Customer Reviews for

The Art of Romance (Matchmakers Series #2)

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted April 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Artistic Romance with plenty of flair

    If you are looking for a nice, contemporary, romantic, Christian fiction novel with an artistic flair... and meddling Grandma's, then this is the book for you. "The Art of Romance", by Kaye Dacus starts us out with 2 plotting Grandmas "Sassy" and "Perty"- don't you love them already?- who have decided that it's time for a little matchmaking for their respective Grandkids Caylor and Dylan. As these Grandma's are a part of a larger group called collectively the "matchmakers" (this is Book 2 in The Matchmakers Series), Caylor and Dylan stand no chance. After all these Grandmas are in a race for Great Grandchildren!
    This story involves an accomplished and Tenured English Professor and author Caylor Evans and the struggling,in more ways than one, artist Dylan Bradley. Dylan Bradley is coming off of a bad and dominating relationship with an old colleague at a former college in New York and trying to heal from his past mistakes and start over in a whole new place, his home town of Nashville, Tennessee. He is doing this by moving in with his Grandparents to try and get his life back in order. He has a lot of work to do, in terms of his relationship with God, his parents , brothers, etc., because his former relationship was incredibly toxic in his life, not exactly a time to meet someone new and start a relationship. But, in time, they do and there are many hurdles to overcome during this story. A part of the story that I really loved was one involving Dylan and his 3 brothers- they all come together via a Skype type of interlude- and I don't want to spoil it, but- I just loved how the author incorporated that into the storyline because it is just so "now". It turns out that Dylan is not the only one with a skeleton in his closet, it appears that Caylor has one of her own. So both of them need to be honest and have "some esplainin' to do"( Imagine Ricky Ricardo accent here).
    I think that Kaye Dacus does a nice job of taking her characters on a journey where they truly do grow and change. They are not perfect people, some more flawed than others, but with God's help trying to change and grow and become all that they are meant to be. I just think it brings hope to show the process and how they change, as opposed to," they are perfect from the beginning and have it all together all the time". Kaye Dacus always throws some cute humor in her characters as well, which makes it fun to read. It's also a pretty sweet love story with just the perfect ending. So, if you're in the mood for that sweet Contemporary Christian Romance- then I think you'll enjoy this book. And the moral of the story- always listen to your Grandma.
    Disclosure-I was graciously provided with a digital copy of "The Art of Romance" by Kaye Dacus , published by Barbour Books through the Netgalley program. The opinions I expressed are my own and I was not obligated to write a positive review .

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Delightful! A must read for Contemporary Fiction Lovers!

    Kaye Dacus' The Art of Romance is....well...romantic!

    She has written such a sweet novel with well developed characters.

    (You have to love the grandmother's. They are meddling and competitve but so adorable!)

    Caylor is a strong and strikingly generous female lead. I love how she interacts with her grandmother and has such a great sense of family. Her faith seems such a natural extension of who she is, it is never in-your-face, but prominent all the same.

    Dylan is rich in depth and sincerity. He's made a serious error in judgment and his brothers have such an unconditional love for him. He could easily have dismissed his brothers advice and suggestions but he showed great strength by being willing to admit his errors and seek counseling.

    The imagery used in this book is phenomenal. Kaye paints such realistic pictures with her words that I had no trouble visualizing anything in this book.

    As for the ending...well my heart melted!

    This is Book Two in The Matchmaker Series. I highly recommend this book to all readers of contemporary fiction. The Art of Romance releases on May 2, 2011 so I don't want to give away the plot but suffice it to say...Get this book! 5 stars for absolutely wonderful! I received this advance reader copy book galley from Barbour Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2012

    Kaye has a knack for developing quirky, loveable characters. Thi

    Kaye has a knack for developing quirky, loveable characters. This is no exception. The grandmothers are ones we’d all wish to have [minus the matchmaking perhaps]. I love that Caylor is an author. I love that Dylan is a painter. Two artists will understand each other in ways most others won’t.

    I love Caylor as a real person – insecurities and all. She is good at what she does and is confident in who she is – to a point. Everyone has that point. The areas where they feel confident and competent and other areas where they feel insecure and incapable.

    The read is lighthearted and fun and will leave you smiling long after you finish it.

