A Rational Arrangement (Arranging Paradise Book 1) by
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, Lord of Fireholt, expects he’ll wed — someday. But not now, and never to a rich icicle of a woman like Miss Vasilver. No matter how much his parents might want the match, or his house might need her dowry. Besides, he has his own problems — most of them people who need his help as a mind-healer.
Lord Justin Comfrey, Viscount of Comfrey, would be more than happy to help Striker with his financial troubles, and not just to ensure that Miss Vasilver’s dowry doesn’t tempt Striker into marriage. If only he could find some way to make his proud, stubborn friend accept the money!
Can three people of such different temperaments ever find their way to a more perfect Paradise?
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 autism spectrum and thus able to see past cultural norms and mores and be baffled by them. Thus, she is socially awkward and misread as cold. The hero/s come to adore her because of who she is and this romance explores the range of what is “normal” on so many levels and compellingly.
The hero, Nik, is burdened with responsibilities and in love with someone else that he can’t have publicly and thinks doesn’t really want him out of the bedroom. Nik is a Blessed with gift of mind healing. As he sees Wisteria more clearly, he comes to see himself more fully as well. Their love story is one of honesty and have a safe place. It is sexy as all get out as well.
Our third lead is Justin. He is a charmer who really has to learn to trust, risk and talk to get his HEA with both the heroine and the hero and release old ideas about himself as well as the world. He is loyal and brave.
This is a polyamorous romance that does a wonderful job thinking about the cultural aspects of marriage and sex and human nature. The writer makes you believe in the Happily Ever After because she doesn’t pretend it isn’t complicated.
The book takes on sex, religion, faith, ability gender roles, and marriage from a global anthropological point of view as well as a biological one (though magic based as Nik can see minds). Wisteria’s analytical nature, Justin’s realism and Nik’s humanitarianism all come together in a moving exploration of all these topics.
All all the while, we have sexy times, conflicts of all kinds, sexual tension, banter, carriage and Great Cats who talk!
I so hope there are more books in this world.