by Jeanne Savery

October 2004
ISBN: 0-8217-7653-3
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

I very much wanted to like The Christmas Matchmaker. I expected to enjoy it, as it is Vincent Beverlyís book. A hero previously introduced in the charming The Family Matchmaker. It wasnít to be. Vincentís story is not a well-written one.

Penelope Garth, a widow of two years and mother of a young boy, is cast out by her father and left alone in a harsh winter storm. Itís Vincent that comes to her rescue, taking her to his cousinís. Georgianna doesnít mind too much and sets out to plot a happily ever after for her unexpected guests. Unfortunately her choice of a possible husband falls on Penelopeís previously jilted fiancť.

Vincent of course is none too happy, that another should gain the widowís favors. Heís very much taken with the little boy and his lovely mother. He goes so far to prepare to settle down, to provide a home and to take on responsibilities to see his wished for family well provided for. Penelope first surprised by Vincentís attentions soon canít help falling in love with this tender man.

Itís a house party at Christmas time. So family and friends are invited, allowing the author to revisit with loved characters. However, she spends so much time with her secondary characters that the reader has never a real chance at getting to know the hero and heroine.

Then there is all the unnecessary information forced upon the readers. There are pages filled with the secondary characterís household chores. There is a lot of telling and just not enough showing. Similes used are way too clichť and the villainsí (the jilted fiancť and the evil father) antics are bordering on the insane and hysterical.

I didnít feel any passion for the story or its characters. The writing doesnít come across as a labor of love, more like a necessary and unwanted chore. It was very hard to finish the story; itís slow reading with not much of interest to be found. Iím not sure what to expect of Jeanne Saveryís upcoming release. Iím wary. However, it can only be an improvement to The Christmas Matchmaker.

Reviewed in April 2005 by Kris Alice.

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