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The Matchmaker

The Matchmaker

3.5 2
by Lisa Plumley

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Someone Was Matching Up Men And Women All Over Town—And, Tarnation! It Had To Stop!

Marcus Copeland had been elected to "investigate" the most likely suspect. But he didn't have time to romance any secrets out of the unconventional Molly Crabtree. He had a lumber mill to run. And besides, this buxom, beautiful baker was proving to be one


Someone Was Matching Up Men And Women All Over Town—And, Tarnation! It Had To Stop!

Marcus Copeland had been elected to "investigate" the most likely suspect. But he didn't have time to romance any secrets out of the unconventional Molly Crabtree. He had a lumber mill to run. And besides, this buxom, beautiful baker was proving to be one tough cookie!

Coming from a family of freethinkers, Molly Crabtree knew she'd be a success if only someone would take her seriously. But who'd ever have thought it would be the arrogant Marcus Copeland? And was his proposition strictly business—or secret pleasure?

Only the matchmaker knew for sure…!

Editorial Reviews

Old Book Barn Gazette
Ms. Plumley has created another enjoyable, lighthearted read filled with charming characters, a sassy love story and laugh-out-loud antics. The Matchmaker, as creative and unique as Molly's cinnamon buns, will satisfy your sweet-tooth. It is a winner!
Romantic Times BOOKclub
Four stars! An entertainingly light romance with just a pinch of humor.
Lisa Plumley's voice shines whether she's writing contemporary or historical romance and she proves it again with her delightful new release, The Matchmaker. Her characters are marvelous, her pacing is fast and breezy, and her situations sparkle and are often laugh out loud funny.
A Romance Review
The Matchmaker is by far the funniest historical I have ever read. Ms. Plumley delivers wonderful comedic timing which will have readers laughing throughout most of the book. This is another keeper by Lisa Plumley.

Product Details

Publication date:
Morrow Creek , #674
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Read an Excerpt

The Matchmaker

By Lisa Plumley

Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.

Copyright © 2003

Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-373-29274-0

Chapter One

Northern Arizona Territory
September 1882

Change was afoot in Morrow Creek.

From the whispering ponderosa pines crowding the hills at the edge of town, to the false-fronted buildings lining Main
Street and all the way to the shadowy interior of Murphy's saloon, things just weren't the way they were supposed to
be. The way the bachelors of the town wanted them to be. Tonight, on this frost-tinged autumn evening, they'd gathered
together to address the problem.

The problem of the mysterious meddling match-maker.

Marcus Copeland, running uncharacteristically late, made it into the meeting just as two of the barkeeps broke apart
from the crowd to bar the saloon doors. With a nod for both men, Marcus slipped inside and found an empty stool in the
corner. From his position at the back of the room, he heard the heavy crossbar thud into place at the doors, sealing
all the members of the Morrow Creek Men's Club inside for this, their third emergency meeting in as many weeks.

"Damnation! Somethin' has got to be done," old man Jeffries was saying. "It ain't right, what that matchmaker's been
doin'. It just ain't right."

A round of nods and murmured voices greeted his pronouncement. Dusty boots stamped on the floor with enthusiasm, and
several men raised their glasses of whiskey, lager and mescal in a show of support for Jeffries. If their combined
grumblings and disgruntled expressions were anything to judge by, every last unmarried man in the territory felt
equally beleaguered by the matchmaker's problematic meddling.

Marcus figured he had more vital things to worry about - like the set of ledgers from his lumber mill that still
needed double-checking, and the schedule for next week's shipment that still needed to be assigned to one of his
foremen. But as an upstanding member of the community, and a bachelor who'd been provoked just about as much as any
other man there, he'd decided it was his duty to attend the meeting.

Whether he wanted to or not.

Near the saloon's bar, beneath Murphy's already-famous gilt-framed portrait of a scantily clad water nymph, another man
rose. Marcus recognized him as O'Neil, the butcher. He clutched a pint of Levin's ale in a fist roughened by years of
wielding a cleaver, and raised his voice to be heard over the other men.

"Jeffries is right!" he said. "This ruckus is getting out of hand. So are these forward-thinkin' ladies. Why just last
week, Emmaline Jones turned up at my shop with -"

He paused, as though the truth of the matter were too awful to be admitted aloud.

"- with a yellow em-broi-dered butcher's apron for me. The next day, she came back with a matching neckerchief. Seems
the matchmaker told her I had a cold coming on, and would 'precciate the gesture."

"Was it em-broi-dered, too?" yelled someone from beside the potbellied stove.

Guffaws filled the room.

