The Arrangement
A Pretty Woman tale turns toxic and deadly in this provocative and riveting thriller of sex, obsession, and murder from Robyn Harding, the “master of domestic suspense” (Kathleen Barber) and the USA TODAY bestselling author of The Party and Her Pretty Face.Natalie, a young art student in New York City, is struggling to pay her bills when a friend makes a suggestion: Why not go online and find a sugar daddy—a wealthy, older man who will pay her for dates, and even give her a monthly allowance? Lots of girls do it, Nat learns. All that’s required is to look pretty and hang on his every word. Sexual favors are optional.Though more than thirty years her senior, Gabe, a handsome corporate finance attorney, 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.So when he abruptly ends things, Nat can’t let go. She begins drinking heavily and stalking him: watching him at work, spying on his wife, even befriending his daughter, who is not much younger than she is. But Gabe’s not about to let his sugar baby destroy his perfect life. What was supposed to be a mutually beneficial arrangement devolves into a nightmare of deception, obsession, and, when a body is found near Gabe’s posh Upper East Side apartment, murder.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.

The Arrangement Details

TitleThe Arrangement
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 30th, 2019
PublisherGallery/Scout Press
ISBN-139781982110499
Rating
GenreThriller, Suspense, Mystery Thriller, Fiction

The Arrangement Review

  • Shannon
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Gallery Books #partner for gifting me a copy of The Arrangement by Robyn Harding! I really enjoyed Her Pretty Face last year so I was super excited to get to The Arrangement!First of all, if there is a Sugar Daddy / Baby involved I don’t care what the genre is, I’M READING IT! Well, not fantasy 👋🏼. Nat is a young artist going to college and trying survive in the city. She works in a bar for some money but can barely pay the bills. Nat is stressed, her roommates can’t stand her and she’ Thanks to Gallery Books #partner for gifting me a copy of The Arrangement by Robyn Harding! I really enjoyed Her Pretty Face last year so I was super excited to get to The Arrangement!First of all, if there is a Sugar Daddy / Baby involved I don’t care what the genre is, I’M READING IT! Well, not fantasy 👋🏼. Nat is a young artist going to college and trying survive in the city. She works in a bar for some money but can barely pay the bills. Nat is stressed, her roommates can’t stand her and she’s worried about being kicked out. After venting to her classmate, Ava, about her current situation, Ava tells her about a Sugar Daddy website. Nat wants nothing to do with it at first but she comes to realize she doesn’t have much of a choice.Enter Gabe: the *no strings* sugar daddy to the rescue! I loved hearing Gabe’s POV. He’s an old powerful lawyer in NYC but he’s rich! He also has a family, say WHAT!The prologue tells us someone has been murdered but we don’t know for sure who until towards the end. I had some theories but I was wrong which is always good. The drama, lies, betrayals and murder, yaaaas I’m so here for it. 4.5 ⭐️Edit: I forgot the most important part! I AM IN THE ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 Givemeallthebooks - that’s my name 💁🏻‍♀️😈💃🏻
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  • Dennis
    January 1, 1970
    Robyn Harding's been in the game for a couple of years now, and she's become a mainstream success after her debut of the 2017 smash contemporary mystery The Party. I got around to catching up on Harding's work last summer after her other hit novel Her Pretty Face was released. Her writing was impeccable, and perfect for summer relaxation reading. When I heard Robyn was coming out with another book, this time being about a sugar daddy/baby relationship gone haywire, I knew I needed to read it. It Robyn Harding's been in the game for a couple of years now, and she's become a mainstream success after her debut of the 2017 smash contemporary mystery The Party. I got around to catching up on Harding's work last summer after her other hit novel Her Pretty Face was released. Her writing was impeccable, and perfect for summer relaxation reading. When I heard Robyn was coming out with another book, this time being about a sugar daddy/baby relationship gone haywire, I knew I needed to read it. It's not every day when you read about these kinds of relationships—but they're really everywhere. The Arrangement showcases how common these types of arrangements truly are, but this time, we get a voyeuristic view into a world that is uncommonly talked about. The Arrangement is truly Robyn Harding's best work