Sunday, March 30, 2014


A Matchless Romance (Aisle Bound, #4)Series: Aisle Bound #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: 2/17/14
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Rating: 4.5 stars

Tabitha Bell is the face of Chicago's premiere matchmaking service. At least, she hopes it will be someday, once business really takes off. What she needs is more clients, so when she meets a sexy gamer in need of help, it's the perfect opportunity.

His discomfort talking to women almost cost Drew Watson his job. He'd be happy holed up in his office, designing blockbuster video games, but his boss considers talking to investors a nonnegotiable requirement. Who better than a matchmaker to teach him how to be comfortable around the opposite sex? Trouble is, Drew wants to get more than comfortable with Tabitha, while she's determined to keep their relationship all business.

Soon Tabitha learns that beneath the geek-chic hoodie lies six feet of sexy physique--and the more time she spends with Drew, the more she appreciates his brainy brand of charm. Will she succumb to his sweet-but-nerdy charm offensive or will it be game over before he can win her heart?

I'm going to start by quickly getting two important points out of the way. One, though A Matchless Romance is the fourth in the Aisle Bound series, it can definitely be read as a stand alone with no problem, as I did. And two, I ADORED this story!

I have a confession: I can be a fickle reader. It sometimes seems my preferences change by the day. (I'm a Gemini, it's allowed) I've genuinely enjoyed all the many alphas men I've partaken in over recent years, truly. But these days I'm finding that I'm enjoying a different variety of hero, the nice guys, or at the very least, the men who can be strong and confident and demanding, but who also don't completely trample over the lady in their sights. Normal guys who some days come across strong and other days are happy to let the lady lead. I am specifically in the market for beta heroes. Drew Watson of A Matchless Romance happens to be one of the best I've come across.

Drew is a socially awkward game developer who needs help to comfortably discuss the business side gaming for his job. The socially awkward angle is not surprising, right? But... there is more to Drew than a being a smarty pants gamer/creator. He is also a former Olympian, currently training for marathons to challenge himself. Drew is comfortable among his peers, or apparently sexing his way through the Olympic Village and various gamer cons he attends. But when it comes to a normal conversation outside his comfort zone, it's a no-go. His school years, with the taunts and shunning, left Drew convinced he will never fit in. What's more, he has NO idea that he is in fact a gorgeous, athletic man with a lot to offer any lucky woman. He just needs to tone down the literalism he brings to every discussion, and to relax. I don't know about anyone else, but that just sounds like a challenge to me. Bring it, Drew.

Tabitha Bell, matchmaker extraordinaire is also up for the challenge. Tasked with helping Drew become more relaxed in social situations, especially when it comes to not thoroughly pissing off investors. Tabitha, a gamer herself, and a fan of Drew's work, is quick to see his appeal. She is torn between helping Drew with the opposite sex, and claiming him for herself. Her surprising and complicated background makes Tabitha very wary of complicated work relationships. How does she reconcile wanting Drew for herself with doing her job well?

So what we have her is a SLOW BURN and it is delicious. Drew wants Tabitha, but doesn't believe a geek like him can land a babe like her. Tabitha wants Drew as well, but doesn't want to jeopardize her new career. Plus, with Drew's behavior, he doesn't exactly seem like a sure thing. The build-up between the two was slow and delicious, as I mentioned. But despite the lack of heavy sexy times between them, I never felt the story was lacking steam. The flirtation was a strong dynamic in the story, and most definitely made up for the slow-building sexy times. I like that the (hopefully) inevitable moment was built up through a series of increasing steamy interactions. I appreciate the author taking her time and allowing a true and strong connection to develop. Letting Drew and Tabitha earn their moment.

I have a surprising amount to discuss for such a short book. That is because despite the length, A Matchless Romance was a very well-developed story. I never felt as if the author skipped vital pieces to the story or that I was cheated out of important moments and feelings. And wow, I haven't even gotten into the humor. In short, this was a very funny novella. Almost every quote I highlighted was a funny, and lemme tell you, I highlighted a lot of passages.

A Matchless Romance is my only second Christi Barth read. You can bet that I will be checking out the rest of the Aisle Bound series, and will be keeping a sharp eye on her future works.
Favorite Quotes:
  Drew was used to assuming that he didn't stand a chance with women who looked like that. But he'd bet his biggest hard drive and his limited edition, mint-in-box Star Trek phaser that these women were flirting with him.

