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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


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.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
Bestselling author Susan Elizabeth Phillips has a ball in this funny and irresistible sequel to This Heart of Mine. This one pits Heath Champion, Kevin Tucker's scary sports agent, against the adorable, somewhat disorganized matchmaker Annabelle Granger. Heath, nicknamed the Python, has finally gone into training for marriage, but finding the right poised, accomplished woman is tough on a high-powered schedule. He reaches out to the gold standard of matchmakers, Portia Powers, and, reluctantly, to a small-time operator, Annabelle. The greatest underachiever in her family, Annabelle has inherited her grandmother's old matchmaking firm, Marriages by Myrna, and is modernizing it under the a name, Perfect for You. She badly needs a big client like Heath. Annabelle's matchmaking and her encounters with her own family and the extended family of the Chicago Stars are a riot, as is the unlikely romance between the overcontrolling Portia Powers and former linebacker Bodie Gray. By the time Heath realizes his dream girl was the result of the wrong dreams, readers are cheering: We know who his dream girl really is. Ginger Curwen
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.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Chicago Stars Series , #6
Edition description:
Sales rank:
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.


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.

Meet the Author

Susan Elizabeth Phillips soared onto the New York Times bestseller list with Dream a Little Dream. She’s the only four-time recipient of the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Favorite Book of the Year Award. A resident of the Chicago suburbs, she is also a hiker, gardener, reader, wife, and mother of two grown sons.

Brief Biography

Chicago, Illinois
Place of Birth:
Cincinnati, Ohio
B.F.A., Ohio University

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Match Me If You Can 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 185 reviews.
sweetpeaSP More than 1 year ago
The romance between Heath and Annabelle was predictable but the clever, witty journey to get there was worth it. Annabelle, a soft touch, tries to revamp her grandmother's matchmaking business for a new generation and Heath, a hard nosed lawyer and sports agent come together on a professional level. While trying to find a match for Heath, she falls for him herself. Cute! Fun!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Susan Elizabeth Phillips scores a sensational, funny, tender story in Match Me If You Can. _________ Annabelle Granger is determined to change her place as the family screw up. She is laying it all on the line to make Perfect for you the matchmaker service she inherited a success. Annabelle sets her sites on Heath Champion, top sports agent. If she can make this match the exposure will help Perfect for you. __________ Heath has decided its time to add a wife to the mix. Someone who will be the perfect partner. He already has a deal with Power Matches owner Portia Powers. But he is intrigued by this quirky woman who steamrolls her way into his life. Dates are coming left and right from both women. But it¿s Annabelle and Heath that shake each other¿s world. Has the matchmaker made her match? _________ Match Me If You Can is a book to treasure. The dialogue is witty, snappy, the passion is hot and the family and friends are a joy. I loved peeking in to former friends for the Chicago Stars. It was like checking in with old and dear friends.______ You can¿t go wrong with this book, it¿s a keeper.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was probably Susan E. Phillips best book in the Chicago Stars series. There were so many laugh out loud moments and the storyline was great. Heath Champion the sexy sport agent for Kevin Tucker (This Heart of Mine)has decided he wants a wife so he hires Portia of Power Matches and the heroine Annabelle Granger of Perfect for you to introduce him to potiental wives. Annabelle is friends with Molly (This Heart of Mine) who first helps Annabelle (who is considered the screwup in her family) land Heath as a client. As she searches for potiental wives for Heath the sparks begin to fly between these two. Great dialogue between all the characters in this book will keep you laughing and entertained. The secondary romance between Portia and Bodie who is Heaths 'bodyguard' is also good. Another treat for fans is the return of some of the old gang like Phoebe/Dan and Molly/Kevin. Highly recommend this book. Great read.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Sports agent Heath ¿Python¿ Champion decides he needs a societal acceptable trophy wife to further his career. The agent of football superstar Kevin Tucker (see THIS HEART OF MINE) does not want to go through the motion of finding someone or bother much beyond the superficial when it comes to the courting ritual. He hires Portia Powers of Power Match, but she wants to control his every move. --- He then turns around and hires cute but wacky Annabelle Granger, who recently inherited her grandmother's matchmaking business. Between the two companies Heath meets a horde of eligible lovely women, but none of Chicago¿s finest is good enough for him. Instead he begins thinking of attractive Annabelle who he finds very kissable when they are not arguing and even more kissable when they are. However, Annabelle is the last person a social climber wants by his side so he keeps asking himself why does he want to make a permanent match with the madcap matchmaker? --- Heath and Annabelle are a fun couple due to their vigorous spats, their vivacious kisses, and finally their undisputed conclusion that each is wrong for the other¿s career goals. In other words love is a wonderful irritating nuisance. MATCH ME IF YOU CAN is a fine animated contemporary romance starring a delightful duo. --- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book!!! The characters were very likable, and some of the situations were very funny! This is one I'll read again!
AngelicHue More than 1 year ago
This book displays SEP witty and sarcastic humor throughout every scene. The diatribe is something I seek in all books and this one is a definite page turner. It does not have the intimate profiles as some of her books, but this can be bypassed with her captivating movement throughout the book. I loved all the characters and even though at times some may seem a little cliche, this book seems to encompass what it takes to make a SEP success. Highly recommend if you want modern and sarcastic dialogue with a twist of romance.
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one of her best books
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What a match! SEP has done it again with great characters like Heath (Python) & Annabel
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This was a quick and fun read that was well-worth the money. I won't delete it from my nook, even when I buy a print copy. Annabelle is charming and funny and Heath, even though he's gorgeous he definitely has his flaws which endear him. I loved this book because it made me laugh and it wasn't too cliched or mushy. It's great to read!
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DaleneH More than 1 year ago
This was the very first Susan Elizabeth Phillips romance I ever read. I don’t know if that’s why it became one of my romance favorites, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I enjoyed this book for its humor and romance/love story. There was a great balance between the two that made it a quick read. The antics and relationships between all the characters are what created the quirkiness and humor. There is some heat in the romance area, but not continually throughout the story. I enjoyed Annabelle’s attitude especially when dealing with Heath as a client of hers. Could Heath really be that vain? There was never a dull moment in the book and it had a very good ending. I also enjoyed the matching making job outlook. Something new I had never read before. I would definitely recommend this book to all readers of romance. Don’t let the sports theme turn you off, it isn’t the full basis for the story.
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A fun, enjoyable, well written story. perfect vacation book! i fell in love with this author and had to read more.