Match Me If You Can (Chicago Stars Series #6)

Match Me If You Can (Chicago Stars Series #6)

4.5 185
by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
     
 

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You met star quarterback Kevin Tucker in This Heart of Mine. Now get ready to meet his shark of an agent, Heath Champion, and Annabelle Granger, the girl least likely to succeed.

Annabelle's endured dead-end jobs, a broken engagement . . . even her hair's a mess! But that's going to change now that she's taken over her late grandmother's matchmaking

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Overview

You met star quarterback Kevin Tucker in This Heart of Mine. Now get ready to meet his shark of an agent, Heath Champion, and Annabelle Granger, the girl least likely to succeed.

Annabelle's endured dead-end jobs, a broken engagement . . . even her hair's a mess! But that's going to change now that she's taken over her late grandmother's matchmaking business. All Annabelle has to do is land the Windy City's hottest bachelor as her client, and she'll be the most sought-after matchmaker in town.

Why does the wealthy, driven, and gorgeous sports agent Heath Champion need a matchmaker, especially a red-haired screw-up like Annabelle Granger? True, she's entertaining, and she does have a certain quirky appeal. But Heath is searching for the ultimate symbol of success -- the perfect wife. And to make an extraordinary match, he needs an extraordinary matchmaker, right?

Soon everyone in Chicago has a stake in the outcome, and a very big question: When the determined matchmaker promised she'd do anything to keep her star client happy . . . did she mean anything? If Annabelle isn't careful, she just might find herself going heart-to-heart with the toughest negotiator in town.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Phillips's latest captivating romance (Ain't She Sweet; Breathing Room) follows a pair of reluctant lovers from their combative first acquaintance to a happily ever after. Perpetually discombobulated but adorable Annabelle Granger inherits her grandmother's matchmaking business, renames it Perfect for You and targets Chicago's super-rich, super-aggressive sports agent Heath Champion, better known as the Python, as her first client. Intrigued by this spunky, determined upstart, Heath-who is dead set on finding the ultimate trophy wife by age 35-agrees to give Annabelle a chance despite his contract with Portia Powers of Power Match. Soon Annabelle is introducing him to the Windy City's most extraordinary women, none of whom seem to meet Heath's discriminating standards. Could it be because chemistry has sparked between the matchmaker and her client? From trading barbs the two progress to exchanging kisses-and more. But when Heath finally meets his should-be dream girl and Annabelle's business threatens to go bellyup, they each must face their deepest feelings and make some difficult decisions in the name of love. Phillips has once again created a delightful page-turner. Agent, Steven Axelrod. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Annabelle Granger desperately needs an A-list client like sports agent Heath Champion to launch the matchmaking service she inherited from her grandmother. Luckily, she has an in with the Chicago Stars; unlucky for her, Heath already has a matchmaker. Annabelle doesn't let little details deter her. Phillips returns to her Chicago football world, bringing back Phoebe Calebow in all her sharp and brilliant glory. Male characters play more than a supporting role here, and reader Anna Fields has a naturally deep voice that is up to the task, making Heath appealing despite his workaholic, one-track mind. She is less successful with Annabelle, who sounds too old and self-assured for the part. However, the subplot with alternative matchmaker Portia Powers almost steals the show, and Fields couldn't be more effective showing the brittle exterior masking deep-seated fear and longing. Not as brilliant as It Had To Be You, the story is still funny and fast-paced and recommended for public libraries.-Jodi L. Israel, MLS, Jamaica Plain, MA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060734565
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/29/2006
Series:
Chicago Stars Series, #6
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
173,734
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.04(d)

Read an Excerpt

Match Me If You Can

Chapter One

If Annabelle hadn't found a body lying under "Sherman," she wouldn't have been late for her appointment with the Python. But dirty bare feet stuck out from beneath her nana's ancient Crown Victoria. One extremely cautious glance under the car revealed they were attached to a homeless man known only as Mouse, who was famous in her Wicker Park neighborhood for his lack of personal hygiene and fondness for cheap wine. An empty screw-top bottle lay near his chest, which rose and fell with the sounds of his wet snorts. It testified to the importance of her appointment with the Python that she momentarily considered trying to maneuver the car around the body. But her alley parking space was too tight.

