreams and strong men with wicked appeal and emotions that run deep.  A Daring Arrangement seduces with danger and quenches the need for a little romance as well.  Julius and Nora are impetuous, obnoxious and dare I say clueless when it comes to love and life.  They have much to learn about many things, including themselves and the heart is the perfect teacher to show them the way.
  ( )
  Lashea677 | Feb 16, 2019 |
2.5 stars

The basis for this is a fake engagement, which I can usually get behind but the heroine was in "luv" with another man for over half of story which is what I can't usually get behind. I had a really hard time feeling it between the hero and heroine. The hero felt a little same old, same old and his family relationship with his mother and sister had them feeling like caricature villains. The heroine had some incredible obtuse moments with not understanding how situations could be dangerous to her and why she might not want to fully blacken her reputation.

I really enjoyed the different Knickerbocker time period and the author did a great job describing the over-the-top grandeur. Relationships between characters felt forced or didn't flow well to me but there was something to the author's writing, I just need it to break free from the paint-by-numbers feel. ( )
  WhiskeyintheJar | Feb 14, 2019 |
What a fantastic start to a new series!

This is the first Gilded Age romance I've ever read and I have to say, I wish there were more! Especially if they're this well written. A Daring Arrangement starts off with a bang, making the reader eager to know where this thrilling ride of a novel will take them.

Lady Honora Parker (Nora) has been shipped off to New York by her father after deliberately getting caught in a compromising position with the man she wants to marry - a struggling artist named Robert. But when her plan fails to result in the special license she'd hoped for, another plan must be devised. What better way to encourage her father to fetch her home to England and to Robert, than to form an attachment with the most scandalous man in New York?

Enter Julius Hatcher...

Julius is at first amused by the prospect of escorting Nora around Town. Certainly, she's easy on the eyes, but if there's one thing this bachelor investor will never do, it is marry. But when Nora assures him their "engagement" will never lead to that because she in fact hopes to marry someone else, he considers her proposal more seriously. After all, there could be benefits. Her title will certainly grant him access to places he's otherwise been denied, allowing him the chance to pursue a long-sought vengeance.

The only problem is, that the more these two spend in each other's company, the closer they become and the more difficult it will be to leave emotion out of this daring arrangement.

Spectacularly written with all the glamour and glitz of New York's Gilded Age, this book is one you won't want to miss! ( )
  BarnesSophie | May 12, 2018 |
A trope that usually doesn't bother me—character X falling in love with character Y while supposedly in love with/committed to character Z—really bothered me here. I also didn't understand why Poppy was introduced and played up and then just kind of disappeared. It almost felt like she was set up to be a villainess and then dropped in favor of someone else. And the hero's big vengeance storyline was rather easily and neatly wrapped up at the end in order to get to the HEA. In short, there were a lot of sub-plots that felt half-baked and it just left me underwhelmed. ( )
  BillieBook | Apr 1, 2018 |
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One of Goodreads' Best Romances of October! A 2017 RT Reviewer's Choice Nominee for Best Historical Love & Laughter!   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.

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