One special night with Cooper Hamilton gave Nora Perry a precious gift. But no way is the sweet-talking salesman the right guy for her or is he?
Former pro athlete Ty Porter could get burned when he falls for the beautiful reporter who ruined his careerand could now expose his most zealously guarded secret!
Gideon Walker has a long history with free-spirited flower shop owner Sophie Jennings. But when the banker-matchmaker fixes her up with potential candidates, he realizes he's made a terrible mistake
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About the Author
Cari Lynn Webb lives in South Carolina with her husband, daughters and assorted four-legged family members. She's been blessed to see the power of true love in her grandparent's 70 year marriage and her parent's marriage of over 50 years. She knows love isn't always sweet and perfect, it can be challenging, complicated and risky. But she believes happily-ever-afters are worth fighting for. She loves to connect with readers.
USA Today and national bestselling author Anna J Stewart can't remember a time she didn't have a book in her hands or a story in her head. Early obsessions with Star Wars, Star Trek, and Wonder Woman set her on the path to creating sweet to sexy pulse-pounding romances for her independent heroines. Anna lives in Northern California where she deals with a serious Supernatural addiction and an overly affectionate cat named Snickers.
Read an Excerpt
"A good car is like a good life," Cooper Hamilton said to his friends over a beer on Friday night in Kenkamken Bay, Alaska's, Bar & Grill. "Make it affordable, make it practical, make it easy to trade in. And you're all set."
"A good car starts up and goes no matter how bad the storm," Gideon Walker added, tightening the knot on his don't-leave-home-without-it blue tie. "Nothing keeps a good car stuck in your driveway."
Ty Porter scratched his full, dark beardthe one that gave half the men in town beard envyand channeled his inner cynic. "Unless it runs out of gas."
Coach, the bar's owner and bartender, rolled his eyes. And Coop couldn't blame him.
In their high school years, Coop, Gideon and Ty had strutted around town looking down their noses at K-Bay because they were destined to leave for better things in the Lower 48. Now they'd become a sad cliché. A fixture at the K-Bay Bar & Grill. Always taking up the three seats at the elbow of the bar near the kitchen.
As demoralizing as the 0-0 score of the hockey game.
There were other fixtures in the old bar, of course: the large brass bell that hung over the beer taps, the hand-painted sign above the mirror proclaiming it a Nag-Free Zone, and the other regulars at their regular seats. Mike and his fishing buddies around the pool table. Sam and other cannery workers in the booths near the front windows. Derrick and the crosscountry truck drivers at the round wooden table in front of the big-screen television.
Coop supposed there was nothing wrong with being a regular and keeping to your group of friends. It was just that Coop hadn't expected to be one of themthe bearded, parka-wearing, windshield-scraping residents of a remote town in southwest Alaska.
The hockey game on the big screen ended. There were calls for a change of channel. Coach worked the remote with arthritis-gnarled fingers. Other sports played silently on smaller TVs around the bar.
Out of habit, Coop flexed his digits. His father had lost all the fingers on one hand in a fishing accident that had nearly killed him, right before Coop had planned to leave for college. Made Coop appreciate his limbs and everyone else's, arthritic or not.
A lifestyle report from an Anchorage station popped on-screen. The reporter was interviewing a woman wearing a turquoise business suit that looked as though it belonged in Washington, DC, not Alaska.
"The possibilities for matchmaking in Alaska are limitless due to the ratio of men to women here." Not one of the suited-lady's highlighted curls moved in the wind. "When I meet a female client, I intuitively know what kind of man she'll be happy with. You could almost say that love is guaranteed." She flashed a calculated smile at the camera. "If you hire me."
Jeers rose from the crowd.
Coop groaned. As a car salesman and used-car-lot manager, he knew a slick sales pitch when he heard one. "If that woman sold cars, she'd be doctoring repair records and rolling back odometers."
Coach found a basketball game and the patrons settled down.
"'There are no women in Alaska.'" Ty framed his statement in air quotes. "That's a myth."
"A myth everywhere but here," Gideon said. Since he worked as a loan officer at Kenkamken Bay Savings & Loan, he should know the area's statistics. "K-Bay is seventy-five percent male."
