Weekend Reads #79 – Power of the Matchmaker (August & September Installments)

Posted October 1, 2016 by Lillian in Reviews / 0 Comments

Weekend Reads

I don’t know about y’all but this week killed me! It was so unusually busy and it did not help that for the first half I was sick. I still have no voice! But it did give me an excuse to read some light and fluffy romance. The Power of the Matchmaker has become one of those series that I look forward to reading each month. There are 12 books, 12 authors, and a new release each month for the year 2016. August’s and September’s installments may be my favorite for the year though which is why I wanted to share them with you together. If you enjoy clean, contemporary romance, I highly recommend the series!

I received this book via I Am a Reader. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

Weekend Reads #79 – Power of the Matchmaker (August & September Installments)Between Heaven and Earth by Michele Paige Holmes
Series: Power of the Matchmaker #8
Published by Mirror Press on 2016-08-01
Length: 335 pages
Reviewing eARC from I Am a Reader
Reading Challenges: 2016 New Release Challenge

Cassandra Webb’s every waking minute is devoted to being a great mother and wife. She takes five-year-old Noah to the library each week, volunteers in his kindergarten class, and even coaches his soccer team. She makes sure her husband’s uniforms are always laundered—even though he hasn’t worn them the last six years—always has his game day snacks on hand, and meets him for date night every Friday—which consists of one sided conversations at his bedside and watching his favorite take out remain untouched.

Pearl, a mysterious visitor at the care center, suggests that it is only Cassie’s love still tying Devon to Earth when he has been ready to move onto Heaven for quite some time. If Cassie will but open her eyes and heart, she will discover the path she should travel, one that will bring relief to Devon and much joy to her own life. But Cassie vowed never to give up on him. She never has and she can’t now, even after meeting hapless, single soccer-dad Matt.

Between Heaven and Earth by Michele Paige Holmes is a sweet, slow romance that takes place over the course of a year. Cassandra Webb’s life is on hold and has been for six years since her husband entered a Persistent Vegetative State after an injury on the job. Cassie lives a life of routine, staying in the one bedroom apartment she shared with her husband, working in a dead end job, and keeping his memory alive for their son. Matt is the new guy in town, a single dad to two boys after his wife died 8 months earlier, and is struggling to keep his family together.

This isn’t your typical romance book. Cassie has someone she loves, she’s married, but also alone, living the life of a single parent. She holds onto hope that her husband will make a miraculous recovery. It’s almost delusional the hope she holds, but if I was in her place I would feel the same. She’s weary and she fights and I hurt for her in the book. Matt is no different. He’s lonely, a single parent, and in desperate need of a companion. His struggles with his sons are real, I can only imagine what it would be like to have two small kids and try to explain why mom is never coming home…so heartbreaking!

The circumstances that bring Matt and Cassie together are unconventional, but heartwarming. I felt for them both as they fight their growing feelings and as Cassie realizes that despite the love she feels for Matt she cannot act on it with her husband still alive. She feels guilty and more alone than ever. It’s a difficult, gray area when discussing martial fidelity. Cassie makes the decision that we all know she will and my heart hurt for her. Letting go and moving on are the themes and it is so hard for the two characters. I loved getting the dual POV to see from both Matt’s and Cassie’s perspectives. And of course Miss Pearl plays an integral role 😀

Overall I really enjoyed this book. Cassie and Matt pulled at my heart strings and I read their story in one night. This is definitely one to read with a box of tissues on hand. If you enjoy clean, contemporary, second-chance romances, I highly recommend you pick up a copy.

About Michele Paige Holmes

Michele Paige Holmes spent her childhood and youth in Arizona and northern California, often curled up with a good book instead of out enjoying the sunshine. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Elementary Education, and found it an excellent major in which to indulge her love of children's literature.

Her first novel, COUNTING STARS (Covenant Communications 2007), won the 2007 Whitney Award for best romance. The sequel, a romantic suspense titled, ALL THE STARS IN HEAVEN (Covenant 2009), was a Whitney finalist, as was her first historical romance, CAPTIVE HEART (Covenant 2011). MY LUCKY STARS (Covenant 2012) completed the Stars series.

In October 2014 Michele launched the Hearthfire historical romance line with the publication of SAVING GRACE (Mirror Press 2014). The companion novel, LOVING HELEN (Mirror Press 2015) was released in February 2015. A third book about this same family, MARRYING CHRISTOPHER, will be published in summer 2015, with another historical to follow later this year.

Michele has been a member of the same critique group for over fifteen years and feels that joining a critique group is the single best thing an author can to do help improve his or her writing. She has been a member of RWA and URWA, LDStorymakers, and The League of Utah Writers. Michele enjoys both attending and teaching at conferences.

When not reading or writing romance, Michele is busy with her full time job as a wife and mother. She and her husband live in Utah with their five high maintenance children and a Shitzu that resembles a teddy bear, in a house with a wonderful view of the mountains. You can find Michele on the web at michelepaigeholmes.com and on Facebook and twitter.

I received this book via I Am a Reader. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

Weekend Reads #79 – Power of the Matchmaker (August & September Installments)King of the Friend Zone by Sheralyn Pratt
Series: Power of the Matchmaker #9
Published by Wicked Sassy on 2016-09-01
Length: 351 pages
Reviewing eARC from I Am a Reader
Reading Challenges: 2016 New Release Challenge

Esme Taylor has an amazing fiancé, a lifelong best friend, and a problem. The problem stems from the fact that her best friend is named Hunter and, well. . .he’s kind of (totally) hot. It’s hate at first sight when her fiancé, Jon, and Hunter meet. Jon’s convinced that Hunter is in love with Esme, and that Hunter must be out of the picture if their upcoming marriage is to succeed.

Esme thinks Jon is paranoid.

The truth is, Jon’s not that far off. Hunter is in love with his best friend and always has been. What Jon has wrong, however, is that Hunter never had any plans of ruining Esme’s happily ever after. Hunter wants what’s best for Esme, even if that’s not him.

When Jon pushes hard to end Esme and Hunter’s friendship, opposition comes from the most unlikely of places. It’s an eccentric lady with a cookie cart who suggests a different solution to Esme’s problem: Hunter and Esme should give each other a chance.

They’ve both thought of the possibility over the years—of course they have. But with a ring already on Esme’s finger and a heap of hurt feelings and broken trust in the mix, there hasn’t been a worse time to explore the depths of their feelings for each other.

Both Esme and Hunter think it’s time to move on and leave childhood crushes in the past. The question is: Can one woman and the taste of one cookie change their minds?

I love stories about best friends and King of the Friend Zone is no exception. The story begins with Esme’s engagement to her boyfriend whom she hasn’t been dating all that long. When she introduces Jon to her best friend, insane jealousy ensues. Jon demands an end to their friendship if she’s going to marry him. Hunter, despite loving Esme as more than a friend should, has no plans to ruin Esme’s happiness. No instead it’s Miss Pearl at it again, this time disguised as a baker.

Esme and Hunter are a fun couple, even though they are technically not a couple. They’re best friends, known each other their entire lives, and now they have to decide if their friendship is worth the risk of a different kind of relationship. Hunter is amazing. He’s sweet, patient, not-pushy, and he brings out a side of Esme that her fiancé does not. At the risk of sounding corny, he completes her.

But that isn’t what makes the story. It’s the angst (I know coming from me that’s a shock). The two characters are torn. Do they make a go of their feelings for one another or do they keep the “status quo?” It’s a hard decision and one I do not envy! How do you risk losing the person you love if their feelings aren’t the same? If someone else makes her happy, how do you tell her how you really feel? Shouldn’t you just bow out? That is the premise of this book and I adored it.

I’ve only read one book by Ms. Pratt and loved it so it was no surprise that I loved this one as well. If you enjoy good, clean romance and best friend stories, I highly recommend you grab a copy!


About Sheralyn Pratt

Sheralyn likes to keep things light and fun, but she's also aware that life is a journey and if you're going to go through the effort of buying and reading a book, your life should better for it. So whether one of her books is designed to help you escape for a few hours or teach you a new skill, she hopes it's unforgettable...in a good way. 😉

Some random things to know about Sheralyn:
* She's a wanderer (geographically)
* She can write a novel, but doesn't have the attention span for one page in a journal
* She vehemently disagrees with Stephen King's stance that authors should not watch TV
* She is pretty much incapable of sleeping before midnight

That about covers it. Hope you enjoy the books!

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