Today is my stop of this blog tour for Paris Wynter’s newest released Matched. Being a reviewer gives me a good opportunity to support an authors work through posting my reviews on the blog, among other things. Paris is an author I got familiar with a couple of years ago, before she released her first published book; Hearts Unleashed, that I was asked to review as well. I fell in love with her writing right then and there and am always excited to read a new story written by her.
Back in June, you were able to read my review on the first book in this series, Issued, and today I’m happy to be sharing my review of the 2nd installment in this arranged-marriage romance series.
About the Author
Paris Wynters is an adult romance author repped by Tricia Skinner at Fuse Literary. She lives on Long Island in New York with her family, which includes two psychotic working dogs. Paris is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago. Paris and her son are nationally certified Search and Rescue personnel (she is a canine handler). She is a huge supporter of the military/veteran community. When not writing, Paris enjoys playing XBOX (she is a huge HALO fanatic and also enjoys FORTNITE), watching hockey (Go Islanders), and trying new things like flying planes and taking trapeze classes.
About the Book
Can they forget their pasts and commit to a future together?
After a dangerous mission, Navy SEAL Anthony Martinez lets adrenaline and loneliness cloud his judgment when he signs up for the military’s spouse matching program without his Commanding Officer’s approval. Of course, nothing has ever come easy for Tony. He’s matched to a woman he’s already hit on and struck out with. Then his CO threatens his dreams of attending Officer Candidate School leaving Tony with only one option—make the marriage work.
Inara Ramirez has always wanted love and a family, but her luck with romance is as bad as her serial divorcee mother’s. Determined to find the one, she signs up with the military’s science-based spouse matching program. She’s thrilled to be matched until she realizes her new husband is the cockiest, flirtiest and hottest Navy SEAL she’s ever met.
Inara is determined to make the marriage work but Tony’s only planning on a year tops. Is it possible that science and fate have created the perfect match?
I really love the concept of these military arranged marriages, that we were introduced to in the first book in the series, Issued. In this second installment, we focus on Tony and Inara, whom seem like opposites at first and their banter and them antagonizing each other was truly fantastic. What was then even more wonderful, was them opening up to each other and discovering they had a lot more in common than they initially thought.
Anthony. Fucking. Martinez.
The mere thought of his name makes me grit my teeth. That’s the husband the United States military’s spouse matching program assigned to me. Of all the fucking luck, of all the men in the world, why him? How had the Issued Partner Program figure that oversexed jackass was the best match for me?
Tony signs up in a moment of loneliness and Inara does it because she doesn’t trust her ability to pick guys and doesn’t want to end up like her mom, whom has been married and divorced multiple times. They have a year to try and make it work and on top of that: Tony’s career is riding on it, so there’s a bit of a pressure here haha But he’s planning on bailing after a year, while Inara really wants to try to make it work, even though Tony would initially never be a guy she’d choose for herself. Reading their story and them both struggling in different ways was a great experience.
Inara was a great female main character. She’s funny, strong, determined and therefore also intruiging and deliciously sassy to Tony’s stubbornness, determination, sexiness and surprising vulnerability.
Maybe, if he can keep his mouth shut and just let me look at him, we might be succesful in the program. But that happening is about as likely as pigs flying.
I always love Paris’ way of balancing out story, character & romance development. I have to say though that the romance in this one felt a bit less developed than the one in Issued, but overall it was really enjoyable. I also really like how Paris is able to blend the steam in with the romance – and gosh, does Paris know how to write steam!! – and in this particular case I also really loved how more adventurous Inara was in the bedroom and how less experienced Tony was for example. That was so refreshing!
In general I’m not a super fan of miscommunication/hiding things from one another in books so that’s mostly why I rated it at 3,5 stars instead of higher, because I think the way things played out at one point was just a bit too frustrating for me haha. It’s just a personal opinion of course, but I guess it’s just a bit of a pet peeve of mine, lol. It does provide angst to the story, which is something that is generally really liked in a romance story like this!
