Baseball star Will Vandergriff knows any number of women who would happily pretend to be his girlfriend. In a last-ditch effort to restore his good standing with his team’s higher-ups, he enlists the help of his neurotic, goody-goody neighbor. Schoolteacher Olivia Pratt might be a bit quirky and a bit of a loner, but she’s a lot more inviting than she knows. Will hopes that bringing her to his next game might revamp his reckless reputation and help get his career back on track. The only problem? The plan works a little too well. Not only do the higher-ups love Olivia, but Will plays his best game yet. Suddenly his losing streak is a thing of the past, and Olivia is his new good-luck charm. Will feels anything but lucky.
After years of keeping the world at bay, Olivia Pratt is pulling off the ultimate performance—not only reluctantly posing as Will’s girlfriend but also insisting that she’s oblivious to his major-league appeal. But she can only lie to herself for so long. Being by Will’s side feels good. Really good. Maybe it’s finally time to make a pitch for everything she really wants—and to find out just how exhilarating love can be.
GENRE: Contemporary Romance, Clean Fiction
PUBLISHER: Waterfall Press
RELEASE DATE: September 27, 2016
“All my life, I’ve had nothing but bad luck with the number thirteen.”
The Thirteenth Chance is hilarious! And swoony. And sweet. So… in short… it’s my kind of book!
But of course, I won’t leave the review there. There is more gushing to be had!! (It goes along with the superpower lol)
Olivia gives new meaning to the term “crazy cat lady”. I mean… describing her as neurotic doesn’t even really break the surface. She’s delightfully quirky though despite the fact that there are some sad reasons for her quirks, reasons that Matayo develops tactfully and in a way that gives Will a chance to really shine as a hero. That cat, though. Hysterical. I never thought I would say this where a c-a-t was concerned, but Perry stole every scene he was in. (Sorry, Zuzu!)
Will is cocky and full of himself in a lot of ways, especially at first. But Olivia brings out a desire in him to be a better man, to treat her better than his standard M.O. He doesn’t always succeed but his heart is in the right place.
Olivia is different. And because of that, Olivia deserves different.
In the meantime, before he really gets a grasp on what treating Olivia differently looks like, they have some really great battles of “will” (the pun works) and words. Terrific banter going on here because Olivia can certainly hold her own. She IS a school teacher after all 😉
Which brings me to another aspect of the book I wanted to mention. THE SWOON FACTOR. Clean romance doesn’t have to be boring, y’all! It can be sexy and smoldering without straying into smutty. Amy Matayo has achieved this in spades so make sure you have a fan, fainting couch, and freezer handy. WHEW. <still fanning> Will is just too sexy for his (and our) own good, and Olivia – despite her best efforts at resistance – just can’t quite help herself. (There was a scene that raised my eyebrows a bit; nothing that crosses any lines necessarily, but not something I’m used to encountering in the books I typically read.)
It did take me a while to get into the first-person present tense narratives; first Olivia, then Will. But after a few chapters, I became so captivated by these characters and their stories and their relationship that I barely even noticed the POV or the tense. Instead, I lived the story with them. I heard it in their voices. I felt as though we were all friends sitting down for a chat so I could get caught up on their lives.
Bottom Line: Cute, sexy, quirky, funny – The Thirteenth Chance is all of these things and more! This isn’t Christian fiction per se, but that’s ok. It’s clean fiction and it works. It more than works. Matayo has crafted two great characters, both a little nuts in their own ways, which makes for many laughter worthy moments throughout the book. I think I even snorted a couple of times, something Nicole Deese warned would happen. It will make you smile and swoon and maybe even crave a baseball game. It will for sure satisfy the romcom fan in you and leave you waiting eagerly for Matayo’s next book! Or stalking her backlist, which I may or may not be doing now (totally am).
( I received this book for free. No review was required, favorable or otherwise, and all views expressed are my own.)
My Rating: 4 stars / Loved it!
KissingBook Level: 4 / Whew! Keep a fan handy!
Author Amy Matayo is an excellent speaker, mathematician, seamstress, chef…and liar. She’s decent at writing books but not much else. Then again, the book thing makes her marginally cool and a whole lot intimidating.
Not really. Not even her kids are afraid of her.
She graduated with barely passing grades from John Brown University with a degree in Journalism. But she’s proud of that degree and all the ways she hasn’t put it to good use.
She laughs often, cries easily, feels deeply, and loves hard. She lives in Arkansas with her husband and four kids and is working on her next novel.
More Books by Amy Matayo
What about you? What are some of your quirks?