romance reviews

Weekend Arrangement – A Book Review

Book review time! Today’s discussion is about Weekend Arrangement, which was written by Sophie Penhaligon and is available in wide release as of today.

Before we go on, please be aware that I received a free copy of this novel from Booksprout in exchange for providing an honest review.

Weekend Arrangement – Sophie Penhaligon

Goodreads rating: 2.83 stars / 30 ratings / 27 reviews | Kobo Barnes & Noble

My overall rating:

Rating: 2 out of 5.

I really wanted to love this book.

The formula is there – an early meetcute between a quirky woman and a sophisticated man. She’s down on her luck, he’s ready to swoop in and save the day. There’s an attraction but there’s also an obstacle that makes it difficult for them to act on that attraction right away, so they have to dance around each other for a bit before finally giving in to desire. Things are secret for a bit because reasons, and just when you think they’re going to find their HEA, an avoidable communication problem drives them apart. She runs, he chases and grovels, and THEN they live Happily Ever After. The end.

The problem is that there wasn’t anything else to this book. There was the predictable formula, and there was never anything beyond that. No twist, no new take, nothing that made the characters or the plot different from a hundred other romance novels that I’ve read this month. I knew how the story was going to play out by Chapter 2.

Does that mean this book is bad or unreadable? No, not at all. What was there was well-written and the characters of Sophie and Daniel each had their own compelling charm. But that was about it. The background characters were referenced enough to get you interested but nothing was ever followed through, making it difficult to care about whether they showed up again. The central “conflict” in the plot – Daniel needing to keep their relationship a secret because of his reputation – was just cliche enough to make me roll my eyes.

And there’s a particularly disturbing scene about two-thirds of the way through where SPOILERS Sophie is attacked by her ex-boyfriend and after throwing the guy out Daniel comforts him and they never mention that she was almost raped ever again. If that attack wasn’t going to become part of the character development or a driving force in the plot, why was it included? It could have been left out and wouldn’t have changed anything.

Do I regret reading this book? No. Would I have spent money on it? Sure. Would I read it again? Probably not. This is the type of book that becomes a summer paperback read, where I pick it up off a discount table, read it once, and pass it along to someone else in a bag full of other similar indistinct beach reads.

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