The Matchmakers

( 11 )


Single mom Dori Robertson is suddenly under pressure to find a new father for her eleven-year-old son. And he's already chosen the guy—former pro-football player Gavin Parker. As it turns out, Gavin's daughter wants her dad to marry again, too. When the kids join forces, Gavin suggests he and Dori start dating, just to satisfy the kids. Dori figures it's safe enough…until he kisses her!

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Single mom Dori Robertson is suddenly under pressure to find a new father for her eleven-year-old son. And he's already chosen the guy—former pro-football player Gavin Parker. As it turns out, Gavin's daughter wants her dad to marry again, too. When the kids join forces, Gavin suggests he and Dori start dating, just to satisfy the kids. Dori figures it's safe enough…until he kisses her!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780373200009
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 3/1/2009
  • Series: Famous Firsts Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 488,588
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Debbie Macomber
Debbie Macomber, the author of Hannah’s List, 1022 Evergreen Place, Summer on Blossom Street, 92 Pacific Boulevard, and Twenty Wishes, is a leading voice in women’s fiction. Three of her novels have scored the #1 slot on the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. Debbie Macomber's Mrs. Miracle was Hallmark Channel's top-watched movie for 2009. Winner of the 2005 Quill Award for Best Romance, the prolific author has more than 140 million copies of her books in print worldwide.


Publishing did not come easy to self-described "creative speller" Debbie Macomber. When Macomber decided to follow her dreams of becoming a bestselling novelist, she had a lot of obstacles in her path. For starters, Macomber is dyslexic. On top of this, she had only a high school degree, four young children at home, and absolutely no connections in the publishing world. If there's one thing you can say about Debbie Macomber, however, it is that she does not give up. She rented a typewriter and started writing, determined to break into the world of romance fiction.

The years went on and the rejection letters piled up. Her family was living on a shoestring budget, and Debbie was beginning to think that her dreams of being a novelist might never be fulfilled. She began writing for magazines to earn some extra money, and she eventually saved up enough to attend a romance writer's conference with three hundred other aspiring novelists. The organizers of the conference picked ten manuscripts to review in a group critique session. Debbie was thrilled to learn that her manuscript would be one of the novels discussed.

Her excitement quickly faded when an editor from Harlequin tore her manuscript to pieces in front of the crowded room, evoking peals of laughter from the assembled writers. Afterwards, Macomber approached the editor and asked her what she could do to improve her novel. "Throw it away," the editor suggested.

Many writers would have given up right then and there, but not Macomber. The deeply religious Macomber took a lesson from Job and gathered strength from adversity. She returned home and mailed one last manuscript to Silhouette, a publisher of romance novels. "It cost $10 to mail it off," Macomber told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in 2000. "My husband was out of work at this time, in Alaska, trying to find a job. The children and I were living on his $250-a-week unemployment, and I can't tell you what $10 was to us at that time."

It turned out to be the best $10 Macomber ever spent. In 1984, Silhouette published her novel, Heartsong. (Incidentally, although Heartsong was Macomber's first sale, she actually published another book, Starlight, before Heartsong went to print.) Heartsong went on to become the first romance novel to ever be reviewed in Publishers Weekly, and Macomber was finally on her way.

Today, Macomber is one of the most widely read authors in America. A regular on the New York Times bestseller charts, she is best known for her Cedar Cove novels, a heartwarming story sequence set in a small town in Washington state, and for her Knitting Books series, featuring a group of women who patronize a Seattle yarn store. In addition, her backlist of early romances, including several contemporary Westerns, has been reissued with great success.

Macomber has made a successful transition from conventional romance to the somewhat more flexible genre known as "women's fiction." "I was at a point in my life where I found it difficult to identify with a 25-year-old heroine," Macomber said in an interview with "I found that I wanted to write more about the friendships women share with each other." To judge from her avid, ever-increasing fan base, Debbie's readers heartily approve.

