The Matchmaker’s Curse – PNR Novel -Regan Black
Reviewers: She Said – Gloria Lakritz / She Said – Penelope Adams
Book two in the Matchmaker series of lighthearted, paranormal romance:
Grant Barclay came to Charleston, South Carolina for a consultation with the Matchmaker, hoping she’d help him identify the magic that will preserve and protect his werewolf pack’s territory. What he got was a cursed mark from the Matchmaker and no idea where to find his soulmate.
An English professor, Maeve King believes in the power of fairy tales but prefers a day to day life without the drama. When her best friend becomes a legendary Matchmaker, helping mythical beings find their soulmates, it seems those tales of magic are coming to life all around her… and quite possibly within her.
Want to start with book one? Take a look at The Matchmaker’s Mark.
Gloria Lakritz – She Said:
I don’t know now which series of Regan Black’s I wait for more now. After discovering her Urban FantasyJustice Series a few years ago, I have been addicted to Slick Mikey and all the gang in Chicago. Now Ms. Black has tempted me in 2011 with her first in the Matchmaker series, called The Matchmaker’s Mark. After reading it, was also hooked for more. I guess I am a fan.
In the first book, we found ourselves in Charleston SC and met Amy Campbell and Maeve King best friends and colleagues , professors working as t the local college. . Amy inherited Campbell and Company when the Matchmaker of the paranormal and magic community suddenly stepped down. Unprepared for this happening, Amy was thrust into this meeting the grumpy Scot who was now her bodyguard and she had the old Matchmakers left over assistant. Amy was now on her own, whisked away for her own safety by the Scot, her best friend Maeve missed her dearly. She could only contact Amy thru ‘Fairie Mail’ thru another friend Lily owner of the flower shoppe in town. In the first story Lily met her one and only Dare who was a Wood Elf and Lily found she was the daughter of the Wood Elf King.. Last but not least we met Grant Barclay, who was marked by Amy. More to come in book 2.
In Matchmakers Curse we get an upclose and personal look into the life of Maeve King. I liked her in the first book and now getting to know her better, I really like her. She seems to have it all, she is beautiful, smart, has a great sense of humor, a good job. All is in her favor except men. Maeve loves to date, but after the horrible Valentine’s date we begin with, and the make up Valentine’s date that continues, we see that she views Lily meeting her happily ever after, and her loss of her best friend Amy, Maeve discovers there must be ‘more’ to life.
Grant Barclay who was marked by Amy in the first book returns on an errand to find Amy, needing her to help him with his wolf pack. Oh didn’t I mention he is a were wolf?
The ‘mark’ on his arm still bothers him, and we still do not know the what and why of it. What we do know is Maeve’s home was vandalized, and then she was attacked and Grant feels the need to ‘protect’ and the word ‘mine’ keeps entering his mind when he thinks of Maeve.
As always with Ms. Black, there always is a hint of mystery, a great story, good pacing, fine writing, and sparks that keep the sexual tension up making it a wonderful wonderful read. Maeve has no idea how attractive she is. This makes her so much more attractive. She has no idea she turns heads just walking through a room. Grant fights the attraction, he cannot think that his mark might be Maeve and how could he have a human mate. After all he is a lawyer for the pack and his mother is the Alpha. So much is expected from him. He is one tall dark and hunky man making their relationship sizzle. So now Ms. Black, I await More from your wonderful mind. Two series to hunger for…You have me hooked with both!
Review by Gloria Lakritz
Sr Reviewer and Review Chair for theParanormal Romance Guild
Penelope Adams – She Said:
I have to admit, I’m a huge Regan Black fan, I love her Shadows of Justice series, which is Urban Fantasy/Thriller, and after reading the first book in the Matchmakerseries, discovered she isn’t a one trick pony.
Book one, The Matchmaker’s Mark, set in Charleston, SC, introduced us to matchmaker Amy Campbell, her best friend, Maeve King, Lily, owner of a local flower shop and daughter of a Wood Elf King, Lily’s brother Cade and her fiancé Dare, both Wood Elf Elite Guards. We learned the history of the matchmaker and discovered that things that go bump in the night are not just myths.
Now the Matchmaker has disappeared with her grumpy Scots bodyguard, only reachable by Lily through a special connection, even Mauve has no idea of her whereabouts. We catch up with Mauve, who is feeling restless and misses her friend but is carrying on with her life, despite the fact she know knows the stories she grew up on are not just stories. Adding to Mauve’s issues is one hunky, pissed off werewolf, Grant Barclay who was marked by the Matchmaker and desperate to find her so she can help with his packs recent decline in power. Grant and Mauve are on a path that neither could have predicted but will bring more mystical creatures out of the woodwork and into their lives; creatures that everyone thought were myth but will prove to be real indeed.
Ms. Regan takes the world she built in the first book and expands it, giving us a world of elves, werewolves and mythical beings, a world so well written that I found myself longing to walk the streets of Charleston and visit the swamps so I too could meet them. She gives us characters so full of life and spirit that I often forgot I was reading and just immersed myself in her world.
