Review of Matchmaking Beyond the Veil, by Mara Townsend

I’ve had Matchmaking Beyond the Veil, by Mara Townsend, for a while. I think I picked it up as an Amazon freebie.

Description from Goodreads:

Endure the company of his rival…or suffer ghostly retaliation.

Emery Belmont is a snarky, uptight realist who likes his life ordinary. Like any skeptic, he’s content using mundane explanations to write off signs of paranormal activity. That’s no longer an option when the spirit haunting his house wrecks his new kitchen, forcing Emery closer to facing the supernatural truth. Desperate for a new handyman, he unknowingly hires his hot ex-rival from high school to fix it. Paxton Santos, Emery’s former lacrosse team captain, followed in his father’s footsteps to take over the family business. Annoyingly, Emery requires his talented hands more than he needs to keep Paxton out of his life. However, getting Paxton to leave after the repairs may prove difficult with the meddlesome ghost taking a shine to him, which Paxton seems to take in his grating, good-natured stride, remaining irritatingly unruffled by numerous weird occurrences.

Emery is bombarded by mysterious paranormal hijinks, keeping Paxton at arm’s length, and deciphering things that aren’t quite what they seem. There’s nothing Emery hates more than an unfinished puzzle. In his determination to solve this one, Emery reluctantly opens himself up to new possibilities all while trying to remain firmly rooted in life the way he prefers it—orderly, logically explainable, and, above all else, ghost-free.

Join Emery and Paxton as they face off with a spirit that has no limits to how far it will go to push them together, enduring locked doors, faulty plumbing, and sharing a bed. Together they are determined to navigate their way out of this mess using any means necessary to send the ghost packing. Will they make it out of the traps awaiting them before their pesky tormenter gets any other ideas to make things worse and further blur the line between them?

Review:

Soooo, I hated this book. That’s a pretty blunt, but true statement. I finished by force of will alone and I frequently felt like I would never reach the end. The problem was that I simply HATED the main character. Emery was selfish, snobbish, and self-centered. And he was just as selfish, snobbish, and self-centered at the end of the book as he was at the beginning. He didn’t even grow as a person or character. The fact that the Paxton was too much of a kind himbo to realize Emery was actually being cruel doesn’t make Emery’s abusive behavior less horrendous. And Paxton was a gem. I didn’t want to see him saddled with Emery in the least.

Then there were the completely graceless changes of mind on Emery’s part. He spends his whole life hating his high school rival (who holds on to shit like that) and then SUDDENLY out of nowhere decides it was all one-sided and in his head. What’s more, he thinks Paxton is the same as always. So, kind and generous and giving? If that’s how he’s always been, how am I supposed to believe anyone (except maybe a selfish, snobbish, and self-centered asshat) would think him the machiavellian villain Emery was supposed to have believed him to be. It was 100% unbelievable. The transition between never being willing to enter a relationship and desperately wanting one with Paxton was just as sudden. And the reason Emery never again wanted a relationship was never addressed, despite being harped on forever.

If you’re hoping for some good paranormal fun, don’t look here. It doesn’t even enter the book until the halfway mark and then it’s ridiculous. All in all, I am really glad to be done with this book and I will not be continuing the series.

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