Courtesy of CK2S Kwips and Kritiques
Widowed corporate lawyer Jefferson Lambert is perfectly content to live his life for his 16-year-old daughter Emily and his career, in that order. He still misses his late wife, even years later and feels no one could ever take her place in his heart. But Emily is growing up and wants her dad to find some happiness for himself once again. With the help of her dad's best friend, Emily's "Uncle" Blake she schemes to set him up through a dating service.
Artsy Sylvie Marchand had sowed her wild oats as a younger woman but settled down after her last blazing affair left her with the true love of her life, her daughter Daisy Rose. Now she is satisfied living back in New Orleans and managing the art gallery in her family's business, Hotel Marchand, in the heart of the French Quarter. She is much more subdued than in her younger days and her three sisters conspire to bring her a little romance, by way of a dating service.
When Jefferson and Sylvie meet, both are convinced there has to be some error in their matchmaking profiles. No one in their right mind would match a staid, died-in-the-wool attorney with a bubbly artist, many years his junior. They couldn't be more wrong...
The Setup, the second story in the Hotel Marchand continuity series is a pleasing contemporary romance about opposites attracting and not judging a book by its cover. At first meeting, Jefferson and Sylvie think they can't be more different but soon change their minds. And I do mean soon! After one date and events unfolding afterwards, they come to realize they are much more alike than ever imagined.
Be forewarned though, the back cover blurb is somewhat misleading. The majority of the book is everything leading up to the first meeting of Jefferson and Sylvie. We get a lot of background information on the two lovebirds, explaining why their pairing is so unlikely. Events mentioned on the cover don't actually occur until the last 50 pages of this 200+ page book and are really very minor incidents in the story.
Once Jefferson and Sylvie meet things progress at a speedy pace. It's quite amusing actually how their first impressions of each other are almost identical. Each of them immediately question the validity of their respective dating profiles, since it is apparent those said profiles were doctored up a bit by their loved ones who submitted them. Then to have them find that in spite of their obvious personality differences, sparks start flying immediately and they can't resist giving in to those urges.
Though not the most memorable book I've read recently, The Setup by Mari Ferrarella did give me the satisfaction of finishing a darn good read.
© Kelley A. Hartsell, January 2007. All rights reserved.