"And some of the females " Coop didn't voice the rest of his opinion. The women in town were nice, but they weren't the kind you'd see in beauty pageants or in a Lower 48 big city. Heels? Glossy hair? Artfully applied makeup? Not in K-Bay. "Why would they put a story about matchmaking on the news?"
Coach slapped the lifestyle section of the Anchorage Beat on the nicked oak bar. "Because Kelsey Nash wrote an article about that woman."
Coop's gaze cut to Ty. His friend looked away from the paper and touched the scar on his cheek, the one half-hidden by that thick beard.
Kelsey was from K-Bay and had been the first to report on Ty's careerending injuries seven years ago. That wouldn't have been so bad if she hadn't slanted the piece to make Ty look like an irresponsible, immature fool. Never mind the puck to Ty's face, detached retina, medically induced coma and the end of the man's pro-hockey dreamsof all their dreams. Ty wasn't a fool. He was just Ty.
"It's a fluff piece. It's not as if matchmaking would be hard in a city like Anchorage." Coop tried to discredit Kelsey's story. "Let that woman try matchmaking in K-Bay."
"We could do better than her." Gideon was right there with him, adjusting the knot in his tie as if it was Monday morning, not Friday night. "I mean, come on. What does a woman like that know about what a man from Alaska likes? It's not worth the space in the paper or the airtime on TV."
"Listen to yourselves." Coach's voice rumbled like a logging truck speeding over rutted black ice. "Talking as if you had any idea about life or love."
"I just said life was like a good car." Coop sat up straighter. There was nothing that got his heart pumping like a good bar argument. "And women like a good car. Just look at me." He spread his arms. "I'm good-car material."
"Sure you are." Coach poured the sarcasm over Coop's belief. "You're cheap, boring and stuck in a rut. Just like my wife's snowbound sedan out on Old Paris Road. Won't get that out until spring. If ever."
And if that didn't deflate Coop's tires
Ty was still lost in thought when Gideon jumped to Coop's defense. "Men know what they want in a woman. To make a match, you'd just have to dig down deep to discover what the heck a woman really wants. That matchmaker using her 'intuition' is farcical. If two people would just be honest about what they wanted"
"Exactly." Coop leaped back into the fray. "If a woman would just say, 'I do want a long-term commitment from a man that'll likely lead to marriage and probably having babies,' it would cut through all the awkward, getting-to-know-you part." And transition Coop to the "sorry, that's not me, been nice to know you" part.
Coach chuckled, but it wasn't the sound of shared humor. "The three of you sit in my bar every Friday and Saturday night, and most Sundays, too. Sometimes you go to Anchorage to meet women, but you don't date anyone regular. What could you possibly know about matchmaking?"
"I bet we could make introductions with more success than that woman." Coop's voice rang with confidence. It wasn't as though he was actually going to have to prove his point.
"Look at all the single guys in this bar. There's a catch here for every gal."
They all scanned the bar's patrons.
Coop almost considered issuing a retraction. Scraggly beards. Scraggly hair. Scraggly flannel shirts. K-Bay wasn't exactly Baywatch.
But Gideon was back in the game. "I bet we could match more couples than her, too. And I wouldn't use my intuition."
"We'd have the Bar & Grill's bell ringing on the hour." Coop's statement might have been a little over the line. Whenever someone found The One, they rang the bell over the bar. The bell hadn't been heard in more than a year.
"I'll take that bet," Coach said, puncturing the wind from their sails. He leaned on the bar, capturing their attention the same way he had years ago as their high school hockey coachwith a steely-eyed stare that said he was done with small talk and ready for action. "There are three weeks until Valentine's Day. I'll bet you three can't get three couples to ring that bell by Valentine's eve."
"Three?" Coop scoffed, the first of their trio to find his voice. "We could do twice that."
Ty and Gideon stared at Coop as if he'd just told them he'd traded his truck for a minivan.
"Deal." Coach offered his hand.
Coop reflexively put his out, but Gideon arm-barred his hand aside. "We don't know the terms. What do we get if we win this bet?"
"A hundred bucks." Coach smirked, making his face as wrinkled as a shar-pei's.
Again, Coop put out his hand.
Again, Gideon batted it down. "That's not worth one match, let alone six."
"Six hundred, then." Coach's grin said he thought they'd fail.
Heck, Coop thought they'd fail. Six? What had he been thinking?
