Regency romance author, Luella Linley (AKA Louise Brooker), should feel satisfied she has helped her two daughters marry happily. However, her successful meddling came at a price and her husband has advised she leave the children to their own devices.
But her eldest, Pete, is thirty-five, living back at home and dejected after having been jilted days before his wedding. Her responsible, hard-working and handsome son would make a good husband and father—but he’s given up after three failed relationships. He’s a good catch, but unlikely to be fooled by his mother’s scheming and meddling.
This situation calls for a direct approach. Just like in her novels, Louise decides the parents should do the arranging and sort out the wheat from the chaff.
Carrie Davis is a dedicated career woman and hasn’t had time for relationships. However, her sister, Ellen, is now happily married with a delightful little girl and for the first time, Carrie finds loneliness stalking her. Ellen want’s the best for Carrie, so when she comes across an odd advert in the classifieds, she wonders if it is a prank or an opportunity sent from heaven.
“Wanted. For a social experiment. A family arranged marriage.”
I enjoyed reading All Arranged, the third book in Meredith Resce’s Luella Linley: License to Meddle series set in Adelaide, South Australia. The first two books in this series are lighter reads than All Arranged. This story is a fun and uniquely Aussie twist on the modern day arranged marriage and marriage of convenience romance tropes.
Luella Linley is concerned for her son, Pete, and his run of bad luck in romantic relationships. Being a successful regency romance author, Luella is sure she can mimic the success of her matchmaking efforts with her daughters and find the perfect wife for Pete. Luella hatches a plan to place a suitable advertisement in an Adelaide newspaper.
Pete indulges his meddling mother by providing her with a criteria list for a wife that he’s certain no real life single woman can actually meet. He figures his mother will drop the whole matchmaking idea once the advertisement is a failure.
Carrie’s sister, Ellen, is concerned her career-minded sister will miss out on meeting her perfect match due to her busy school teaching role. When Ellen comes across Luella’s advertisement, she starts to wonder if Carrie could be the right woman for Luella’s son.
The families arrange a meeting and start the ball rolling on Pete and Carrie’s potential relationship. A fun and hilarious story unfolds as the wedding plans are made and Pete and Carrie start to get to know each other. We also learn more about Luella and see the extended family dynamics from connecting the two families in marriage.
Unlike the earlier books in the series, I did cry while reading a section of the story. I empathised with the characters and the painful circumstances they were experiencing. I recommend All Arranged to readers looking for a family-focused arranged marriage contemporary romance story with a light faith element that has more depth and emotional angst than the typical rom-com.