yet.Natalie (Nat) is an art student at NYU, living in Bushwick, Brooklyn with her two roommates, and living paycheck-to-paycheck. Nat is behind on her rent, and utility bills, and her roommates are not as supportive as she would like them to be. They feel as if she parades men around the apartment too much, and her drinking has spiraled out of control. Nat needs more money, and she needs it fast. While at school, Nat befriends a fellow colleague in one of her classes. This colleague is dressed impeccably, and when they study together at her Chelsea apartment, Nat realizes that this chick is rich. When she finds out that her classmate has signed up for a sugar baby/daddy site, and that's how she's able to live this insane lifestyle, Nat is skeptical but intrigued. Nat is told that dates can go upwards of $500 just for a dinner! She doesn't even need to make it sexual, unless she wants to. Nat decides that her desperation to survive in the unforgiving city of New York is grounds for her joining her classmate's side business and she makes a profile on the site. What's the worst that can happen?On the site, she immediately develops an arrangement with an older successful lawyer, Gabe. Gab and Nat's chemistry is hot and heavy immediately and the two venture into an agreement. Monthly allowance for weekly time spent together. Nat is ecstatic—not only are her bills being paid, and she's living quite lavishly, she's met a guy who truly understands and appreciates her. When Gabe starts realizing that his relationship with Nat is getting in the way of his family's protection, things take a quite interesting turn. Can this agreement last? I'm calling it now— The Arrangement is the best book I've read thus far in 2019. The Arrangement is a sexy, sinister, and deviously delicious tale that will engage you from chapter 1, all the way until you reach the more than satisfying ending. I appreciate Robyn Harding going into this realm of taboo and knocking it out of the park. I couldn't put this book down, and if I could've, I would've read this in one sitting—damn work!What engaged me so much into this story was the level of authenticity each character provided. While nobody was really that likable, I was able to relate to the struggles of being young and living in New York City. It's truly remarkable how people can survive here, and Harding showcases that struggle to the forefront. Nat's relationship with her sugar daddy Gabe was very captivating to me, and I couldn't wait to see what happens. While I was reading, I literally, couldn't think about anything else but finishing this story! I needed to know how Nat and Gabe's relationship develops, and I needed to know everything else in between. Luckily for this story, Harding provides a killer ending—one that you will definitely not be able to guess, and one that delivers.
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  • Robyn Harding
    January 1, 1970
    I am so excited to share this book with all of you. I hope you'll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thank you!
  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Last year I devoured Harding’s book Her Pretty Face and was recommending it like crazy to anyone that would listen, so when I heard she had a new book coming out I didn’t even bother to read the blurb I just knew I needed it in my life. WOAH what a fun thrill ride this was. I am not super knowledgeable about the whole sugar daddy/sugar baby arrangement world but am always very intrigued to read about different lifestyles. I also thought it was really neat the author mentioned in the acknowledgme Last year I devoured Harding’s book Her Pretty Face and was recommending it like crazy to anyone that would listen, so when I heard she had a new book coming out I didn’t even bother to read the blurb I just knew I needed it in my life. WOAH what a fun thrill ride this was. I am not super knowledgeable about the whole sugar daddy/sugar baby arrangement world but am always very intrigued to read about different lifestyles. I also thought it was really neat the author mentioned in the acknowledgments that she actually set up an online account and was able to interview actual sugar babies. It’s funny because for me to love a book I usually have to like the characters but none (aside from Oleg) were very likeable OR I have to connect with at least one of them which I did not 😂 BUT the storyline had me absolutely hooked! By the time I hit around page 200 there was definitely no putting the book down and I knew I was in for a late night.After reading two five star books in a row from Harding I think it’s safe to say I’m a huge fan and cannot wait to see what she comes up with next!Thank you Gallery Books for sending me an advanced copy of this book.