Good To Know

Some outtakes from our interview with Macomber:

"I'm dyslexic, although they didn't have a word for it when I was in grade school. The teachers said I had 'word blindness.' I've always been a creative speller and never achieved good grades in school. I graduated from high school but didn't have the opportunity to attend college, so I did what young women my age did at the time -- I married. I was a teenager, and Wayne and I (now married nearly 37 years) had four children in five years."

"I'm a yarnaholic. That means I have more yarn stashed away than any one person could possibly use in three or four lifetimes. There's something inspiring about yarn that makes me feel I could never have enough. Often I'll go into my yarn room (yes, room!) and just hold skeins of yarn and dream about projects. It's a comforting thing to do."

"My office walls are covered with autographs of famous writers -- it's what my children call my ‘dead author wall.' I have signatures from Mark Twain, Earnest Hemingway, Jack London, Harriett Beecher Stowe, Pearl Buck, Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, to name a few."

"I'm morning person, and rip into the day with a half-mile swim (FYI: a half mile is a whole lot farther in the water than it is on land) at the local pool before I head into the office, arriving before eight. It takes me until nine or ten to read through all of the guest book entries from my web site and the mail before I go upstairs to the turret where I do my writing. Yes, I write in a turret -- is that romantic, or what? I started blogging last September and really enjoy sharing bits and pieces of my life with my readers. Once I'm home for the day, I cook dinner, trying out new recipes. Along with cooking, I also enjoy eating, especially when the meal is accompanied by a glass of good wine. Wayne and I take particular pleasure in sampling eastern Washington State wines (since we were both born and raised in that part of the state).

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    1. Hometown:
      Port Orchard, Washington
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 22, 1948
    2. Place of Birth:
      Yakima, Washington
    1. Education:
      Graduated from high school in 1966; attended community college
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

"Danny, hurry up and eat your cereal," Dori Robertson pleaded as she rushed from the bathroom to the bedroom. Quickly pulling on a tweed skirt and a sweater, she slipped her feet into black leather pumps and went back into the kitchen.

"Aren't you going to eat, Mom?"

"No time." As fast as her fingers would cooperate, Dori spread peanut butter and jelly across two pieces of bread for a sandwich, then opened the refrigerator and took out an orange. She stuffed both in a brown paper sack with a cartoon cat on the front. Lifting the lid of the cookie jar, she dug around and came up with only a handful of crumbs. Graham crackers would have to do.

"How come we're always so rushed in the mornings?" eleven-year-old Danny wanted to know.

Dori laughed. There'd been a time in her life when everything had fit into place, but not anymore. "Because your mother has trouble getting out of bed."

"Were you always late when Dad was still alive?"

Turning, Dori leaned against the kitchen counter and crossed her arms. "No. Your father used to bring me a cup of coffee in bed." Brad had had his own special way of waking her with coffee and kisses. But now Brad was gone and, except for their son, she faced the world alone. Still, the rushed mornings were easier to accept than the long lonely nights.

"Want me to bring you coffee? I could," Danny offered. "I've seen you make it lots of times."

A surge of love for her son constricted the muscles of her throat, and Dori tried to swallow. Every day Danny grew more like his father. Tenderly she looked down at his sparkling blue eyes and the freckles that danced across his nose. Brad's eyes had been exactly that shade of bottomless blue, though the freckles were all hers. Pinching her lips together, she turned back to the counter, picked up a cup and took her first sip of lukewarm coffee. "That's very thoughtful of you," she said.

"Then I can?"

"Sure. It might help." Anything would be better than this insane rush every morning. "Now brush your teeth and get your coat."

When Danny moved down the hallway, Dori carried his empty cereal bowl to the sink. The morning paper was open, and she folded it and set it aside. Danny used to pore over the sports section, but recently he'd been reading the want ads. He hadn't asked for anything in particular lately, and she couldn't imagine what he found so fascinating in the classified section. Kids! At his age, she remembered, her only interest in the paper had been the comics and Dear Abby. Come to think of it, she didn't read much more than that now.

