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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

****½ Match Game by Beverly Brandt. Contemporary romance.

Huh. I'm completely distracted now, because I went to look at the Amazon reviews, and found one complaining about "the ending scenes that involved the musician from Meat Loaf's band." So I just went and re-read the last couple chapters. Nope, no musician from Meat Loaf's band in there--in fact, no musicians at all. These are things that bug me.

Anyway. Beverly Brandt and Jacey Ford are overlapping here, and I should have read Match Game before Dead Heat. I did have it before, but Match Game got buried in the TBR pile. Sam from Dead Heat is the brother of Mike in Match Game, and their mother Lillian and her company, Rules of Engagement, figure prominently in both books.

Accountant Savannah Taylor's wedding is interrupted... when she's arrested by the FBI for fraud and money laundering. It turns out it's a case of identity theft, but her fiance decides she's not worth the trouble of rescheduling the wedding.

All this makes Savannah reevaluate her life, especially when she looks at the bills the fake "Vanna" rang up--her alter ego was living a much more exciting life than hers.

So she quits her job, and goes to Naples, Florida, where the fraudulent charges were made, with the dual goal of finding the thief and reinventing herself.

She looks for a new, more glamorous job, and follows the advice in magazines to try to change herself into someone who's sexier and more exciting. Along the way, she meets a group of rowdy spring-breakers staying at the same motel, and a sexy but apparently gay man who rescues her... twice.

Savannah is written with a lot of warmth and compassion. It's easy to relate to her reacting to the arrest and desertion by trying to reinvent herself, and I share her penchant for taking quizzes.

For his part, Mike is a federal air marshal, who sees too much of the bad side of people in his job, and is a bit too serious and responsible for his own good.

They both get what they need, but Match Game is primarily Savannah's story. The ending is action-packed and satisfying... and musician-free.


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