Private Arrangements is definitely a superior historical romance
with a rather unusual storyline, exploring a marriage that has died and how a request for divorce could cause the spouses to think again about their needs and their past.
At the end of the 1800s, Lord and Lady Tremaine have been married for ten years but have spent just one night together in that whole time - their wedding night. On the day after the wedding, Lord Tremaine left for Paris, then America, and has only seen Gigi, his wife, on a handful of occasions since then. The reason for the estrangement is unknown to all in society and is only gradually revealed to the reader as they progress through the book.
Gigi has had a few lovers over the time that they have lived apart, yet when she decides she wants to marry the lovely and gentle Lord Frederick and petitions her husband for divorce, the Marquis of Tremaine
reappears suddenly in her life. He wants an heir before the divorce; Gigi just wants their break to be permanent so that she can settle down with Freddie.
But Lord Tremaine's influence in Gigi's life and emotions is enormous. Can old wounds be healed as they spend time together? Can they begin to understand each other better? Is the divorce really the best thing for this estranged couple?
The author's writing style is excellent throughout this book. Although historical accuracy sometimes slips in the dialogue, the overall feel is very much that of London in the time of Queen Victoria. Her characters are
vividly portrayed, faults and all, and the interest is always kept up in the story even though not that much actually happens. All the activity
takes place within the minds and hearts of Gigi and Camden. There's also a side-plot of a romance for Gigi's mother, which is nicely handled with some amusing dialogue.
A great many historical romances bear little relation to the historical period in which they are purportedly set, and whose characters seem to have been plucked from the 21st century. This book
is different, with believable and likeable characters, despite their flaws, and some interesting angles about the importance of money and position in the society of the day. It's well worth a read, and I look forward to more from this author.