Title: Perfect Match
Author: A.G. Meiers
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: January 14, 2019
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Secrets can derail even the most powerful attraction.
Logger Sven Larson has never found a man worth publicly coming out of the closet for. But his family has other plans. As a thirtieth birthday gift, his mother hires the online dating service Perfect Match to find Sven the love of his life. To say Sven isn’t thrilled is an understatement, but it’s too late to cancel, and Jayden Calver arrives.
Perfect Match’s success rate is unsurpassed, but they don’t come by it honestly: if a client can’t be matched, the agency uses a stand-in to fulfill their guarantee and protect their profit.
Tough luck has left Jayden in debt, and playing Perfect Match’s deceptive game is his only option. So he travels — sparkling toenails and all — to a remote camp deep in the mountains to meet Sven Larson and pretend to be his perfect match for a few days.
Sparks fly on first contact. But as the two men get closer, Sven grows more and more suspicious of Jayden, and Jayden struggles with guilt over his deceit. They both want a future together, but first they must find the courage to be honest with themselves and each other.
The blurb for “Perfect Match” captured my interest, but as I got into this story I found the entire premise frankly disturbing. WARNING …. there are NUMEROUS SPOILERS in this review.
Jayden is in debt to a unscrupulous loan shark for $8,000 because of his mother’s medical bills and when he is unable to pay, two men drag him from his apartment and lock him in a small room for two days, threatening to hurt him in a number of horrible ways. He is “saved” when his “contract” is purchased by the dating service Perfect Match and he is basically trained as an escort.
Sure, Perfect Match does succeed in bringing people together but when they can’t find an ideal match, Perfect Match sends out an escort, with instructions to “fuck his brains out” to keep the unsuspecting matchee unaware that their “perfect match” is just an illusion.
Sven’s well-meaning family has paid a high fee to find a perfect match for him, and when Jayden appears in their home far away from civilization, Sven falls hard, despite warning signs that Jayden may not be what he seems. I did like the growing romance between Sven and Jayden but would have liked more character development for the two MCs.
But when the secret behind Perfect Match is revealed …. does Sven contact the authorities to report that Jayden was “sold” into the sex trade? Does Jayden come to his senses and realize that he can go to the police and hopefully cause the people behind Perfect Match to be investigated? Nope. Sven and his family decide to PAY OFF Jayden’s debt. And Sven and Jayden get their HEA while the final chapter returns us to Perfect Match and its shady / creepy owners and employees.
One of its employees, Alex who does initial calls with clients and entices them into this scam now has to go in Jayden’s place to the next victim / client which I imagine will turn into the second book in this series.
I did like the author’s writing style and thought she did a good job with the secondary characters and the general feel of the setting, and while I would have liked more character development, I thought the romance between Jayden and Sven was sweet. AND I know that other reviewers have enjoyed “Perfect Match” …. but for me personally, this story just did not work and I was appalled by the whole escort/sex trade aspect. 2.5 stars.