An Imperfect Match
By Chrissy Dionne
Oct 1, 2008 - 7:22:50 AM

Widower Dean Halverson is finding it difficult to maintain his temper.  His competitor Eagle Construction undercut yet another bid for a job placed by his company.  The last thing he needs is to walk into his office and find a woman sitting at the desk that his wife used to occupy.  His younger brother hired a new office manager despite his opposition.

Annabelle Nichols moved to Emmett’s Mill hoping to get a fresh start in life.  She’s a single mother with a toddler in a strange town and it looks like she’ll also be jobless if Dean has anything to say about it.  Her best friend is married to Dean’s brother Sammy and the move and help with getting a job seemed like a good idea at the time.

It’s not that Dean’s opposed to having help in the office – he just doesn’t want anyone taking his deceased wife’s place or messing up her filing system.  He wants everything to run exactly the same as it did when Beth had been alive.  He sends Annabelle on her merry way but when he sees his competitor, Aaron Eagle, making a pass at her and trying to win her over to working for them his control snaps and he quickly informs Aaron that she already has a job.  He tries to convince himself that her working for him is only temporary and when she’s not only late her first day but brings her daughter to work he’s positive that she’ll never work out.  His teenage son instantly dislikes her, not because of anything Annabelle’s done but simply because she’s sitting in his mom’s chair and he perceives her as a threat.

Annabelle’s not looking to cause trouble for anyone.  Lord knows she’s got enough trouble of her own and certainly wouldn’t want to come between a father and his son.  She does her best to ignore Brandon’s disgruntled looks and both Dean and Annabelle promise Brandon that they aren’t interested in a romantic relationship with each other.  Of course, passion flares to life between them.  Annabelle worries about being involved with her boss and Dean worries about his son’s reaction to the situation.  Neither of them is prepared for the problems that soon begin to happen.  Sugar in the gas tank, a break in – Annabelle’s afraid someone from her past has found her.  Can she truly make a home in Emmett’s Mill or should she cut her losses and move on?

Kimberly Van Meter’s AN IMPERFECT MATCH is a truly enjoyable read.  While the reader’s immersed in the characters and their reactions to various situations you get a sense of belonging – like you’re a cherished friend entrusted with their worries and fears.  I love how characters from previous novels by Ms. Van Meter involving the town of Emmett’s Mill make appearances throughout the storyline.  Shockingly enough I even found characters I disliked had redeeming qualities in the end – or at least own up to the mistakes they’ve made.  This is a story I thoroughly enjoyed simply because it made me feel good and allowed me the freedom to just sit back and lose myself in somebody else’s life (even if it is all made up) for just a little while.

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