    This is the second book in the series [I read the first one, Love Remains, after I read this one], but I had no trouble picking up on what I needed to know. Book 3, Turnabout’s Fair Play, comes out in November. I’ll be picking it up.

    9 out of 10 stars

    *Thanks to the author and publisher for a free review copy*

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 3, 2011

    Great Read - more than once!

    Personally I love the way Kaye writes. Her characters are real - with spiritual issues, emotional issues and everyday struggles. Their lives are not perfect and neither are their friends and families rather they deal with the same stuff the rest of us deal with. Kaye shows her readers that through all of the trials God is still with us and He will carry us through to what He has for us if only we will trust.

    Thanks for more great reading. =)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Kaye Dacus writes a refreshing fun romance!!

    Snazzy! This is one of those books that you must keep lying around the house to grab when you need a comforting old friend. The characters felt so real and so very familiar that it's hard to even explain.

    I loved the author meets artist scenario but I honestly think that my favorite part is that the characters don't really take themselves too seriously (well, not the main characters). It's really refreshing to see people who have many of the same character traits that I look for when choosing friends. For instance, there is a part in the book when Caylor is with someone who is drinking, quite a lot, I loved how she handled that and how nonjudgmental the players in the scene were with each other.

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  • Posted September 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Her Secret Hero

    The Art of Romance by Kaye Dacus Book 2 of the Matchmakers
    Book 1: Love Remains Book 3: Turnabout's Fair Play

    What an enjoyable book! Nosy grandmother's determined to be the first ones who get the prized great grandchild... but first they have to marry off their grandchildren. So why not take a grandson from Perty and add a granddaughter from Sassy and kill two birds with one stone!
    At thirty-five and six foot tall Caylor Evans don't have any hope for a future love. She thought she had that ten years ago, but someone came between them. She is a Professor, Author, involved in her churches ministry and most important she moved in with her grandmother, Sassy, five years ago after Papa's death. Sassy needs her and that is good enough, or is it? When she meets the handsome grandson of her Sassy's best friend Perty she has second thoughts...

    Dylan Bradley has been through the wringer. At one time he loved his art work. Doing portraits and even some book covers to work his way through college. He was a disappointment to his parents, his other three brothers were getting all kinds of degrees but Dylan enjoyed his artwork, so his parents refused to pay his college. He had left God way behind after high school although his conscience often niggled at him when he knew he did wrong. As a Professor in Philadelphia his superior was Dr. Rhonda Kramer. She took him into her world and changed his art style, clothes and than his morals when he moved in with her. When he finally realized how she was running his life, and he stood his ground, he lost his job. Now he is back in Nashville, living in his grandparents carriage house and given a list of rules to follow. At age twenty-eight he was still treated like an immature child.

    This is a great story, Dylan needs to come back to the Lord and forgive himself for his past mistakes. He can't judge all women to be like Rhonda and he has to see the love his grandparents have for him and that they truly care, unlike his parents. He has been separated from the love his family and misses the close relationship he had with his brothers. He starts seeing how he let Rhonda run and ruin his life. And when he starts to heal he hopes a beautiful redhead will give him a second chance at love. Or will she run when she finds out his past secrets?

    Caylor has the love of her family, although there are huge issues with her sister, Felicity who now wants to be called Sage. She has her two close friends to help her through life as well, Zarah and Flannery. And she has Sassy. Can she tell Dylan her secret from her past without losing all hope of losing any chance with him?

    **Received through NetGalley for Review

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  • Posted August 20, 2011

    Matchmaking at its finest

    Kaye has done a wonderful job of making an large cast of characters easy to keep up with and care about. She is a very detailed writer and you get the full picture of what is going on throughout the book. The grandmother's are a wonderful bunch of ladies, old friends who care so much about their grandchildren they want to see them happily married. Three of the grandchildren are best friends and they are the center of the three books in this series.


    This book points out that we make mistakes as we grow and then learn as we get older that we need to make different choices because it is how God wants us to live. We all have to come to different growth periods where God is growing us up in something that we didn't see as wrong at earlier times in our lives. God grows us little by little until we are ready to see what needs to be changed. This book also reminds us that we need to understand that what a person did in their past is part of that past and that if they are in Christ then they have been made new in Him. We are not to judge because we all have things that we have done things we shouldn't have. We have to learn from those mistakes and more foward.

