Title: The Marriage Match
Series: Suddenly Smitten #3
Author: Tracy March
Published: January 19th 2015 by Entangled: Bliss
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 4 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Hot bachelor seeks bride…
Resort tycoon Trent Hawthorne is looking for a wife. His all-business, no-nonsense grandmother (and the matriarch of the small town of Maple Creek) has selected three potential brides―all beautiful and approved. Each “fantasy date” will take place in a lush Caribbean setting, filmed like a reality show to promote the Hawthorne family’s chain of resorts. All of Trent's hopes for love combined with a clever marketing gimmick…what could possibly go wrong?
As it turns out, all it takes is a kiss. A sizzling, sweet-as-sin kiss. But Cynthia Sawyer isn't one of the bachelorettes, and she's definitely not supposed to be making out with her boss's sexy grandson. Not to mention it's strictly against company policy. But Cynthia has her own reasons for hooking Trent up with a bride who isn’t her as soon as possible. And losing her heart is a price that she's willing to pay…
The Queen said, "I want you to be in charge of all the details - greeting our guests, introducing them to Trent, planning dates and travel when it comes time for that. You'll need to get with Trent to make sure he has a say in how things go." ...
"With all due respect, that seems way beyond the boundaries of my job description."...
"Here's my proposal," the Queen said, looking pleased with her play on words. "I'll give you a twenty-five-thousand dollar bonus if Trent gets engaged before summer."
THE MARRIAGE MATCH by Tracy March is a lovely, sweet contemporary Entangled Bliss romance. Once I started reading it, I couldn't go to sleep until I'd finished it, so you know it was good! It can be fully enjoyed as a standalone novel even though it's the third installment in Tracy's Suddenly Smitten series with interconnected characters. I have not read the previous books in this series, but hope to soon as I really enjoyed this tale! This book is the story of Cynthia "Cyn" Sawyer, employed at Hawthorne Resorts, and Trent Hawthorne, the smoking-hot, superrich CEO of the same company.
As the story opens, Cynthia is tasked with finding a wife for Trent, her boss' grandson. Cynthia is employed as the personal assistant to Mrs. Fairleigh Hawthorne, aka "The Queen." "The Queen" is the matriarch of the small town of Maple Creek and a founder of Hawthorne Resorts, the family's hotel chain. She badly wants a her grandson to find a bride and give her a great-grandson while she's still alive.
If Cynthia succeeds in matching Trent with a bride, she will be awarded a bonus of twenty-five-thousand dollars, enough to save her parents' home currently in foreclosure. "The Queen" has picked three "bachelorettes" that Cynthia will present to Trent as dates at three of the company's island resorts by way of a "Bachelor" style contest. Each "fantasy date" will take place in a lush Caribbean setting and filmed like a reality show to be used to promote the company's resorts in a marketing campaign.
Cynthia and Trent become fast friends during this process. They had an immediate attraction but both knew it was in their best interests to ignore the chemistry between them - except in a brief, albeit forbidden, moment, they shared just one sizzling kiss that may make being oblivious to their pull impossible. Cynthia really needs the money for her parents and she doesn't qualify as a proper mate for Trent in "The Queen's eyes, so she's off the table so to speak... isn't she?
I loved both Cynthia and Trent. Cynthia was a bit of a wild child in her youth, but she's settled down now and is seriously trying to make things right with her family. She's smart, efficient, levelheaded and unpretentious. I enjoyed her interactions at Sweet Bee's Bakery, where she also works part-time. While she badly needs the bonus, she not willing to sacrifice Trent's happiness for it.
Trent, our hero, stole my heart with his first interview:
Have I ever been in love? “Not like I’m going to be. I mean, I’m really open to it. Really hoping…”
A spring breeze stirred the leaves in the wax myrtle hedge behind him, cooling the flush that had broken out on his skin.
“Hoping for what, exactly?” Jamie asked.
Trent raced to gather his thoughts during a long silence.
“For someone who captivates me with every little thing about her. Someone who makes me want to be better than I am— perfect for her. For a love that will spark hot and keep burning, the embers always ready to flare.”
He loves and respects his grandmother - she had basically raised him and he goes along with her plan because it might just work! He is Maple Creek's confident and competent golden boy. He's a buff six foot two, tanned, with short blonde hair and broad shoulders. He was described as having "fogged up more than a few camera lenses with his pouty lips and sultry hazel-eyed stare." Hubba-Hubba.
I had so many favorite scenes in this book! But... one of my favorites was a seriously sexy scene that included a cliff dive that had me holding my breath. Oh my!
Following please find a few more of my favorite quotes illustrating the humor and romance to be found within this read:
"You better not bother the Chickcharnies while you're out here. Best to stay on their good side." The moonlight cast shadows on his face, but it was easy to see his teasing grin.
She raised her eyebrows. "The Chickcharnies?"
He pointed up into the palms and distant pines. "They're kind of like birds. They live up in the treetops --only on Andros Island and nowhere else in the world."
Cyn scanned the darkness among the high branches. "What do you mean 'kind of like birds'?"
He shrugged one shoulder. "Like owls. But they have three fingers, three toes, and they hang from the trees by their tails. You can spot their red eyes when they catch the light."
Cyn clenched her teeth and squinted up into the trees, scanning for a pair of red eyes aimed her way. "They sound a little creepy."
"If you see one, and you show it respect," Trent said, "you'll have good luck for the rest of your life."
Cyn could use some good luck, for sure. She concentrated harder on finding those red eyes. None in sight, she furrowed her brow and set her gaze on Trent. "What do they do if you bother them?"
His grin widened into that stop-your-heart smile that Cyn was finding harder to resist. "They turn your head around backward."
"It's probably really painful," Trent said.
Cyn swatted his arm, coming up against tight muscle. "You made that up."
"Not really. It's island lore. People think the Chickcharnies descended from a big flightless owl they've found in fossils."
"Have you ever seen one?" she asked skeptically.
"Not yet. But you never know if one's around. I'd like to keep my head on straight, so I don't tease about them."....
Suddenly a huge screeching bird swooped down out of the trees, flew several feet over their heads, and veered up into a nearby copse of palms.
Cyn yelped and ducked low. Trent pulled her close, tucking her against his chest. "Holy crap!" she said, "That was one pissed-off Chickcharnie. Hold on to your head."
When they reached the peak, he faced her, gathered her to him, and gazed into her amazing blue eyes. "You look beautiful," he said huskily, surprising himself with his tone. He swept his fingers along the top of her shoulder and cupped his hand on her neck, caressing her velvety earlobe with the pad of his thumb. "You put this awesome sunset to shame."
"That a huge rush," Cyn said to him as she climbed out of the lagoon and wrung the water from her hair.
"Not nearly as much as the one I'm getting looking at you in that bikini."
The author's writing is first rate. THE MARRIAGE MATCH is a predictable, but highly entertaining, read that will leave the reader with a huge warm-fuzzies smile. The exotic locales aspect was great as I felt like I was experiencing the islands' sultry breezes and the ocean's waves with the characters. If you're yearning for a bit of sunshine with beautiful sandy beaches and gorgeous island sunsets, settle yourself in your most comfortable reading chair, and dive in! For fans of The Bachelor TV series, THE MARRIAGE MATCH is a must-read! Regardless, I'd highly recommend THE MARRIAGE MATCH to anyone who enjoys fun contemporary romances!