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A Rational Arrangement

(Arranging Paradise #1)

by
3.99  ·  Rating details ·  229 ratings  ·  39 reviews
“But these are vital aspects of marriage. If one cannot discuss them, what's the use in meeting at all? It's like trying to decide what you'll have for dinner without mentioning food.”

Wisteria Vasilver does wish to marry. Truly. But though she lives in Paradise, arranging a match is full of traps and pitfalls for the unwary ... or perhaps just for her.

Nikola Striker, Lor
...more
Kindle Edition, 642 pages
Published June 23rd 2015 by Delight in Books
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3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  229 ratings  ·  39 reviews


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namericanwordcat
This book is such a pleasure of a romance. In a Regency flavored culture set after the fall of another world in a new "Paradise," Rowyn meticulously builds cultures, history, religions, a wider world, and a magic systems with as much beauty as the plot, characters, and love story.

I stayed up all night reading.

The heroine, Wisteria, is going right on my favorite heroines list. Wisteria brave, kind, moral, and with the keenest of minds. She falters and is big hearted. She is somewhere on the autis
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Soup
Jul 28, 2016 rated it did not like it
There are two main problems with this book as I see it: 1) there is a significant disjuncture between what this book is being billed as and what it actually is and 2) this book badly, badly needed an editor (and I mean an actual editor, not the half dozen beta readers cited in the acknowledgements). The first issue can be easily rectified. At the time of this review the book is being billed as a regency-esque romance with slight paranormal or fantasy overtones built on the common plot device (pa ...more
Sonia189
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a very good fantasy story with lots of historical vibes included.
I think the author did a great job creating this world, letting the reader read between the lines about politics, biology, society and religion (of sorts).
The main characters are very appealing, very likable and everything in their slow burn romance was also interesting and addictive.
I just think some situations were dragged a little too much while throughout the more than 600 pages and at the last 100, for instance, things
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Mary B. Grove
Jul 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really liked it--until the last 25%

The positives:
1. Wisteria. She's a singular and wonderful character. I don't think I've read another book about someone who is both rational and passionate, but it makes for fascinating interactions between her and the other characters.
2. Blessings. The idea of people being born with certain gifts bestowed on them by the 'Saviour' (which seemed to be another name for God) was intriguing, as was the fact that the same gift varied from person to person. I like
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Sarah Wynde
Jul 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
This book showed up in my also-bought list on Amazon twice and the second time, I clicked. It sounded interesting enough that I read the Look Inside. I came very, very close to stopping there -- there's a graphic m/m sex scene within the Look Inside that goes on forever (or at least it felt like it) and while I know that there's a vast audience of slash readers for whom that would be just the thing, I'm not one of them. But I was interested in the female character, Wisteria, and I wanted to read ...more
Susan Kornfeld
Aug 23, 2015 rated it did not like it
Honestly, I was expecting great things from this book. Instead it is a rather steamy affair relying on the old trope of the proper-looking but truly lusty librarian type. Yes, it's nice that despite genders and triangles love finds a way to triumph, but everything was telegraphed so far in advance that it was just a matter of turning pages until the expected events happened. There was a torture scene that caused something of a religious crisis in one of the main characters, but it was easily res ...more
Jasmine
Jul 18, 2015 added it
Shelves: indie
So I picked this one up on a whim, free, and didn't look too deeply into what it was about. It's a fantasy with some people, right?

Then I started reading it and went, "oh, regency fantasy of economics! Cool!" and then I kept reading and went "Ohhh, giant sentient cats! Cool!" and then I kept reading and went "OH BOY that's certainly a sex scene I am too young skim fasterrrr," and kept reading and went "Oh, magical healing powers! Cool!". That was most of the book.

