Friday, 10 July 2009

Review – The Courtland Chronicles – The Arrangement – Cat Grant

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back Of The Book

CEO Eric Courtland has it all, until his wife discovers his affair--can Eric propose a solution to satisfy them all?


Eric Courtland loves his wife. But another man also commands his affections. When both wife and lover discover his secret, he rocks them with a daring proposal neither can refuse.


Initially their triad is tense and awkward, but growing trust and intimacy lead to a satisfying and worthwhile relationship for all-as long as their unusual romance remains strictly confidential to protect Eric's seat in the US Senate.
Blackmailing political rivals, stalking paparazzi, and a serious illness threaten their fragile arrangement... Are the daytime struggles worth the nights of passion and pleasure?

 

Ally found Eric waiting for her in the living room. The look on his face reminded her of storm clouds before a hard rain. "Nick just left."
"Really?" she chirped, all fake brightness. "And how's good ol' Nick doing?"
"Drop it, Allison. I know you talked to him."
"That I did," she said, throwing her coat and bag on the couch, rounding on Eric with her hands on her hips. She hoped she wasn't still so wobbly that the effect came off as ridiculous rather than righteously outraged. "So did you two lovebirds say your tearful goodbyes?"
"I'm not breaking it off with him. And you're not ruining his career either. Not if I have anything to say about it."
"Stop trying to order me around, Eric. You don't scare me."
"Maybe I should."
"Oh, so what're you planning to do? Crack me over the head with a blunt object and toss my body in the East River? That might raise a few questions, don't you think?"
His lip curled in open disgust. "You're drunk."
"And with good reason. But you know the great thing about booze? It boils things down to their essentials. I don't think I've ever seen you more clearly than I have tonight." Dropping onto the couch, she studied him for a moment, surprised that he actually looked a bit apprehensive. "Why did you marry me, Eric? I know you don't love me. Do you even care about me at all, or am I just a guaranteed twenty-point boost for your popularity poll?"
"Look, I know I've hurt you terribly," he said softly, sitting down on a nearby ottoman. But when he reached for her hand, she yanked hers away. "Believe me, I never meant for that to happen. And I do care for you. But as for love� I don't know if I can ever give you that. I don't even know if I'm capable of it."
"Of course you're capable of it. You love Nick."
"Allison-"

The Arrangement © Cat Grant

 

Review

THE ARANGEMENT is the book that makes up the bulk of The Courtland Chronicles, it’s the present that all the prequels are trying to fill in the gaps and answer all the little questions that are jumping around in our head. Firstly the blurb is spot on and as i mentioned before in another review

When I read a book I have none of the usual hang ups about what is decent and  right in a relationship,I might not agree with it, but it’s not the end of the world

So right from the moment I started the book I was tossed into the deep end. Eric and Ally are now married and my hats of to them, they are trying to make a decent go of it. Eric doing his senatorial stint along with running his company, Ally going places with the paper that she now works for, flying here and there and enjoying her marital status.

Eric is however living a double life - as Nick has come back into his life and this was not with the OK of Ally – this was very much hush, hush and eventually something had to give and sooner rather than later Ally becomes aware of Nick’s part in Eric’s life and she is livid.

Eric, never one to sidestep an issue or miss an opportunity to turn things into his favour – quickly comes up with a solution to their impasse.

The solution was not a comfortable fit for everyone that is except for Eric (Like that’s a surprise) but with time Nick and Ally makes peace and as some ground rule are set the three sets a blaze that not only grips the tabloid but crosses a continent and almost cost them every thing that have worked so hard for .

THE ARRANGEMENT is a solid read at a little over two hundred pages, it takes in alot of the development between the three main protags and gives us a broader look at the relationship between the three.

Eric has to walk a fine line between his wants and his needs while showing the outward appearance of a man with the world on string. To be honest he had it good until some home truths come hurling towards him and them all. On his second marriage and with a male consort, he is  really having his cake and eating it too in one sense – on the other hand, his life is a tangled webs of secrets and lies and he quickly reverts to his youthful  “I am an Island” attitude with Ally and Nick rotating around him – and that does not bode well for any of the three.

Ally – also has her shares of high an highs, finding a foothold in the news industry sees opportunity coming her way and she glides along with a buzz all the while navigating around Nick and Eric. She is still my least favourite of the three and the emotional link that should be their between three, I am not getting it with her. She however for for all intense and purpose give the societal norm to Eric’s life. The only thing missing was the 2.5kids and a dog, instead they had Nick and i doubt any of the two would have it any other way. 