"No." O'Neil hung his head. "But it smelled like rose petals. The fool woman wouldn't leave till I put it on. Now I ask
you, how's a man s'posed to work wearin' a thing like that? Smellin' like flowers?"

The men's voices rose, loud with advice to O'Neil on the virtues of "smellin' pretty." Marcus cracked a grin and opened
the first of the two ledgers he'd brought, scanning the rows of neatly penciled entries within. It looked as though it
might be a while before the men's club came to any conclusions. He might as well get some work done.

"Quit yer bellyachin'," put in the tanner who kept his shop a short ways distant from the Copeland lumber mill. "That
fool matchmaker's advice has the whole town in an uproar. It ain't just you. Hell, just this mornin' that little gal
who just came to town gave me a pink knitted rifle cozy!"

Heads shook all around.

"Now I ask you," the tanner went on, "who the hell ever heard of a rifle cozy? My guns ain't cold, like a pot o' tea.
What's a fella supposed to do with a thing like that?"

"Well," drawled the red-haired rancher from the west side of town, crossing his arms over his tobacco-stained vest,
"you can't put it with my hand-sewed bullet carrier that Mary Jane Mayberry gave me two days ago."

"Why not?"

"'Cause mine's baby-blue." He paused. Spit.

"Won't match."

Table-thumping laughter ensued. Marcus shook his head and turned another ledger page, blowing away the sawdust that
clung to the paper. Compared to the rest of the bachelors in town, the matchmaker had taken things easy on him.

Sure, having his men come to work bleary-eyed and distracted from visits and letters and surprise gifts from hopeful
brides-to-be hadn't helped his lumber mill any. In fact, it was downright dangerous having inattentive workers running
the saws. But Marcus had handled those problems on an individual basis, by reassigning the affected men to less
hazardous jobs. Where his personal life was concerned ... well, the matchmaker's antics had left him relatively,
and curiously, untouched.

"What about this?" Another man stood, holding a necktie aloft. It dangled from his fingertips like a limp,
lace-frothed rattlesnake, remarkably ugly in shades of brown and green. "The matchmaker told the preacher's daughter to
make this damn thing for me. Now, if she comes to my mercantile and I'm not wearing it, she gets all weepy on me." He
shook his head.

"I can't run a business with nonsense like that going on."

"Awww!" The men nearest him aimed nonsym-pathetic jabs at his ribs. One grabbed the necktie and slung it over the
merchant's shoulders, then stepped back as though to study the effect. "I declare!" he exclaimed in a piercing falsetto
voice. "You look just like a picture in Godey's."

They all laughed, good-naturedly slapping their friend on the back. The necktie was passed to a cow-hand, who whirled
it overhead like a lasso. At the sight of it, Marcus shuddered. A man had to draw the line somewhere. Ugly
neckties - with lace of all things - seemed like a good place to start.

The worst he'd personally received had been a tentative invitation to a "moonlit stroll with a lady admirer" in one of
the matchmaker's personal advertisements. Printed in Adam Crabtree's Pioneer Press at irregular intervals, the
advertisements were read with groans and expressions of resignation from the beleaguered men and eager giggles from the
women. Of all the marriage-minded weapons in the matchmaker's arsenal, the advertisements were among the most powerful.

"Irene Posy wrote po-e-try about me," a bearded railroad man in the corner said. "And put it in the newspaper!"


Excerpted from The Matchmaker
by Lisa Plumley
Copyright © 2003 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd..
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

USA TODAY best-selling author Lisa Plumley has delighted readers worldwide with more than two dozen popular romances. Visit Lisa at www.lisaplumley.com, friend her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lisaplumleybooks, or follow her on Twitter @LisaPlumley today!

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The Matchmaker (Harlequin Historical #674) 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first third of the story, I found the characters rather one dimensional and so stereotypical as to be silly, especially the men of the town. I'm glad I stuck with it, though, because pretty soon I saw what the author was doing. She shows the extreme male and female stereotypes, reasoning, and reactions in given situations. Put these two extremes in a historical setting where male and female roles were more traditionally delineated, add in a heroine who was raised in an unconventional household where sufferagette ideals and freedoms formed her, and a hero who thinks he believes in tradtional roles, and watch the fun begin. The real fun is in being along for the ride with the main characters as they gradually discover, to their horror, that neither one is as set in their opinions concerning what male/female roles and relations should be as they thought they were. She is just as horrified to find herself comfortable with leaning on him a little as he is to discover that he likes and respects her independence. Despite my initial concerns about the silliness of the townsmen, and the outlandish over the top things the townswomen were doing, this turned out to be a fun read. The over the top behavior actually does serve the purpose of showing opposite viewpoints of extreme interpretation of traditional roles. It was fun to see the growth in all of the characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago