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Little Matchmakers
by Jennifer Greene
(Harl. Spec. Ed # 2202, $5.25, G) ISBN 978-0373-65684-4
****
Jennifer Greene has written an enjoyable romance about two people, one a widow and one a divorcee, both with ten year old boys and both in need someone in their lives. Little Matchmakers is a delightful tale.

Tucker MacKinnon and his son Will have been called into the teachers' office on the last day of class for the year. Tucker is convinced this can't be good, but really can't remember any issues with grades that could cause this meeting. While waiting outside the classroom, he overhears another parent getting the info on her child. Garnet Cattrell is being told that her son Pete is an excellent student but needs to learn some sports or outdoor activities over the summer or he will have a hard time in middle school. When it is Tucker's turn, he is informed that Will is going through some hormone changes and is really struggling with dealing with women and girls. He needs some exposure this summer to a woman he can relate to or he, too will have trouble with middle school.

Tucker's plan is born. He will take Pete for some male bonding time and Garnet will take Will for some female bonding time. Both of their problems can be solved easily and their boys helped. The attraction these two adults seem to feel for the other can be handled, or so they tell themselves.

The plan works brilliantly or mostly. Will loves his time with Garnet and her herbal business. He likes digging in the dirt and they develop a real relationship. Pete loves spending time with Tucker, unfortunately not in the outdoors. Pete has taken over Tucker's office, helping him organize his computer files and even working on his webpage. This is right up Pete's alley and while it doesn't get him outside, it sure gets him to know Tucker. Pete and Will start talking and realize that this could work out all the way around, hence the title.

This is a fun story because of the characters. Pete and Will are ten year olds ready for middle school and ready to see their parents find happiness. Tucker and Garnet are two people happy in their skin that find themselves attracted and surprised at how much. They each have issues, but they can be worked through and do not define them. For example, Tucker's parents are loving parents who always had a hard time balancing their medical careers with raising their three children. Tucker still resents his parents for this on the one hand, but it is only a part of who he is. Garnet was the odd man out in her family, never fitting in with her parents' dreams for her. This has helped to shape her character but her other life experiences have shaped her equally as well.

Little Matchmakers doesn't break any new ground, but it is a fun story that will make the reader smile.

--Shirley Lyons


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