  "I thought you were only this sure of yourself on a track or behind a computer," she tried to joke. Instead, it came out squeaky and breathy. Because he was still doing that stroking thing on her hand and it made Tabitha want to simply writhe.
  "That's all you've seen. Doesn't mean that's all there is. I'm sure of myself, most comfortable doing things I'm good at. And let me assure you, Tabitha, I excel at sex."

The Aisle Bound Series

Planning for Love (Aisle Bound, #1)  A Fine Romance (Aisle Bound, #2)  Friends to Lovers (Aisle Bound, #3)  A Matchless Romance (Aisle Bound, #4)
(covers lead to GoodReads)

Purchase Links
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  iBooks

 Carina Press is giving one lucky winner an ecopy of A Matchless Romance.
Open Intl; must be 18+ years of age to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

About the author

Christi BarthChristi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage.
A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes contemporary romance. 

Christi is President of the Maryland Romance Writers and lives in Maryland with her husband.

Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Pinterest GoodReads


  1. I think I haven't read anything by this author so far, but the book sounds fun, even though the matchmaker part might might put me off.

  2. Maybe, if I get really lonely or something...

  3. The social awkward guy def can be a fun change of pace.

  4. Great review! I really like that this can be read as a stand alone - and yeah for the beta heroes!

  5. Have you read my blog posts? I can't believe a pro match maker hasn't found ME yet lol!!! This sounds like the kind of story we discussed we're into right now, yay!

  6. At this point in my life I dont need one. I dont know that I could if my husband did die. I'd probably be too old anyway --I hope.

  7. I'm a whole different generation. So I wouldn't have in my day. But if I was looking now..I think I would try it.

  8. I read this one first too and it was so much fun. I loved how Drew was nerdy but not exactly a pushover either - especially in the sex department lol

  9. LOL too late for me, I've been married for 34 years :-) Were I not already married, then yes I'd give it a shot!

  10. I wouldn't, just because for me it would be super awkward. But I do think it is a good option for some people

  11. Awkward game designer? Did you say Slow Burn? Sign me up!

    I have Friends to Lovers and haven't read it yet. Hmmm... This one looks perfect.

    I'm not sure I would use a professional match maker. I married young and stayed that way but I have a friend who's done the whole online matchmaker thing. Total fail there. So I'd be cautious.

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  13. I've never actually read any books by this author, but will definitely be adding a few to my to-read list. I really like the sounds of this book, I will definitely have to read it at some point! But in relation to the giveaway question, I don't think I could ever use the help of a professional matchmaker, it would just take away the fun of actually finding someone yourself! :)

  14. LOL... even a year ago, I'd have said no, but at this point in my life, I'm open for anything :) Thanks for sharing!

  15. No, thank goodness I would never need to!

  16. I just clicked over and bought this while reading your review, Andrea. This sounds like something I'll love! I'm all for the nice geeky guy, and oh, do I love that last quote! Yum! Excellent review! :)

  17. I might if I was ever in the market.

  18. Great Review Andrea! This sounds like such a fun and humorous story. I love that even though it was short, the story was well developed, and the characters shared a meaningful connection. The slow burn romance, and flirting sound great, and lately I've been in the mood for more beta, sweet Beta males myself. I don't think I'd ever use a professional matchmaker, but I did meet my husband from his aunt trying to matchmake us. She tried to set us up for 5 years, and finally we ended up getting together after we met at a party that we both attended :)

  19. Aww this really sounds like a fun read, I don't know if I would ever use a professional matchmaker.

  20. Oh goodness, this sounds fantastic, Andrea! I can identify with socially awkward (married to it) and it's a fun idea that he uses a matchmaker to ease his awkwardness in social situations. And I LOVE a slow burn romance!! I can't wait to meet Drew and Tabitha. Lovely review!

    Oh, and I suppose I might use a matchmaker if the need ever arose.

  21. I love the excerpts! And I don't think I could use a matchmaker ever... too embarrassing!

  22. I love the excerpts! Makes me want to read more.
    Can't wait to read! Will give an honest and fair review

  23. This reminds me of our chat with Marquita the other day. I love good guys too. This sounds like a sweet story and one I would probably like too. Thanks for the review.

  24. No, my BFFs Mom did it for me, 34 years ago & still together!

  25. I'm married, but in a different life, I think it would be kind of fun. An interesting way to meet someone!


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