Clearly he hadn't been. Still, Coop kept his smilethe one that had helped him sell hundreds of carsglued to his face. No reason to let Coach sense blood in the water.
Coop glanced at Gideon. Gideon glanced at Coop. It was too late to back out now. They nodded and extended their hands to seal the deal, but this time it was Ty who stopped them from accepting the bet.
"Forget the money. If we win, we want jobs on one of your hockey teams." Ty had an expression on his face that Coop hadn't seen in seven yearslike a bull charging toward the china shop. He'd scowled like that during a high school championship and had defended four shots on goal in two minutes to ensure their team won.
Coop wasn't sure if the entire bar heard Ty's terms or not. For a moment everything seemed quiet. Or it could have been the ringing in Coop's ears that blocked out the clinking of glasses, beer-roughened voices and deep drifts of laughter.
Jobs in the Lower 48? It was all they'd ever wantedto get out of town and work together in professional hockey.
Coach's gaze morphed from dismissive to appraising. He owned large stakes in a couple of farm teams in the contiguous US. He'd been a successful hockey coach at the highest level, retiring early due to a severe case of rheumatoid arthritis now under control with a change in lifestyle and diet. "You want to sell popcorn and pretzels at some of my games?"
Ty didn't flinch at the jab, although it hit him where it hurt because his thickly bearded chin jutted out. He'd gone from being a potential hockey superstar at eighteen, predicted to go high in the draft, to a jack-ofall-trades employee at K-Bay's run-down skating rink. "Coop can sell bottled sand in the desert. I'm sure you have marketing positions. Gideon can make money grow on trees"
"Legally," Gideon murmured.
"And I know the game inside out." Ty's chin thrust halfway to Russia. "I could coach."
The stakes of the bet had increased astronomically. It was what the three of them had dreamed of as boys: escaping Alaska. Only, back then, Coop was going to be Ty's sports agent and Gideon his financial adviser. When Ty's dreams had fallen apart, so had Coop's and Gideon's.
Coop tried not to look as though he'd swallowed a fish bone. "Is it a bet, Coach?"
"You've forgotten one thing." The older man leaned against the back bar and crossed his beefy forearms. "What do I get when you lose?"
"We'll swim the Polar Bear Challenge naked," Ty offered.
Coach shook his gray, grizzled head. "You did that when you were teens."
"We'll bartend for you on weekends." At Coach's frown Gideon added, "For a month."
"I like tending bar," Coach said. "Gets me out of the house. Now if you wanted to take my wife shopping in Anchorage every weekend for a month."
Coop stared at Kelsey's article, at the suited matchmaker, at Kelsey's postage-stamp picture. "We'll take out an ad in the Anchorage Beat. Full page. Stating we know nothing about life or love, just like you said."
Ty made a noise like a polar bear right before it dived under dark and stormy seas.
Coach's faded blue eyes narrowed. "I want pictures, too. And an article about why Alaska is the best place in the world to live."
Everything they stood against. Everything they complained about. Everything that made living in K-Bay as boring and rut filled as Coach had accused Coop of being.
It was one thing to be disappointed in his lot in life, another to be called on it. Coop didn't hesitate. "Deal."
They all shook on it and Coach left them to check on other customers. They each stared at their shaggy, bearded reflections in the glass behind the bar.
"Seriously, Coop?" Ty took aim with his hellfire expression. "An ad? This is worse than the time you convinced us to hitchhike to Anchorage our senior year. It's not as if anyone knows who you are. But me"
"Coach wasn't going for a naked swim in the Bering Sea." Ty's anger didn't faze Coop. They'd known each other too long for him to take it personally. "And he wouldn't have gone for something simple like a case of rare whiskey."
"It is what it is," Gideon said, always the peacemaker. "But we can't tell anyone what it is."
Coop nodded. They'd be laughed out of K-Bay. "Where do we start?"
"Maybe we can get people to fill out an online survey." Gideon perked up. He loved anything techish. "I could design a program to pair them up."
The inner front door opened and a woman stepped in. She was wrapped from neck to snow boots in a reddish-brown parka that made her look like a stuffed sausage. Conversation in the room died away as every pair of male eyes turned toward her. She peeled off her knit cap, revealing shoulder-length, glossy blond hair and artfully applied makeup.
