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

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

by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

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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: 199,026
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.04(d)

About 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.

Hometown:

Chicago, Illinois

Place of Birth:

Cincinnati, Ohio

Education:

B.F.A., Ohio University

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.

Interviews

Heart to Heart Interview with Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Heart to Heart: In Match Me if You Can, Annabelle Granger is trying to build a contemporary matchmaking service on the bones of her grandmother's old matchmaking firm. What a wonderful premise! What kind of research did you do in this field before writing the book, and did any of it surprise you? We notice that Annabelle doesn't think much of the Internet dating services.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips: Personally, I think some of the online services can be good tools for meeting people, but that's just me, the clueless author, and I'm smart enough not to mention this to Annabelle, who believes in the personal touch. (Sometimes way too personal, in my opinion.) As I talked to matchmakers while I was researching the book, I was most surprised by how guarded they were, very concerned about projecting a professional image and making sure no one confused them with an escort service. Talking to them was almost as bad trying to pry information out of the Secret Service while I was researching First Lady.

HtoH: Is this the last book in your Chicago Stars series? Or can we expect a sequel of some kind, even if it features a member of a rival team?

SEP: A rival team? You think I'd write about a rival team? This interview is over! (All right, I've done some deep breathing, and I'm going to assume you didn't intentionally set out to insult my team loyalty.…) This Heart of Mine, as my readers know, was supposed to be the last of the Chicago Stars books, but then Annabelle and her matchmaking business came along. She needed a client who was hardheaded, fiercely competitive, sexy, and difficult, which always makes me start thinking about football. And, since Jerry Maguire is one of my favorite movies, Heath Champion, Kevin Tucker's shark of an agent, was born.

HtoH: What are the special challenges and pleasures of writing a series of connected novels, with some of the characters who have starred in other books making cameo apearances in others?

SEP: Just like my readers, I love catching up with old friends, but since I never planned to write a series, I didn't keep a detailed chronology as I was going along. This means I'm constantly going on my web site bulletin board (www.susanelizabethphillips.com) and asking my readers about a former character's hair color, jersey number, or one of a thousand other details I've forgotten and am too lazy to look up. My research methods are mildly embarrassing, but effective.

HtoH: How did your writing career begin? Did any particular authors influence you?

SEP: It's a fairly long story, which I've posted on my web site, but here's the mini version. I began writing a historical romance with a friend when my children were small. We were doing it just for fun and couldn't have been more shocked when the first publisher we sent the manuscript to bought it.

I suppose I was most influenced by The Boxcar Children. I was seven years old when I opened those magical pages for the first time and discovered the power of reading. Life has never been the same since.

HtoH: What 's coming up next?

SEP: I just knew you were going to ask that, and I'm mortified to confess it's another Chicago Stars book. This really is the last one! And it's not my fault. A character wandered into Match Me if You Can who knocked my socks off, and I couldn't resist finding out more about him. I have a feeling that everyone who reads Match Me will be able to pick him out. Hubba hubba.

