Sunday, July 14, 2013

Review: Her Perfect Match by Jess Michaels


Click here to buy the book on Amazon

After a glorious 10-year career as London's premier mistress and mistress matchmaker, Vivien Manning has finally met her match. In truth, Vivien met him three years before -- in an arrangement that evolved into something that Vivien was unprepared for and so she let him go. Having seen two of her closest friends successfully matched and settled with their husbands, Vivien is beginning to consider settling her own affairs and finally retiring, but, first, she must attend to some "Loose Ends" -- one of which is Benedict Greystone, the man who came close to stealing her heart three years ago.

As a gentleman and the brother of an Earl, Benedict knows it his duty to marry well and elevate his family's position and fortune. He has accepted that, this Season, he will open himself up to introductions and matches made by his mother, brother and sister-in-law, but Benedict knows that any marriage that will result from said matchmaking will never be a love match, because he had surrendered his heart three years ago to Vivien, a woman entirely unsuitable for Benedict according to society's standards but is his perfect match as his heart dictates.

It surprises Benedict that, after three years of separation, Vivien approaches him at a party with an invitation: be with her and not just for one night. Vivien had steeled herself for this second onslaught and meant to distance her heart from the matter -- seeing Benedict as nothing but a loose end -- but, at the first touch, the first kiss, Vivien realizes (too late) that Benedict has always been always been and will always be something more to her.

When your primary occupation is matching mistresses and protectors, the most obvious question would be: is there a match for the mistress matchmaker?

The answer stunned Vivien Manning when she found herself in love with Benedict Greystone when he was her protector three years ago and Benedict felt the same way. But Vivien wasn't ready to have a happily-ever-after at that point: she had too many unresolved personal issues. They parted ways, hoping that time and distance would help them forget each other and the foolishness of their feelings -- but their separation only confirmed that there would never be anyone else for them but each other.

Jess Michaels delves into the tribulations that Benedict and Vivien encounter as they try to discover if a love between them is possible. The story focuses more on Vivien's transformation since Benedict has always known what he felt and I loved that he always defended Vivien to his brother and mother.

"But you do not see that her character is not the same as her reputation," he explained, wishing he could make someone in his life see what a vibrant and wonderful being Vivien was. "She has walked a path very different from your own, yes, and I must tell you that it has not always been by choice. But she has a heart. She has dreams. She has everything inside her that any woman hopes for."
- loc 1616 to 1627

Vivien needed to sort through her past and her current occupation to figure out a future for herself (and whether there is a place for Benedict in that future). It is an emotional journey for her -- and I loved that Benedict was a "fixed point" (term I got from watching Pacific Rim ^_^) as she went through her list of loose ends --

I love how their story moves on two levels: the mental/intellectual and the emotional/physical. Benedict and Vivien have lots of conversations in the novel, where masks are removed, layers are peeled back and souls are bared to each other:

"...You don't exist in these chambers, in the bedroom where you take your lovers."

"Of course I do," she protested, throwing up her hands and walking away. It was a dramatic gesture, but one meant to keep him from seeing her face.

"No, you do not," he insisted, maneuvering so that she had to look at him again. "I know you like books, that you like the kind of art you see in the British Museum. None of those pursuits are found here. These chambers only contain images and hints that are part of the mask you wear."
- loc 1233

But they create a deeper connection and intimacy through their physical encounters. This is the point where I will say that I think Jess Michaels writes excellent love scenes. Her love scenes flow gracefully and have a refined elegance to them (yes, even the first scene of this book, which is a menage).

This is the final installment in Jess Michaels' Mistress Matchmaker series and the series has come full circle: it began with Lysandra's introduction to pleasure (by Vivien) and now ends with Vivien's discovery of her own pleasure. Reading through the series has been a truly enjoyable experience.

The Mistress Matchmaker Series:
Book 1: An Introduction to Pleasure
Book 2: For Desire Alone
Book 3: Her Perfect Match

To find out more about Jess Michaels and her books, click below:
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11 comments:

  1. Hi, Tin!

    This is most certainly a different type of plot from that which a reader usually finds in a romance novel. Your review of “The Perfect Match” has really peaked my interest in reading it. Thanks so much for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi, Connie!

    Thank you for your comment!

    I'm currently reading an ARC of Sophie Jordan's novel, How to Lose a Bride in One NIght. Would love to know what you're reading now. ^_^

    Have a great day!

    ReplyDelete

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