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  • Christine Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    Robyn Harding is my very favorite author and The Arrangement was my most anticipated book of 2019!! I’ve been incredibly fortunate to be gifted this Advanced Readers Copy. I devoured this book in just 2 days (I was on a little vacation, so take that into consideration. Ha!!)! Simply put...this book is AMAZING!!Here’s the plot...Natalie is a young, 21 year old art student in NYC. She struggles to make ends meet, pay her tuition, and not piss off her two roommates. When she notices her study partn Robyn Harding is my very favorite author and The Arrangement was my most anticipated book of 2019!! I’ve been incredibly fortunate to be gifted this Advanced Readers Copy. I devoured this book in just 2 days (I was on a little vacation, so take that into consideration. Ha!!)! Simply put...this book is AMAZING!!Here’s the plot...Natalie is a young, 21 year old art student in NYC. She struggles to make ends meet, pay her tuition, and not piss off her two roommates. When she notices her study partner living in a posh apartment with only the best handbags, shoes, and clothes...she seeks answers to how she’s doing it all!! Then Natalie is introduced to the Sugar Daddy website!!! She signs up, creates a profile and almost instantly meets Gabe. A married, older gentleman who takes her on fabulous dates, adventures, and sex...paying her for these services. As the relationship develops, Natalie falls in love with Gabe. She is mesmerized and infatuated with him...often forgetting that this is a job and not real life!!! Gabe, in his own narcissistic way, loves and cares for her too, but to what extent? Would he chose Natalie over his own family? What develops is an all-consuming relationship that ends with someone being murdered. Who was the one killed? Who did it? How did all of this go so wrong??I loved every single page of this book. I instantly felt a connection to each of the characters and truly found I had compassion and love for all of them. Despite the oddity of their relationship, I never thought Gabe was a bad guy or that Natalie was dirty for entering into this lifestyle. What I love most, is the research Harding did on this Sugar Daddy lifestyle. This is a real thing, that can be scary and very dangerous...yet young girls and old men are engaging in this behavior. I also really enjoyed the prison aspect(I must be watching too much OTNB)!!Thank you Robyn Harding for not only writing another incredible novel, but truly for giving me the opportunity to read and review it!!! If only I could give this 10 stars!!!⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
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  • Tracy (The Pages In-Between)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank You, Gallery Books for gifting me a copy of this book, in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own.I love Robyn Harding, I love everything she has written, not only is she incredibly talented and a master of her craft, she is genuinely a very nice person. I have loved getting to chat with her! And how awesome is it, that myself and a bunch of my blogging friends are in the acknowledgements of this book?I was so excited to start this book, and when my dear friend @jennsbookvibe Thank You, Gallery Books for gifting me a copy of this book, in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own.I love Robyn Harding, I love everything she has written, not only is she incredibly talented and a master of her craft, she is genuinely a very nice person. I have loved getting to chat with her! And how awesome is it, that myself and a bunch of my blogging friends are in the acknowledgements of this book?I was so excited to start this book, and when my dear friend @jennsbookvibes got it too, we decided that this was our next buddy read. This was another book that I just could not put down. It’s a rare treat to be addicted to the book from page One.I was so curious about this book, and the Sugar Baby/ Sugar Daddy aspect, as this was my first time reading a book on this topic. I wanted to know why Gabe ended things with her, when they seemed to have really liked each other, and I wanted to know who’s body ended up near his building. This was such a fun, thrill seeking ride. I may have figured out who the killer was, but I was so excited for the plot twist at the end, that was unexpected, and well done!I think the thing I like most about Robyn’s writing is that it’s very real. The plots aren’t way out in left field, and she develops her characters after people you would know in real life. There is a very realistic tone. I also appreciated the way Harding writes about Gabe, and Natalie, and sort of paints a picture of them as likeable. But than you delve further into the book, and you start to feel otherwise.There is just so much more to this book than, Gabe, Natalie, and the Sugar Bowl. This is an addictive, thrilling read, and I am so glad that I got an early copy! You guys NEED to read this one.
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  • Anne
    January 1, 1970
    I was delighted to get this ARC as I have read Harding's previous novels and loved them! This one was decidedly different but SO interesting! I will admit to watching a couple of (poorly done) Lifetime movies about this subject but this book seemed so realistic as we watch college-student Natalie get drawn into the often-dangerous and seedy web of Sugar Daddies. Having already broken up with a nightmarish, stalker boyfriend, she just wants to be able to pay her rent and not become embroiled in a I was delighted to get this ARC as I have read Harding's previous novels and loved them! This one was decidedly different but SO interesting! I will admit to watching a couple of (poorly done) Lifetime movies about this subject but this book seemed so realistic as we watch college-student Natalie get drawn into the often-dangerous and seedy web of Sugar Daddies. Having already broken up with a nightmarish, stalker boyfriend, she just wants to be able to pay her rent and not become embroiled in any relationships--especially with older, creepy men. But $500 just for a drink? Sounds too good to be true, but when she meets Gabe she finds he is actually attractive, charming, and not at all what she imagined and he is the perfect "gentleman," dropping her off at her apartment after she gets drunk and actually ordering her some comfort food for her hangover. Of course, it's never as easy as it seems and things go downhill from here with plenty of plot twists and surprising elements that will keep you on your toes guessing what comes next! Wonderful characterization with flawed, yet mostly-lovable people you will like or maybe despise, but the ending is satisfying as well without wrapping things up in a neat little bow. If you like psychological suspense, this one is surely for you. Out the end of July. Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!
