Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson is the tale of Marnie, a newly divorced woman who unexpectedly inherits a building in Brooklyn from one of her ex-husband's aunts. Meanwhile, her own family and new fiancé in Florida are really unhappy with the contingency that Marnie lives in Brooklyn for three months before the title to the building becomes hers.
Interesting characters: Ugh. Marnie is terrible and boring. She's sleeping with her ex because he's just so attractive and sexy, stringing along her fiancé in Florida because he's boring and safe, and then there's this other guy that the crazy dead aunt thought she should be with. She's juggling all of this, but Dawson doesn't give us any ideas as to what Marnie is actually thinking about these relationships. Does she feel guilty? Why doesn't she just tell her ex to buzz off? Why doesn't she tell her fiancé that she thinks they used to have better chemistry ten years ago? We see all the action in this book, but we don't have any glimpses into Marnie's real thoughts to make her less a villain.
Believable conflict: I mean, this book is off the charts nuts. The aunt somehow sees when people are meant to be together and leaves the house to Marnie so she'll be with one of the tenants. Meanwhile, Marnie's got the other two guys in her life. If you believe the insane setup, you'll find the conflict believable. If you think the magical elements are too woo, you'll find the whole book to be a mess.
Emotional tension: I just can't with this book. HOW DARE YOU CALL YOURSELF A ROMANCE NOVEL WHEN THE MAIN COUPLE ISN'T A COUPLE UNTIL THE LAST FIVE PAGES OF THE BOOK? Ahem. I was angry. There's no tension between the couple because there is no couple! My ire is raised. This book just sort of adds to the lore that people of opposite sexes can't be friends and I am not here for it.
Happily ever after: Eh. How would I know? It's impossible to know how this couple will survive because all we know is that Marnie is flighty about men and the other guy is a hermit. ARGH.
This book made me really mad. Don't read it unless you want to be mad, too.