Mauve is the perfect southern lady, smart and witty, beautiful and refined; she can charm any person – male or female – with just a smile and a nice word. Everyone likes her, men stop and stare as she walks across a room and she has no enemies. Well, maybe just one but we won’t get into that. She likes her well ordered life as a well respected professor of English Literature and she has an active dating life but has no intention of having a series relationship. Enter Grant Barclay, they met on not so great terms when Lily marked Grant and he’s just a tad grumpy about the whole situation. What can I say about Grant, he’s an environmental lawyer, one hunky man and a not too shabby werewolf? Mauve irritates and attracts him at the same time. Their chemistry was unmistakable and a hoot to watch.
It was so much fun to revisit this group of characters, they’ve grown from the people we met in the first book and become a well rounded group of friends. Cade and Grant’s give and take (tree hugger and fur ball) is just plain fun. We catch up with Lily through the letters between her and Mauve which each chapter begins with.
I read this book in one sitting. It’s a nice mixture of romance, paranormal and mystery. There are all sorts of mythical beings running through the pages, maybe even a ghost or two so the lover of things that go bump in the night will just eat this book up and be left begging for more. I enjoyed the first book; I loved this second one and now have become Ms. Regan’s super fan. It doesn’t matter if she’s giving us Urban Fantasy or Paranormal Romance, I’m going to read it, and she just can’t get them out fast enough for me.
Review by Penelope Adams
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team
Now that the reviewers have read each other’s thoughts…
I certainly couldn’t stop gushing all week while reading Regan Black’s newest,The Matchmaker’s Curse. This author had really inspired me when I read her first book in her Justice Series. Her quick wit, her choice of words and pace had made me stand up and take notice of this new author years ago. Her UF /Paranormal story had me at hello. I have not looked back and was so happy last year when she branched out into something a little more Fantasy yet a Regan Black book, with kick ass heroines and a great storyline.
I agree 100%, I’ve loved her Justice series from the beginning, and I liked the first book in this series, but I think in this second one she really put her Regan magic to work. There is usually some little something that will bother me about a book, but I had absolutely nothing but a good time with this one. I think one of the things I liked, was even though this is a feel good romance, that didn’t stop Ms. Black from adding a little action in here and there. Of course, as you know, I’ve loved the fact that she set this series in Charleston from the beginning, and expanding it out to the swamps was just enough spooky factor to give me a little shiver.
I also cannot say enough about this book. The Matchmaker’s Mark was partly about the mark that was put on the wolf. This sequel, The Matchmaker’s Curse, we now open up and expand on the two characters that played a role in the first story, and we had already met. As I said, Maeve was a wonderful character, as Lily is. Both women had a place in my heart in the first book. Dare and Lily’s brother Cade are the fluff in this story: this was all about the Curse and the Couple.
I liked the way that while we still had the usual paranormal suspects, elves, werewolves and ghosts, Ms. Black brought us a new myth to explore. We also go little glimpses of what Amy and her Scots were up to through the letters between she and Maeve, which I thought was nicely done. I would have felt something was missing had we not been able to keep up with her. I’ll miss the gang now that I’ve finished the book but, thankfully, we have a little insider information and know there will be more to come so we have something to look forward to.
Good Night, Gracie.
You are right, those letters kept us in Amy’s loop. This is looking like an exciting series as well as the Justice series and I am so glad we can expect more from Ms Black to read this year!
Nitey Nite George
Q&A with Author Regan Black
Regan if I sound like I am gushing, I am. Both of these series are so unique. Tell us how you saw the Matchmaker series?
I’m so thrilled you’re gushing, thank you!
The Matchmaker series was sparked by all those online dating site ads, combined with my need to take a break and write something a little lighter than the Shadows of Justice series. With my fascination for paranormal romance and urban fantasy, I found myself wondering how mythical and magical creatures would fill out those dating site profiles and manage to find each other in a world overrun by humans.
What better solution than a mythical matchmaker? Once Amy’s character and her new world started coming to life, I set out to deliver fun, romantic adventures that would make readers smile.
I will admit to never having heard of your newest mythical creature the Spriggand, do they actually exist in myth?
Yes spriggands are real – well as real as rare mythology gets anyway. I ran across it while researching a suitable opponent for Grant and Maeve. They are supposedly mistaken for fairies, but they are really the ghosts of giants, treasure motivated, and notoriously ugly in their true form.
I took the liberty of giving a spriggand the supershifter ability and an inherent need to steal power rather than hoard gold.
In both books ghosts have made guest appearances, any chance of them having a larger role later?
Definitely! First, because I love to tell ghost stories and there are so many wonderful (and slightly creepy) ghost tales here in Charleston. Second, because Amy has the ability to speak with ghosts, I see this as a potential novella option.
There might even be a ghost on the Matchmaker’s team in the future…
How many stories can we expect in this series? And when can we expect another Justice novel?
Well, there’s a Matchmaker series novella I’m polishing right now, about Amy’s search for her bodyguard as she develops her team. I’m eager to send that one your way.
And I plan to have at least two more novels in the Matchmaker series. Cade (Lily’s brother) has a few secrets lurking in his past and of course Mac has a story of his own percolating in my brain. Then there’s Gabe (Grant’s cousin), Duncan (Mac’s brother), and we can’t forget the ‘bitch with fins’ who gave Amy grief in the Matchmaker’s Mark…
As for the Shadows of Justice series, two secondary characters from Shadows to Light have been urging me to tell their story. I hope to have that book ready for readers this fall as well as a collection of the 2096 short stories. After that, I think I’m likely to explore a 2096 spin off with the issues Lorine and Jim discovered during their novella, In The Interest of Security.