by Jeanne Savery

January 2004
ISBN: 0-8217-7609-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Jeanne Savery is an unfamiliar author to me, and An Acceptable Arrangement the first time I have read her work. With a plotline involving a pretend engagement I couldnít resist. Her back catalog proves that sheís been charming Regency fans for quite some time and her latest doesnít disappoint.

Lucas Strathedene, Lord John, is a legendary rake (arenít they all?) and only recently decided that marriage might be in order. Not expecting too much, but unwilling to let it be known heís in the market for a wife, he has his butler search for the perfect woman. Luck has it that his butler is acquainted with Miss Phillida Morganís maid, who happens to be assisting her lady in finding a husband. So a deal is struck to bring the two together.

Unbeknown to the servantsí meddling Phillida and Lucas have no difficulties in making each other's acquaintance. And reveling in each otherís obvious disinterest in viewing the other as marriage material, they continue to enjoy the pleasant company. However, devious relatives bent on supplying them with unwelcome marriage candidates force them to change plans. To help each other, a sham engagement is concocted.

Jeanne Savery is a connoisseur of language. With not a single word out of place, itís a delight to revel in the sparkling dialogues, with bantering and arguing taking place whenever those two meet. Distinct voices are given to all the characters, allowing the reader to read the story in all its facets.

An Acceptable Arrangement is a witty tale, but with all those secondary characters involved I found myself lacking the needed concentration to care enough about Phillida and Lucas. Consequently I wasnít too concerned about them and didn't get emotionally attached. I missed the sort of deep emotions that come from the heart and are not talked to death. Itís only a light and fluffy tale, which doesnít allow for any soul-searching when it comes to its protagonists. Nevertheless, An Acceptable Arrangement is entertaining and clever and should do very well with readers looking for another whimsical Regency tale.

Reviewed in February 2004 by Kris Alice.

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