Monday, March 12, 2007

The Matchmaker by Jamie Denton

Fucking fabulous. Yep, another one of those reads.


The dead always have a story to tell. All he has to do is wait for the truth to be revealed to him. The living trust him with their grief - and their dirty little secrets. Only then is he able to ensure that the dead are given the happy ending they'd been deprived of in life. Only then can he set about playing matchmaker, uniting the dead with their true soul mates ... for all eternity ...


Exhuming a body over a contested will is the last thing former FBI profiler Greer Lomax wants to do. Just the thought of it brings on the panic attacks she's fought for two years. Now, as deputy sheriff, Greer Lomax is going to have to face her darkest fears. Becaue the body she's exhumed isn't alone. He's joined by a young woman whose name is on a missing person's list.


The one person Greer can call for help is FBI agent Ash Keller. Ash hasn't forgotten the hot blonde with the too-sexy smile - the one who spend many sizzling nights in his bed - and he hasn't forgiven her for leaving him behind when she quit the Bureau. But he's not about to let her go solo on this one, not after last time. Working the case sparks the fiery attraction they've tried to deny for too long and unleashes a passion they can't control - one that could blind them to the most dangerous mistakes of the past ...

The romance in this book is highly emotional and completely unexpected. I did expect romance yes, but not in the form of….can’t say it without spoiling it. The blurb isn’t really off. But Denton’s twist on this romance was a kicker. It heightened everything for me. Her emotionally debilitating trauma and his guilt combine for a pretty tenuous shot at happiness together. It was difficult to read at times. Their struggle provided the focal point for this story, and it was played out against a backdrop that artfully mirrored their pain AND supplied the book’s element of suspense. Romantic suspense with the emphasis on romance.

Or not. The suspense was all that and more as well. It triggers more of the anxiety attacks Greer still suffers, delaying any hope or allusion of recovery. It also brings Ash back into her life. From there, it serves as the challenge they both need to come together. Denton tangles all of this together so beautifully, delivering pivotal moments in brief snatches. Leaving the reader at loose ends until, at unexpected intervals, the pieces come together. Not a breeze of a read, but worth the added concentration.

A bit more about the emotion in this book. Greer, the heroine, suffered severe trauma two years ago. And she deals with it by simply refusing to deal. She runs at every opportunity and refuses to allow even the simplest of emotions anywhere near the surface. She has essentially stopped living. Ash, the hero, suffers unspeakable guilt for his role in causing that trauma. Denton lays it all out without softening either character’s feelings. As a result, the reader feels the same sense of hopelessness, the same deep-rooted belief that this problem is insurmountable.

It prompted me to think about other romances featuring a damaged heroine—a popular theme. In those that work, there is usually an alpha hero strong enough to carry them both to their HEA. Here, Denton’s hero is alpha. Strong, intelligent. Deeply in love with Greer. But despite all of his strengths, neither he nor the reader is certain that she will ever be able to live with him again. The face of the problem is too absolute, too ugly. And not altogether fixable. Like I said, hard to watch, difficult to read.

I did have one complaint. Although Denton did not attempt to cure Greer, for which I was thankful, she did lose me a bit on the last stretch. We saw Greer coming to a critical realization over the course of a few scenes. But I failed to see the final acceptance of that realization. It was just suddenly there and then the book was over. Given the nature of her fear, I admit that it could not have been as easy as “ok, I’m going to do it”…but still, I would have liked a better view of her thought process there.

Overall, a wonderful, rewarding read. I wish I could thank the person who recommended it personally. It was a blogger; I just can’t recall which one. This title has been on my TBR list for a long time.


  1. Wow. This sounds really..interesting. I'm bumping it up to the top of my wish list. I need a darker, emotional read right now.

    Fab review!

  2. Awesome! Another great read to look forward to. Don't have it in my library so I'll have to look around. My book budget is nil right now, saving up for Ohio in June.

  3. I do enjoy Jamie Denton. I'll have to wait my turn *g*

    Great review, as always!

  4. Wow, That sounds Awesome. One more for the never ending pile that is my TBR.

  5. this book sounds great! Just too bad it's a trade paperback... going to have to wait a little bit before getting it :(

  6. Hi Ladies! I had a hard time getting my hands on this one as well. Had to order through my library's melcat system. I think it was on my TBR list for nearly a year. LOL

    It is good though. I'm so glad I kept it on my list. Still can't remember who reviewed it first. I'll have to start noting that on my list so I can send proper thanks.


Have you read it? What do you think?

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