Title: An Arrangement
Author: Lindsay Marie Miller
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 30, 2016
When Claire Andrews returns home from college for the summer, her little sister is rushed to the hospital due to a life-threatening heart condition. On her twenty-first birthday, Claire will receive a trust fund set aside by her late father with enough money to cover all medical expenses.
Claire must marry a rich man or her access to the trust will be denied.
Her childhood crush, Benjamin Lewis, is a twenty-eight-year-old billionaire business mogul and New York City’s most eligible bachelor. When Ben agrees to marry Claire, her financial problems are solved.
But will the price Claire must pay in return be too much for her heart to bear?
“They can treat Amy,” I announced, staring blindly out the window. “It’s experimental stuff, but the doctors are going to do everything they can. It’s not too late.”
Mom breathed a sigh of relief, and I seemed to feel it more than see or hear it.
“Insurance won’t cover it, but I told Dr. Abrams that it wouldn’t be a problem.” I looked back over my shoulder at Mom, confused by the fearful look on her face. Her cropped black hair looked frazzled and worn, while her blue eyes, Amy’s eyes, shifted with terror and panic. “What? What is it?”
“Claire,” she cried, grabbing ahold of my wrist until I sat down in the chair beside her. “We can’t afford that. We don’t have the money.” The tears started up again, and I wanted to slap her for lying to me.
“What are you talking about?” I jerked at her shirtsleeve. “What do you mean we don’t have the money? Daddy left you a fortune!”
“Your father only left me with enough to live on until you girls came of age. That and the house.”
“Came of age?” I crossed my arms over my chest, while she dabbed her eyes with his handkerchief.
“The rest of your father’s wealth is in a trust fund that he set up especially for you girls. He wanted to take care of the two of you, maybe because he knew that I couldn’t.”
Wouldn’t was more like it.
“And why wasn’t I told about this? This mysterious trust fund?”
“Because you can’t access it until you turn twenty-one,” she clarified.
“My birthday’s next week,” I noted, stating aloud what we both already knew.
It was my twenty-first birthday to be exact.
“I know.” Her tears dried immediately, as she reached into her handbag to grab her phone. “I’ll call your father’s attorney. He drew up the contract. I think there were some other stipulations.”
“What do you mean?” My frustration resurfaced, while I watched her dial numbers on the LED touch screen. “What kind of stipulations?”
“In order to access all of the money in the trust…”
“Yeah,” I answered, nudging her on. “I have to be twenty-one. What else?”
“I think you have to be married, too.”
Married? How could that even be legal?
I sat down on the floor and held my head in my hands. Everything had happened too soon, making my world spin out of control. I penned a mental list in my head that summed up the main points of the day.
Amy was sick. And her condition, if not treated, was most likely fatal.
Insurance would not cover the experimental treatments, and Mom didn’t have the money to pay.
Instead, my late father’s wealth had been stowed away in a trust, which I would soon have access to.
As long as I married. As long as I had a husband. And all the while, Amy’s heart could be failing.
Money was the only way to save my sister, and at present, marriage was the only way to get the money.
I needed a husband by next week.
And I didn’t even have a boyfriend.
An Arrangement seems like a straight forward enough story line, Claire needs money to save her sister who has a heart condition. She's exhausted all traditional treatment and the only thing left is to pay out of pocket for experimental drugs. Problem is their expensive and Claire doesn't have the money.
Lucky for her her mother tells her of a trust her father set up for her that she'll come into on her 21st birthday, a trust that comes with strings attached.
In order to inherit Claire must be married but only to a man who is worth as much or more than she is.
After no so careful consideration by her mother she decides on an old friend, Benjamin Lewis.
She's known him since she was 8 years old, the first boy she had a crush on, the first boy she loved, the first boy to break her heart.
All of this unbeknownst to Ben as he was 8 years older than her.
Claire has to man up and face him, ask him to marry her just to save her sister. It doesn't take much convincing, he's willing to help in any way he can.
Thing is he wants this marriage to be real while Claire is completely messed up in the head thanks to the sadistic witch she calls mom.
I so adored Benny from the beginning. He's such a good man, good heart and beyond sweet. He was patient and tried to be so understanding while dealing with Claire's crazy along the way.
An then there's her mother. That woman deserves to rot in the most vile place ever. She put money, status and herself above all else, and most importantly above her children.
I won't give anything away, just know that she's the single most selfish, horrible mother ever and what she did to her daughter was unforgivable. No matter how the story ended that demonic bat shouldn't get a happily ever after.
I wanted to love this story but Claire's inability to make up her mind drove me nuts. I get she was dealing with some stuff but Ben was her rock, he was solid, always there for her and she couldn't get it through her head. Had she not been so flighty I'd have loved her, I mean she was selflessly giving up everything for the possibility of saving her sister's life but the way she went about it made me want to knock some sense into her!
LINDSAY MARIE MILLER was born and raised in Tallahassee, FL, where she graduated from high school as Valedictorian. Afterwards, Lindsay attended Florida State University and graduated Summa Cum Laude with an English Literature major, Psychology minor, and Specialized Studies in Markets and Institutions.
Lindsay is the author of Mr. Jones & Me, S.I.N.G.L.E., Jungle Eyes, Me & Mr. Jones, and Emerald Green. An incurable romantic at heart, she enjoys writing about strong heroines and the honorable gentleman who claim their hearts, often utilizing elements of suspense, adventure, or even comedy. While the context of her writing is diverse, one factor always remains at the center of every novel: Love.
In her free time, Lindsay enjoys singing, playing the piano and guitar, and writing songs. The author resides in her hometown of Tallahassee, FL, where she is currently working on her next novel.