Cover Image: The Arc

The Arc

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Member Reviews

I recommend. Keep me engaged and interested, thank you for the advance chance to read this. I’ve already told family and friends about it
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What an...interesting novel. Is it romance? Is it literary fiction? Is it science fiction? It's a bit all of the above. Its strength lies in the development of Ursula and Rafael as characters and the clarity of their voices and perspectives. I thought both of their points of view were really well fleshed out. My frustration was mainly when the book would veer into a subplot for a period of time. I think this was intended to make the characters more well-rounded and give them more of a backstory, but it was kind of distracting. Overall, I'm not quite sure how I feel about this book. I have a feeling it's going to be a polarizing one. If you're going in looking for kind of experimental contemporary fiction, you'll probably enjoy it. If you want the romance to be the main part of the story, you might be disappointed. I'm glad I read it, and I'm eager to hear what more folks think about it when it's published.
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The concept of this debut by Tory Henwood Hoen intrigued me, and the story had a slight futuristic feel. Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for my gifted e-copy.

SUMMARY: 35-year-old Ursula Byrne, VP of Strategic Audacity at a Manhattan branding agency, is tired of dating apps and all the strike-outs she’s had in the dating world. She signs up with The Arc, a specialized matchmaking service which promises to match her with her perfect partner. A weeks' worth of psychological, emotional and physical tests later, The Arc team matches her with lawyer Rafael Banks. Although their relationship starts off with a bang, they encounter hiccups along the way, making each of them question: in a world where you can enhance and perfect pretty much anything, does that include love?

THOUGHTS: I loved this author's outlook on our commercialised, consumer society and our incessant demand for everything in our lives to be the best it can be. This high-concept romance story peppered with satire made me laugh in some places, particularly the way some products are branded and what people do in the name of self-care--Henwood Hoen takes those things to another level. I did feel the amount of backstory threw off some of the pacing, and in some places the 3rd-person omniscient POV made the characters feel distant, but I can appreciate how much work Henwood Hoen did to create such complex characters. But I loved the main themes threaded through this book: how no amount of analysis or science can orchestrate lasting relationships nor keep them from succeeding. Relationships--and the people in them--are messy, real, and worth fighting for, no matter what the data says.

(I haven't included a link because I'll post it to my blog and IG closer to the pub date.)
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Quirky and unique, refreshing to see main characters in the 30-40 age range.  An innovative take on the lengths people will go to find true love.  Overall it was a solid read with when pacing.  A slow burn with a satisfying finish.
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Would you spend $50K to be matched with your ultimate partner? No more failed first dates, swiping on apps, or breakup heartache? That is the premise behind the Arc, a high-end matchmaking service that is in the business of engineering perfectly-matched pairs. 

Ridiculously inaccessible buy-in fee aside, this book oozed so much privilege that it made Ursula and Rafe, the fated match, pretty unlikeable. With their exclusive social club memberships and their casual cavorting with billionaires, this is certainly not your typical couple or romance. Nonetheless, the premise of the book made for interesting discussions about our dating habits and our autonomy in our decision-making processes. I enjoyed watching it play out!
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Comps are a funny thing here. I haven't read Sally Rooney and have wanted to, but if her books are like The Arc, I might steer clear. This just wasn't successful for me.

It was promising. The blurb sounded cute and quirky: Thirty-five-year-old Ursula has had it with dating apps that just can't bring her the lasting relationship she wants. But a chance encounter at a spa alerts her to a secretive matchmaking service that promises The Real Thing. Though it comes with a hefty price tag, Ursula signs up and is matched with Rafael, a forty-two-year-old lawyer. As as their relationship unfolds, Ursula learns that true love is never a sure thing, no matter how much you paid for it.

Let me get one thing out of the way--I loved the writing. Tory Henwood Hoen has a really smooth style and the pages flowed. That's one of the things I appreciate most when reading, regardless of genre or age category.

But as far as the rest went, I found it extremely hard to relate to the main character, which is also a huge part in deciding to keep reading. 