Really cool world. Sex that cert
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LG (A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions)
Nikola Striker, the Lord of Fireholt, is being pressured by his parents to marry. They have settled on Wisteria Vasilver for him. The match would probably save his family from financial ruin, but Nik really doesn't want to marry, and Wisteria's looks aren't to his taste in any case. Her personality, though... After Wisteria inadvertently offends his parents, Nik finds himself thinking about her more than he expected. Her tone and facial expression are impossible to read, but her words are refres ...more
Rebecca
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A Rational Arrangement is as much fantasy as it is romance, with a delightful, well imagined world, vivid characters that are easy to relate to, and a thoroughly engaging story. I will not ruin it with an unnecessary summary when in all actuality you could, and should, just read it for yourself. Though I did need my Kindle's wonderful, built in dictionary (I love that thing) I rather enjoy authors who use language well, and even challenge the reader to learn something, without being over the top ...more
Kirabohm
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Stayed up until 2am to finish this book--it was so good! I have a soft spot for Jane Austen-style stories, but this was so much more--fantasy/sci-fi, giant cats as servants/friends, magical Blessings, mind healing, a VERY intriguing female protagonist, psychology, business, law, being an outsider, love, trauma, TWO bi characters, polyamory--and some very well-written sexy scenes! Genre-defying and great :D
Madison
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really, really enjoyed the good parts of this book. Honestly, I'd give it like 4.5 stars, because my opinion was 90% positive. Good characters! Awesome magic! (Some really REALLY thoughtful insights into mental health and the treatment of it.) The protagonists are well characterized and likable. The great cats are, in fact, great. And polyfi? I am all about polyfi! Which was very well done. I was delighted. Basically? This book is delightful.

But. And there must be a but. This book could have b
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Elsiekate
May 21, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Moose
I enjoyed this so much, staying up until 5am reading and then rolling out of bed at noon to finish. I love Wisteria and Nikola and the world building. Justin is a bit of a twat, and I hope there is more about his mind shapes and working on his anger in the next book, but he did show remorse and put in work on his anger issues.

I've seen other reviews that didn't like all the world building but that is EXACTLY what kept me engrossed. It's a lovely magical realism Regency sort of world. I also real
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Rem71090
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I haven't had this much pleasure reading a book this long possibly in my life (don't at me Asoiaf).

The relationship took so long to develop that at one point I had to walk away from the honest expression of emotions, which is not like me, but I had a lot of fun waiting.

Two things kept this from being a 5 for me:
1) the greatcats. I like giant talking cats as much as (more than) the next person, but I was profoundly uncomfortable with a whole class of creatures capable of speech and reason being m
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Melissa
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was definitely For Me. Fascinating world building, the most interesting fictional religion since Bujold's Five Gods, GIANT SENTIENT CATS, Regency-esque manners and mores, and three characters who I have so many feelings about. Wisteria! I love Wisteria, she's the best, I love her brain, her confusion at navigating social situations. Nik! I love Nikola, he's the best, he tries so hard to be good. Justin! I love Justin, he's the best, I want to give him a big hug and I'm so happy he has ...more
Holly
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I didn't realize I wanted more romantic fantasy (fantasy romance?) until I read this. It has everything I'm looking for in a good fantasy: intriguing world building, fascinating magic/religious system, and solid characterization, plus delightfully steamy sex scenes. My only complaint was the jarring tone shift for a section in the middle of the book with intense depictions of PSTD and the events that caused it. With the overall cheerful and relatively low stakes rest of the book, I wasn't expect ...more
Mardia
Jun 23, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer Nennifer
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fabulous book. worth reading for the great cats alone! Everyone I suggested it to who read it LOVED it. Great characters, fascinating religion/world, excellent plot. In case you don't read other reviews - if gay sex is going to bother you, you won't like this.
ms bookjunkie
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who like both Regency romances and fantasy
Recommended to ms bookjunkie by: JenM commenting at SBTB June 2018 Whatcha Reading
Delightful. Adore! Absofreakinglutely wonderful! Love love love!

