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.
The Sexy Nerd ‘Revue’
Normally I wouldn’t start a book review off like this, but Gaaaat Damn! this book was so good! Fatal Attraction and Indecent Proposal meet The Arrangement! Yassss, this book had all my personal ingredients to make for an outstanding read! Oh yes, this book was it!
Natalie Murphy was like so many students we know. Hell, I was her at one time in my life. Who hasn’t struggled with paying student loans, trying to make ends meet, while trying to earn a degree so you can make a decent life for yourself? It’s rough trying to further your education, and when you don’t have any family to help you pay your way, it makes for a rather frustrating existence. This was Natalie’s life—working in a bar/restaurant to pay her bills. Her roommates were nagging her for rent and utility bills. They were sick and tired of paying Nat’s way.
Well, Nat was trying to study for her final exams and had these money woes on her mind. It didn’t help that her friend-with-benefits-boyfriend and she got into a heated debate at work, which caused her to lose her job. Ummph, what the hell was Nat supposed to do now? She went and added insult to injury. Life wasn’t working out for her—that is, until an art student friend she had observed living quite well made a suggestion to her. Will wonders ever cease? Why not become a sugar baby? That’s what Ava was doing and why she was living so well. She wasn’t doing anything wrong.
Are you out of your mind, Nat thought? There was no way she was going to sleep with men to make ends meet. Why, she wouldn’t be any different than a prostitute. Nat wasn’t raised like that. But then again, Nat observed the beautiful penthouse her art student friend was living in. The high-priced clothes and the fantastic body her girlfriend had. Ava’s hair and nails always on point. Besides, Ava wasn’t made to sleep with these men. Ava wasn’t a prostitute nor an escort. She was a confidante who spent time with older men to keep them company and listen to them. Go out on a few dates and be there for them when they needed. She would go on elaborate trips around the world and when she wasn’t needed, her life was her own. A no-strings-attached-arrangement. And the best part of all, these sugar daddies would pay her an allowance to keep her relevant.
Wow! No wonder Ava was able to afford a penthouse and buy the freshest clothes and keep her body in check. What was the harm in that, right? Try as Nat might, she struggled with this whole idea. What would her mother think? How could she live with herself? Would she have to sleep with these old men? How old was old? A million questions went through Natalie’s mind. But ultimately, the rent and college tuition won. These things had to be paid or otherwise, Nat wouldn’t survive in New York City much longer. She created a profile as a sugar baby so she could find a sugar daddy, and when she met Gabe, her life would forever be changed. And readers, this is where the story goes completely left! OMG! I! Could! Not! Get! Enough!!!! I loved this story so much!
What I found so mesmerizing was how Harding put you in Nat’s shoes. I was that character. I could feel her thoughts and live in her troubles. It was like I was in the driver seat. It was exciting, yet terrifying with each page I tapped on the Kindle. I remember being a young student in school trying to pay for books. But luckily for me, I had family I could turn to. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case for all students. My God, I kept thinking why on earth would she do this to herself, but she was desperate.
This was one of the most exciting books I’ve read for 2019! I realize that not every reader will feel the way that I do, but I’m telling you, Sexy Nerds, this was such an exhilarating read, you will not be able to get enough. Even though I narrowed it down to two characters I felt was responsible for the way things turned out, I did eventually venture down the correct path. It didn’t matter that I figured it out because this read was that damn good. This story is silver screen worthy! Oh yes, I’d line up to see this in film. And, I’m going to also go out on a limb and say, I’d love to see Richard Gere play Gabe. He could pull that shit off easily! OMG, Richard could so rock that character. He’s the right age and perfect for the role! So, Hollywood, if you ever decide to make this a movie, I’m putting my dibs in for Gere!
The Sexy Nerd gives The Arrangement five agreed upon stars! If I could give more than five stars, trust me I would most certainly do that! This is one of those books that I have to shout from the rooftops! Harding wrote the hell out of this book! She made a believable story and unforgettable characters that you will want to invest your time in. I know I enjoyed this and it’s also going on my all-time favorites list. The Arrangement goes on sale Tues., July 30, 2019. Make sure you pick up your copy and read immediately! Until next time, Sexy Nerds, open a book and get mind blown!