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A History Nut's Romantic State of Mind

"I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train." - Oscar Wilde

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By Arrangement (Medieval Series (Chronological order) #4)

By Arrangement - Madeline Hunter

Finally got this book out of my way.


I love a good medieval story. Since Madeline Hunter is famous for her medievals, I started this book with much enthusiasm. The premise is interesting enough. David, a low-born but stinking rich merchant, saw Christiana, a ward of the English King, at court. Being close to the English King, David offered for Christiana. The match was frowned upon because Christiana was a of noble birth, first tier, too. Her marrying a merchant was an outrageous thought.


Christiana loved another. A cad named Stephen. She resented the fact that she had to marry David and sent for Stephen to come marry her before everything was too late. But of course Stephen did not come. Everyone except Christiana could see that Stephen did not love her and that Christiana was an idiot to believe that she had a noble knight in Stephen.


So the marriage was on rocky grounds. The book follows Christiana and David's difficult union. A bride who resented her groom. A groom who desired his bride. Isn't that quaint? It turns out that David, was not a lowly merchant at all. Suffice it to say that Christiana felt like an idiot when David's true parentage came under the light. Some political intrigue, superficial I love you after great sex, the end.


I had a lot of problems with the book. It is not about the writing. It was the story itself. I detest Christiana from the beginning. A stupid girl who knew nothing about love, who mistook infatuation for affections, who expected a jerk to be her prince on the white horse, who despised a man who actually wanted her for his lowly birth and never gave him a chance. I wonder, what is to like about Christiana other than the fact that she was beautiful?


Christiana's immaturity permeates the story. She did "grow out of" her infatuation for Stephen and "realized" that she loved David. I thought the change strange since nothing has changed for Christiana and David other than the fact that they had great sex. So after they had fantastic sex, Christiana came to realize that now she loved David? I mean, come on, give women a little more credit than that. The attitude change and "falling in love" seemed fake. I honestly do not know what changed. Christiana changed. Just like that. And all because David was such a great lover. And this was supposed to be romantic?


Christiana's fault does not stop at being naive and stupid about love. She was quick to anger. Whenever things didn't go her way, she either shut herself in the room or got mad at someone (usually David), accusing them of lying, using, misleading and misunderstanding her. The beautiful Christiana was never at fault. And she was entitled to her anger, because you know, Christiana was not happy. Someone must be responsible for that. And no no, Christiana was always right.


I would have given the book 3 stars for the writing. But Christiana made this book such an awful reading experience. I wanted to slap her but I was forced to read about how David loved her for reasons that are beyond my comprehension. Oh but how could I forget, they had great sex. It must be true love.