I’m excited to be part of Jennifer Shirk’s Wrong Brother, Right Match release blast. This is one of the few holiday books I’ve read so far this year and it proved to be a real treat. Kennedy Pepperdine is about to finally meet her fiance’s family. It’s been a long time coming for Kennedy and Justin. At one point, Kennedy even had her own doubts about whether Justin truly was the guy for her. Of course, being a matchmaker, and making your living making the best matches, Kennedy was out to prove her doubts wrong. Her computer software remains a success because she successfully matched herself with Justin.
As romance readers, we know that nothing is this easy. And well, you’d be right. When Matt Ellis, Justin’s brother, meets his new fiancee, he immediately recognizes Kennedy as the woman he shared a steam kiss with while stuck in an elevator in Las Vegas a few months back. Matt’s instincts are up because he remembers that elevator moment all too well. Kennedy had been expressing her uncertainty about her relationship but now, here she is, showing up as Justin’s fiancee? Something doesn’t feel right to Matt (though he refuses to acknowledge that he wants Kennedy for himself).
I am a big fan of stories where the woman finds herself set-up with the wrong brother. I have no idea why but it’s just a storyline that has always appealed to me. And that proves true again here. Jennifer Shirk does a great job of setting up Matt and Kennedy’s attraction. It is very clear to the reader that Kennedy is with the wrong guy but she has put so much of herself into her business that she refuses to be set off course. I appreciate a devoted business owner and Kennedy is definitely that. But as she learns, that devotion may come at the expense of her own happiness.
I also liked the fact that the author never made Justin out to be a bad guy. He was a workaholic for sure, but it is clear that he does care about Kennedy. Unfortunately, her heart just was not into the match as much as she hoped. Kennedy has always yearned for a real family and that aspect of Justin’s home life really appeals to her. She gets along well with his mother and younger sister, and of course, sparks kind of fly with Matt. It proved to be a true conundrum for Kennedy between what her head was telling her was the way to go and between what her heart was telling her.
Matt is the head of the family since his father’s death and he takes that role seriously. Though he and Justin are not as close as he’d like, he still wants to see him happy. Unfortunately, his doubts about Justin’s relationship make him wary of trusting Kennedy. He will have to give himself wholly to her in order to find true happiness. These two business owners are determined to be successes in their chosen fields, but can that success lead to happiness in their personal lives? Only time will tell.
Also, major props to Jennifer Shirk for writing a romance I could immediately jump into without realizing that it was part of a series. Wrong Brother, Right Match is the third book in the Anyone But You series by Shirk but honestly, I couldn’t tell all that much. There are mentions of past couples but for the most part the focus of the book is on the present and on Kennedy, Matt, and poor Justin.
Wrong Brother, Right Match is a fast read with a great amount of heart and sweetness. This is my first book by Jennifer Shirk but I am eager to read the first books in this series now.
215 Pgs. | Heat: 3 | Series Info
Entangled Bliss | Releasing Dec 5, 2016
Matchmaking guru Kennedy Pepperdine’s life is perfect. Perfect job. Perfect friends. Perfect boyfriend. Except…when she gets trapped in an elevator with a handsome stranger, she accidentally confesses a secret: maybe her perfect boyfriend, Justin, isn’t so perfect for her after all. But a matchmaker should be able to successfully match herself, right? Thankfully, she’ll never see the handsome stranger again. Until she heads home with Justin for the holidays and learns that the sexy stranger is none other than Justin’s older brother, Matt.
Matt Ellis is trying to be on his best behavior for his mother—it is Christmas, after all. But when he recognizes the beautiful woman from the elevator—the one he hasn’t been able to stop thinking about for months—his best behavior is being held by a thread. Matt’s always sacrificed for his family, and nothing is more important than their happiness, but the more time he spends around Kennedy, the more he wonders if her supposed “right match” might just be the wrong brother
Matt looked at his sister. “What do you think?”
“We can let her in on the secret,” Caitlyn said with a huge grin. “She’s definitely one of us.”
Matt hesitated. “Okay. The truth is…we all hate the fruitcake.”
“I knew it!” she exclaimed then frowned. “But I don’t understand. Why pretend to like it, then?”
“Honestly? Because none of us has the heart to tell her the truth. It makes her so happy. She’s one of the two percent who actually enjoys it.”
“And your dad,” she added. “He liked it, too. Your mom said so.”
Matt shook his head gravely. “No, he hated it the most.”
Kennedy blinked then looked to Caitlyn. “He did?”
“Yup.” Caitlyn shrugged. “Like Matt said, we didn’t have the heart to make her feel bad on Christmas. At least this time she didn’t put any figs or dried pineapple in it. That was a particularly bad year. Although Justin tolerated it the best out of all of us.”
Kennedy cracked a smile. “So your mom goes through all this trouble of making a fruitcake every Christmas and she’s the only one who eats it?”
“Oh, no,” Matt assured her. “We’ll all choke down a slice. You, too, since you’ll soon be part of the family. And we’ll all tell her how great it is. It’s tradition.”
“Tradition,” Caitlyn echoed firmly.
Kennedy laughed. Oh my, if she didn’t already love this family, this aspect of it only endeared them to her more. “Well, your secret is safe with me. I love traditions myself.”
“That’s good,” Caitlyn said, cracking herself up, “because you and Matt are standing under the mistletoe.”
Kennedy cautiously looked up as if to find the Sword of Damocles dangling over her, but instead found a small green ball of mistletoe tied up with ribbon. Crap! Her gaze dropped to Matt, who held a gleam of interest in his eyes, and her cheeks caught fire.
“Oh, well, that’s a silly tradition,” she said hurriedly, “I mean, we don’t have to do that.” Do we?
Barbara walked back into the room. “What don’t you have to do?”
Caitlyn pointed to the ball. “Matt and Kennedy are under the mistletoe.”
“Oh, how nice,” Barbara said, clasping her hands. “Kiss her, Matt. It’s Christmas after all.”
Matt glanced at Kennedy and stiffened, but without further argument leaned in to her. Her heart fluttered like a hummingbird in anticipation. She caught the pleasant scent of pine and soap on his skin as he brushed his lips against her cheek, hovering for just a few brief seconds before he was once again at a safe distance from her. Such a simple kiss, yet her emotions whirled and skidded.
“I’d better get going,” Matt murmured, backing into the door.
His mom frowned. “Are you okay, dear? Maybe you should sit down a bit first.”
“No, I need to get kissing—er, going. I need to go.” His gaze reluctantly returned to hers, and his voice dipped. “I’ll see you tomorrow night?”
She nodded, not trusting her voice. Then he was out the door as if suddenly spooked.
Unfortunately, she knew exactly how he felt.
About The Author
Jennifer Shirk has a bachelor degree in pharmacy-which has in NO WAY at all helped her with her writing career. But she likes to point it out, since it shows romantic-at-hearts come in all shapes, sizes, and mind-numbing educations.
She writes sweet (and sometimes even funny) romances for Samhain Publishing, Avalon Books/Montlake Romance and now Entangled Publishing. She won third place in the RWA 2006 NYC’s Kathryn Hayes Love and Laughter Contest with her first book, THE ROLE OF A LIFETIME. Recently, her novel SUNNY DAYS FOR SAM won the 2013 Golden Quill Published Authors Contest for Best Traditional Romance.
Lately she’s been on a serious exercise kick. But don’t hold that against her.