Much of the film and literary world seems to look down on rural and suburban America. But if this is the flipside, we're looking at pretentious coastal elites, if you want to get into stereotypes. I couldn't roll my eyes hard enough when we got to the "nouveau feminist wellness club," and that was only 2% of the way in. And I can't connect to a woman who would rather pay 40,000$ to meet her soulmate than get over her derision of square-toe shoes. I could never quite figure out if the author was mocking this type of person or embracing her. Besides that, I found the flow of the story a little off. There's a lot of description, but not much happens.

Thank you to St. Martin's Press for making this a 'read now" selection for review.
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The ARC is a match making service and what a good job it does! 

I don't want to give a lot away on the book.  But it seriously was a great fun easy read.  I really enjoyed escaping reality with it for a few hours!
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The Arc was a really fun and entertaining read. It contemplates technology and connection all the while keeping the reader guessing and engaged. The only reason I ever wanted to put this book down was to prolong the experience of reading it!
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I finally read the book after putting it on my tbr for so long and I am disappointed in myself that i didn't read it earlier than I should have. I loved Rafael and Ursula's story it made me so intrigued to learn more about them. The detailing, the was all so good and I can't wait for others to read this book!
Thank you for the arc @netgalley
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I LOVED this book. It is tough to find romance novels that have characters in their 30s-40s. The dialogue was spot on, funny without trying too hard. The plot was well paced, I guessed the twist but still really enjoyed getting there at the end of the book.
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Marketing VP Ursula has a fulfilling life, wonderful friends, and a successful career, and is single. She’s tried online dating and the men? Welllll, they weren’t exactly the cream of the crop. Then someone refers her to The Arc - a super sophisticated and secret matchmaking service that promises lifelong companionship with your perfect mate. Ursula is soon paired with a lawyer named Rafael, and it is ELECTRIC. But as the relationship progresses, they wonder (insert Carrie Bradshaw voice here) - despite the science, can true love ever be a sure thing?  

Hello my little Rhodesian Ridgebacks (#iykyk)! Two romance books in a row? I don’t even know who I am anymore. Thankfully I loved The Arc as well, so maybe this is the sign I need some more romance in my life! Thank you to @stmartinspress and @netgalley for providing an advanced reader copy of this one. 

The Arc is an interesting, almost speculative fiction romance story about a company that uses science to find love. While I’ve definitely seem similar concepts in other books, I think this one really set itself apart by delving deep into the descriptions of the process of how the matchmaking works. It is frankly bizarre, but so fascinating, and it worked here because it made me invested in how the relationship would turn out. 

And speaking of … I think the reason I liked this book so much is because I am obsessed with them as a couple! Raf and Ursula are written to thoroughly compliment each other and they are so adorable. The scenes with them were equal parts cute, hilarious, and touching, and I felt immediately very involved in their futures. 

The only reasons I didn’t rate this book higher were: 1) when conflict arose (which you know it will - this is a romance after all), I couldn’t relate to one character at all and was unreasonably angry with their behavior (after loving everything else about them); and 2) the ending was way too abrupt for my taste. Other than that, this will be released in time to be a perfect Valentine’s Day read!

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Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press Group for the ARC. 

🌟🌟🌟 3/5 stars 

The Arc is a smart, unique book about Ursula and Rafael, two successful people who meet through a secret, sophisticated matchmaking service. The matchmaking service called The Arc claims it can find a person’s ideal partner. However, when Ursula and Rafael’s relationship hits unexpected roadblocks, they realize nothing is ever guaranteed. 

This was a very surprising read with an excellent premise. It reminded me of another approach to the storyline of The Soulmate Equation. However, the pacing kept me from truly loving the book. It is a very well-written novel, but is a slow-burn that was a bit too slow for me times. 

Overall, The Arc is an interesting story with a unique take on relationships in the modern world. 

ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Absolutely could not put this down. Rafael and Ursula, two power house New Yorkers decide to try the most insane matching making institute out there, The Arc (to the tune of 50K). Days of questions, medication, workouts. Matched by the brilliant Dr. Vidal. And then - they meet. I loved everything about this book. Clever, hilarious and brimming with hope. I love that we never shy away from Ursula being who she is, never apologizing for her success. Their chemistry, their ups and downs. I’ve never read a love story like this!
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Thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I'll start by saying that I wanted to read (and started reading this book) as I was intrigued by the description and was expecting more of a "Black Mirror" take on dating apps and dating in general. While portions of the book did veer a bit into that, I felt that this book read more like direct social commentary than a sci-fi dystopian take on romance - which was slightly disappointing to me given what I expected. While I enjoyed this book for the most part and found Tory Henwood Hoen's writing (and social commentary) witty and on-point (Ursula, one of the main characters is a VP of Strategic Audacity at a marketing firm!), I mainly enjoyed the portions of the book that dealt with the ARC. However, I would have gladly read a book on Ursula's life and career at Anonymous and Co. as I think that would be hilarious! The characters were well developed but I didn't particularly care for or root for the success of their relationship as I didn't feel like their attraction and relationship was well explored. The book does raise some good social issues while simultaneously emphasizing that nothing can ever be perfect. I also found myself questioning how much I would pay for the guarantee of true love (40.5K?! Probably not but appreciated the discount to account for gender pay gap!)
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What an interesting twist on a romance novel. Unique and very intriguing concept. Ursula is 35, successful, smart, and single. She’s on the verge of giving up on love altogether when she stumbles across The Arc. It’s a matchmaking service of sorts, but not one like you’ve ever seen or experienced. And it will cost you a pretty penny,  but for Ursula it’s worth a try. And she has a match! It’s Rafael. And it’s off with a bang. I have to say if you like romance and sci-fi, you’ll enjoy this book. It’s not sci-fi, but it gives off those vibes. I really enjoyed it.
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The Arc took me on a journey that I could relate to. I loved the attention to detail and description of the Stake, I could picture myself there! I enjoyed all of the characters and it was easy to follow along. I did get bored in the middle of the book because of all the detail and I was in suspense. Great Book and looking forward to more books from Tory!
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I received this book from Netgalley and at first I was a little skeptical. The book begins with us getting to know the main characters and I wasn’t quite sure what to think. But as the book went on the story became so engrossing and enjoyable. The idea behind a way to find a perfect match for someone is not new but it had an interesting method. I loved the story and the characters in it. Their growth both individually and together was beautiful and I loved the ending. 
Thank you Netgalley and the publishers for allowing me to review this book.
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Thank you to St. Martin's Press for my ARC of The Arc!

Pub date: Feb 8, 2022
Genre: romance, women's fiction
In one sentence: The Arc will find your ideal mate - for a price - but can technology really optimize relationships?

I read this book in two sittings, and it really grabbed me! I love books about dating technology (The One, The Soulmate Equation, etc.), and this one put a unique spin on the genre. Ursula and Rafael are successful 30-40 year-old professionals; most stories I've read focus on younger or older protagonists. I loved the clear sparks and banter these two had from the very beginning - the story reminded me of how dizzying it is to fall in love and to wonder, is this person really so perfect for me? And of course, there are bumps along the way no matter how compatible two people are...

I was very happy with how The Arc covered Ursula and Rafael's relationship, and I think other readers will love their story too! This is a romance with a little more to it than just the love story - the social commentary was woven in very nicely. I think many female readers will relate to Ursula's work and life challenges.

Published to Goodreads and Instagram 11/15/21.
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Well, this has a lot of potential for a debut. Very modern SATC, very snarky. I liked that it was drenched in NYC-ness… maybe too much glitz and glamor though, and this is from someone who would have previously said there’s no such thing. I liked the pseudo twist about the love interests. The narration threw me off and held me at arms length, but maybe that was by design? Decent chemistry.
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The premise pf the storyline intrigued me to want to read.  I had difficulty trudging through this long winded story.  The storyline had unrealistic ideas that it is unbelievable the cost to sign up for this architectural relationship construction.  I found the story dragged especially during the courtship. The only pivotal point was when they discovered their chemistry  was too strong to withstand the conflict and so they were told they were destined to break up.  I felt like weak storyline with no purpose and hugely disappointed after reading it.
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