Author: Tamara Mataya
The premise promised by the title Missed Connections is a fun one. Two people shared a connection at some point in real life, but failed for any number of reasons to act on it. Through the imaginary Missed Connections website featured in Mataya’s first installment of her Summer Love series, they can reach out and maybe have a second chance at a love. Apparently that’s a real thing on Craigslist and several dedicated websites like Blew My Chance and I Saw You. This is main character Sarah’s guilty pleasure while she searches for a new job after being unceremoniously dismissed from her last one. (We never did get the reason she was let go.) The possibilities are fun to think about. Unfortunately, most of my enjoyment in the book stopped there.
The characters were fairly stereotypical and one dimensional. Sarah has zero depth. She’s almost likable on the few times we see her care for her father, resent her mother’s inappropriate behavior, and when she exhibits a truly admirable work ethic, but she’s not someone I wanted to be friends with. It feels like even the author was annoyed with her own character’s narcissism as evidenced by the harsh reality check she gets from her best friend. My thought was, “Finally!”
Sarah’s nemesis Phyllis is truly evil—without apparent cause. They don’t do the same job or interact outside the workplace so there doesn’t seem to be any reason for her malicious behavior except that she is just a malevolent person. That was a bit of a head scratcher. When it comes time for Phyllis to get her comeuppance, it doesn’t feel harsh enough. We never liked her, why hold back? Sarah’s employers are, perhaps, worse than Phyllis because they believe their own crap. They, more than anyone, needed a reality check.
Finally, there was no mystery in Sarah’s on-line mystery man, her missed connection, just impatience for her to get over herself and figure out his identity. The reader knows who it is almost immediately. As Sarah and her not-really-a-mystery man converse online, we don’t get much in the way of dialog. This would have been the place to allow the reader to form an emotional connection with him as well. Instead, we get brief highlights of the conversations and we have to take the emotional connection for granted that Sarah builds during hours and hours of chat time. His real life persona is likable, but Sarah is so dismissive of him that we don’t get to know him that way either. Their whole relationship could be summed up in the words, “Methinks she doth protest too much.” By the way, that is a quote from the book.
It’s not a bad book, just not a great read either. Some of the writing is funny. My favorite line comes during Sarah’s financial strain while trying to get back on her feet, “She’s right that I’m not just a dollar sign, but unfortunately, my landlord doesn’t accept interpretive dance as payment.” It’s a quick read if you’re looking to pump up your annual number of pages read or just something to toss in your pool bag, but read the other stuff on your TBR pile first.
Thanks to her job at a crazy New Age spa, what should have been a sizzling NYC summer is being hijacked by demanding hippie bosses. To unwind, Sarah spends her nights cruising Missed Connections, dreaming of finding an uber-romantic entry all about her. Of course, the moment she finds that Missed Connection, real life comes crashing down around her in a night of unbridled passion with someone completely different: totally off-limits Jack.
Best. Hookup. Ever.
Gorgeous and wealthy, hot as sin, Jack can give Sarah everything she needs-except an emotional connection. That she gets from her Missed Connection, the romantic stranger who never fails to make her swoon. But there’s only so much of Sarah to go around. Torn between the bad boy she can’t keep and the sensitive stranger who bares his soul online, her heart and body are soon in two very different relationships…or are they?
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Series: Summer Love #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format(s): paperback (320 pages), e-book
Book Source: Publisher