Rating: 3.75 stars
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I have a friend who has an uncanny ability to read people. When he enters the room, he can assess the emotional barometer and zero in on people who are stressed, sad, or just plain having a terrible day. I often stand in awe of my friend as I almost always bumble about never really keying in on anything. So imagine my delight when I was given Mister Romance by L.C. Chase and realized its main charactrers were a matchmaking version of my best friend.
Jacob Cruz is known as Mr. Matchmaker in a world where people often find that what they want is not always right for them–or so he believes. He takes on very few clients, preferring to get each match just right. A past near tragic matching continues to haunt Jacob and pushes him to be ever so careful when vetting clients and setting them up together. He himself is in a committed relationship, and the man he is involved with may seem like the right match on paper, but Jacob’s heart is another matter.
So it follows on New Year’s Eve as Jacob’s best friend boldly states that she has found the perfect match for Jacob, he turns to see not only a breathlessly handsome man, but his competitor in business as well, Mr. Romance–Brant Hudson
Sparks fly! However, Brant too has just entered a new relationship, so even though these two men are irresistibly drawn to one another, Jacobs’ mantra that not all we want is right for us prevails. So we watch as the two men begin a dance that ultimately will include big sacrifices and more than one personal revelation.
Mister Romance began so well. I was captured by these two characters; they were so well written and each was a successful man whose lives, while not perfect, were certainly not bad by any means. Yes, Jacob’s boyfriend was a bit of a sleaze but even that was a minor problem. You just felt these two, Jacob and Brant, were absolutely meant for each other and destined to be partners for sure. Then, as any great romance novel worth its salt does, there has to be conflict, unsatisfied yearning, truly heroic loyalties…and Chase’s story was no exception.
The problem was that here is where for me, the story became abrupt and disjointed. We began to skip years and huge gaps were left in the story line. All of a sudden, both men were available and nothing had changed in regards to their affections for each other. Then it was as if the author could not let the story have such an abrupt ending so other smaller disasters were thrown at the page until I just found myself shaking my head at the slight mess this novel had become. A swift and sweet epilogue and that was it–the end.
Wait. I wanted more. What happened in those intervening years? Surely Jacob finally confronted his cheating and flirtations boyfriend–I mean it was alluded to over and over again in the beginning. Why didn’t we get to see that? What happened that Brant was not snapped up after 5 years? He was stunningly gorgeous and a prime bachelor? So many holes in this novella–but such a good, good premise for a story.
I have to admit to you, I felt cheated. There just should have been more to this–fewer gaps, more of these delightful characters. This really began as a five star read for me but unfortunately tumbled down the more I read. I do believe this is a fine romance novella and so I want to say the I am looking forward to reading more in this series. However, this particular installment rates only 3.75 stars for me.