She was pretty, beautiful even. The kind of woman that men stopped and took notice of.
Coop sat up straighter. Noticing. "Here's our first customer."
She unfastened her jacket with small, delicate hands, revealing a small, delicate head covered in blond fuzz. A baby. Strapped to her chest.
The room heaved a sigh of regret. Conversations resumed, albeit not at their usual volume.
Slumping, Coop returned his attention to his beer. "And there goes our first customer."
Boots rang across the oak floor.
Gideon tapped Coop on the shoulder. "She's coming over here."
Coop turned back around.
It was the weirdest thing. Coop was used to Alaska's winters, used to the cold. But as the woman and the baby approached, the room took on a chill.
She stopped in front of him and arched a golden brow. "Cooper Hamilton?"
Coop nodded, rather numbly, because there was something familiar about the woman's face, about her smooth voice, about the swing of her pretty blond hair across her shoulders.
She gestured to the baby. "I believe I have something of yours."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This was a fun romance collection! Three friends make a bet that they can find love matches for the single women and men in their small town in Alaska, but how do three confirmed bachelors make matches for others when they can't find love themselves? In Baby, Baby by Melinda Curtis Cooper Hamilton has a one night stand with Nora Perry that leaves her with the most precious gift, but there is absolutely no way that means that they are a love match until Cooper makes Nora see things differently. In The Matchmaker Wore Skates by Cari Lynn Webb former pro athlete Ty Porter doesn't want to have anything to do with his long lost love Kelsey Nash because she is a reporter and from past experience he knows that she most possibly will stab him in the back divulging his most guarded secret. In Suddenly Sophie by Anna J. Stewart Gideon Walker has a long history with Sophie Jennings and even though he has always had feelings for her he hasn't been able to do anything right to get her to take notice until he sets her up repeatedly with the wrong men. I was given an ARC for an honest review. All conclusions are mine and mine alone.
Make Me a Match contains a trio of stories by Melinda Curtis, Cari Lynn Webb, and Anna J. Stewart. The novellas are matrimony themed romances set in the same town in Alaska. Each story evokes laughter and a sense of fun from the imagination of the reader due to the interaction of the characters. With the use of male protagonists, these novellas provide a real and visual perspective that is counter to the traditional portrayal of matchmaking efforts in other books using a female perspective. Overall a fun engaging look at dating, marriage, and relationships from the male standpoint. I received an ARC for review. I really loved each individual novella and enjoyed that it was a themed trio of stories allowing the reader to enjoy the continuation of the plot to the finish in the last novella. I would highly recommend this book for a fun and entertaining read.
I have always loved Alaska so 3 stories set in the sparsely uninhabited Kenkamken Bay (K-Bay), Alaska where men are in abundance but eligible women are not really caught my attention. The three stories are really funny and I found myself laughing non-stop at the antics of Cooper, Ty and Gideon as they turn matchmakers because of a bet. The stories are very fast paced but full of fun and humor that you'll definitely enjoy them.
Kenkamken Bay, Alaska is an isolated and lonely place. At least for three bachelors who want to be in the lower forty-eight. Their plan to get out is to be matchmakers and win their bet with Coach, the bar owner where they hang out. What happens next is pure romance. Do they succeed? In Baby, Baby by Melinda Curtis Cooper Hamilton gets the surprise of his life when Nora Perry tracks him down with a baby in toe and announces that he's the father. Let the fireworks begin! I love the chemistry and tension between these two. Now the shoe is on the other foot. Coop wants to be a daddy and Nora wants to run away. I was amazed at the transformation in the playboy. The next story is The Matchmaker Wore Skates by Cari Lynn Webb. Ty Porter comes face to face with Kelsey Nash. She was his girlfriend in high school. Then she used his confidences to write a expose that ended his hockey career. Now she's back to do it all again. Her career needs a boost. It took me awhile to understand her and her insecurities. When Ty gives her another blockbuster story, I was touched by his selflessness. He revealed his darkest secret even though it might cost him his friends. The last story is Suddenly Sophie by Anna J. Stewart. Gideon Walker is an uptight banker who's in a rut. He wants things to change and this bet will accomplish that. He's smitten on Sophie Jennings, but she's sacrificing her dreams to save her brother from himself. He wants her to choose him. If she can't, he'll walk away. I laughed when as the matchmaker he keeps pairing Sophie with "safe" dates. These two are a perfect match. I loved their chemistry. This anthology is so enjoyable. I was hooked and cheered as these three best friends each got their second chance at love. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.
