from the upcoming first book in my new HEAVEN’S MATCHMAKER series, MIX & MATCH, releasing 3.1.2022. ( here’s the preorder link for amazon:) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09P48WPZC
Olivia Joyner smiled as she hit enter and sent her RSVP response to the on-line wedding site. This affair was going to be such a joyous event and excitement filled her to be included on the guest list.
Of course, since she’d been instrumental in the bride-and-groom-to-be meeting and falling in love, it made perfect sense she would be invited to the nuptials.
Olivia sat back, still smiling, and gave herself a mental pat on the back. She’d done it again – another successful match between two people who might never have met if not for her. As a third generation matchmaker, she got such a kick out of the wins – the couples who found their happily ever after.
But of course, for every tick in the match column, she could always depend on some not taking root. The couple might look perfect on paper, all the planets aligning, all the answers to her in-depth questionnaire in sync. But for some unforeseen reason there’d be no chemistry, no spark, no little zing when hands met, or gazes locked. Looking perfect on paper was one thing, but, try as she would like to, Olivia couldn’t force an attraction on someone if it wasn’t organically there.
Case in point, the client she was currently waiting for while at a cozy table for two in Joy’s House of Java. The coffee shop was a staple in the small town of Heaven, New Hampshire and once upon a high school age Olivia had worked as a barista.
The original Joy went to her maker a generation ago, the shop now owned and operated by her granddaughter.
“You want a refill,” Destiny, the said granddaughter, asked as she waddled up to the table, coffee carafe in hand, the other over her just-about-to-pop pregnant belly.
“I’m good, Des, thanks.” Olivia smiled. “I’m waiting for someone.”
Destiny nodded, her hair a cloud of waves courtesy of the fresh blowout she’d treated herself to at the Nirvana Day Spa and Salon, bobbing with the motion. “Jasmine Green. Heard she went out with the new doc in town last night.”
Olivia fought the strong urge to roll her eyes but kept her smile in place while internally groaning. Gossip was the mother’s milk of small towns and the residents of Heaven were devout lactose lovers. Olivia strove to protect her clients’ privacy despite the wagging tongues surrounding her in the town she’d been born and reared in – no easy feat.
As if she’d been summoned by the utterance of her name, Jasmine Green blew into the coffee shop, glanced around, and when she lit on Olivia, came her way.
“Hey, Des,” Jasmine said as she tore off her sunglasses and plopped into the chair opposite Olivia. “Can I get a full brew, extra milk, four sugars, please?”
“I was already saying it in my head when I spotted you,” Destiny replied. “You’ve been drinking the same thing since we were in high school. Be right back.”
Another head bob and she left them.
Garbed in a bright blue scrub suit, a stethoscope wound around her neck and her nursing pins attached to the front of her scrub top, Jasmine had, obviously, just come from a shift at Holy Mother of God Hospital. Her red hair was tucked back into a messy bun, her face makeup-free. Weariness colored her deep hazel eyes and when she leaned forward and placed her elbows on the table, a heavy sigh escaped from between her lips.
“Tough day?” Olivia asked.
“They all seem to be lately.”
Destiny returned, carrying a steaming mug. Silently, she placed it in front of Jasmine.
“So.” Olivia took a sip of her own brew. “Tell me about last night.”
Jasmine took a breath and then blew on her coffee. “I hate doing this again, but,” she said after taking a gulp, “well.” She shrugged and Olivia got the impression she was embarrassed.
“What? Come on, Jazz, talk to me. I can’t help if I don’t know what happened.”
She rolled her eyes and said, “Nothing happened, that’s just it. The date didn’t go well.”
“Why not? Did he say or do something to put you off?”
“Was he rude? Condescending? Obnoxious?”
She answered with a shake of her head.
“Did he say something off color or insulting? Tell me. What is it? Because on paper you two are a pretty good match.”
And there were. Both were in the health profession so they had a lot to discuss on the work front. Both only children. Both divorced. They enjoyed the same type of music and both were exercise enthusiasts, in addition to a myriad of other attributes Olivia considered compatible.
“He’s, well, boring is the best word. And kinda…stuffy. He reminded me of an older uncle or even grandfather. Stodgy.”
Olivia did her best to hide her shock. The Hunter Reinhart she’d taken on as a client didn’t strike her as any of those things. Not boring, not stuffy, and certainly not like a man past his prime. She’d been thrilled when he’d hired her, and had been captivated by his good looks, respectful manner, and charming smile.
“There was just no…spark, no,” Jasmine shrugged “something special between us. Several times during dinner I wanted to yawn but knew I’d look rude if I did.”
“What did you two talk about?”
“In all honesty I can’t remember. None of it seemed particularly interesting.”
Once again, Olivia employed her face-blanking talent so she wouldn’t give her thoughts away.
“I’m sure he was as bored as me.”
“What makes you say that?” She refrained from telling her the doctor had called this morning, claiming the date went well and he wanted to see Jasmine again if she agreed.
When Jasmine had contacted her, Olivia thought it would be easy to find her a match. The thirty-three year old nurse had recently moved back home to Heaven from New York after her acrimonious and public divorce, intent on getting her life back to some semblance of normalcy. She’d sought out Olivia because, as she’d stated in her email, she didn’t want to get involved in the bar scene and most of the guys in the small town she’d known all her life, attended school with, and hadn’t considered them marriage material before she left town, her opinion unchanged now that she was back. Even with that declaration, Olivia had thought it would be an easy task to match her with someone.
After three dates with three different men, the latest one the newest doctor in town, Jasmine found none to her liking.
All the men she’d met were perfectly charming, suitable, and successful, but Jasmine found flaws with each of them. Olivia was beginning to think the woman was looking for someone—or something—who didn’t exist.
Either that, or she still carried a torch for the ex who’d publicly humiliated her when he left their marriage for a model ten years Jasmine’s junior.
“At this rate, I’m beginning to think I’ll end up like my mother. Alone, depressed, and bitter,” Jasmine said, then heaved another soul-crushing sigh.
Olivia kept her own counsel. She never wanted to give up on a client discovering their one true love. But Jasmine’s words were worrying and Olivia was concerned they just might prove true.
Intrigued? Hee hee. More snippets to follow.
Happy Sunday, peeps