A Perfect Match by Erin Dutton
I’ve been a fan of Erin Dutton for a long time and A Perfect Match was the only book of hers that I hadn’t read. I’ve enjoyed all of Dutton’s books, some more than others, but I’ve not really been disappointed by any of them. So why wait more than two years to buy A Perfect Match? Because I hate spending $10 ($11 at BSB) for a short book. I know, I know, that may be a lame reason but it’s the truth. I think this was classified by Bold Strokes Books as a Matinee book because you could read it in an afternoon. I just don’t think it’s fair to charge the same price for a 300 page novel as a novella under 200. So anyway, I got a gift card for my birthday and felt ok about buying it since someone gave me the money.
A Perfect Match starts off with closeted pro golfer Tiernan O’Shea being outed and dumped, very publicly, as she’s heading out to start a tournament. That tournament is being covered by reporter Elena Pilar, also a closeted lesbian. A couple weeks later, they’re paired up in a pro-am charity tournament and discover their mutual attraction.
So, did I like the short book? Yeah, I did. I liked the characters and the story but, to be very honest, it was just too short. I like short stories but this felt like it should have been a full length novel but wasn’t developed enough. There was so much that, honestly, should have been developed because leaving the story as it is just feels like it was rushed. As I watched the pages tick away, I kept thinking, “the wrap up is going to be too easy and quick,” and it was.
These characters had some very complex issues and I would have loved to see some actual resolution but instead most arcs were just left hanging. As I was reading the book, I was engaged and connected to the characters, just like I usually am with the author’s work, and I looked forward to seeing how it would end, how she would either bring Tiernan and Elena together or, maybe, not have them be able to overcome the barriers and walk away from each other, even though I knew that would be a longshot.
With several hours gone since I finished the book last night, I guess I am a little more disappointed than I initially thought I was. Am I happy I read it? Yeah. Did I enjoy it? Yeah, I did. Do I think it would have been better with fully fleshed out characters and story arcs? Absolutely.
So I guess the bottom line is that if you’re a die-hard Dutton fan, suck it up and buy it or ask someone to loan it to you or pick it up when you get a gift card or it goes on sale. If you’re new to the author’s work, don’t start with this one. Start with Fully Involved or A Place to Rest and go from there.