Overall, this was a super entertaining read in which Paris yet again shows how good an author she is. She balances out her story, character & romance development so incredibly well and her writing style is always super engaging and addictive.
This was just really fun and oftentimes emotional read and I’m yet again immediately looking forward to reading the next story Paris is going to write and publish. So if you’re looking for a new romance to read and like the arranged marriage trope… Matched (And the prior written book Issued as well) is what you’re looking for!
Because I don’t want to startle her into burning herself, I wait until she closes the oven door and twists the knob to the off position before I dare make a sound. She turns when I clear my throat—as much fair warning as a guy who hasn’t taken his morning piss can give—and looks me up and down, stopping when she gets to my waistline and gapes like she’s seen a ghost. “Jesus, Tony. You don’t own pants?”
Relief floods me when I look down and find I’m still covered. For a second there, I’d thought maybe I’d flashed her somehow. “At eight in the morning, I don’t know that I own anything.”
She looks over her shoulder at me. Her skin is the shade of a ripe tomato and her eyes are wide. “We need boners.”
Now it’s my turn to gape. “Excuse me?”
The red shade on her face turns fifty shades darker. “I mean, rules. About boners.”
“Rules about boners?” My lips twitch. Now this is a conversation I am more than willing to take part in.
“You aren’t allowed to have boners.” She shakes her head again and rolls her eyes. “I mean in the kitchen. Or in the house at all.”
“So, I should confine my boner to the front yard? Won’t the neighbors complain?” I should take pity on her and stop, but I can’t help myself. Seeing her flustered is refreshing. Breathtaking. Hot as fuck. “Besides, I can’t help what you do to me. In the kitchen. Or anywhere else, for that matter.”
“My mom could come over.” She’s looking everywhere but at me. Still cute. “She’ll see your—” she shakes her head and sputters, then points. “That.”
To my credit—for which, I should get big kudos—I don’t point out that history and her birth prove her mother knows her way around a boner. Instead, I walk closer and reach around her for an apple sitting on the counter in a powder-blue fruit bowl that matches the wall color, the coffee maker and a stand mixer I can’t wait to show her I know how to use. Chicks love guys who can cook. It’s helped me score on more than one occasion. But while I’m ready to score with my new wife whenever she says the word, a part of me is just as eager to prove to her I’m good for more than terrible pick-up lines.
She gives a little gasp as my fingers brush against hers, and I shiver. Yeah, no. Getting to know my wife in the biblical sense definitely edges out proving my usefulness on the scale of things I’d like to accomplish today.
I could cover up. Could even take a piss and get rid of the problem, but this is more fun than I’ve had in a couple of days. More like months. And I’m not itching to hurry it away. “So, is this breakfast you’ve baked for me?”
Her eyes go dark, what could be classified as deadly, and she smiles slow, devious, a smirk of proportions so epic, I’ve never seen another like it. “Cold day in hell, mi esposo. And before you even think to open that stupid mouth of yours once more, for the indefinite future, your situations are your problem.” She wax-on/wax-offs her hands in front of her. “This is off limits until further notice.”
She’s pretty confident for a woman who hasn’t benefitted from the full effects of said situations. I cross my arms, stare directly at her, and wiggle my eyebrows playfully. “I think we’re gonna need to check the contract on that.”
She cackles and I’m reminded of a children’s movie. Wicked witch and all. “I checked already. As soon as I saw your name. And guess what? You’re on your own, big boy. No boner clause is in the contract.”
I cock my head. She’s taking a bit too much delight for my liking. “Pretty sure of yourself, huh? Think you can resist”—I mimic her wax-on/wax-off move—“all of this?” I add a little hip thrust for good measure.
She goes rigid at first and narrows her eyes. Then her smirk becomes wider and brighter. “Without breaking a sweat.”
Buy it Here
Thank you for reading and I hope I got you excited for this book and author! If you get around to read it, I love to hear what you think of the book!
*I was generously and kindly gifted an ARC of this book. My thoughts on this book are 100% my own and not influenced by the fact that I got an early and free reader copy*