The Perfect Match
Harlequin HQN / October 29, 2013 / $4.79 print, $6.15 digital
What if the perfect match is a perfect surprise?
Honor Holland has just been unceremoniously rejected by her lifelong crush. And now—a mere three weeks later—Mr. Perfect is engaged to her best friend. But resilient, reliable Honor is going to pick herself up, dust herself off and get back out there…or she would if dating in Manningsport, New York, population 715, wasn't easier said than done.
Charming, handsome British professor Tom Barlow just wants to do right by his unofficial stepson, Charlie, but his visa is about to expire. Now Tom must either get a green card or leave the States—and leave Charlie behind.
In a moment of impulsiveness, Honor agrees to help Tom with a marriage of convenience—and make her ex jealous in the process. But juggling a fiancé, hiding out from her former best friend and managing her job at the family vineyard isn't easy. And as sparks start to fly between Honor and Tom, they might discover that their pretend relationship is far too perfect to be anything but true love….
Kristan Higgins's The Perfect Match takes us back to Manningsport, New York, where we met Faith and Levi in The Best Man. In this book, our heroine is Faith's older sister, Honor, thirty-five and single, who has just been to the doctor and told that her eggs are starting to decline and is soon thereafter dumped by the man she thought she loved.
Her hero is a yummy engineering professor from England who needs a green card to stay in the U.S.in order to look after his unofficial step-son. Is this a marriage of convenience story? I'm not telling.
What I'd like to talk about is Honor's eggs. Yes. Her eggs. We meet them during her doctor's appointment early in the book and they stay with us throughout the story, acting as both pep squad and Greek chorus.
We first hear from them as Honor prepares to approach her ideal man with a proposal.
We want company! she imagined her tiny, aging eggs demanding. In her mind, they were starting to thicken around the middle, wore reading glasses and were developing an affinity for pinochle. Don't age, she warned them, Mommy's got company coming.
Unfortunately for Honor and her eggs, that doesn't work out. In the aftermath, Honor starts dating, encouraged by her eggs.
“So he's a math teacher and distantly related to an old friend of yours, and that's all you've got on him?”
“So you'll meet him?”
What have you got to lose? The eggs asked, looking up from their quilting. Didn't you hear what she said about menopause?
When Honor meets Tom Barlow, the eggs approve.
He knelt down next to her, and she caught a whiff of his soap. He hadn't shaved recently, and his jaw was bristly with stubble. Or maybe it wasn't bristly. Maybe it was soft. Those lips would be soft. That was for sure. Give us five minutes and we can be ready, the eggs said.
After Honor and Tom finally kiss, the eggs get pushy.
Do something about it, the eggs said. They were now sporting bifocals and quite irritable. Can you please get a move on here? We're going to bed when Dancing with the Stars is over.
The eggs remain pushy as Honor's attraction to Tom grows.
Honor felt her cheeks fire up and couldn't stop herself from looking at her refection in the computer monitor. There was just something about that accent that hit right in the ovaries. Preach it, sister, the eggs agreed. How about getting us a little action here?
The black moment arrives and Honor and Tom split. As Honor considers what has happened and remembers the good times, the eggs, of course have something to say.
Tom had kissed her hand and smiled at her, there'd been something in his gray eyes she hadn't seen yet. Peace.
And maybe a little love, as well.
I believe that's called wishful thinking, said the eggs, their eyes glued to Anthony Perkins as he peered through the knothole. Is there any popcorn?
Honor's aging eggs provide a wonderful narrative subtext to a romance that surprises both parties and everyone else in Manningsport.
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Myretta is the co-founder and current manager of The Republic of Pemberley, a pretty big Jane Austen web site. She is also a writer of Historical Romance. You can find her at her website,www.myrettarobens.com and on Twitter @Myretta.