THE MATCHMAKER'S MISTAKE by Jane Sullivan
Harlequin Duets #48, March 2001
Mark McAlister is a classic nerd and he knows it. First of all, he's an accountant. Second, he was the poor kid from a poor town. Third, he keeps getting beat to the customers by his know-nothing rival in the accounting firm--just because the creep has an ex-sorority wife who manages to smooth over everything. The only solution, Mark decides, is a perfect woman.
Bartender Liz Prescott sees the potential--Mark does have a body to die for although he hides it beneath cheap suits and a hang-dog attitude. Liz takes Mark on as a project--with the target being blonde ice-princess Gwen Adams. After a couple of disastrous failures, Liz comes up with the idea of a complete makeover. New haircut, new clothes, and new contact lenses. The only problem is, once she's fixed him, Liz wants Mark for herself.
Mark can't deny the attraction. Liz is fun, smart, and has a body with all the right curves. Unfortunately, he's an accountant trying to make partner. For that, he needs a woman the firm's partners will see as enhancing his image. Gwen works, Liz doesn't. While transforming Mark wasn't hard because his changes were superficial, Liz would need to be changed from the inside. Mark doesn't think that will work--and for better or worse, he's right. What to do?
Jane Sullivan (see all BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by this author. See also novels Sullivan has written as Jane Graves) has crafted another small jewel. Sold in the Duets format (two short contemporary romatic comedies in a single bound novel, the companion novel being BETWEEN THE COVERS by Cathie Linz), THE MATCHMAKER'S MISTAKE is a modern story of love between two people who couldn't be more right for each other--if only they didn't need to be someone else. Sullivan's smooth writing style engages the reader early on (i.e., once Mark and Liz meet) and keeps the pages turning. Liz, in particular, is a fully realized character with a family, friends, and quirky personality that make her endearing and memorable.
THE MATCHMAKER'S MISTAKE is Sullivan's second novel in the Duets imprint (see our review of STRAY HEARTS) and shows increasing maturity and confidence in her writing.
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