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Arranged: A Novel Paperback – May 15, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


“This zany novel gallops through the perils of one thirty-something redhead’s desperate search for love and marriage, no necessarily in that order.” (Elle Canada)

“Just when you think you’ve got Arranged figured out, time and again Catherine McKenzie delivers the flawless, unexpected twist that keeps you glued to the book.” (Cathy Marie Buchanan, author of The Day the Falls Stood Still)

“A novel that explores what happens when what you think want collides with what you really need. Catherine McKenzie’s Arranged is a rare book: smart, funny, honest, and absorbing.” (Therese Walsh, author of The Last Will of Moira Leahy)

“A satisfying and entertaining romantic tale that puts a contemporary twist on old-fashioned ideas about marriage. I inhaled it in an afternoon, rooting for its heroine to find the love she longs for.” (Leah Stewart, author of The Myth of You and Me and Husband and Wife)

“Catherine McKenzie brings a smart twist to marriage and relationships in her second novel, the story of unlucky-in-love Anne Blythe. Arranged is crafted with pathos and subtle humor, and through it McKenzie’s heroine learns—the hard way—that the happiest endings are often the ones least expected.” (Shawn Klomparens, author of Jessica Z and Two Years, No Rain)

“This is chick lit for real women, featuring a smart, competent heroine with a hopeless romantic streak…The humor ranges from biting sarcasm to slapstick, and the narrative voice is compulsively readable…Fans of Jennifer Weiner and Jennifer Crusie have found a new author to watch.” (Booklist (starred review))

“Anyone who has ever looked for love in all the wrong places will love McKenzie’s latest tale of romance found in the place one least expects it. A real page-turner, Arranged is a perfect beach read. McKenzie will have readers laughing and crying right along with her heroine.” (RT Book Reviews)

“In her fast-paced and fun second novel, Catherine McKenzie...makes this far-fetched idea plausible and entertaining. With good dialogue, three-dimensional characters, and page-turning scenes, McKenzie expertly explores what makes a successful marraige work and the lengths to which some people will go to find true love.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Make a date with Catherine McKenzie’s Arranged this summer. A smart and honest novel about a woman’s desperate search for love and marriage, it will hit home for many.” ( "Must Read" on ARRANGED)

From the Back Cover

Anne Blythe has a great life: a good job, close friends, and a potential book deal for her first novel. When it comes to finding someone to share her life with, however, she just can't seem to get it right. When her latest relationship implodes, and her best friend announces she's engaged, Anne impulsively calls what she thinks is a dating service—only to discover that it's actually an exclusive, and pricey, arranged marriage service. Anne initially rejects the idea, but the more she learns about the service, the more she thinks: Why not? After all, arranged marriages are the norm for millions of women around the world; maybe it could work for her.

A few months later, Anne is traveling to a Mexican resort, where, over the course of a weekend, she meets and then marries Jack. And initially, everything seems to be working out. . . .

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 390 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (May 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062115391
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062115393
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (230 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A graduate of McGill University in History and Law, Catherine practises law in Montreal, where she was born and raised. An avid skier and runner, Catherine's novels, SPIN, ARRANGED, FORGOTTEN and HIDDEN, are all international bestsellers and have been translated into numerous languages. Her most recent release is SPUN - a novella sequel to her first novel, SPIN. HIDDEN was also a #1 Amazon bestseller and a Digital Bookworld bestseller.

Her fifth novel, SMOKE, will be published in the US by Lake Union on October 20, 2015.

And if you want to know how she has time to do all that, the answer is: robots.

Visit her online at, on Facebook at, and on Twitter at @cemckenzie1.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Tell Me A Story VINE VOICE on April 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I got this book via Amazon's Vine Program and I truly enjoyed it. In fact, I spent the last 36 hours grabbing 20 minutes here another 3 hours there, stayed up 4 hours past my usual bedtime because I had to find out what would happen next with Anne and Jack.

