By day, I'm a domestic violence prosecutor. By night, I read romance to restore my faith in love, relationships, and humanity in general.
I thoroughly enjoyed this little treat of a story, (which is part of the London Legends series but works perfectly well as a stand-alone read). I liked that both main characters were strong yet vulnerable, and I loved how well they communicated, right from the start of their relationship.
Both Gwen and John are giants: Gwen is 6'1", and John is 6'8". Both are used to feeling clumsy and out of place because of their size, and to being judged by their appearance, so they're both awestruck by how well they fit together (sexually as well as just generally). Gwen loves that John makes her feel feminine and delicate (for the first time in her life), and John loves that Gwen is strong and solid and he doesn't have to worry about crushing her.
John has a 10-year-old daughter, Agnes, he rarely sees because she lives with her mother in France. He is desperate to connect with this little girl, but stymied because of the language barrier (the child's mother doesn't speak English with her, and John has tried to learn French but isn't good with languages). To make matters worse, the day of Agnes' arrival, John suffers a concussion during a rugby match. Since John is barely able to care for himself, much less his daughter, Gwen gives up Christmas with her own family to spend the weekend with them.
I often find "plot moppets" (i.e., cute, unrealistic child characters used as a plot device) to be distracting, annoying, and inauthentic, but here I thought John's earnest but fumbling efforts to connect with Agnes were genuinely endearing.
I also liked that Gwen has self-esteem issues (as most of us do), but that she learns not to let them dictate her life or her choices. She advocates for herself and her needs powerfully and effectively, and I loved that John was receptive and respectful of her strength.
Finally, sometimes the pacing of novellas puts me off. It often seems that authors try to fit too much plot into the shortened form, leaving the reader frustrated by all that's left out, or, alternatively, there isn't enough plot and the novella is more of a vignette than a fully-fleshed out story. Not so here: Unwrapping Her Perfect Match struck a good balance, providing enough backstory and character development to orient the reader, as well as a satisfying narrative arc that builds and comes to resolution without feeling crowded or rushed.
If you're in the mood for a quick, feel-good holiday read, Unwrapping Her Perfect Match is a good pick.
PS - Did I mention it's free?!