About the Book
Author Kaye Dacus will ignite your love of romance with book 2 of her Matchmakers series. Dylan Bradley, who once illustrated steamy romances under the name Patrick Callaghan, has moved into his grandparent’s guest house in Nashville. Caylor Evans, having once written titillating novels under the penname Melanie Mason, lives with her grandmother. When their lives collide, due to the machinations of meddling matriarchs, the pasts of Dylan and Caylor threaten to derail their futures. Will they accept each other for who they now are—and once were? Or will they never discover the true art of romance?
Kaye Dacus understands the unique social scenario of young single Christian adults and the labels and molds that some churches and ministries try to force them in to. Their is often pressure placed on intelligent, mature, professional women by friends and family to get married when they reach a certain age, and Kaye does a great job of portraying the effects of that pressure. I also like that her heroines are portrayed as real women of different shapes and sizes; somehow they feel more approachable and identifiable.
Dylan has been downtrodden and allowed himself to be victimized and devalued by Type A personalities in his family and relationships. This is the first time I have seen a “cougar” storyline portrayed in Christian fiction. Before Dylan meets Caylor (who is older than him), he is involved with a controlling and manipulative woman who fits the prototype for the cougar personality. The relationship destroyed his personal life and career and adds another layer to his complicated past.
This book presented an interesting assortment of family dynamics. Caylor’s role as a type of surrogate mother to her sister and and noble provider for her grandmother is admirable and contrasted by Dylan’s reliance on his grandparents generosity and compassion to get his feet back on the ground. Dylan’s parents are opportunistic, power hungry bullies that didn’t show any redeeming qualities. This offered some interesting tension filled scenes that were critical to character development.
I wasn’t completely sold on the Dylan-Caylor pairing. I think that Dylan still carried considerable emotional baggage and Caylor seemed more enamoured with his looks and talent than his personality. She was very quick to accept and overlook the details of his past without too much consideration about the possible ramifications for their relationship.
Overall, The Art of Romance is equal parts charm and reality that will resonate with a lot of women.
**review copy provided publisher via NetGalley**