Charming, funny and emotionally gripping
Alison Carter has the worst dating record in Plano, Texas. The night she thinks her boyfriend will propose, and he gives her a proposition of a different sort, she realizes she has an uncanny ability to pick losers.
So what harm could there be in hiring someone else to choose dates for her?
Alison goes to a local matchmaker who’s supposed to be a friendly old woman who’s been in business for years. Instead, Alison discovers that the matchmaker died and her hot grandson Brandon Scott inherited the business. Against her better judgment, she decides to trust him with her money…and eventually, with her heart.
But Brandon’s not completely on the up-and-up. Oh, he’ll set her up on dates and try to find her the perfect man. But he’s not the romantic soul he leads Alison to believe he is. In fact, he’s just in it temporarily until he can make enough money to buy some property to develop.
By the time he realizes how much Alison has come to mean to him, he also knows she needs a man who won’t lie to her—and that’s one thing he can’t give her.
Jane Graves writes books I adore. Her characters are charmingly realistic and her stories are set in a world I recognize and love. Her novels reassure me that real people can find love, passion and commitment right around the corner.
Heartstrings and Diamond Rings is populated with funny, kind-hearted characters who would do anything for their friends and families. I love that Alison is honest about how badly she wants to get married and have her own family. Many contemporary romance novels feature heroines who are ultra independent, which is wonderful but ignores the fact that loads of women carry a deep yearning to find love.
The tension between Alison’s need to find a man she can trust and Brandon’s series of cover-ups about his business creates some beautifully emotional scenes. In one, Alison gives Brandon more insight into the pain of being single. Alison tells him:
“When I was younger, I assumed I’d eventually get married and have a family of my own. But as the years went by, it was one bad relationship after another, and my father was getting older, and I had nobody else. And then several weeks ago, after the marriage proposal that wasn’t, I got to thinking, my God. It’s possible. I could go through my entire life alone.”
“So you hired me.”
Brandon closed his eyes, wishing he’d never gone through with this crazy scheme. How could he ever have thought this business would be something he could just toss off, take people’s money no matter what the outcome was, and disappear? Not once had he stopped to think how important he might be to the people who came to him, and how horribly ill-equipped he was to help them.
But Heartstrings and Diamond Rings is more than a tear-jerker. It’s a rib-tickler, too. Alison, Brandon and their friends cracked me up, and I hated saying goodbye when I finished the book.
Heat: 3 (Sensual)