The Perfect Match
Published: October 29, 2013
On Honor Holland's 35th birthday, she arrives at the unwelcome realization that time is running out if she wants to start a family. The problem is that she isn't exactly in a relationship at the moment. She is in love with her best friend and while they are "friends with benefits" it doesn't seem that Brogan doesn't see her as anything but his best friend. When she finally plucks up the courage and brings up the topic of marriage, he rejects it and compares her to an old baseball glove, comfortable and familiar but not much else. To make matters worse, shortly after this, she finds out that he has just gotten engaged--to her best friend Dana and she and Honor get into a very public fight.
Tom Barlow is also running out of time. He needs a green card and his university can't afford to pay for it and his only hope may be an arranged marriage. He wants to remain in the States to be near his troubled unofficial stepson. Honor's grandmother finds out about this (Tom's great aunt is her friend) and persuades Honor to meet him. Unfortunately Tom makes a less than stellar impression and he was a witness to her bar fight.
I really felt bad for Honor. She hasn't really had a real relationship and she is in love with a guy who is using her. She also lost her mom at a young age and while her family is great she still feels lonely. I found her easy to relate to although I had to wonder at both of her toxic relationships with Brogan and with Dana who deserves an award for World's Worst Best Friend. Tom is also a character deserving of sympathy. He was previously engaged and his fiancee died, leaving behind a son, Charlie. Since Charlie's dad isn't part of his life and his grandparents are barely tolerant of him, Tom does his best to fill the void though Charlie has become incredibly sullen.
This is an interesting contemporary take on the "marriage of convenience" romance trope. In this case, if they go through with it, it would be an illegal arranged marriage with the hope that they could make a go of a real marriage. The romance has time to develop though because first they have to convince her family (and the government) that their love is real.
I enjoyed the growing relationship between Honor and Tom though I occasionally wanted to smack them for not realizing or admitting their true feelings. There were funny parts too though I did get tired of Honor having inner conversations with her "eggs". Honor's family seems to be a fun and quirky bunch and I liked getting to know them too. Honor really cared about them and it was mutual which was nice to see, especially her close relationship with her sisters.
Overall, I think this is a good pick for fans of lighthearted contemporary romance. I wasn't sure if I would like it but I'm really glad I gave it a chance. It offered romance, humor, and good character development. This is the second book in the series but I didn't feel lost though I do plan to go back and read her sister Faith's story in The Best Man.
Note: I received an ARC for review courtesy of Netgalley and the publisher