Thursday, November 23, 2017

Retro Review ~ The Perfect Match by Matt Burlingame

Retro Review ~ The Perfect Match by Matt Burlingame

The Perfect Match by Matt Burlingame

Leaving his life in New York City behind, 33 year old Ira Hughes has moved back into his childhood home to help care for his ailing father. His overbearing mother quickly guilts him into looking after her interests in the family curio shop. That means dealing with her business partner Colton McCabe, the bully who made Ira's teen years a living hell. Ira is now forced to confront painful memories from his past. As he watches his father fight for his life, and his relationship with his mother become even more strained, he begins to find unexpected comfort in his time with Colton. Could it be that Colton is not the high school horror he used to be? Is the bane of his youth now becoming the love of his life?

3.5 Stars!

This is a hard review because I really believe this story has a ton of potential and the writing itself was very good. However, I have quite a few problems with the story and the characters. I love the enemies to lovers theme and the coming home aspect but I can’t help but wish it had been done differently.

I honestly believe that it was a mistake to only feature Ira’s POV. See, I love the idea that the boy who was a huge bully turns into this sweet and understanding man as an adult. I love reading about their motivations for being horrible, what caused their change or how Karma has slapped them in the face. But what makes it great is getting their POV and seeing things through their eyes. It helps to understand them. So the fact that we didn’t get any inside information from Colton’s POV made it impossible for me to connect with him and frankly to feel anything for him.

From Ira’s POV, we learn that Colton was a cruel, homophobic bully that made Ira’s life miserable and not only emotionally hurt him but physically as well. While it was 15 years prior, it has left him emotionally scarred and unable to forget how sad his adolescence was (he sought therapy after moving away). Now as an adult he finds Colton has changed. Colton is gay (surprise!), is business partners with his mom (a woman who I can’t stand) and acts as if he was never mean to Ira.

It’s as if Colton just expects it to all be in the past or he’s somehow forgotten it even happened. I felt as if he never truly understood the depth of pain he caused Ira. At the same time, I felt like Ira needed to just either forgive Colton and leave it in the past or not forgive him and stay the hell away from him.

My next issue is the fact that there was zero chemistry between Ira and Colton. I didn’t get it at all. We know Ira had a crush on Colton in the past but his being a jerk kind of kills that. Yes, Colton is attractive but Ira has a ton of animosity towards him and honestly, I wasn’t sure he wasn’t a bad guy. The way the story unfolds, we aren’t sure if Colton is embezzling money or ruining the business or if he’s just a bad businessman. It’s hard to see why he was even worth it. Again, though, I think if we had his POV I would have felt differently about it.

Overall, I just wanted more from this story and the romance. I wanted to feel the connection between the MC’s. I wanted passion and heat and I wanted it to make sense. I think the potential for that was there but it just didn’t come through. There was plenty of angst yet it was all resolved way too quickly and easily in the last part of the book. I may be alone in my opinion (I hope I am) of this particular story but I know I won’t be alone in saying that Matt Burlingame is a good writer and I won’t stop reading his books.

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***

No comments:

Post a Comment