Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Book Review: 'Match Made' by Amélie S. Duncan

West Coast author Amélie S. Duncan creates contemporary, erotic romances with a dark edge. To date she has written nine books, published a series THE PIPER DREAS TRILOGY, THE TIGER LILY TRILOGY and now BAD BOYS AND SHOW GIRLS of which ‘Match Made’ is the second installment. As her signature states she write ‘steamy sexy stories’.

Amélie demonstrates her skill at carving characters by alternating the POV of the story – Knox alternates with Gemma – so we have the opportunity to hear both sides of this strange romance form each source. We start with bad boy Knox – ‘Either I was getting too old for this, or I needed a new place to hang out. I’d go with the latter, though at twenty-six I was at the age most shelved clubbing nightly. I was getting to the point where I needed to find something that wasn’t more of the same. Just like anywhere you go too often, the place becomes familiar, but not in a good way. Fuel Bar wasn’t very different from most trendy bars in New York City. It had the usual set-up: velvet couches, and overly constructed light fixtures with stylized paintings ornamenting the bar’s already highly decorated walls. What made this bar stand out from the rest was the fact that it catered to an exclusive clientele. It had a more selective screening process that kept out the tourists and casual groupies.’ Then we move to Gemma – ‘I was enjoying my cocktail-infused pity party at Fuel, initiated by my ex-boyfriend, Benjamin Ward. That was the reason I came here right after the last curtain call of my Broadway show, Whimsy. Him following me the few blocks here had ended when they wouldn’t let him in. A few months back, I watched him get muscled out of here. I’d been a mere bystander at the time. He’d been in a fistfight, which he was losing before the bouncer reached him. But back then I had watched him behave like an idiot, and I still agreed to go out with him. I should have known he was dodgy. He had a money clip. But it was the reason I was here now that left a bitter taste in my mouth. I’d gone to buy plane tickets for my parents’ visit and had found my bank account practically empty.’

The synopsis leads the way as to where this romance will flow - ‘In order to win his heart, she'll have to play the game. All over Broadway, my name is up in lights. From New York to London, the words 'Gemma Sinclair' are synonymous with up-and-coming fame, and a super-fast rise to success.
Yeah, well, super isn't how I feel...Between my deadbeat addict of an ex-boyfriend and the stress of my parents relying on me back home--sometimes I feel like the ground beneath my feet is slipping away. Until I crossed paths with Knox Callahan, the hot and sexy as hell veteran player for the New York Football Club--and a total player when it comes to women. A year after our disastrous first date, I'm still in no position to have anything to do with a guy like him. But then right at my lowest, here he comes, riding back into my life and offering me something I've been desperately longing for--support. And truth. And, well, the truth is--now I can't for the life of me remember why I didn't want to be a part of his team...’

Tidy, HEA ending makes the naughty tale shine. It is a fast read for lonely evenings. Grady Harp, April 17

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.