Robyn Harding: The Arrangement

It was a pleasure to read Robyn Harding’s the Arrangement. I was immediately hooked into this novel.

The first half of the novel reads like a romantic novel where poor girl finds her prince charming (put aside the sugar daddy and sugar baby dynamics). What woman wouldn’t want the kind of attention and love which Gabe showered so generously on Nat? Think Pretty Woman.

Through Robyn Harding’s intensive research on sugar babies, (which she describes in her Acknowledgements), we get a good glance into this dark and tightly controlled world.

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. *

The second half of the novel is a mystery/court case/crime novel.

So when he abruptly ends things, Nat can’t let go. 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. *

I was surprised that one of the categories in the product description was kidnapping thriller, which I did not find pertinent to this novel. Unless I’m missing something.

The ending was satisfactory and somewhat unexpected; it had a comfortable feel to it and the novel moved at a relatively fast pace. It was a rather long book but well worth my time.

* Italic text is from the book description on Amazon.

The Comedy Monologue

Me:  I’m thinking of writing today’s post on comedy writing.

Inner Critic (hereon known as IC):  You! What makes you think you’re funny?

Me:  Well, I do write women’s fiction and women’s fiction often has funny scenes in it.

IC:  True. But you also write crime novels, about serial killers and college professors who get murdered. And then you wrote that memoir all about death and grief and mourning.

Me:  It did have some humor in it.

IC:  Tell me a joke.

Me:  This is not about how to write a joke book.

IC:  See? You can’t even tell a joke. How do you expect to write comedy?

Me:  Okay. Here’s a joke. I heard it on the radio yesterday morning. Jess Bering, known as the Hunter S. Thomson of science writing was being interviewed on CBC.

IC:  Never heard of him.

Me:  He wrote this book called Perv – The Sexual Deviant in All of Us.

IC:  That’s the joke?

Me:  No. The joke is that during the interview he said that some people get upset over gay marriages so they say “What’s next? People wanting to marry their horses or dogs?”

Me:  (insert hilarious laughter).

IC:  You think people having sex with their animals is funny?

Me:  It depends on how the animal feels, I guess.

IC:  You’re joking, right?

Me:  I thought you said I couldn’t write humor.

Anyway, it’s Friday. Who wants to hear about more writing techniques? All you want is a date, right?  So instead have a look at this video. I’d love to hear your comments on what makes it funny to you. If it does.

Better Than Chocolate

His muscular body leaned towards her. Norma could smell his testosterone all over him.  “Motorcycling is better than sex,” he said.

She took two steps closer to him. “Really,” she said. Her lips parted . She knew she was tantalizingly gorgeous.  The confidence in her eyes warned him that she’d always bedazzled any man she wanted.

He gave her an eyeball look. “Better than sex,” he said once more and drew away.

Norma tossed her platinum head back. Damn, she thought. The dress was wrong. She should have worn the black kid leather one with the lacing at her bust where she could pull it in as tight as a Chandler novel or as loose as the wind.   

My nephew Stephan, whom I talked about in a previous post, said that guys could never get away with saying stuff like that to a woman. “Girls say that all the time to you,” he started to rant. “You hear them saying it everywhere that chocolate is better than sex. They have bumper stickers, lapel buttons and even brag about it.   Man, if a guy said that to a girl there’d be some kind of manifestation.”

What do you think? Motorcycles, chocolate, sex?