The Perfect Match

By: Kristan Higgins

What if the perfect match is a perfect surprise?

Honor Holland has just been unceremoniously rejected by her lifelong crush. And now—a mere three weeks later—Mr. Perfect is engaged to her best friend. But resilient, reliable Honor is going to pick herself up, dust herself off and get back out there…or she would if dating in Manningsport, New York, population 715, wasn’t easier said than done.

Charming, handsome British professor Tom Barlow just wants to do right by his unofficial stepson, Charlie, but his visa is about to expire. Now Tom must either get a green card or leave the States—and leave Charlie behind.

In a moment of impulsiveness, Honor agrees to help Tom with a marriage of convenience—and make her ex jealous in the process. But juggling a fiancé, hiding out from her former best friend and managing her job at the family vineyard isn’t easy. And as sparks start to fly between Honor and Tom, they might discover that their pretend relationship is far too perfect to be anything but true love….


THE DAY Honor Grace Holland turned thirty-five, she did what she always did on her birthday.

She got a Pap smear.

Sure, sure, Honor was aware that gynecology was pretty low on the totem pole of celebrations. It was just easier to schedule the dreaded appointment if it was on a memorable date. Practical, that was all, and she was nothing if not practical. Faith and Prudence, her sisters, and Dana Hoffman, her closest friend, had planned to take her out, but there’d been a snowstorm last weekend, and they’d had to cancel. The family would gather this weekend for cake, so it wasn’t like the Pap smear was the only celebration she’d be having.

She assumed the position on the exam table while her doctor kindly averted his eyes, and practiced the deep breathing the irritatingly flexible yoga instructor had demonstrated with such vigor until she and Dana had giggled like two little kids in church. Didn’t work then, didn’t work now. She stared at the Jackson Pollock print on the ceiling and tried to think happy thoughts. She really needed to update the website. Design a label for the new pinot gris Blue Heron Vineyard was launching. Check the month’s orders.

It occurred to her that work should not be her happy thoughts. She tried to think of something not work-related. She had some Lindt truffles at home. That was good.

“So how are things, Honor?” Jeremy asked from between her legs.

“Working a lot. You know me.” And he did. Jeremy Lyon was an old family friend as well as her sister’s ex-fiancé. He was also gay, which didn’t seem to make his palpation of her ovaries any less yucky.

Jeremy snapped off his gloves and smiled. “All done,” he said.

Honor sat up fast, despite the fact that Jeremy was terribly nice and had famously gentle hands. The good doctor handed her a prewarmed blanket—he was thoughtful that way. He never made eye contact during the breast exam, and the speculum was always placed on a heating pad. Small wonder half the women in Manningsport were in love with him, no matter that he liked men.

“How’s Patrick?” she asked, crossing her arms.

“He’s great,” Jeremy said. “Thanks for asking. Speaking of that, are you seeing anyone, Honor?”

The question made her blush, not just because Jeremy’s famous hands had been Down Under, but also because...well. She was private. “Why do you ask?” Did he want to fix her up? Should she say yes? Maybe she should. Brogan was never—

“Just need to ask a few questions about your, um, certain personal aspects of your life.”

Honor smiled. Jeremy, despite being a doctor, was still the cute boy who’d dated Faith all through college, and couldn’t quite forget that Honor was a few years older. “If it’s covered by HIPPA, then the answer is—” Yes, indeed, what was the answer? “The answer is yes. Sort of. And if you tell anyone in my family, I will kill you.”

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