Mini-Reviews: Fake it with J.J. Arias, T.B. Markinson, and Miranda MacLeod

Two romances about the ways we try and find love.

The Single Matchmaker by J.J. Arias


Who helps Cupid fall in love?

Libby Cassanova is the last in a long line of matchmakers. After years of hard work, her grandmother has finally handed her control of an empire built by generations of Cassanova women.

When the secret that Libby was dumped by her fiancé comes to light, she must act fast to salvage her reputation. There is nothing she wouldn’t do to keep the truth of her failed relationship from toppling her future, and that includes pretending to date a woman if it makes her story more believable.

Reagan Soto is a struggling artist offered a chance at easy money by pretending to be Libby’s girlfriend. Upon meeting the tightly wound thirty-something, Reagan is immediately intrigued by what lies beneath all the polish and barely held-together facade.

As Libby and Reagan play at being in love, the line between fantasy and reality quickly blurs. Can Libby get over her fear of getting hurt and see that her perfect match is right under her nose. . . even if she never expected it to be another woman?4

My Thoughts

J.J. Arias steals my heart again with The Single Matchmaker

Arias manages to combine cultural history, customs, and love in a fantastic story about facing your fears against family expectations. Arias manages to do this while having Libby and Reagan fall in love. 

Florida is not the only heat being felt as the chemistry between Libby and Reagan happens almost immediately. Unfortunately for us that love the heat, this is a slow-burn romance, but the wait is worth it (hehehehehe). 

I am thrilled that Libby’s sexuality is never quantified. Arias let’s love just be love. Libby falls for Reagan for the human Reagan is and sexuality is a non-issue. Libby sees Reagan as passionate about life which includes community, cultural history, family, and people. Reagan is the best girlfriend you can want and she has taken time to grow and become secure in who she is as a person and artist. This laid-back style is such an anomaly to Libby that she cannot help being drawn into the goodness of Reagan’s soul Yeah…crushing on Reagan, but once you read this book you will too.

The Single Matchmaker has one of the best scenes involving candles, and to my future love interest take notes, because oh yes, this had me. Thank you J.J. Arias for laying down the plan for how I want my candle scene.

I love Arias and her romances are always at the top of my list to read and they should be on your’s. The Single Matchmaker will make you want to fall in love and dance salsa all night long A

(25 Dec. 2020’ pp. 309). Goodreads. Amazon.

Thank you to the Author for putting this book in #KindleUnlimited otherwise I could not have afford to read it. Thanks again!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A An edited version was previously posted on Amazon on 24 March 2021.

The Love Project by T.B. Markinson and Miranda MacLeod

Can a long shot bring love to a couple of lonely hearts?

Joni Fisher is facing economic ruin. The once successful advice column she runs with her mother is on the brink of cancellation, and it’ll take a miracle to turn things around. Joni’s last-ditch effort to save her job and preserve her mother’s legacy is The Love Project, a web series she’s developing to bring the Help Me Henrietta franchise alive for a new generation. All she needs is a willing victim…er, star.

Hope Alvarez dreams of falling in love, but she’s always suspected she’s different. Physical attraction is a foreign language to her. After her only prospect for a meaningful relationship falls through, Hope has to face the fact that she’s completely hopeless when it comes to love. Can her favorite advice columnist, Henrietta, save her from a lonely future?

As the series gets underway, fans swoon for the lovable yet unlucky Hope, and they’re not the only ones. Joni is smitten, too. But she’s been down that road before, vowing never again to fall for a straight woman who will keep her forever in the friend zone. Except, what if she’s been reading the situation all wrong? Helping Hope make sense of her identity might save Joni’s job, but will it also bring her love?4

My Thoughts

T.B. Markinson and Miranda MacLeod bring matchmaking to the 21st century with The Love Project.

I can so relate to this premise. Anyone who has a project or business that needs to earn money has to change everything about how they do business versus ten years ago, five years, and if heavily dependent on online purchases a year makes a difference.

The fact that Joni has to convince her Mom and her unsupportive father to leave the safety of what is known into an unknown and uncertain success is what most people deal with today. Markinsons and MacLeod do justice to this struggle.

It helps that there is a romance filling in what could just be a boring plot. (I say boring because I live this struggle both as a person trying to hustle and as a single person who is dating.) Romance always fixes things. I love the gradual buildup to Joni and Hope’s romance. The struggle is real when it comes to dating. Markinson and MacLeod make it look fun, crazy, and depressing – it is! They also bring the heat for Joni and Hope.

There are some interesting twists I didn’t see coming and that is always a nice surprise.

Kudos to Markinson and MacLeod for bringing us yet another Love Project that we can root for. (17 Feb 2021, pp. 300, Goodreads, Amazon)B

Rating: 5 out of 5.

B An edited version was previously posted on Amazon on 25 July 2021.


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