Customer Reviews

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Match Me If You Can 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 200 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.
jolzyn on LibraryThing 1 days ago
This book tell the story of Annabelle who desperately trying to find the perfect for Heath Champion who have no time to waste in finding one himself. This is also the opportunity for Annabelle to prove to her high achiever family members that she is not as useless as what they thought she is. Heath on the other hand, set a high expectation on who his perfect wife gonna be. With the engagement of Perfect for you, Annabelle's company and Portia, he thought that he would be finding her soon. However, unbeknownst to him, he seems to enjoyed Annabelle's company very much and valued her opinion on each candidates for his future wife very much..I like reading how the relationship between Heath and Annabelle developed. It make me feel cosy and warmth just reading them. And i also enjoyed reading about the other characters that have appeared in the previous book; It had to be you such as Phoebe, Dan, Molly and Kevin ;)
bakersfieldbarbara on LibraryThing 1 days ago
Romances are not my idea of a good read, but this romantic comedy got me into it blind-sided, and I loved it. It isn't your usual cut and paste type of romance, with only the characters changed from book to book. Ms. Phillips is a wonderful writer, keeping the reader guessing until the end of the book as to the outcome. Readers can identify with the main character if their parents and siblings try to set the standards for them; Annabelle is tired of being the lone failure in a family of overachievers. Suffering through family references to her dead-end jobs and broken engagement, she decides to take over her grandmother's matchmaking business. Annabelle has competition in matchmaking from Portia Powers and this adds to the fun reading throughout. Adding a luscious hunk of a catch such as Heath Champion didn't hurt the story line at all. This is a book I highly recommend to all readers interested in being entertained up through the last page. I was caught up in the drama until the very end of the novel, a first for me in many months. I'm now going to look up Susan Elizabeth Phillips on my computer to see what else this delightful author has written. She has a new fan.
ladydymondz on LibraryThing 1 days ago
Favorite Susan Elizabeth Phillips novel. Main character Annabelle Granger is very funny. There is a perfect chemistry between Annabelle and love interest Heath Champion that is lacking in many romance novels.
irmgard06 on LibraryThing 1 days ago
This is the story of Annabelle and Heath. Annabelle is trying to start her own match making business and Heath is a sports agent. These two characters were wonderful. Phillips gave them personalities that make you love both of them. It was also wonderful that characters from her other Chicago Stars series had parts in this book also. It tied all the books together.
reneebooks on LibraryThing 1 days ago
Annabelle Granger inherits her grandmother's matchmaking business ('Matches by Myrna') that she now calls 'Perfect for You.' She is determined to make her business a success and figures the best way to do that is to land wealthy, gorgeous and successful Heath Champion as a client. Heath, nicknamed 'The Python' (stupid name BTW) is a ruthless sports agent (think 'Jerry Maguire') who is looking for a wife and doesn't have the time to look for one on his own. You know the type. He works 24/7 with a cell phone glued to his ear. So he contracts with Annabelle and rival matchmaker, Portia Powers of 'Power Matches', to introduce him to likely candidates. He is looking for the perfect wife which Annabelle describes as "athletic, domestic, gorgeous, brilliant, socially connected, and pathologically submissive." It takes him a long time but he eventually figures out that none of these candidates are as perfect for him as Annabelle.Annabelle is a wonderfully charming character; red-haired with a big heart and a snappy sarcastic wit. It took me a little while to warm up to Heath but after the 'Princess Party' I fell in love with him. No sappiness there, just pure delight. The gruff exterior hid a heart of marshmallow but it still takes him a while longer to work through his emotional baggage from his childhood to reach an epiphany about Annabelle and what makes the 'perfect match' for him.I loved the dialogue between Heath and Annabelle and the scenes where they trade insults were sharp and witty and had me laughing out loud which I rarely do. Heath and Annabelle's final confrontation was very emotional and sizzling. The secondary love story between Portia and Heath's 'bodyguard', Bodie, was hot and intense and was excellently done. Phoebe Calebow (from It Had to Be You) plays a prominent role with appearances by other characters from the 'Chicago Stars' series. The real scene stealer is Molly's (This Heart of Mine) little 3-year old daughter, Pip, and her interactions with Heath were priceless. Normally, I'm not too fond of children in romance books but Pip is not too babyish or too precocious and was a perfect foil for Heath's arrogance and she cuts him down to size. I loved the epilogue too. (Grade: A)
dissed1 on LibraryThing 1 days ago
Match Me If You Can is another Susan Elizabeth Phillips romance with zingy dialogue and fun characters. Many of her familiar characters from old novels are brought back too. Fans will feel right at home. Matchmaker Annabelle signs her biggest client ever in sports agent Heath Champion. It's only after he rejects every woman she introduces him to that he finally realizes who the perfect woman for him is. It's no smooth road to the altar though . . . The plot is a bit predictable, but it's pure SEP magic--you can't read one of her romances without falling a little in love yourself.
mschweer432 on LibraryThing 1 days ago
This was my second time reading Match Me If You Can by Susan Elizabeth Phillips and I have to say, I loved it just as much the second time as I did the first. I laughed out loud several times and I also genuinely liked the characters. I especially loved the relationship that Annabelle had with the elderly characters in the book. She is such a sweatheart!! It was nice to touch bases with characters from the earlier books in this series. This book isn't moving or life altering, it was just good and fun to read!!
allreadnowrite on LibraryThing 1 days ago
Susan Elizabeth Phillips' penchant for humor and romance really shine in this novel. The reparte (sp?) between the two main characters delights, and the development of the secondary characters is equally appealing. For those who like to listen, Anna Fields talented narration adds additional depth to a great novel.
bhryk0 on LibraryThing 1 days ago
Annabelle Granger is tired of being the lone failure in a family of overachievers. She's endured dead-end jobs and a broken engagement (her ex wanted to be a woman). 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. Nothing is going to stand in her way, even the fact that she doesn¿t really have the right client (she uses a married, pregnant friend to get Heath to sign the contract because Annabelle knows that Gwen has exactly what Heath is looking for in a wife), and when he finds out!!!With his money green eyes and calculated charm, Heath Champion is the best sports agent in the country. He's wealthy, driven, and gorgeous, so why does he need a matchmaker? He is too busy taking care of business to look for himself, but it is now time to get married so he is searching for the ultimate symbol of his success -- the perfect wife and to make an extraordinary match, he needs an extraordinary matchmaker, right? He now has 2 extraordinary ladies working for to find his perfect match, Annabelle and Potia Powers.Heath asks Annabelle to sit in on the dates, because he was once stuck with a bad date he couldn¿t get rid of, so they have deal that after 20 minutes Annabelle finishes the date. Little by little she falls in love with him and he doesn¿t realize but he is falling in love with her too!!I absolutely loved this story and the relationship between Annabelle and Heath and also the relationship with Portia and Brodie. It was at times very funny and was entertaining from beginning to end. I loved all the characters ¿ even Portia.
SamanthaMarie on LibraryThing 1 days ago
Annabelle is determined to succeed in her latest business venture-a matchmaking service called Perfect for You. All she has to do is find the perfect match for Heath Champion, a sports agent and the most eligible bachelor in Chicago. Even though Annabelle is definitely not Heath's type, things get complicated as their lives start entwining.
roses on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Could not put this book down. Takes place in Chicago and romance hits a lovely girl who is in the match making business.
krystalsbooks on LibraryThing 29 days ago
This was very cute with a great story line. I truly enjoyed her writing style.
bookwormteri on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Annabelle has taken over her grandmother's matchmaking company and has landed her biggest client ever. Well, she shares him with another matchmaker and is trying to find the woman that Heath (a superstar sports agent) will marry, only problem is she falls in love with him herself. She knows that she is not what Heath is looking for in a wife so she continues to set him, but no one is right. Until he realizes that his little firebrand matchmaker is the perfect woman for him, but is it too late?
dfullmer on LibraryThing 29 days ago
This was a fun, modern romance. Lots of character development with spunky, strong female protagonists. Really liked it for a romance, some steamy scenes.
LoriTori on LibraryThing 29 days ago
I really enjoyed the heroine in this book, she put herself out there. Love SEP!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
one of her best books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
FANTASTIC ! !!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a match! SEP has done it again with great characters like Heath (Python) & Annabel