Natalie, a young art student in New York City, is struggling. She doesn’t have much of a relationship with her father, so can’t ask him for help. Her mother is remarried with two young kids, so focussed on her new family, not her adult child. Her flatmates are making life difficult for her. Money is tight and Natalie is struggling to pay her bills. She wishes her life was as easy and glamorous as her new friend, Ava, who lives in a beautiful apartment and has the luxury to study without financial stress. So when Ava shares her secret with her, of how she can afford her enviable life, Natalie jumps at the chance. Find a sugar daddy—a wealthy, older man who will pay her for dates and even give her a monthly allowance? Apparently lots of girls do it, Nat learns. All that’s required is to look pretty and hang on his every word. Sexual favours are optional.
So Natalie meets Gabe, who is more than thirty years her senior, and a handsome corporate finance attorney. Gabe seems like the perfect candidate, and within a month, they are madly in love. At least, Nat is…Gabe already has a family, whom he has no intention of leaving.
When he abruptly ends things, Nat can’t let go. But Gabe’s not about to let his sugar baby destroy his perfect life. What was supposed to be a mutually beneficial arrangement dissolves into a nightmare of deception and obsession. Natalie makes some extremely poor choices. Lines are crossed, which leads to a body being found near Gabe’s posh Upper East Side apartment. What began as a harmless way to pay some student bills ends in murder.
The Arrangement is a fantastic, fast-paced read. Emotionally powerful and packed with page-turning suspense, The Arrangement delves into the sordid, all-too-real world of shadowy relationships between wealthy, powerful men and the young women who are caught in their web. It is exceptionally well-written with a lot more depth and substance than many similar books in this genre. It’s easy for authors to fall into crazy-jilted-female clichés, but the plot twists in The Arrangement send the reader spiralling through some surprising twists that couldn’t be further from this.
Written from multiple perspectives, including Natalie’s, Gabe’s and Gabe’s truly complex and likeable wife, you won’t be able to put this marvellous and often chilling book down. And the end will surprise and thrill you… perfection!
About the author
Robyn Harding’s novels include The Party, Her Pretty Face, and The Arrangement, and she has written and executive produced an independent film. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with her husband and two children.