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  • Sam
    January 1, 1970
    Robyn Harding does it again with an awesome domestic thriller! I loved the premise of this book, so different than the usual wife & husband/odd relationship plot. THIS book is about a young college student, and a wealthy, married man. The story starts off telling the reader that a murder has happened, but the murder of who?The protagonist, Nat, was such an unusual college student - dealing with school, no money, judgemental friends... but as she becomes a “sugar baby” she becomes SO unlike a Robyn Harding does it again with an awesome domestic thriller! I loved the premise of this book, so different than the usual wife & husband/odd relationship plot. THIS book is about a young college student, and a wealthy, married man. The story starts off telling the reader that a murder has happened, but the murder of who?The protagonist, Nat, was such an unusual college student - dealing with school, no money, judgemental friends... but as she becomes a “sugar baby” she becomes SO unlike able and so irritating, but I liked that about her! I liked that I wasn’t necessarily rooting for the main character the entire time.All in all, this was a great domestic thriller. Harding is one of my favourite authors. Highly recommend!
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  • Cathy Branciforte
    January 1, 1970
    When I read the description of this book, I knew I had to read it and it did not disappoint! My first look into the Sugar Daddy/ Sugar Baby lifestyle was very interesting. The characters and their world were so well developed, that I was completely lost in the story and could understand how these types of situations could actually happen. Told from the different points of view of the different characters, the story moves along quickly to its (slightly) surprising ending. Highly recommend this pa When I read the description of this book, I knew I had to read it and it did not disappoint! My first look into the Sugar Daddy/ Sugar Baby lifestyle was very interesting. The characters and their world were so well developed, that I was completely lost in the story and could understand how these types of situations could actually happen. Told from the different points of view of the different characters, the story moves along quickly to its (slightly) surprising ending. Highly recommend this page turner! Thanks to Scout Press & Edelweiss for the digital review copy!
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come closer to pub date, but I absolutely loved this book. My first 5-star read of 2019!
  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. A Pretty Woman tale turns toxic and deadly in this provocative and riveting thriller of sex, obsession, and murder from Robyn Harding, the “master of domestic suspense” (Kathleen Barber) and the USA TODAY bestselling author of The Party and Her Pretty Face. Natal I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. A Pretty Woman tale turns toxic and deadly in this provocative and riveting thriller of sex, obsession, and murder from Robyn Harding, the “master of domestic suspense” (Kathleen Barber) and the USA TODAY bestselling author of The Party and Her Pretty Face. Natalie, a young art student in New York City, is struggling to pay her bills when a friend makes a suggestion: Why not go online and find a sugar daddy—a wealthy, older man who will pay her for dates, and even give her a monthly allowance? 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.Though more than thirty years her senior, Gabe, a handsome corporate finance attorney, 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.So when he abruptly ends things, Nat can’t let go. She begins drinking heavily and stalking him: watching him at work, spying on his wife, even befriending his daughter, who is not much younger than she is. But Gabe’s not about to let his sugar baby destroy his perfect life. What was supposed to be a mutually beneficial arrangement devolves into a nightmare of deception, obsession, and, when a body is found near Gabe’s posh Upper East Side apartment, murder.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.I love Robyn Harding - she needs to WRITE MORE BOOKS. They are always expertly crafted and written in a beguiling manner that keeps you guessing to the last page. (There are a lot of WTF moments, too!) I was dog dead tired and stayed up to finish it - only a book this good could do that in last night's so-ired-I-feel-drunk-stupor. The plot was tight and tense and I found myself holding my breath and forgetting to breathe. Bookclub (bookclubs - I run 8 of them) be forewarned, this book is coming to your August book club!) as we will discuss the heck out of this moral ... dilemma. (right word? Don't all women get "paid" for sex or expect something in return? #discussaway) As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by Millennials on Instagram and Twitter) so let's give it 🥂🍭🍬🍭🥂NOTE: I cannot link this review to LinkedIn - there is something wrong with the linking/programming and it will not happen.