I have a soft spot in my heart for matchmakers and this one really intrigued me with three men doing the matching. Each story is about one of the Trinity--three men who have been friends since childhood and who are pretty much like brothers. Ty is set to go pro in hockey, before an injury ended his career. Gideon and Cooper were ready to ride on his coattails to get out of small town Alaska and head to the Lower 48. Each is desperate to get out of K-Bay and a bet made after seeing a news segment about matchmaking with bar owner, Coach, is just their ticket. If they can match six couple and have them ring the bell before Valentine's day, Coach will get them jobs with one of his hockey teams...and that's all it takes to motivate them. I'm not big on the bar scene, so at first I was a little disgusted with these men. It seemed that all they did was work and hang out at the bar, wishing their lives away, instead of taking action and doing something about it. But as I got to know each of them, through their stories, better, I realized that there is more to them than at first meets the eye and I grew to love them. I enjoyed watching the matching play out, as some situations were quite funny, but Gideon's story is my favorite. There's something about him that just warms my heart and Sophie is such a sweet girl. The other two women seemed to have an agenda. There are many fine lessons on family, loyalty, honesty, and priorities within these pages. Each story and situation is so different, yet common threads run through them. I loved that each story has a unique voice, which is really pronounced by having a different author write each one. I enjoyed my time in Kenkamken, Alaska with these great people! Content: no language; mild violence; mild romance (innuendo, kissing, implied premarital relations). Clean. *I received a copy through Prism Tours in exchange for an honest review*
This is a compilation of three short stories that revolve around a group of friends. Cooper Hamilton, Tyler Porter and Gideon Walker have been friends forever in a small Alaskan town, and have common goals for what their future should be. On a lark, they take part in a bet that makes them matchmakers for the town. BABY,BABY by Melinda Curtis - Coop gets the surprise of his life when Nora Perry shows up in the neighborhood bar looking for him to talk about the consequences of their special night in Anchorage last spring. THE MATCHMAKER WORE SKATES by Cari Lynn Webb - Ty had his chance in the NHL and had it go up in flames in scandal after home-town reporter Kelsey Nash ruined his career with her sneaky headlines and exposes. When she shows back up in town, what will she cost him this time? SUDDENLY SOPHIE by Anna J. Stewart - Gideon doesn't want Sophie Jennings hooked up with just any loser in town, so he plans matches extra special ... if only they turned out that way. Will she forgive him? ** Received free in exchange for an honest review **
I received an advance copy in exchange for an honest review. This was an interesting book. Three stories by three authors following the matchmaking bet of three friends in a small Alaska town. The stories blended very well together and the story line was fun to read. I really enjoyed the characters, although Kelsey in the second story was a hard one to understand. She certainly added drama to the story, but I was rooting for Ty and just wanted Kelsey to go away at first. But she grew on me as the story progressed. Gideon was probably my favorite character in all of the stories. This was a fun book to read.
Make Me A Match is a collection of 3 stories. These stories include - Baby, Baby, The Matchmaker Wore Skates, and Suddenly Sophie. I enjoyed every one of them. They were so fun and romantic. I would highly recommend this book! 5 plus stars.
Three sweet novellas that will have you laughing and leave you smiling when done. Three best guy friends start a matchmaking competition and the winner gets to leave the small town in Alaska and work for a big time hockey team. Little did they know that they would find true love right under their noses and be happy where they are at. I highly recommend this clean sweet book to all romance readers.
These three connected novellas, written by three different authors, are full of fun and adventures in Kenkamken Bay (K-Bay), Alaska. Three lifelong, bearded 25-year-old friends, Tyler (Ty), Cooper (Coop), and Gideon have had dreams of having professional ice hockey careers. Instead, Cooper sells vehicles. Ty was a pro, but due to circumstances, works at the local outdoor rink. Gideon is the town bank's manager. The K-Bay Bar & Grill is where they hang out when not working, with Coach at the helm, who was their childhood ice hockey coach. In the hopes of obtaining professional jobs, they make a bet with Coach, forming Trinity Matchmaking, where they must find love for six couples. Each novella tells the story of each of them. Since the number of men greatly outnumber the available females, and the men's idea of date planning is totally different than what a group of females would be interested in, you will find yourself laughing and commiserating with the females going through these date nights. This was a fun, light book that I really enjoyed. [I received this advanced copy in exchange for a fair review.]
