The Perfect Arrangement – Katie Ganshert – Year of Weddings 2 # 11 – Zondervan – Published 29 September 2015
Meeting Nick was truly an accident—but Amelia finds that he’s one of the few people she can count on.
Amelia Woods is a small-town wallflower who inherited her grandmother’s flower shop. Despite her success in business, her love life has ground to a halt. And then her temptation to spy on her ex-boyfriend’s wedding leads her to a horrifying fender-bender—with Nick, the groomsman who happens to be her ex’s new brother-in-law.
Meanwhile, William, Amelia’s younger brother, has proposed to his girlfriend. Amelia would be excited except she has evidence that the fiancée is not who she says she is. How can she be supportive and yet be the protective big sister too? It seems Nick is the only one available for any advice-giving, and he’s pretty good at it—and pretty fun to talk to. Amelia and Nick continue online conversations about everything, but always lingering in Amelia’s mind is the fear that he’ll realize who she is and what she was doing at the church that day of the accident.
As Amelia works to craft the perfect flower arrangements for other people—including a ninety-year-old “fairy godmother” named George—she begins to wonder if real love is better than the dream. And if it is, will Nick still be interested when he learns who she is?
The Perfect Arrangement is a sweet and highly enjoyable romance.
Amelia is well on the way to being an unmarried, crazy cat woman. And she’s pretty okay with that considering she is far more comfortable at home with a stack of old movies and Baxter, her cat, for company. So it stings a little knowing her ex (and only) boyfriend is getting married to someone else, which is why she just has to do a covert drive-by. And when her baby brother announces he’s going to marry the girl he has only known a few months, it has her worried, especially when she sees said fiancée with another guy. But really, she couldn’t be happier with her life as a florist. But Amelia can’t help falling a little for Nate (the guy she crashed her car into when doing aforementioned drive-by) when they connect via email. He is charming, funny and shares her love of old movies. There’s just one problem – Nate doesn’t know that they first met when Amelia was satisfying her curiosity about her ex-boyfriend’s wedding.
What a sweet romance. The Perfect Arrangement is perfectly paced, with enough swoon to last the pages and yet a few delicious complications to keep the tension high. Novellas, I believe must be written differently to full length novels so that they feel complete, neither rushed nor lacking backstory or character depth. The Perfect Arrangement does this … well, perfectly.
A large portion of the book is told through the emails Nate and Amelia exchange, as well as a few between Amelia and her best friend Rachel. They compliment the story so well, growing the attraction between Nate and Amelia in a meaningful way. The cute flirting encased in the words they share about old movies, their families and their jobs is totally heartwarming.
The writing itself is simple, but totally effective. It wasn’t long before I was swept away by the story and encased in Amelia’s little home town and life. I couldn’t help but relate to Amelia in her tendency to over-apologise, prefer her own company over that of large social gatherings and her sad past. But her great outlook on life and the way she counted her blessings instead of troubles was inspiring. I also loved the foray into Amelia’s world of floristry, and all the little mentions of different flower types and special bouquets.
I haven’t previously read any of Ganshert’s full-length novels, which I will be sure to rectify immediately as she clearly displays in The Perfect Arrangement her ability to write engaging contemporary stories, with relatable characters and heartfelt romance.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: Christian contemporary.
Themes: Romance. Correspondence. Family. Marriage and weddings. Floristry.
Published: 29 September 2015 by Zondervan.
Format: Ebook, audiobook. 112 pages.