Danny joined her in the kitchen and together they went out the door and into the garage. While Dori backed the Dodge onto the narrow driveway, Danny stood by and waited to pull the garage door shut.

"One of these days," she grumbled as her son climbed into the front seat, "I'm going to get an automatic garage-door opener."

Danny gave her a curious look. "Why? You've got me."

A smile worked its way across Dori's face. "Why, indeed?"

Several minutes followed while Danny said nothing. That was unusual, and twice Dori's eyes sought his. Danny's expression was troubled, but she didn't pry, knowing her son would speak when he was ready.

"Mom, I've been wanting to ask you something," he began haltingly, then paused.

"What?" Dori said, thinking the Seattle traffic got worse every morning. Or maybe it wasn't that the traffic got heavier, just that she got later.

"I've been thinking."

"Did it hurt?" That was an old joke of theirs, but Danny didn't have an immediate comeback the way he usually did.

"Hey, kid, this is serious, isn't it?"

Danny shrugged one shoulder in an offhand manner. "Well, I know you loved Dad and everything, but I think it's time you found me another dad."

Dori slammed on her brakes. The car came to a screeching halt at the red light as she turned to her son, eyes wide with shock. "Time I did what?" she asked incredulously.

"It's been five years, Mom. Dad wouldn't have wanted you to mope for the rest of your life. Next year I'm going to junior high and a kid needs a dad at that age."

Dori opened her mouth, searching for words of wisdom that didn't come.

"I can make coffee in the morning, but that's not enough. You need a husband. And I need a dad."

"This is all rather…sudden, isn't it?" Her voice was little more than a husky murmur.

"No, I've been thinking about it for a long time." Danny swiveled his head and pointed behind him. "Hey, Mom, you just missed the school."

"Darn." She flipped on her turn signal and moved into the right lane with only a fleeting glance in her rearview mirror.

"Mom… watch out!" Danny shrieked just as her rear bumper barely missed the front end of an expensive foreign car. Dori swerved out of its path, narrowly avoiding a collision.

The driver of the other car blared his horn angrily and followed her when she pulled into a side street that would lead her back to the grade school.

"The guy you almost hit is following you, Mom, and, boy, does he look mad."

"Great." Dori's fingers tightened around the steering wheel. This day was going from bad to worse.

Still looking behind him, Danny continued his commentary. "Now he's writing down your license plate number."

"Wonderful. What does he plan to do? Make a citizen's arrest?"

"He can do that?" Danny returned his attention to his flustered mother.

"Yup, and he looks like the type who would." Judging by the hard, uncompromising face that briefly met hers in the rearview mirror… The deep-set dark eyes had narrowed, and the thick, equally dark hair was styled away from his face, revealing the harsh contours of his craggy features. He wasn't what could be called handsome, but his masculinity was blatant and forceful. "A man's man" was the term that came to mind.

"I recognize him," Danny said thoughtfully. "At least I think I do."

"Who is he?" Dori took a right-hand turn and eased to a stop in front of Cascade View Elementary. The man in the BMW pulled to a stop directly behind her and got out of his car.

"He looks familiar," Danny commented a second time, his wide brow furrowed in concentration, "but I don't know from where."

Squaring her shoulders, Dori reluctantly opened the car door and climbed out. She brushed a thick swatch of auburn hair off her shoulder as she walked back to meet the tall formidable man waiting for her. His impeccable suit and expensive leather shoes made him all the more intimidating. His eyes tracked her movements. They were interesting and arresting eyes in a face that looked capable of forging an empire—or slicing her to ribbons—with one arch of a brow. Dori was determined not to let him unnerve her. Although she indicated with her hand that Danny should stay by the car, he seemed to think she'd need him for protection. She didn't have time to argue.

"I don't appreciate being followed." She decided taking the offensive was her best defense.

"And I don't appreciate being driven off the road."

"I apologize for that, but you were in my blind spot and when I went to change lanes—"

"You didn't even look."

