The Arrangement by Robyn Harding, 3 1/2 Stars

When I was working at my first “real” job, as an assistant publicist at a publishing house outside of Chicago, one of my co-workers was a slightly older girl–okay, I know I’m supposed to say woman here, who had worked in NYC publishing. I thought she was so cool. And for the record, she was pretty fun and she was amazing at her job.

But I remember that she would talk about how crazy expensive it was to live in NYC. So much so that she ended up having to declare bankruptcy. And when she went to court, the judge asked her to explain herself. To which she said that she was single and worked an entry level job in NYC in publishing. And the judge was like, “oh, okay.”

NYC is crazy expensive. And in Robyn Harding’s newest book, The Arrangement, it all starts with a struggling art student who can’t afford her NYC life.

From the Publisher:

Natalie, a young art student in New York City, is struggling to pay her bills when a friend makes a suggestion: Why not go online and find a sugar daddy—a wealthy, older man who will pay her for dates and even give her a monthly allowance? Lots of girls do it, Nat learns. All that’s required is to look pretty and hang on his every word. Sexual favors are optional.

Though more than thirty years her senior, Gabe, a handsome corporate finance attorney, seems like the perfect candidate, and within a month, they are madly in love. At least, Nat is…Gabe already has a family, whom he has no intention of leaving.

So when he abruptly ends things, Nat can’t let go. But Gabe’s not about to let his sugar baby destroy his perfect life. What was supposed to be a mutually beneficial arrangement devolves into a nightmare of deception, obsession, and, when a body is found near Gabe’s posh Upper East Side apartment, murder.

Emotionally powerful and packed with page-turning suspense, The Arrangement delves into the sordid, all-too-real world of shadowy relationships between wealthy, powerful men and the young women who are caught in their web.

My Review:

Natalie is your everyday small town girl turned art student trying to make ends meet in the big bad city. And it’s kind of impossible. And she really doesn’t have a support system. Her roommates are major Bs and she isn’t great at holding down relationships.

When she meets Ava, a gorgeous girl who seems to have it all together–a gorgeous penthouse apartment, money and clothes, it seems too good to be true. And it is. Ava is a sugar baby. And even though Natalie tries to resist the temptation to take the “easy” way out of her debt (for the record, she doesn’t try all that hard), she ends up creating her own account on a sugar daddy/sugar baby dating site. And that’s how she meets Gabe.

He has it all–good looks, money, an amazing apartment and he’s willing to pay $500 just to have a drink with Natalie. What’s the harm in that? Except Natalie starts to fall hard for him and her whole life beings to unravel. And he’s also not being super truthful with her about his life…

The Arrangement is a great fast-paced read in the style of Fatal Attraction meets Pretty Woman. A great end of summer beach read! And it’s out now!

Special thanks to Gallery/Scout Press and Netgalley for an advanced e-galley in exchange for my honest review. Get your copy:

Indiebound

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