Sherry Thomas - Private Arrangements

Private Arrangements - Sherry Thomas
This is the best historical romance novel I have read in my entire life ever. If all historical romances were like this one I would just apply for an unemployment benefit, sit at home and read them all day every day. I wouldn’t even have showers. And I’d only eat what can deliver to my door. I really would need nothing else in my life, so maybe it’s a good thing not all historical romance novels are like this one.

If you are to read only one historical romance, because, I don’t know, it’s on your list of 1001 things to do before you die, make sure it’s this one. It had everything I'd ever wanted from a historical romance. 

I didn’t think I was into reunion romances. It’s what we in Polish call “reheating old cutlets”. But I should’ve trusted Sherry Thomas. I should’ve known Sherry Thomas was a genius. This book made me giddy. I couldn’t stop reading it and I wanted to stop reading it because I didn’t want it to end. I want to erase my whole memory of this book, so I can read it again. That truly must be the only advantage of suffering from anterograde amnesia. Imagine! I could read this book every day!
Sherry Thomas is a very intelligent and erudite writer; her books are full of those fantastic little historical details. She mastered the ‘show not tell’ rule. She doesn’t have to tell us her characters are so smart and educated – she shows us by the conversations they’re having. 

What I love most about Sherry Thomas and this book is the authenticity of the characters’ emotional struggle. The obstacles are not there to fill out the pages before the grand finale; they are there because the hero and heroine genuinely need to overcome certain things in order to be happy and it’s not something that makes you think “I’m sorry but what’s your problem exactly?” And I like that they are not perfect, it makes it all that much easier to identify with them.

As a matter of fact, I might have liked this book so much because it reminded me of my own story that spanned over almost 10 years, two continents, five countries and involved disappearing without a trace, five year long separation, valentine postcards with no return address, presents arriving from different countries, jumping on the plane before saying what you really meant to say and regretting it afterwards and shitloads of really bad timing. If this place were less public, I’d tell you the whole story.

‘Private Arrangements’ made me think of this song:  
Just change ‘three days’ to ‘three weeks’ and it’s perfect.
I've been loving you
Without you even knowing
I'll never forget those days
Three days in a row
You were mine alone
And I haven't seen you since that day
I'm sorry baby
Baby boy, when I saw you the first time
I knew right away that you and I
Were connected in a way
I believed that there was a way something more
That I could ever express in my own words
I just knew at the time
I belonged to you but it all felt so wrong
To do the things my heart gave in
Baby I'm telling you
With loads on our minds
A few goodbyes
We could never have given it a real try
But you were in my head always
And at this point of my life I just know
That if you let me back in
I won't let go of you and me spending our lives
I just know it's a matter of time
Before it all falls back into place
Baby believe me
I walk the line and for you I will shine
Just be prepared for a hell of a ride
Don't ever doubt 'bout the way I feel
For heaven sake boy I'm beggin' you

This is probably the cheesiest review I have ever written, but bite me. See if I care.

I didn’t even know what to cook for the food tie-in for this review. I do remember they drank extremely posh wines and cognacs (Lafite, Romanee Conti, Remy Martin) but I only have some vague recollection of some game meat dishes. I decided to do something elegant, not too extravagant, loosely British-French and found this recipe: Pan-fried pork medallions with leeks and flageolet beans ( The recipe is by the Hairy Bikers, so not the most elegant chefs out there but it looked like something that would go well with the book. Also to be perfectly honest with you, Tesco had pork medallions on special offer. The sauce proved to be heavenly – try it!

I’m quite upset because my best photo turned out to be blurry, so had to use not so good of a shot that makes the pork medallions giant and potato rosti petite, when they were actually the same size.

As a side note, the recipe uses Calvados which is the title of one of my favourite Polish songs about lost love from the past. (