The Matchmaker | By Catherine Walsh
NetGalley e-ARC | Contemporary Romance
Katie Collins has barely ever left her tiny Irish village of Ennisbawn. Why would she? With its tightknit community, friendly local pub, surrounded by rolling hills and perfectly mysterious forests, it’s a place of peaceful beauty.
Or it was peaceful. Until Callum Dempsey turned up. A hot-shot (and, Katie has to admit, hot is annoyingly apt for him…) developer with zero eye for beauty or charm, in spite of his chiselled jaw. He’s not only building some hideous hotel just outside the village, but now he’s also planning to knock down Ennisbawn’s only remaining pub, to make way for a good view from the golf course.
It’s the final blow to the village and the last straw for Katie, who refuses to see her home disappear. Not to mention that the pub is the last connection to her parents, who had met at Ennisbawn’s once-famous matchmaking festival, both throwing coins into the wishing well that sits in the pub garden.
In an instant, Katie knows what to do. She’s going to uncover the now disused wishing well, she’s going to revive the matchmaking festival, and she’s going to single-handedly bring the town back to life again.
She might even help her two best friends find love as well. Since, heck, what’s another project when you’re taking on the world’s hottest, evilest man?
But what Ireland’s newest matchmaker doesn’t know is that even when someone’s really not your type on paper, love might be a little bit more than just a formula…
Narrative and Plot
The Matchmaker follows Katie Collins who loves her town Ennisbawn and works as a bartender at the local pub, Kelly’s. The story follows her perspective as she inadvertently spearheads taking down the big corporate realtor by organizing this Matchmaking festival.
For a book that is titled asThe Matchmaker, there is a very little aspect of matchmaking involved here. It is all about how Katie deals with this major change happening in the town while having a soft spot for the person working on the other side. The pacing in the middle felt a bit slow, but then it picked up around the three-forth mark. As always, the author creates this nostalgic atmosphere of the good old rom-com days and I love that about her books.
Characters and Conflicts
Katie is charming, and witty, and has that self-deprecating humor that I love in rom-com heroines. It makes the story all the more interesting. Callum on the other hand, leaves you wanting for more.
There is good chemistry between the main leads. However, in order to see where Callum is coming from and why he makes the choices he made, I wish we got his perspective of things too. Without that, it felt a bit abrupt.
The ensemble cast is lovely and quite memorable. I have always enjoyed the sense of community and family in Catherine Walsh’s books. This one had some amazing friendships and bonds. I enjoyed the romance that was going on around for the side characters as well and was equally rooting for them too.
Also, I could totally picture the Indian actress, Anushka Sharma as Nush because it is the kind of role that she usually goes for.
Overall I enjoyed the experience of reading the fun romantic comedy. However, I came into it expecting a comedy of errors relating to the matchmaking festival. Somehow, the blurb made me feel like that was what the story was about. The book also lacked the usual grounded and realistic way of approaching things which is a big highlight of the author’s previous works. This one was leaning a bit much on us buying into that whimsical story of where everything works out in the end. To conclude, while I enjoyed the book, it is my least favorite book from the author so far.
I received an e-ARC of the book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.