Reviewed by Lori Fox
Turnabout's Fair Play by Kaye Dacus
"Turnabout's Fair Play is a good book. I'm certain that you'll enjoy the characters, and it can certainly be read as a stand alone."
Flannery's best friends, Caylor and Zarah, are getting married. And where
does that leave Flannery? Alone. After all, her sisters totally ditched
her after they got married, so naturally her friends will as well. Right?
Unfortunately for Flannery, one of the ushers at Zarah's wedding is a charming, and handsome successful marketing professional. One of those things is always a bad sign, so both together might as well be “NO” stamped on the forehead. Charming and handsome is not for her---she'd prefer a quiet dork. Preferably one that won't mind her secret obsession with the Arthurian legends.
Flannery's grandfather has other ideas, however. The handsome Jamie O'Connor seems like the perfect partner for Flannery, and, conveniently enough, Jamie's grandmother thinks the same thing about Flannery. The two quickly embark on a matchmaking scheme that throws more than just the grandkids together as often as possible.
Turnabout's Fair Play is the final book in Kaye Dacus' Matchmakers series. The series follows three girls in their 30's- Zarah, Caylor, and Flannery, as well as their meddling, matchmaking grandmothers. In book one, Love Remains, Zarah was the object of her grandmother's Yenta yearnings. In book two, The Art of Romance, Caylor got the treatment. Now it's Flannery's turn, and if she knew what was happening, she certainly wouldn't be happy about it.
While I love Dacus' books, both her contemporary and her historical, Turnabout's Fair Play fell just a little flat for me. I enjoyed all of the characters, and as always, I love the fact that she keeps the problems in the realm of reality. The tension and division come from each character dealing with their own issues, not poor communication skills (mostly), and they deal with their issues like real grown ups who are on a learning curve rather than a raving lunatic who accidentally finds out that the imagined problem really was just an imagined problem.
I really couldn't tell you what it is about this book that just didn't grab me like her others have. Perhaps it's because there's an element from book one that I missed, having not yet read Love Remains, that is essential to understanding their characters. Perhaps it's because I was in the middle of a Fantasy novel fest when this book arrived. I confess that I spent the first few chapters pining for the book that I'd been about to start reading until I got into the meat of the story. Maybe it's just that Cookie and Big Daddy (the meddling grandparents) were too interesting, leaving Flannery and Jamie as consolation prizes.
Turnabout's Fair Play is a good book. I'm certain that you'll enjoy the characters, and it can certainly be read as a stand alone. However, because of my personal feelings on this book, I have to recommend that you start with Love Remains and go through the series in order, or just pick up Art of Romance, which is an excellent stand alone book and a great example of Kaye Dacus' writing talent. Then, if you enjoy what you've read, I recommend that you follow up with Turnabout's Fair Play.
Lori Fox is a freelance writer who is working on her first novel as well as writing reviews for TitleTrakk.com. In addition to writing, she enjoys reading, making jewelry, and taking as many trips to Walt Disney World as possible with her wonderful husband Kyle. Visit her online at her website.