The Matchmaker's Playbook My Rating:
Loads of fun... get your copy!
Published by: Skyscape on April 5th, 2016
Genres: Cliffhanger Free, College Life, Contemporary, HEA, New Adult, ROM/COM, Romance
ISBN: 1503934489 Content Warning: sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence make this title appropriate for readers 18 and over.
Wingman rule number one: don’t fall for a client.
After a career-ending accident, former NFL recruit Ian Hunter is back on campus—and he’s ready to get his new game on. As one of the masterminds behind Wingmen, Inc., a successful and secretive word-of-mouth dating service, he’s putting his extensive skills with women to work for the lovelorn. But when Blake Olson requests the services of Wingmen, Inc., Ian may have landed his most hopeless client yet.
From her frumpy athletic gear to her unfortunate choice of footwear, Blake is going to need a miracle if she wants to land her crush. At least with a professional matchmaker by her side she has a fighting chance. Ian knows that his advice and a makeover can turn Blake into another successful match. But as Blake begins the transformation from hot mess to smokin’ hot, Ian realizes he’s in danger of breaking his cardinal rule.…
I know I’m going to sound like a broken record, but you just can’t go wrong with a Rachel Van Dyken book. Seriously. I don’t even bother reading the blurbs. I just grab the book and dive in. And I haven’t read one I didn’t like.
The Matchmaker’s Playbook… what to say. First, I really liked that the story was told from the male POV. I haven’t braved writing too much from the male perspective, so I like reading anything from the male POV. And Ian Hunter’s mind is a virtual playground. He’s smug, cocky, confident, funny, and sexy as hell. I loved reading from his point of view.
“Just”—she didn’t look again, but pointed at the door—“go.”
“Your loss.” I [Ian] laughed. “Could have rocked your world.”
“My world doesn’t need rocking.” [Blake said]
I paused midway through the door and turned back, moving in close, making sure my breath would blow across her neck as I whispered, “Now that’s where you’re wrong, Blake. Every girl needs to allow her world to be rocked, at least once. Or if said rocking is coming from me? Twice.”
See? Cocky. But somehow it comes off as confidence and just… sex. He’s a little bit of a jerk. But, somehow, Van Dyken makes him likable.
So, the jist of the story is this: Ian and his friend Lex have developed a set of rules—a playbook. And for a fee they’ll walk women through the rules, pretending to be their boyfriends, to attract the attention of the man the woman is interested in. It a little sexist. Okay, a lot. But Ian really believes he’s doing a great service to the women he mentors. So it’s easy to overlook his all-around sexist—cocky—jerkiness.
As per Van Dyken style, there are a lot of laughs and giggles in the story. Like this scene when a woman Ian is currently helping breaks the rules and calls him… excited and screaming and generally annoying the hell out of him.
“Shell, remember what I said about phone calls.” She needed to calm the hell down. Unless his penis was made of gold and he could single-handedly take down every Avenger, the screaming wasn’t necessary. Not one bit. Again, the man liked tea. Enough said.
Well, Ian the matchmaker meets his match in Blake. She turns his world upside down and suddenly the rules don’t apply any longer and his motto of no attachments is forgotten and he falls for a…
…sexually repressed tomboy who wore sweats because they were comfortable.
But… she’s a client and off limits.
As usual, Van Dyken has created big, bold characters, with layers and flaws. Characters that readers can relate to and root for. Who they want to be friends with… or their next book boyfriend.
I liked the storyline. Versions of the same plot have been done before, but Van Dyken added her flair to The Matchmaker’s Playbook and made it her own.
Bottom line: If you like rom-coms and matchmaking themes, you’ll likely fall for The Matchmaker’s Playbook. It’s funny and entertaining, but a surprisingly deep story with nuanced characters that will stay with you after you read the last page and a romance that builds slowly, rolling nicely into the HEA we all crave. Totally recommend.