The Real Thing (1st book in the Matchmaker Trilogy)
Have you ever known a matchmaker? I’m talking about a woman, usually older and wiser, who puts people together for the purpose of falling in love? Hello, Victoria Lesser! An energetic young widow who lives in New York, Victoria has precious few worries – beyond providing a happily ever after for special friends. In The Real Thing, her conniving little heart just won’t rest until she has marooned Deidre Joyce and Neil Hersey on an isolated Maine island. Both are at crisis points in their lives; neither wants to be with another living sole, much less a stranger. And the endless rain? And Deirdre’s cast? And Neil’s beard, which fills in more as each day of their two weeks pass?
Welcome to the first installment of the Matchmaker Trilogy. Originally written in 1986, this series is part of Barbara Delinsky’s oh-so-hot past as a romance writer. The good news is that while technology may have changed from that day and this, human nature has not. The angst these characters feel and its evolution works both then and now.
Crossed Hearts (2nd book in the Matchmaker Trilogy)
Remember Victoria Lesser? She’s the matchmaker you met in The Real Thing, the first book in the Matchmaker Trilogy, and she’s up to no good again. This time she deliberately sends Leah Gates into the wilds of New Hampshire at a time when Leah is losing her home and needs a new place to stay. Leah arrives at the height of mud season with rain in the forecast for days to come. She’s stranded, and she isn’t alone. Thanks to Victoria, she is stuck with one Garrick Rodenhiser, who has such a nasty past that only someone with Victoria’s optimism can wade through. Can Leah?
Crossed Hearts was first published in 1987, then aptly titled Twelve Across because Leah’s job is creating crossword puzzles. Barbara says, “Having always loved crosswords (I do them in ink!), I created one myself for the very first edition of this book, and, whoa, was it tough. Less tough, for me at least, was writing the love story in this book. I was captivated by these characters, and hope you will be, too!”
The Invitation (3rd book in the Matchmaker Trilogy)
Victoria Lesser strikes again – albeit in a different way this time. If you’ve read the first two installments of the Matchmaker Trilogy, The Real Thing and Crossed Hearts, you’ll understand the growing friendship between Deirdre and Neil Hersey and Leah and Garrick Rodenhiser. You’ll also understand why the four jump at the idea of payback, as in matchmaking the matchmaker. Hence, The Invitation.
Originally titled A Single Rose when first published in the late 1980’s, The Invitation involves a treasure hunt to Costa Rica aboard a modern-day pirate ship. If ever there was a man to challenge Victoria’s adventuresome nature, Samson’s the one. A Latin professor who cooks and speaks French, German, and Russian, Samson has an ancient map that he is convinced will lead to buried treasure. Of course, Victoria can’t turn down another opportunity to match-make. Actually, she doesn’t do it on purpose, but once The Invitation opens and she realizes where the turn of events might lead, she adds fuel to the flame. Not that Shaye and Noah need much help. They butt heads with some of the snappiest dialogue Barbara has ever written.