We meet Anne, a 33 year old, as she confronts her partner, Stuart over the evidence of his unfaithfulness. Crushed again by another failed relationship, she realizes that she picks the same type of men primarily on looks (Pierce Brosnan -when he was younger) and eventually the lack of true connection results in unpleasant endings. She's a typical 30 something, she wants marriage and kids. After discovering that the dating service she's considering is really a marriage brokerage firm, she decides that science might select a better choice for a life partner than she is able.

Soon, Jack and Anne meet for the first time at a Mexican resort The Day BEFORE Their Wedding!! There is a lot of sweetness and romance that blossoms without gratuitous sex scenes (yes, there are sex scenes but they are tender and tame, not porn) and we cheer the fact that beyond compatibility, a great love is growing. Unlike most Fairy Tales, the curtains don't fall and no bows are taken after they say, "I Do". Anne discovers that Jack had a surprising secret that turns her world and emotions upside. Embarrassed, betrayed, and humiliated, Anne terminates the relationship and files for an annulment. What she doesn't know is that despite the fraud Jack perpetrated, he wants her and their relationship. Can she forgive him? Would you?

Well, if you want to know the rest, you have to buy the book.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jaime H. on June 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
Anne Blythe cannot find a good man. When her latest relationship falls apart, her best friend announces her engagement, and her brother announces his fourth child on the way, Anne decides to try a dating service that fate has seemingly thrown her way. Only, as Anne discovers a bit too late, it is not a dating service, but is actually a company specializing in arranged marriages. When she finds out this information, she still decides to go forward with the process and jump in- because, hey, why not?
In what could be a disastrous plotline and concept, McKenzie takes the issues involved just seriously enough, while making the reader laugh out loud throughout as Anne fumbles her way through her days. With numerous pop-culture references and witty, bantering dialog, it becomes extremely easy to get sucked into the story. Anne is the right amount of flawed, smart, savvy, and self-aware that one does not feel sorry for her situation, but rather celebratory that she seems fearless- even through her doubts.
After reading Spin earlier this year by McKenzie, I became an instant fan of hers. Arranged only strengthens my liking of her writing. The books are quick to read, and are over before you know it- but not in the `I had to skim most of it' sort of way. Rather, she manages to make the characters seem very real by making them flawed, quirky, and easily relatable- and never shallow in the least. While reading, one will make comparisons to Bridget Jones, but McKenzie's ladies are always headstrong and full of self-discovery, rather than despair and defeat. I must admit that I had a definite `Wow- I have been there' moment while reading a certain scene involving Gilmore Girls, making Anne instantly even more relatable and real.
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31 of 39 people found the following review helpful By hillary l. on September 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Had high hopes for this because of the Anne of Green Gables references and good reviews, but found myself completely put off by the gaping issues with both the plot and overall tone.

The concept is interesting, but falls into familiar chick-lit pity-party patterns for the first act of the story. There are plenty of references to Anne of Green Gables, but the author never sells the need for them to be there. It's not an homage, by any means, and the overall tone of the book didn't suit the AGG references at all. The heart of AGG is whimsical with an inherent sweetness, but Anne Blythe is not a sweet woman in a sweet story, which makes it feel particularly jarring. There's a fair amount of strong language (which I usually don't mind, in moderation), but in this context it felt so *out* of context as to be off-putting.

Several key plot points also feel very contrived. How Anne discovers the matchmaking company is awfully coincidental. How she pays for it, very coincidental. (The speed that she sells a book contract, gets paid, and releases the title? Record time, folks). The speed that she's matched, as well as her therapist clearly not feeling like either she or Jack were ready. So why were they matched so soon? Why did they have to be married off immediately, rather than make acceptable progress in therapy first and then meet?

If this were spun more as a comedy (a la Sophie Kinsella), you wouldn't take the facts quite as seriously. But the author aims to work through the characters psyches in a more realistic context, so every giant lapse of logic becomes more obvious. Overall, a very disappointing read.
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