She'd allowed plenty of time to get dressed and make the trip downtown for her 11 a.m. appointment. Unfortunately, obstacles kept creeping up, beginning with Mr. Bronicki, who'd caught her at the front door and refused to leave until he'd had his say. Still, this wasn't an emergency yet. All she had to do was get Mouse out from under Sherman.

She gingerly prodded his ankle with her foot, noting as she did that the emergency mixture of Hershey's chocolate syrup and Elmer's glue she'd applied to a scuff mark on the heel of her favorite pair of strappy sandals hadn't entirely camouflaged the damage. "Mouse?"

He didn't stir.

She prodded him more vigorously. "Mouse, wake up. You have to come out of there."

Nothing. Which made it time to revert to more drastic measures.With a grimace, she bent over, gingerly picked up one filthy ankle, and gave it a shake. "Come on,Mouse.Wake up!"

Nada. If itweren't for his slurpy snorts, he might have been dead.

She shook him more vigorously. "This happens to be the most important day of my professional life, and I could use a little cooperation here."

Mouse wasn't interested in cooperation.

She needed more leverage. Gritting her teeth, she carefully slid up the skirt of the buttercup yellow raw silk suit she'd bought yesterday for 60 percent off at a Field's Day sale and crouched by the bumper. "If you don't get out from under there, I'm calling the police."

Mouse snorted.

She dug her heels into the ground and yanked on both filthy ankles. The morning sun beat down on her head. Mouse rolled over just far enough to wedge his shoulder under the chassis. She yanked again. Beneath her jacket, the white sleeveless shell she'd chosen to complement Nana's pearl teardrop earrings had begun to stick to her skin. She tried not to think about what was happening to her hair. This hadn't been the best time to run out of styling gel, and she prayed the ancient can of industrial-strength Aqua Net she'd found under the bathroom sink would tame the bedlam of her red curls, always the curse of her existence but especially so during a humid Chicago summer.

If she didn't get Mouse out in the next five minutes, she was in serious trouble. She made her way around to the driver's-side door. Her knees cracked as she crouched down again and peered into his slack-jawed face. "Mouse, you have to wake up! You can't stay here."

One grimy eyelid flicked open then slid shut again.

"Look at me." She poked his chest. "If you come out from under there, I'll give you five dollars."

His mouth moved and a guttural rumble oozed out, along with a string of saliva. "G'way."

The smell made her eyes water. "Why did you have to pick today to pass out under my car? And why my car? Why not Mr. Bronicki's car?" Mr. Bronicki lived across the alley and spent his retirement coming up with new ways to make Annabelle crazy.

Time was running out, and she was starting to panic. "Do you want to have sex? Because if you come out, we could maybe talk about it."

More drool and another putrid snort. This was hopeless. She jumped up and dashed toward the house.

Ten minutes later, she managed to lure him out with an open can of beer. Not her best moment.

By the time she'd maneuvered Sherman from the alley to the street, she had only twenty-one minutes left to navigate the traffic into the Loop and find a place to park. Dirt streaked her legs, her shirt was crumpled, and she'd broken a fingernail when she'd opened the beer can. The extra five pounds that had accumulated on her small-boned frame since Nana's death no longer seemed like such a big problem.

10:39.

She couldn't risk the construction gridlock on the Kennedy Expressway, so she cut over to Division. In the rearview mirror, another curl sprang free of her hair spray, and perspiration glistened on her forehead. She detoured down Halsted to avoid more road repair. As she maneuvered Sherman's tanklike bulk through the traffic, she scrubbed at her dirty legs with the damp paper towel she'd snatched up in the kitchen. Why couldn't Nana have driven a nice little Honda Civic instead of this bilious green gas-guzzling monster? At five feet three inches, Annabelle had to sit on a cushion to see over the steering wheel. Nana hadn't bothered with a cushion, but then she'd hardly ever driven. After a dozen years of use, Sherman's speedometer didn't quite register thirty-nine thousand miles.

A cab cut her off. She laid on the horn, and a trickle of perspiration slid between her breasts. She glanced at her watch. 10:50. She tried to remember if she'd put on deodorant after her shower. Of course she had. She always put on deodorant. She lifted her arm to make sure, but just as she took a sniff, she hit a pothole and her mouth bumped against the buttercup yellow lapel, leaving behind a smudge of tawny lipstick . . .

Match Me If You Can. Copyright © by Susan Phillips. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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