Regency-ish romance with three people in a fantasy world where greatcats are a part of everyday life. What's not to love? So much substance to enjoy. Sexy.
Shelly Cerullo
Nov 13, 2018 rated it liked it
A fairly delightful book, although I have to mark it down a star because the pacing for the second half of the book felt rushed, almost as though the author had originally planned for it to be spread out over two or three books and elected to edit everything into one volume.
Lesley
May 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Maybe three and a half? Enjoyed it, with a few niggles.
Marisa Manghelli
Jul 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
The page numbers did not show up in my kindle, so I didn’t realize this book was 622 pages long – which was both extremely frustrating and delightfully delicious. At one point the reading speed estimator told he I had an hour left in the chapter – an HOUR! – I was flabbergasted. But I’m not one of those readers that usually faces the dilemma of a book being so good I can’t wait to finish it, and yet not wanting it to end so soon. But that was exactly how this book made me feel. I had planned ini ...more
Diane
I'm not "into" ménage romances usually, but I've read a few other stories where the central relationship[s] involved more than two individuals, all of them F/SF, not marketed as romance: Mercedes Lackey's If I Pay Thee Not in Gold (read years ago) and the early volumes of her , The Fire's Stone by Tanya Huff (which mainly has M/M on the romantic side), plus some plurality from James Alan Gardner occur to me. It depends on the author's intent: the book has to be about the relationship -- and the ...more
Sara Norja
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Aaah, what an enjoyable book, what a breath of fresh air! This was a believable, sweet poly romance. I didn't know it was set in a fantasy world before starting to read, but finding that out just made me like it more because I love my fluffy fantasy. The prose was a little clunky at times, but I found myself overlooking some of the awkward epithets and so forth because I was just so into the story and characters.

The only thing that majorly bugged me when reading was the (view spoiler)
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notyourmonkey
Queer poly second-world fantasy/historicalish romance WITH GIANT CATS YOU CAN RIDE. It's got a very fanfic-like sensibility (a la The Captive Prince, in a lot of ways), particulalry in the way it's long and leisurely in its treatment of both worldbuilding, religion-building, and...emotional-arc-building(?), as it's got a lot of romance novel trappings but doesn't hit the beats in quite the way most romance novels do. It's lovely in how the heroine's neurodivergency is handled by her love interes ...more
Erica
Sep 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
This turned up a couple times in my "You may also be interested in..." list on Amazon. I downloaded the free sample and after a few short pages immediately texted Jill and described it as "pure, fluffy, delicious crack! Quasi-Regency marriage romance with an Anya-esque heroine and talking cats the size of horses. I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS." I bought it before finishing the sample or, indeed, reading any reviews.

It was a *bit* of a surprise, then, that shortly after being introduced to ou
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Faith
Jul 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Overall, I enjoyed A Rational Arrangement. The characters are very well drawn, their individual complexities fully explored. The gradual progression of their relationships were also well done, though I felt like Justin got the short end of the stick in that regard (His love for Wisteria wasn't as convincing to me as Nikola's, and there seemed to be some unresolved stuff between Justin and Nikola in terms of money). The worldbuilding is also extremely strong.

Although the book is pretty long, it n
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Sakshi Goyal
Jul 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Nothing like what you would expect! Full of pure love, good humor and lasting friendships

That about covers it. I loved the characters of this book- all so different to each other. Justin is unable to express his emotions, but is very passionate and charming; Nikola is kind, compassionate, easily impressionable and a gentleman; but, Wisteria, I found, to be far more interesting than the two men. She is smart, witty, clever, funny ( even though she can't express it and is indifferent to any sort o
...more
Alice
Jul 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Love, Danger, Misunderstandings and more Love

Fascinating exploration of feelings both expressed and hidden. In a fantasy world that is a bit Victorian with some paranormal aspects there are some people who are Blessed. They are able to shape stone or plants, or heal bodies or minds. Lord Nikola not only heals minds, but as the heir to a Count is being pressured to marry a rich wife to restore his estate. The rich woman his parents propose turns out to be quite unique in mind and manners, she's b
...more
Kim Power
Aug 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Why can't a woman be more like a man?

The answer is that she can, if she is Wisteria. Direct, honest to a fault, intelligent and creative, she manages to make more of Paradise for Nikola and Justin. Tow of the most devastating heroes in fantasy literature.

The writing is excellent and the editing is good.. We have access to characters' inner lives as well as their communications. The world building is terrific. The greatcoats wondrous. This is a society with its own intrinsic integrity.

The novel
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