A review by bookwormsandbiblios
Rules of Arrangement, by Maren Mackenzie


I'm not going to lie, when I first started reading this book, I was a little worried. The plot seemed a bit muddled— it was a classic "enemies to lovers" trope, that seemingly threw in some academia and mental illness. But I was pleasantly surprised! The characters were engaging, although I felt that Jack was a little too unlikeable, Declan a little too likable, and Adelaide could have used a tad more character development. The spice was spicy with clear chemistry between Addie and Jack. The book definitely gave me Beauty and the Beast vibes, but make the Beast a grumpy art dealer, and Beauty a down on her luck college student - in that aspect, it was more like Cinderella.

There were a few things that kept me from giving this book five stars: the pacing was off with the ending feeling rushed and it may have benefited from sensitivity reader when tackling the issue of mental illness. That being said, I think the portrayal of how people speak and think about mental illness was fairly realistic. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys contemporary romance. It’s a quick read, that balances drama and romance, and has a satisfying ending.

Overall though? A good debut novel! I would definitely read other things by this author!