“Hugo has a distinct way with words that draws emotion out of you and I found myself highlighting passages that I don’t want to leave for good. ”
~ Under the Covers

Nicolette Hugo is a brand new author to me who came highly recommended. I jumped into The Arrangement knowing it had a BDSM focus and anyone venturing in should know this too. The plot centers around Nell Harper, a successful attorney who has a chance meeting with Vincent Mason, a politician on the rise in Sydney. Vincent brings out the submissive Nell never knew was in her, and at the outset of the book, they have agreed to a six month live-in arrangement. No one could accuse Vincent of lacking in intensity and focus. He seems to be the perfect match for Nell, but the hardship comes when she realizes this arrangement is delving into territory Vincent may not comfortable with. Nell won’t settle for less than love and how we get there is the delicious torment of The Arrangement.

For starters, throw off any pre-conceived notions you have about BDSM in mainstream erotic romance. Vincent Mason may be well-off, but he’s not living in a penthouse with a helipad. Nell Harper is a successful, smart, and accomplished. She’s no shrinking violet and can negotiate what she needs without hesitation. The Arrangement was unique for me in that we don’t see the early moments, the budding relationship between Vincent and Nell. It begins with their formal 6 month arrangement. This was a great choice, as new relationships can often be fraught with an intensity and obsessiveness that clouds reason. By the time these two enter into a live-in relationship, it clear that Dom and sub are comfortable in their roles and want to be there. What also sets The Arrangement apart is its character driven focus and its beautiful prose. We are inside Nell’s head for the vast majority of the story, and through her, we examine what it means to submit, the whys of masochism, the beauty and comfort in non-sexual service to someone you care for. If you are at all interested in the psychology of submission, I think you will enjoy and possibly identify with Nell as a character. All of the intimate scenes are erotic and beautiful, even at their dirtiest. Some were downright mesmerizing. Vincent is a sadist, so his tastes run beyond mild kink. Readers should be prepared for edgier play, but not extreme scenarios. In the end, Nell needs and craves love and a permanence she doesn’t know if Vincent can provide. I wanted to yell at these two to communicate! The interplay between them, even the non-sexual scenes, is deliciously poetic. Hugo has a distinct way with words that draws emotion out of you and I found myself highlighting passages that I don’t want to leave for good. The Arrangement is a brilliant first book and this only means that more great things are to come. I can’t wait to dig into Exhibition, her next installment.



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[about-author author=”Nicolette Hugo”]


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