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  • Andrea Pole
    January 1, 1970
    The Arrangement by Robyn Harding is another five star offering from a writer who has very quickly established herself as a must read author for me. This is a pulse-pounding tour de force of intrigue, sex, lies, and betrayals, and I could not turn the pages fast enough. Natalie is a young college student living in New York and struggling to pay the bills, when a fellow student introduces her to the Sugar Bowl, a network that connects sugar daddies with sugar babies. Natalie is intrigued by the pr The Arrangement by Robyn Harding is another five star offering from a writer who has very quickly established herself as a must read author for me. This is a pulse-pounding tour de force of intrigue, sex, lies, and betrayals, and I could not turn the pages fast enough. Natalie is a young college student living in New York and struggling to pay the bills, when a fellow student introduces her to the Sugar Bowl, a network that connects sugar daddies with sugar babies. Natalie is intrigued by the promise of some quick and easy cash, and submits her profile as a potential sugar baby looking for a wealthy benefactor. When she is contacted by Gabe, a wealthy, attractive, and much older attorney, Natalie cannot believe her luck. Gabe is generous with his money and gifts, and doesn't immediately pressure Natalie for sex. But just as Natalie convinces herself that she has fallen in love with the powerful father figure she has become so dependent on, Gabe does the unthinkable and ends the relationship, throwing Natalie's life into greater chaos than ever.This is a novel that explores both sides of the 'sugar' arrangement, told from the perspectives of both Natalie and Gabe, and we see how a relationship that begins as potentially beneficial to both parties can suddenly devolve into something very, very dark. This one will keep you reading late into the night. Another brilliant offering from Robyn Harding, I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us next.Many thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for this wonderful ARC.
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  • Nova
    January 1, 1970
    I thought this book was perfectly crafted. Harding spent the perfect amount of time on all aspects; not dragging things out unnecessarily or being too vague. I love the way Robyn Harding writes her mystery/thrillers, if they could even be categorized as such. Her books always make sense. The resolution always seems realistic, unlike most other mystery/thrillers i've read. This book surprised me, engaged me and I read it in less than 24 hours. I could not put it down. I found myself rooting for N I thought this book was perfectly crafted. Harding spent the perfect amount of time on all aspects; not dragging things out unnecessarily or being too vague. I love the way Robyn Harding writes her mystery/thrillers, if they could even be categorized as such. Her books always make sense. The resolution always seems realistic, unlike most other mystery/thrillers i've read. This book surprised me, engaged me and I read it in less than 24 hours. I could not put it down. I found myself rooting for Natalie, and also despising her at moments. I loved the small amount of romance, and I actually would have enjoyed even more. There is not much I would want differently about this book, but I can say I would have enjoyed a tiny bit more character development. I found it a little ironic that Natalie despised Cole because of his clinginess and attachment, but then she turned into that exact same person for Gabriel. I enjoyed that bit of figurative language. I can proudly say that I will be reading every single novel Robyn Harding writes in the future. Definitely on my favorite authors list!
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  • Lalitha
    January 1, 1970
    Uneven characterization and pacing made The Arrangement a tedious read; I was also incredibly disappointed in the author's reductive depictions of social justice work and intersectionality. ***SPOILER***Now, these reductive descriptions of social justice, race, and intersectionality might've been Harding's way of portraying Gabe as unlikeable. However, given the weak and inconsistent characterization, it felt as though Gabe was simply a vehicle for Harding to spout these views--there was no atte Uneven characterization and pacing made The Arrangement a tedious read; I was also incredibly disappointed in the author's reductive depictions of social justice work and intersectionality. ***SPOILER***Now, these reductive descriptions of social justice, race, and intersectionality might've been Harding's way of portraying Gabe as unlikeable. However, given the weak and inconsistent characterization, it felt as though Gabe was simply a vehicle for Harding to spout these views--there was no attempt to portray an alternate and more nuanced perspective. Even Celeste and Violet (the only POC characters in the book) come off as stilted and one-dimensional. Red herrings like Cole and (Abby/Ava - I forget the name of the friend who gets Nat into the sugar daddy scheme) go...nowhere. I get that Harding wrote a mystery and maybe I'm overthinking things, but I just feel like if you're going to write about intersectionality (which didn't even need to be a part of this book, to be honest), get that shit right!The ending was the WORST part of the book, because (SUPER SPOILER), it turns out that Violet committed the heinous crime and her mom covered for her; so Natalie (terrible!) is redeemed, even though her actions were incredibly questionable.
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  • Christina (Bookwormmommyof3)
    January 1, 1970
    Edgy, unique with so many layers. I’m very fascinated by her writing because she creates such deep and dark characters. The topic is unique and its execution was well woven together.
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