Very excited to reveal the cover for What a Match, book 2 in the Lovestruck series! Thanks to Leni Kauffman, the brilliant cover designer and illustrator, for bringing my vision to life.
What’s What a Match about?
Sometimes what you’re looking for is right under your nose.
Meticulous and driven Gwen Gilmore knows what she wants… especially in a man. But the dating scene is slow and unserious, and she realizes she may need some professional help. A matchmaker, to be more specific. Nothing will distract her from finding the perfect-on-paper boyfriend, except maybe her brother’s grumpy best friend.
Anthony Woods has had a crush on his best friend’s sister since the day he met her, and he’s managed the unfortunate affliction by keeping his distance. However, that gets complicated when he temporarily moves into her home.
As they connect and grow closer, will Gwen stick to the dating plan outlined by the professionals? Or admit when it comes to love, there’s no right way to fall.
This novel is #2 in a series but can be read as a standalone.
So, without further ado, the What a Match cover:
Excerpt from chapter 1 of Make a Scene, by Mimi Grace
Kisses are simple. The good ones all start the same. First, a person must look deeply into their potential kissing partner’s eyes. Then, spare their mouth a glance to make intentions clear. As distractions fade and imaginary music swells, desire propels them closer. Finally, both muster up the courage to lean in and let their lips connect.
Gwen Gilmore was expecting such a routine tonight. It was why, despite being famished from a long day at work, she’d skipped the onion-laced hot dog at the concession stand for a sensible bag of popcorn. The kernels rattled around her empty stomach, but the cheering crowd and the burly men chasing a puck across the ice were a gracious distraction.
She looked at her date, Cameron. If his jostling knee and occasional elbow to her side was any indication, he was completely absorbed in the game.
During their first date, she’d been pleased to learn he checked off several qualities on her List. He was accomplished (a tech guy), passionate about something (the ethics surrounding artificial intelligence), and could talk at length about a book not written by a misogynist (a blessing).
The sports fan thing had taken her unawares, but she decided it gave him a little… pizzazz.
“Do your fucking job, man!” Cameron shouted, jumping to his feet to point at the referee on the ice as Gwen dodged his flailing scarf.
If everything played out according to her plan, they’d have their first kiss tonight. Then they’d set up their third date, and by the end of the month, she’d invite him to brunch with her parents.
A loud buzzer went off, ending the first half of the game. People left their seats to stretch their limbs and use the washroom. Meanwhile, a mascot arrived on the ice and danced underneath the jumbotron playing sponsored ads.
“That was obviously a foul back there,” Cameron said, retaking his seat. “How are you enjoying your very first live hockey game?”
She’d watched several matches on TV over the years. It was the national sport; it was inescapable. But she’d never collected stats or paid attention to the names of popular players. However,
she’d come prepared with an arsenal of knowledge she’d learned online the night before.
“It’s great,” Gwen said. “I’m really impressed with their backchecking. Very efficient.”
“And that Randy guy is pretty good, right?” Gwen continued. “You saw how he made that penalty shot?”
Her date’s expression soured slightly, and it took Gwen a couple of seconds to figure out why.
Wrong team. Shit.
“But we’re still kicking their asses,” she said quickly.
“Hell yeah, we are!” Cameron said, chucking his fist in the air.
They’d have to do something more up her lane for their next date.
When halftime officially ended, Cameron’s attention returned to the players, and the game progressed and concluded as most games did, with one team victorious. The arena burst into cheers, and Gwen found herself high-fiving strangers and shouting a chant she was hearing for the first time.
Hundreds of jubilant spectators and Gwen proceeded on a slow shuffle to the exit. Cameron chattered with the people around them while Gwen reapplied her Chapstick and threw back no less than a dozen Tic Tacs.
When they finally left the closed confines of the arena, all the noise and glee faded as patrons scattered across the expansive parking lot.
Gwen and Cameron finally made eye contact, and she stepped closer to him as they strolled toward her car.
“Great night,” she said.
She couldn’t have asked for better ambiance for a first kiss. Crisp early fall air and a clear sky decorated with stars and a full moon.
When they arrived at her car, she turned to Cameron, ready to say all the things she usually said after dates. But there was no need to because he was already puckering his lips. She smiled as they inched closer to one another.
This was it.
This would solidify everything and move them toward an end goal Gwen wouldn’t dare daydream about yet.
When their lips finally met, the noise that should’ve melted away with the kiss sharpened instead. It was hard to say when Gwen realized she wasn’t enjoying herself, but if she were to take a guess, it was somewhere between their teeth clashing and when she felt Cameron’s tongue on her chin. Things devolved further when it became clear she would not get a breath for the duration of the kiss.
Thirty-something-year-old woman steps out on a cool Friday night to find a mate, gets mauled by a prospect.
When they parted, all Gwen wanted to do was run the sleeve of her coat across her mouth, but she forced her arms to remain flush at her sides.
That had to be the second-worst kiss she’d ever experienced. The absolute worst one was with Trey Freeman, but they had been fifteen years old.
“Do you want to come over?” Cameron asked intently.
Over where? Surely not his place where they’d likely do more than exchange sloppy kisses.
“I’ve had a long day. I should be getting home,” she said.
Cameron nodded, clearly disappointed.
“Tons of papers to mark,” she said, committed to some unknown benevolent reason to give his pride the softest place to land.
“I’ll text you later then,” he said.
She should’ve told him that wouldn’t be necessary, given him the respect of calling things off face-to-face, but her brain couldn’t construct a sensitive reply because it was still screaming at her about the chin spit.
Happy reading <3