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  • Posted July 16, 2011

    The Art of Romance--a fun read!

    Kaye Dacus has created a cast of characters that are like "real" people-from meddlesome grandmothers to interfering siblings all seeking to hurry True Romance along. With her portrayal of both setting and characters, I moved right in and tagged along as if I were a part of Caylor's and Dylan's family gatherings adding my "think-so's" to their conversations. This wonderfully written, light-hearted romance leaves you happy and content. I highly recommend THE ART OF ROMANCE!

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  • Posted July 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Thought-provoking - touches on the issues of age gap in relationships

    Twenty-eight year old Dylan Bradley is an artist and an art professor who has just moved back to Nashville, Tennessee after losing his job due to an affair. Thirty-four year old Caylor Evans is an English professor who writes novels when she is not lecturing. Unbeknownst to them, their grandmothers are scheming to bring them together. When their paths cross, they are attracted to each other but push away those feelings due to their hidden pasts. Both Dylan and Caylor must learn how to face the pasts that they are ashamed of and overcome them if there is ever going to be any hope for a relationship. Kaye Dacus did a marvelous job in creating an aura of mystery surrounding Dylan Bradley and Caylor Evans. Reading THE ART OF ROMANCE was enjoyable as little bits about the characters of Dylan and Caylor are slowly unfolded throughout the book. Just as it seems that a reader knows everything that needs to be known about Dylan and Caylor, a surprising event happens and the plot takes another twist. But, some scenes in the book seemed over-narrated and certain descriptions are only understandable to those living in United States. For example, the scene in which Caylor decides to take a certain highway route might be confusing to those not living in Tennessee or United States. THE ART OF ROMANCE is the second book is the Matchmakers Series. Many helpful hints and explanations were given when issues touched in the first book, Love Remains, were dealt with in THE ART OF ROMANCE and I did not need to refer back to Love Remains for more information. I found THE ART OF ROMANCE a thought-provoking read as it touches on the issue of an age gap between partners in a relationship, especially when it is the female character being older than the male character. Although I am not an avid fan of relationships whereby the female character is older than the male character, reading THE ART OF ROMANCE has been a pleasant experience for me as the grammar and descriptions were good. There is a third book in the Matchmakers Series, TURNABOUT'S FAIR PLAY, and I am looking forward to reading it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Posted July 4, 2011

    Real life, real love, really good reading

    The Art of Romance is my favorite book so far in Kaye Dacus's "The Matchmaker" series! I enjoyed the "creative" career choices of the characters. The characters were well-drawn and true-to-life. I especially loved the generational dynamics between Caylor and her grandmother--and between Dylan and his mother.

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  • Posted July 2, 2011

    The Art of Romance - It's a keeper!

    Must admit, the cover grabbed me, but it was the romance and character development that kept me turning these pages. The Art of Romance is not a book that a reader can easily dismiss. There are distinctive issues emblazoned onto the pages that every woman has encountered whether she's fifteen or fifty. Every woman struggles with her flaws. So does the main character, Caylor.

    It's how she deals with them that made this book so enticing - well that and the paint-brush wielding hot artist that she encounters on the stair well. Their romance is one that is layered and not easy. She has secrets. He has secrets. Am I gonna tell ya? Nope. Where would the fun be in that?

    Whip in a dash of meddling grandmothers and their shining sense of humors and it doesn't take long to figure out that one is holding a great read. About half way through I began slowing down - not because I was bored, but because I realized that I would truly miss Caylor, Dylan, and the secondary cast of characters when I reached the last page. I'd miss the witty conversations, the REALISTIC problems plopped out there on the page and the suave and classy way Ms. Dacus handled them. Will I read another Dacus book? You bet! This is Christian Romance at it's best. Realistic, sassy, hot and the kind every woman wants. Way to go, Kaye Dacus!

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  • Posted July 2, 2011

    A Wonderful Romance!