Someone had to shoulder the responsibility and bear the load of the relationship and that would be Nick – from the first Nick ends up getting the raw end of the stick and up to a point that was still happening, When intrusion and blackmail  finds it’s way into their life's, Eric makes a decision that sees them becoming the headline of the tabloid and strains and cracks starts showing in the little world that they have built. Nick however is as always caught in the middle and he being the man that he is – spreads himself thin trying to be there ands be all to everyone, including parents, friends and partners.

The usual suspects are all present and accounted for in THE ARRANGEMENT, and they give a great showing. There was a lone surprise of Nick’ mother that made the scenes she was presented in not earth shattering – but she is a big voice in Eric’s and Nick’s life’s and she definitely brings a timelessness and realness to the book that is very hard to overlook.

The pace of the book was phenomenal, not only did it move with the twists and turns that Ms. Grant peppered the book with – but it kept perfect steps with the prequels (or the prequels kept steps with it). THE ARRANGMENT is not a cut and dry love or romance story – it characters are fully developed they grow, they have faults,they loved, they fight, they knew when to say sorry and more over they knew when to start again or when to cut their losses.   

If I could find a fault with this book it’s would be for a true ménage scene to happen between the three, as at no point did the three actually get their groove on together and as much as there is one very HAWT voyeuristic scene there is also a remoteness to the relationship between Nick and Ally. Eric will forever be the love of Nick’s life and by thoughts and deeds Nick is really the Love of Eric's live -

THE ARRANGEMENT would have been author Cat Grant first book and it’s a cracker of a read. Her voice is clear and it’s strong. There is no fluffing around with her characters, they are personalities that I certainly won’t be forgetting in a long time. As much as I loved the fact that I came to know of this series, three books after THE ARRANGEMENT  I can see the logic behind how the books were release.  THE ARRANGEMENT is the canvas and love or hate the characters they form the whole and it was brilliant to use the prequels as fine prints, because that is exactly what they are – small slices of Eric, Ally and Nick life up to the point of THE ARRANGEMENT.

Bottom line

Good to the very last drop.

While emotions rang high and their lives were not perfect, Ms. Grant’s ability to make this relationship realistic worked.  The fights, the laughs, and the sensuality were near perfect.  If I could have changed anything in the book it would have been how the three interacted in the bedroom.  I wanted both men to be with Ally at the same time, but after having read THE ARRANGEMENT in its entirety, I have to agree with Ms. Grant’s decision to write the relationship the way she did.  Bravo.

Natalie S.© Wild On Books

 

Did I mention, too, that the sex is hot? At first it's between two at a time, but as they grow to trust each other, a little sharin' and carin' sneaks in. ;-) My favourite scene is one in which Allison plays blatant voyeur, getting off while she watches her boys make love.
The sex is organic to the plot, never feeling "shoehorned in" or intrusive. It's not pages of graphic detail, but it's certainly not closed door either.

StormGrant.com  © Amazon.com

 

I liked this book a lot, and I didn't expect to since I'm not a reader of erotica. But Grant is gifted with wit and daring, and such gifts are put to good use in The Arrangement. "The world would be a much happier place if every woman had two husbands" struck an unexpected chord of sympathy for the three main characters, all of whom were real and struggling with the subtle ups and downs of human relationships.

Carolyn Woolston © Amazon.Com

 

..I like this book? It's not an easy answer. Probably yes since, first I finish it in only one night, and this means that the book is easily to read and flows smoothly, and second since it make me think, on the characters and on their behaviour, and this means that they arrive to me. All right maybe of the three characters, I really like only Nick, but, well, why do you have to like all the characters of a book to like a book? A character could be imperfect if it suit the story, and, well, without Eric and his total imperfection, the book would have no reason to exist.

Elisa Rolle © Elisa - My Reviews and Ramblings

 

7 Speak To Me:

Book Junkie on 10 July 2009 at 15:37 said...

Hi E.H., great review all this week. I have to say The Arrangement was my fav! What a fun week with Cat Grant!

Barbara on 10 July 2009 at 16:42 said...

Hey EH! Wonderful review. I actually had this story in my cart but was debating because it is a new to me author. I'll definitely be getting it.

Marissa on 11 July 2009 at 09:11 said...

Hi,

I never heard of the Courtland Chronicles, but after reading your reviews I want to get better acquinted with Eric Courtland, so I will buy it.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Erotic Horizon on 12 July 2009 at 18:34 said...

Book Junkies

Thanks....

This was really a fun week...I was very pleased to have met this trio...

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 12 July 2009 at 18:34 said...

Hey Barbara...

Try reading the three prequels before you read this one..

they are good...

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 12 July 2009 at 18:36 said...

Hey Marissa...

Welcome - This is a new to me author, but I have added her to my list of must buy... good set of books...

E.H>