Cooper, Ty and Gideon really want to get out of their small town in Alaska and move on to the lower 48. All they have to do is become matchmakers and match 6 couples. It should be easy, right? The road to true love can be a bit bumpy.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am a sucker for stories set in Alaska so I was very happy to read this group. I have a favorite, Suddenly Sophie by Anna J. Stewart but let me tell you a bit about all three. In Baby, Baby, I admit that it took me a looooooooooonnnnnnnggggggggg time to start to like Nora Perry, our heroine in this first story. Without any spoilers, to me she was just as culpable as Cooper Hamilton (our hero). I just wanted to say, “Get over yourself!” But she redeemed herself as you read the story and they get their HEA. This first story served as an intro to most of the characters in this book so it was fun. And I loved clueless Coop. In The Matchmaker Wore Skates, I’ll admit to being a bit confused trying to follow the storyline but it all worked out. This story is about our second hero, Ty Porter, and Kelsey Nash, our second heroine, and it seems that she is the person the town likes to say is the instigator of all Ty’s woes. Of course, she isn’t really, but she and Ty have a past and they need to both work thru issues before they, too, can have their HEA. And to my favorite: Suddenly Sophie. I just loved Gideon. Smart, intelligent, and utterly clueless, of course! He is our third bachelor/hero and his heroine to be is Sophie Jennings. Again, I’ll admit to shaking my head to some of the things Sophie does and says but mostly because I’ve been there/done that and had the teeshirt stolen. So I get it. And when she and Gideon finally work out their issues? It is funny and sweet and poignant. It just made me smile. Loved the supporting characters in each story and there were laugh out loud moments where I sounded like a loon. I recommend these “sweet” stories.
Three funny and sweet stories of unexpected love. Cooper, Ty, and Gideon are three guys anxiously waiting for their opportunity to get out of Alaska and work for a big time hockey team. Never did they think they would find the women of their dreams in small town Alaska but they did. Their matchmaking antics were hilarious and made for a very entertaining read. I highly recommend this one!
Cooper, Ty and Gideon have been friends since childhood and played on the same hockey team in high school. They dream of one day moving to the lower 48 states to work with a professional hockey team, but are still "stuck" in Alaska. Their chances of having their dream job depends on a bet and their matchmaking skills, which are seriously lacking. While in the process of trying to match potential couples to win the bet, they inadvertently find unlikely matches of their own. I really enjoyed these sweet stories and the town of K-Bay, Alaska. **I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.**
Three bachelors make a bet they can match up six people for true love which puts this Alaskan town through many events this town has never seen. Baby, Baby – Melinda Curtis Nora surprised Cooper when she walked there is a memory that comes to mind that he knows this lady. This lady gives him the shock of his life and just might be the dream he has no idea he has been living for. Nora came for one reason and one reason only what she finds might give her hope that dreams can come true. The Matchmaker Wore Skates - Cari Lynn Webb Knowing each other from childhood, making mistakes and failing seeing the end but wishing for more. These two have a past and sparks fly when Kelsey comes back to town. Ty sure isn’t happy to see her as he tries to put her in her place. She just wants another story but what she might find is the one thing she never had true love. First they must face their past to find their future. Suddenly Sophie - Anna J. Stewart Sophie is looking for love in all the wrong place. The trio have made some wonderful matches and she wants in on the action. She is hoping to find the man of her dreams or at least someone to spend time with. Gideon isn’t too happy he doesn’t think anyone is good enough for this wonderful lady. They each have always had a crush on each other but neither knew about it. Will Gideon stake his claim to lead her to the arms of another man? These are well written stories about second chances, overcoming ones past and looking a little deeper at one’s self. It is one major story with three in between where these authors come together blending the story more or less into one each telling a part. It is well balanced with each author complementing the other. This is a heartwarming clean read which leaves you with a feeling of peace.