    This is my first Kaye Dacus book, but it won't be my last. I loved this story! Kaye Dacus is a wonderful writer. She tells this story with wit and honesty and believable characters that you just can't help but love. Dylan, a handsome artist with a "secret" and Caylor, a tall, statuesque writer with a "secret" meet, with a little help from their meddling grandmothers. Dylan and Caylor are certainly not perfect. They're real, with faults and pasts that include bad decisions (don't we all have those?) that challenge both of them. Add a wonderfully sassy and meddling grandmother (her name is Sassy) and you have a read that you just don't want to put down. A barometer for me of a good book is this: when I do have to put it down because life calls me to get something done, I think about it and can't wait to get back to it. That was the case for me with "The Art of Romance". If you want a book that makes you smile, laugh out loud, think long and hard about past mistakes, and gives a satisfying conclusion to all the twists and turns, then get this wonderful book. I highly recommend it.

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  • Posted June 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good Read!

    4 out of 5 stars

    If you are a fan of "fluff" romance than The Art of Romance probably isn't what you're looking for but if you like your books to feature realistic heroines with well-researched storylines I highly suggest picking up a Kaye Dacus novel. Having read all of her previous contemporary romances it's safe to say that she's got the smart, independent, educated lead down pat. There are no "too dumb to function" heroines to be found and yet they are not without flaws.

    In this, the second installment of the Matchmakers series, we once again meet Caylor Evans, a thirty-something English professor by day and romance writer by night and struggling artist, Dylan Bradley. Neither Caylor or Dylan are looking for a relationship, Caylor having to take care of her aging grandmother and Dylan having just left a disastrous relationship with a former colleague, but God and grandmas are a team that will not be thwarted. Where Love Remains didn't include a lot from the meddling grandmas, this book more than made up for it. From setting up a "fantastic" kitchen remodel to painting daisies in an art class for seniors Sassy and Perty were unstoppable and I loved them. If anyone knows about grannies concerned for their still single grandkids, it's me and these two matriarchs were right on target.

    As much as I loved the Sassy, Perty, and Caylor, Dylan wasn't my favorite hero. I definitely liked him towards the end of the book when he learned to be a little more assertive. I guess I am so used to the big, strong, alpha male heroes that Dylan came as a bit of a shock allowing his ex-girlfriend and his family to have so much control in his life. Not only was he a bit diffident but also a lot younger than Caylor. That said, I really appreciated Ms. Dacus breaking the mold so to speak with this story and making it reflect modern day trends, I just have to get used to it I think! Altogether, The Art of Romance is a terrific book and perfect for today's Christian reader.


    * I received my copy from the publisher in exchange for posting my thoughts on the book for the author.*

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  • Posted June 12, 2011

    Humouous Romance with Southern Homecooking!

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Art of Romance. Kaye Dacus writes in a way that utterly draws a person into the world of intelligent, mature, and well-rounded characters. I honestly felt as if I were experiencing the story in the middle of a warm Southern kitchen with her descriptions of pies, cookies, and chocolate in almost every chapter. As my mouth watered and the smell of fresh baked bread floated from the pages, the story of the prodigal son returning and the woman who unknowingly loves him, came alive through humorous circumstances crafted by sprightly grandmothers. "Mr. Fantastic" had me laughing at loud. Who is he? You'll have to read the book to find out! The plot twist in the story is stuff of daydreams and creates a sweet romance between Caylor and Dylan. Don't forget your favorite dessert as you indulge in this wonderful new romance from Kaye Dacus.

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  • Posted June 2, 2011

    Artfully Crafted

    Another unforgettable story by Ms Dacus!
    The characters are well-developed and the reader learns more about them gradually - making for a great friendship. It makes the book hard to put down.
    The grandparents, parents and siblings are expanded and interact very naturally. I especially enjoyed the intervention by the brothers.
    Dyland is a great example that even men can be emotionally abused and I cheered him on as he emerged from that abuse to live a full life again.
    I appreciated the subtle ways Ms Dacus showed the effects of the abuse and how he changed when not under that cloud - the ability to carry a conversation.
    This book should win another award for Kaye Dacus.

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  • Posted May 23, 2011

    Masterful storyteller

    The Art of Romance grabbed me from the first page and held me captive until the last. Kaye has a way creating three dimensional characters that are so flawed and so likeable. The plot she weaved was very simple, yet felt complex. I loved the dynamics between the three friends : Caylor, Zarah and Flannery-I wanted to be their fourth friend! And the grandmothers, Sassy and Perty. They mettled yet it was clearly out of love, so the characters didn't mind in the end.