"I most certainly did," Dori said, her voice gaining volume. For the first time she noticed a large brown stain on his suit jacket. The beginnings of a smile edged up the corners of her mouth.

"Just what do you find so amusing?" he demanded harshly.

Dori cast her eyes to the pavement. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be rude."

"The most polite thing you can do is stay off the road."

Hands on her hips, Dori advanced one step. "In case you weren't aware of it, there's a law in Washington state against drinking any beverage while driving. You can't blame me if you spilled your coffee. You shouldn't have had it in the car in the first place." She prayed the righteous indignation in her tone would be enough to assure him she knew what she was talking about.

"You nearly caused an accident." He, too, advanced a step and a tremor ran through her at the stark anger in his eyes.

"I've already apologized for that," Dori said, knowing that if this confrontation continued she'd come out the loser. Discretion was the better part of valor—at least that was what her father always claimed, and for once Dori was willing to follow his advice. "If it'll smooth your ruffled feathers, I'll pay to have your suit cleaned."

The school bell rang, and Danny hurried back to the car for his books and his lunch. "I've got to go, Mom."

Dori was digging around the bottom of her purse for a business card. "Okay, have a good day, hon." She hoped one of them would; hers certainly didn't look promising.

"Don't forget I've got soccer practice after school," he reminded her, walking backward toward the steps of the school.

"I won't."

"And, Mom?"

"Yes, Danny?" she said irritably, the tight rein on her patience slackening.

"Do you promise to think about what I said?"

Dori glanced at him blankly.

"You know, about getting me another dad?"

Dori could feel the hot color creep up her neck and invade her face. Diverting her gaze from the unpleasant man standing beside her, she expelled her breath in a low groan. "I'll think about it."

A boyish grin brightened Danny's face as he turned and ran toward his classmates.

Searching for a business card helped lessen some of Dori's acute embarrassment. Another man might have said something to ease her chagrin, but not this one. "I'm sure I've got a card in here someplace."

"Forget it," the man said gruffly.

"No," she argued. "I'm responsible, so I'll pay." Unable to find the card, after all, Dori wrote her name and address on the back of her grocery list. "Here," she said, handing him the slip of paper.

He examined it briefly and stuck it in his suit pocket. "Thank you, Mrs. Robertson."

"It was my fault."

"I believe you've already admitted as much." Nothing seemed likely to crack this man's granite facade.

"I'll be waiting for the bill, Mr…?"

"Parker," he said grudgingly. "Gavin Parker." He retreated toward his car.

The name was strangely familiar to Dori, but she couldn't recall where she'd heard it. Odd. Danny had recognized him, too.

"Mr. Parker," Dori called out.

"Yes?" Irritably he turned to face her again.

"Excuse me, but I wonder if I could have another look at the paper I gave you."

His mouth tightened into an impatient line as he removed the slip from his pocket and handed it back.

She scanned the grocery list, hoping to commit it to memory. "Thanks. I just wanted to make sure I remembered everything."

He looked at her coldly, and by the time Dori was in her car and heading for the insurance office, she'd forgotten every item. Just the memory of his eyes caused a chill to race up her spine. His mouth had been interesting, though. Not that she usually noticed men's mouths. But his had been firm with that chiseled effect so many women liked. There was a hard-muscled grace to him— Dori reined in her thoughts. How ridiculous she was being. She refused to spend one extra minute on that unpleasant character.

The employee parking lot was full when she arrived and she was forced to look for a place on the street, which was nearly impossible at this hour of the morning. Luckily, she found a narrow space three blocks from the insurance company where she was employed as an underwriter for homeowner policies.

By the time she got to her desk, she was irritated, exhausted and ten minutes late.

"You're late." Sandy Champoux announced as Dori rolled back her chair.

"I hadn't noticed," Dori returned sarcastically, dropping her purse in a bottom drawer and pretending an all-consuming interest in the file on her desk as her boss, Mr. Sandstrom, sauntered past.

