Making the Match: A River Rain Novel by Kristen Ashley
I love when Kristen Ashley writes older older couples, especially ones with teen or adult kids. Making the Match, Book 4 in the River Rain series, satisfies both of those. Though the romance stands alone in this book, I do think you need to read the first three, or at least the first in the series first to truly enjoy this story.
Tom had what seemed like a great life and love. He was a pro tennis player married to a movie star, Imogen Swan. Mika was a multi-media artist similar to Yoko Ono. When they first met years ago, Tom and Mika had a strong connection. But Tom was very happily married and neither Tom or Mika would ever let it go further. She went on to marry a famous drummer and they had a child, but he tragically passed away before their daughter was born.
Now that they are both unattached, it would be a good time for Tom and Mika to get together, but she can’t forgive what he did to his ex-wife. Until a box of abandoned kittens comes along. I mean who can resist that?
“I caught him staring at you eight times during brunch. Eight times. I counted. That does not say ‘friends.’”
The first book in the River Rain Series, After the Climb, is about Imogen’s 2nd-chance relationship with Duncan after Tom cheated on her and they divorced. Tom CHEATED. It’s usually pretty hard to get past that for me (though kittens helped).
Though I rationally know that people in a happy marriage don’t usually cheat, I kind of felt like Kristen Ashley really threw Imogen under the bus in Making the Match and blamed the cheating on her. There was a great on-page discussion about this, but for the most part, Making the Match made me really dislike Genny; from her reaction to Tom and Mika (which was very understandable, but not for weeks), to how she treated Duncan, to how she treated Tom throughout their marriage. Though this may be realistic, it really made Imogen into the bad guy. I mean, she never came or took their kids to see Tom play pro tennis?
“He remembered seeing the other players’ girlfriends, wives, children in the stands during their matches. Not his. Not once. Not since the beginning. Not Genny. Not his children.”
I understand Kristen’s point. First of all, she has to redeem Tom in order for him to be a romantic hero. His self flagellation was kind of the theme of the book, so between that and learning that Imogen basically left the marriage well before he did, she is kind of ruined for me, but Tom was redeemed. In fact, it seems like he dodged a bullet.
My favorite part of Making the Match were all the mixed family scenes. Tom’s kids and Mika’s daughter, Cadence, becoming a new kind of family was what made Making the Match so special. I loved Sasha and Mika’s bonding, and Hale and Mika’s special connection.
- Visiting with all previous River Rain characters.
- I loved Mika’s daughter, Cadence.
- Mika’s best friend Nora (Oh, how I hope for her book!)
- The Kittens!
- Clay and his family.
- I loved the first scene between Mika and Sasha.
- The poetry. One poem wrecked me.
- All of the mixed family scenes.
- Older couple still having hot sex.
- Teasers of Hale and Elsa’s story…I really want that!
- The side “me too” story.
- I kind of hated Imogen in this book.
- I didn’t like how it seemed like it was Imogen’s fault Tom cheated, though Kristen makes a point to say that’s not the case.
- Everyone is ridiculously wealthy in this series.
The Down & Dirty:
Rating: 4 Stars, 3.5 Flame
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