Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Turnabout's Fair Play by Kaye Dacus

This is the last in the Matchmaker’s series by Kaye Dacus. The first two novels focused on friends Zarah and Caylor: single, professional and intelligent women  in their 30s who navigate the Christian Singles Scene and dating world while hoping to bump into true love.  The third, features plucky editor Flannery McNeill: who wants nothing to do with handsome charming men and, to put it bluntly, is waiting for the perfect dork. 

As is the over-arching premise in the series, a set of feisty grandparents intends to pair up their grandchildren in order to ensure that they are marrying amongst each other and into comfortable stock.  Sports marketer Jamie O’Conner and Flannery are the latest to be eyed by the wily elder generation as the perfect match.  But, when Flannery and Jamie notice a spark between their grandparents, the matchmaking tables are turned.

Dacus knows the editing and publishing world very well as is quite evident in the novel. As this is the world I work in I was immediately familiar with the space and meetings and obligations of Flannery’s everyday life.  Dacus also, as often mentioned, has a wonderful grasp on the experience of single women in their 30s in faith-based communities. Not just average women; but thinking career women with wonderful jobs, a lot of backbone and a reluctance to settle for anything less than perfect.

Flannery and Jamie’s story played out in a lighter, bouncier fashion than the first two love stories in the series.  There is a lot of tongue-in-cheek here as well as some great epistolary moments featuring emails between the four main players in the book.  It was bubbly and light and kept the pace flying.  I appreciated the extra characters, like Jack Colby, Flannery’s boss ( who seemed gay to me--- an interesting portrayal in modern religious fiction) and Danny, Jamie’s longtime friend.

What really stole my heart and kept it the contradiction between Jamie’s killer good looks and polished demeanor and his passion for Arthurian legends,  gaming and online fanfiction.  Jamie is hilarious in his pursuit of all things pertaining to the legendary Sir Gawain. In fact, we learn that he and Danny would dress up to appear at blockbuster film openings of King Arthur movies (not unlike those Lord of The Rings fans we all know and…erm… love(?) )

This book was snappy and sweet and I like when a geek in chic clothing sets out to find a girl and gets one who, in turn, is just as hopelessly geeky as he is.

Cute book! Fun time! Back to finish the Ransome series and you will all have some more Kaye Dacus on the blog

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Great review as always. :)