Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Turnabout's Fair Play

Turnabout's Fair Play by Kaye Dacus
Barbour Publishing, 2011
315 pages
Christian Contemporary Romance
4/5 stars

Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Kaye Dacus is one of my favorite authors although I've had some mixed experiences with her books. Still I picked this one up with high expectations as it brings the Matchmaker trilogy to its conclusion.

The focus this time is on Flannery MacNeill, book editor extraordinaire, whose longing for a deep romantic relationship is heightened by the pending weddings of her two best friends, whose romantic adventures were detailed in the previous two books. Although she's dated quite a few men, she's always asked God to have her fall in love with a dork. Jamie O'Connor's good looks and confidence disqualify him, especially as everything he says seems to offend her. But after he loses his job, he starts questioning the man he has become and what God wants of him. On top of these two souls are their grandparents who want to make a match but find themselves making a match first!

One of my favorite things about Dacus's books are that while romance is the primary thrust of the story, there's also so much character development. Flannery and Jamie start and end the books in completely different places, having learned to rely more on God and falling in love. They reveal their guilty pleasures (Arthurian legend) and the hurts they've experienced from family and friends over the years. They seem like such real people and I really liked them!

However there were a couple of things that niggled at me. First I'm not a fan of the meddling grandparents so desperate to have grandchildren that they involve themselves in their lives. I feel like their motives were softened over the books, to show that they just wanted happiness for the grandkids but I didn't love them as much as the younger characters.  The other part was how Flannery and Jamie felt they needed to keep their love of Arthurian legend under wraps. I don't think that interest is that geeky; admittedly I'm a Star Wars nerd and I have a book blog so I'm probably not the best judge of what is or isn't geeky.

Overall: A fine conclusion to the Matchmakers trilogy; can't wait to find out what Dacus has planned next!


  1. I usually enjoy Kaye Dacus books too. I need to check this one out.

  2. Kaye is one of your favourite authors? That means I have to check out some of her books for sure! She must be amazing! :)

    This sounds like such a sweet read! I love books that have some character growth in them because it almost always makes you fall in love with the characters even more, and I'm glad Jamie and Flannery were such real characters!

    Awesome review, B! :)

  3. I'm going to reveal something to you that almost no one knows about this book . . . when I originally wrote it, their secret fan obsession was with Lord of the Rings. Jamie's favorite character was Eomer and Flannery's was Lothiriel---a character so minor she's only mentioned in the appendix, because she married Eomer many years after the conclusion of the events of the story.

    But the night before I turned the book in, I suddenly realized I should probably check to see what the copyright issues might be in using as many details from the books as I had used . . . and I discovered that even the characters' names are covered by intellectual property law and I would have had to have legal permission in writing from the estate of J.R.R. Tolkein to use them, which I definitely did *not* have time to do. So, I replaced it with something I was certain was public domain and no problem to use. Unfortunately, you're right---it just doesn't have the same geeky punch that Lord of the Rings would have.

    But I'm thrilled you enjoyed the book anyway! :-D


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