"You always seem to make it to your desk on time," Sandy said, ignoring the sarcasm. "What happened this morning?"

"You mean other than a near-accident with a nasty man in an expensive suit or Danny telling me I should find him a new father?"

"He's right, you know."

Purposely being obtuse, Dori batted her thick lashes at her friend and smiled coyly. "Who's right? Danny or the man in the suit?"

"Danny! You should think about getting married again. It's time you joined the world of the living."

"Ah—" Dori pointed her index finger at the ceiling "—you misunderstand the problem. Danny wants a father the same way he wanted a new bike. He's not interested in a husband for me.…" She paused and bit her bottom lip as a thought flashed into her mind. "That's it." Her eyes lit up.

"What's it?" Sandy demanded.

"The bike."

"You're going to bribe your son so he'll forget his need for a father?" Sandy was giving Dori the look she usually reserved for people showing off pictures of their children.

"No, Sandy." Dori groaned, slowly shaking her head. "You don't want to know."

Frowning, Sandy reached for a new policy from her basket. "If you say so."

Despite its troubled beginnings, the day passed quickly and without further incident. Dori was prepared to speak to her son when he stomped into the house at five-thirty, his soccer shoes looped around his neck.

"Hi, Mom, what's there to eat?"

"Dinner. Soon."

"But I'm starved now."

"Good, set the table." Dori waited until Danny had washed his hands and placed two dinner plates on the round oak table before she spoke. "I've been thinking about what you said this morning."

"Did it hurt?" Danny asked and gave her a roguish grin, creating twin dimples in his freckled face. "What did you decide?"

"Well…" Dori paid an inordinate amount of attention to the cube steak she was frying, then said, "I'll admit I wasn't exactly thrilled with the idea. At least not right away."

"And now?" Danny stood at the table, watching her keenly.

She paused, gathering her resolve. "The more I thought about it," she said at last, "the more I realized you may have a valid point."

"Then we can start looking?" His voice vibrated with eagerness. "I've had my eye on lots of neat guys. There's Jason—he helps the coach with the soccer team. He'd be real good, but I don't think he's old enough. Is nineteen too young?"

This was worse than Dori had thought. "Not so fast," she said, stalling for time. "We need to go about this methodically."

"Oh, great," Danny mumbled. He heaved a disgusted sigh. "I know what that means."

"It means we'll wait until the dinner dishes are done and make up a list, just like we did when we got your bike."

Danny brightened. "Hey, that's a great idea."

Dori wasn't as sure of that as Danny was. He bolted down his dinner, and the minute the dishes were washed and put away, he produced a large writing tablet.

"You ready?" he asked, pausing to chew on the tip of the eraser.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Most romantic read ever!

    I couldn't put it down, the characters just touched me and I wanted to find out if they lived happily ever after. Debbie Macomber is one of my favorite authors and I love all of her older and newer stuff.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Perfect for a Rainy Day

    A good quick read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great and Easy Read

    I have always loved Debbie Macomber's books, and this one was no exception! Ian easy read as I read it in one day! Once I started, it was very hard to put down.
    If you enjoy her books, this is definatley one to read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2009

    Great writer

    Have enjoyed Debbie's books for a while now and am always happy to find she has written a new one or had some put back into publication. Hope to never have to go hunting for her work. Always recommend her books when someone is looking for something to read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2009

    Great author from the very beginning!

    I buy everything Debbie Macomber writes, this was as good as expected!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 6, 2012

    Love this book!

    Again, Debbie Macomber produces a delightful little story which can be read in an avening. According to the blurb on the inside cover, this was Debbie's first book and from Harlequin's Romance "Famous Firsts Collection" series. It was published in 1986 and is only 186 pages. To me, the story was unusual and gave a man's perspective on marrying again.

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  • Posted June 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    ok book

    I didn't like this book that much the plot was so obvious and boring.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2009

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    Posted May 15, 2009

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    Posted May 9, 2009

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    Posted November 6, 2009

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