The Matchmaker's Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken | Book Review
Release date: April 6, 2016
How I got the copy: Thomas Allen & Son
The Matchmaker’s Playbook is basically the movie She’s All That but instead of popular high school boys betting on turning any random girl into the Prom Queen within six weeks this book is about a word-of-mouth dating service business, Wingmen Inc. basically doing the same thing. Wingmen Inc. is run by two popular and wealthy college guys who help hopeless college girls land the guy they want within a few weeks. With that said, there’s not much else to say if you’ve watched She’s All That.
The Matchmaker’s Playbook follows Ian Hunter, a former NFL prospect who’s back at school as one of the masterminds of Wingmen Inc. a word-of-mouth dating service known on campus. When he meets Blake, his best friends new roommate AND his new client of Wingmen Inc. he finds himself in danger of breaking his cardinal rule of not falling for a client in the process of transforming her.
Okay, it’s not completely like She’s All That but the concept is the same. I was really skeptical on how Van Dyken was going to execute this romance at first but I ended up really enjoying it and didn’t feel it was sleazy. It was steamy at times and I really enjoyed reading Ian and Blake go through the ups and downs in their friendship.
The Matchmaker’s Playbook is written in the male perspective and I don’t tend to read very many of these. Saying that, I did question some of Ian’s thoughs/opinions on how to get a guy and their preferences of how women look, etc. but other than that I enjoyed the book and don’t want to nitpick that aspect too much. That’s very much about personal preference and it’s obviously only Ian’s opinion. Of course, all of us, women can wear whatever the f*ck we want regardless if the person we’re interested in likes it or not.
Even though Blake’s seeking help from Wingmen Inc. to get her crush, she’s very much a strong character. She holds her ground and she’s still herself throughout the entire process. I found it weird that Ian has this disgust that Blake, an athlete, wears socks and slides. Ian an ex-NFL recruit who was obviously also an athlete has this weird opinion about sock and slides… a typical footwear style that athletes wear? I think that aspect was missed when Rachel wrote this. It’s also been such a trend the last few years. Super weird complex in this book.
This is my second Van Dyken book I’ve read and it’s similar to the first one I read in the way that the main character is part owner/mastermind of a business providing a service and the main character falling in love with one of their clients. I don’t know if all her books follow this general structure but I still want to continue to pick up more of her books. I really enjoy the way she writes funny, easy to read romances with the most swoon-worthy men, which is one of the things that sucks me right into the story!
However, like the first Van Dyken book I read, this book doesn’t have any diversity. These characters are all white, straight, and very able in every way. Which is why I did knock a star off for my conflicting thoughts/opinion from how women were perceived at times and the lack of diversity.
*A copy of this book was provided by Thomas Allen & Son in exchange for an honest review*