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This cover is so much better than the US version

So I finished reading Susan Elizabeth Phillips’, Match Me If You Can this evening, and it’s a testament to how much I loved it, because I just couldn’t wait to write this review, and as a few authors out there will know by now, it takes a lot for me to be arsed to write reviews.

Without further ado, here’s the blurb:

My Verdict

What can I say about this book, but fuck me, I loved the bones off it. I have to say, it was worth every bit of the £10.99 ($19.00) that I paid for it. One of these days, I’ll get into the habit of buying second hand books, but until then I’ll happily bankrupt myself on books of this calibre.

SEP managed to hold me enthralled throughout the entire book. It was just that good.

At no point did the story lose its appeal, the dialogue was fast and witty, and the characters were just so damned multi-faceted and real, that I want to wax lyrical about every single bloody one of them. What an utterly fabulous idea! That’s exactly what I’ll do!

Annabelle – LOVED this heroine to bits. She was smart, she was funny, she was self-deprecating, and mad as ten badgers even when she was riddled with insecurities, I didn’t feel the need to stick an Uzi between her eyelids. I wanted her to be my best friend. I could imagine sharing a tub of ice-cream with her whilst watching Sex and The City. We’d talk about hot men and dieting, and generally agree that Posh Spice seriously needed to eat a bag or ten of chips.

Heath – I should have hated him, but I couldn’t, just because he was so darned irresistible. He was totally oblivious to anything outside work, and he was driven to the point of OCD.

He was shallow as hell, manipulative and sometimes sneaky, and totally didn’t get the whole ‘working at the relationship’ part of courtship.

My favourite thing about him was when he met Annabelle’s family, and through his POV, he made me realise that actually, Annabelle’s family were pretty great. Up to that point, we’d only got Annabelle’s view of her family, and I’d been busy feeling sorry for her during most of the book, because it had seemed that they were the family from hell.

Underneath Heath’s confidence and arrogant swagger, was a little boy afraid of depending on anybody too much, because all the people he’d loved most, had ended up leaving him alone.

He was the type of boy that my mother would have warned me about, had I not been such a book worm. I loved him to bits.

Portia – My, my my. What can I say about Portia? She was the most intensely flawed secondary character that I’ve come across in quite a while. With her, I think that SEP outdid herself.
Portia fairly leapt off the pages of MMIYC.

Initially, I assumed she was going to be the stereo-typical cookie-cutter beautiful, bitchy rival, who had everything that the heroine only dreamed about, and in the beginning she was. But SEP did so much more with her character, than I could have imagined.
Portia’s character defined the word ‘Multi-dimensional’. She was a perfectionist, an overachiever, who seriously needed therapy couldn’t begin to understand why she was so dissatisfied with her life. When her business begins to fall apart at the seams, she doggedly tries to stop the train wreck the only way she knows how. By trying to control everything and everyone around her.

Portia was the kind of girl I would have avoided at school, she would have made me feel fat, and scruffy, and quite frankly, when you’re fifteen and in the throes of puberty, you make assumptions based on looks alone.

If I’d taken the time to get to know Portia however, I would have discovered a desperately insecure girl, who just wanted to be loved.

My relationship with her character was similar to riding a roller coaster. One minute she annoyed the crap out of me, the next, I would have sacrificed my dream of getting jiggy with Will Smith, to protect her from harm. She was a character like no other.

Bodie – As Heath’s friend and assistant, he was the antithesis of everything Portia looked for in a man, but somehow, they made sense. He was bold and seemingly fearless, but underneath his smart-alec shell, he was the guy who understood who Portia was, underneath the Armani body armour.

I loved Bodie’s character, because what you saw was what you got, (give or take a couple of little white lies here and there) he had a take-no-prisoner, bad boy attitude that would have thrilled me in my teens, and made me appreciate the appeal of James Dean’s character, in Rebel Without A Cause.

There were many other characters who helped to make this book, one of my best reads of the year so far, including Phoebe and Dan Calebow, from SEP’s It Had To Be You, and Kevin and Molly Tucker from This Heart of Mine.

If you haven’t read this book yet, I urge you to run, don’t walk, to your nearest bookstore and get your copy now. I promise you wont be sorry, and if you are, it just means that you have no taste whatsoever, and should continue to read Thea Devine books.

You can buy Match Me If You can here, and the other SEP books here.


  • Robin
    April 9
    1:15 am

    Great review Karen, I haven’t read any of her books, but I think I just may give this one a try!


  • Rosie
    April 9
    1:27 am

    Karen, you know SEP is one of my very favorite authors. I love and adore her books. I’m so glad you liked this one!


  • ReneeW
    April 9
    5:51 am

    Wasn’t it wonderful? Yay, finally someone who agrees with me. I thought the same thing about Heath. I loved the witty banter between him and Annabelle. My favorite contemporary for 2005. You describe it perfectly. Great review!


  • Kristie (J)
    April 9
    2:27 pm

    I stopped loving SEP after First Lady and stopped reading her altogether after Breathing Room – hated that book. But after reading how much you loved MMIYC, I think I’ll dip that toe back in the water and giver her another chance.


  • Anne
    April 9
    5:33 pm

    I KNEW you’d LOVE this book! I felt exactly the way you did after reading it… I told anyone and everyone who would listen that they HAD to read this book! It was wonderful, witty, and the characterization was phenomenal.. sorta reminds me of a Sarah McCarty book that way. I am hoping, sincerely hoping, that SEP comes out with another book like this VERY SOON. I enjoyed the entire series that circulated around the sports agent theme/Chicago Stars/Bonner brothers books.

    I just went to her web page and it seems Dean’s book is next! Yippee! Title ot be announced August 1… a while to wait, but I’m sure it will be well worth it!!


  • Lucinda
    April 10
    6:41 am

    I read It Had To Be You recently, and I’ve been meaning to get this one. I think I’ll take the plunge and add this to my TBR, LOL


  • Millenia Black
    April 10
    4:56 pm

    Cool – great review, Karen. I’ll definitely have to order this one in from Doubleday.

    I’ve read two of hers – BREATHING ROOM and one other that I forget the title of, I think it was the prequel or some such – but enjoyed both!


  • Lauren Dane
    April 10
    4:58 pm

    I absolutely love the way she takes an unlikeable character and makes you root for her (Sugar Beth and now Portia)

    I loved this book. I love SEP’s voice and I wish more authors who wrote contemporaries had the same kind of intelligent and flawed characters.


  • Avid Reader
    April 10
    9:49 pm

    Ah, well, I coudn’t finish and I hate the cover.

    Just call me grumpy, today.


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