Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Sensible Arrangement book review

A Sensible Arrangement is Tracie Peterson's 100th book (commence clapping)!  I had the privilege of receiving a complementary copy from Bethany House Publishing for my honest review.

Marty Dandridge Olson is ready to leave behind the pain of the past.
Answering an advertisement for a "Lone Star bride," she leaves her Texas ranch and heads to Denver to marry a man she doesn't know.

Jake Wythe is the man waiting for her.
Burned by love, he marries now simply to satisfy the board of Morgan Bank, which believes a man of his standing in society should be wed.  Together Jake and Marty agree they are done with romance and love and will make this nothing more than a marriage of convenience.
When missing money and a collapsing economy threaten his job, Jake's yearning to return to ranching grows ever stronger, much to Marty's dismay. But a fondness has grown between them, as well, further complicating matters.

What will happen when their relationship shifts in unexpected ways . . . and dreams and secrets collide?

Author Bio:
Tracie Peterson is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than 90 novels.  Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research.  She and her family live in Belgrade, Montana.  Learn more at
(Author bio and book description found on  Photo copied from

My review:
Didn't care for it.  2 1/2 stars
This is the first book I've read by Tracie Peterson and I'm sorry to say that I was quite disappointed.  I have often heard how wonderful her books are, but I didn't enjoy this one very much.
The story begins with Marty planning to leave for Colorado to be a mail-order bride.  It started out slow and there wasn't much to hold my interest.  Thankfully, it picked up about half way through and I was able to finish it.  There seems to be a lot of wasted detail and pages.  This story could have been told as a novella and been excellent.
I found Marty very annoying, with her constant lying and commenting about how easy her new life was.  She didn't seem very likeable to me.  The only thing I remotely identified with was her opinion of the upper crust society she was thrust into.  My favorite part of the whole book was when she finally stood up to them.
I didn't much care for Jake, either.  We don't see much from his point of view and he seemed to be a very flat character.  I knew more about the servants than him.  There wasn't much to endear him to me.  Yes, he was kind to Marty, but shortly into the book, he starts talking about his hopes and dreams, and doesn't even notice that Marty wasn't happy with them.  This happens several times and he just ignores her comments and concerns.
This book is filled with descriptions and is well written, I must give Ms. Peterson that, but that seems to be all it is.  There is very little dialogue between Marty and Jake, though they marry very early in the book.  Of course, they came to love each other, but I have no idea how!  How do you love someone that you never talk to or spend time with?  It seems to be a mostly physical attraction on both sides, since all the comments are about their appearance and how attractive they are, or some other such thing.
I must say that Ms. Peterson really drove home how lies can affect your life.  I did appreciate that and there are several discussions about God, which were well done and didn't seem the least bit stilted.  Though, I did find their faith rather shallow.
I would recommend this book if you are a huge fan of the author, otherwise I would suggest skipping it.
I receive a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishing for my honest review, which I have given.  I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.

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