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  • Posted May 23, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Match-Maker!

    The Art of Romance by Kaye Dacus is a humorous story about two matriarchal match-makers. It's a wonderful romance story, but not the gushy, unrealistic type. It's based on real issues that are current to today's culture.

    Dylan has been fired from his position as an art professor due to a betrayal by his ex-girlfriend and colleague, is currently unemployed and living in his grandparents' loft in their old carriage house, and is definitely not ready for a new relationship. When he moves back to his home town, there are rules behind his living with his grandparents, and he tries to abide by them.

    Caylor is a tenured English professor and established romance writer who lives with her grandmother, escorting her to events and shopping after her husband passed away. Due to her living arrangements and a past relationship, she, too, is not in any hurry to get married.

    Sassy Evans and Perty Bradley have different plans for Dylan and Caylor. However, they don't know the painful and embarrassing secrets both Dylan and Caylor are hiding.

    This is my first book by Kaye, and it was an absolutely delightful read. The issues she brings about are so relevant for today's culture. She paces the drama and character information in a manner that keeps the pages flying. The romantic sparks and conversations between Dylan and Caylor are very realistic--the shyness of flirting without trying to overdo or pushing the relationship. The age factor comes into play as well, which society relates to differently. That issue is handled very well, whether you agree or disagree.

    The relationships of friends and siblings really touched my heart, especially those of Dylan's. You'll find that love, trust and faith in each other and God are the building blocks of the relationships and marriages, young and old, with a few exceptions.

    For a fun read about conniving matriarchs and the hearts of two broken people being mended, this is a book you will not want to miss. But don't be fooled, this book is not a simple plot of boy meets girl.

    This book was provided by the author in exchange for my honest review. My gracious thanks for a delightful read!

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  • Posted May 22, 2011

    Great characters, good story

    I fell in love with the characters in this story. Caylor Evans is a thirty-something English professor living with her grandmother. She's on the right track, but nowhere near snagging a man. Dylan Bradley escaped a troubled relationship and ruined a promising career with his mistakes. He returns home to live with his grandmother, and piece his life back together. These two have more in common than they think, including secrets that won't stay in the past. Dacus does a great job of fleshing out each character. I loved the quirks and foibles of Caylor. Like how she couldn't rest until she wrote down people's annoying habits for her upcoming book. I can totally relate to that! I appreciated the honesty and sincerity of the way Dylan dealt with his struggles. In many novels characters avoid dealing with their deep issues and magically regain normalcy by the next chapter. But Dylan's journey to God develops from a natural and sincere place as he worked with his counselor. It really tugs at your heart.

    Both Caylor and Dylan had their own unique flaws, and some similar hangups, which made them come alive on the page. Since both characters are professors, the language of the book is a bit more complex. There are lots of long sentences, em dashes-and of course big words. But I do enjoy big words and love to look them up. So if that's your kind of thing too, you'll enjoy this book.

    The plot in The Art of Romance was well-developed-the action always arising from a character's decision. Events happened at a natural, flowing pace making it easy to follow, but still interesting. The character drama felt like it belonged right where it unfolded. The Art of Romance is a good read, and I look forward to the final book in the series.

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  • Posted May 16, 2011

    surprising...

    "The Art of Romance" - When I first read the title, I was unsure about what to expect since I've never read a Kaye Dacus book. I was pleasantly surprised. The title fits it so well.

    Caylor, English Professor and writer, gave up her independence - her life - to help take care of her grandmother, Sassy. Not that she had a life anyway.

    Dylan, artist extraordinaire, had a life, but it was yanked away from him when he walked out on a bad relationship, one he should have never been in to begin with.

    In come Sassy, and Perty, Dylan's grandma - matchmakers. They want great-grandkids before their friends. Will it be with Dylan and Caylor or will they have to wait for Paxton, Tyler, Spencer, or Sage?

    Will Dylan's and Caylor's secrets keep them apart? Or will romance be created?

    This was a fun book, clean and entertaining. Life after 30 can be romantic. :) I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

    Ginger

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