Title: Scoring with the Boss
Series: Mr. Match #4
Author: Delancey Stewart
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: May 9, 2019
Mr. Match has
the formula for love. So why is he still single?
Being Mr. Match has been fun. And while it’s nice that thousands of
couples have found love thanks to me, that was never really the point. The one
guy I most wanted to match?
Doesn’t have one.
Now the vultures are circling, and it won’t be long before all of San
Diego finds out exactly who I am. And then the questions will begin. Why
hasn’t Mr. Match found his match?
If I answer that one, it’ll discredit everything Mr. Match is, and call
into question all the matches I’ve made so far. It’s time to step away.
But when the venture capital analyst arrives to help divest me of the
business, I’m starting to wonder if love really is as easy as a mathematical
formula. Because Tatum Archer does something to me that defies logic and
confounds reason. I feel feelings for her, even though the algorithm says I
Have I been wrong all along?
My life was set. Divorce, check. Kickass job, check. Enormous dog…
well, okay, that wasn’t part of the plan, but Charlie is my sidekick now and
I’m okay with that.
A weeklong trip to San Diego to help set up the sale of a matchmaking
business sounds like just the kind of challenge I thrive on. I just
didn’t expect Mr. Match himself to be quite so…
When my manager suggests I take over the company and stay in San Diego
temporarily, it makes perfect sense from a business perspective. But getting
involved with a client would be the end of everything I’d spent years building.
We have to keep things professional. Max assures me we’re not a match
So why can’t we
keep our hands off each other?
* * *
doesn’t date clients, and Max isn’t signing up for a romantic liaison that
hasn’t been mathematically guaranteed.
So why can’t he stop thinking about Tatum? Or about her ridiculously enormous
dog, Charlie? Not that he’s thinking about Charlie romantically, of course. But
the dog is part of a package deal. And maybe he’s thinking about Tatum a little
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It was time to take a step back from Mr. Match before I had
to answer a bunch of questions I didn’t want to answer. Before the whole thing
blew up and then tanked spectacularly because I was revealed to be a fraud. And
so naturally, I had a plan.
“You’re going to sell Mr. Match?” My sister Cat
was lounging on the leather sofa in the middle of my living room. “It’s a
goldmine! Why would you do that?”
I shrugged. “Maybe I’m tired of finding happiness for
Cat’s eyes dropped to the ring on her left hand and then
found me again. “Max,” she said quietly, looking sad.
“No,” I said quickly, sorry I’d let too much show.
That wasn’t my style. “It’s fine. It’s not even that. The whole secrecy
thing is exhausting, and I think I’m pretty close to being outed, which would
be bad for the business. Bad for me. And probably bad for the Sharks,
“You won the Cup last season, it would take a lot to
hurt the Sharks,” she said.
I stood just outside the sliding glass door that separated
the living room from the patio and yard. My house was nice—big and open, lots
of upscale touches and fancy appliances. But it felt cold to me, despite the almost
constant San Diego sunshine, and I spent a lot of my time out on this patio.
Less oppressive than that unfilled space. “Why do you care if I keep it,
anyway?” I asked, turning to look back inside.
Cat shrugged and stood up, coming out to join me in gazing
over the grass beyond the patio toward the fence, which sat just along the
curve of Mission Bay. The Isleys lived a few doors down, though I swear we
didn’t plan it that way. “I don’t know,” she said. “It’s
nostalgia, I guess. You always talked about figuring out how love wasn’t this
complicated mystical thing. And then you did it. I just thought it would mean
something to you, even if you never …” she trailed off, glancing at me
and then sinking into a cushioned chair next to the teak table.
My sister was one of the few people I’d confided in about my
efforts at finding a match of my own. I’d been one of the first complete
profiles in the database, but my file had sat there, gathering dust, for years
now. The algorithm was built to match and weigh the most crucial aspects of
someone’s personality, giving mathematical priority to those aspects
statistically most likely to correlate to longevity in relationships. I’d
tweaked the math multiple times over the years, and tons of happy couples all
around San Diego, Los Angeles, and now Arizona, had benefited. But I had
Cat sighed. There wasn’t much to say about my
It turned out I was a fucking unicorn. And not the fun
rainbow-maned kind with a cat riding on its back like a Viking conqueror,
throwing glitter around. I was like a sad gothic unicorn, horn draped in black
crepe and too much guy liner.
“Are you thinking about that ridiculous unicorn analogy
again?” Cat asked, interrupting my train of thought.
“You’re not an emo unicorn, Max.”
“Gothic. With guy liner.”
Cat rolled her eyes and crossed her arms over her chest.
“I have a novel idea for you.”
“No.” I historically didn’t like Cat’s ideas,
novel or not.
She dropped her arms and leaned forward in her chair, widening
her eyes at me and blowing out a breath in frustration. “Listen first,
jackass. Then tell me no.”
I lifted a shoulder in resignation. “Fine.
“Why don’t we go retro? You can be a retro
“I have no idea what you’re trying to say. Use your
“Those were words.”
“Use different words. Ones that go together to make
sentences that make sense.”
“Listen,” she said, rolling her eyes. Cat and I
couldn’t help reverting to grade-school banter when we were together. It was
our dynamic. It drove Mom crazy, but when Mom wasn’t around, we reveled in it.
“Why not try this dating thing the old fashioned way?”
“You want to order me a bride in the mail?” I
imagined a stagecoach rolling in, a frightened-looking Midwestern girl coming
down off the steps in a hoop skirt. It turns out I have a very visual
imagination. I do best when I keep my little imaginings to myself though.
“No. Not like wild-west style. More like before the
“They definitely didn’t have the internet in the wild west,”
I agreed. I wasn’t eager to see where Cat was going with this. Distraction
“Stop changing the subject. Distraction won’t work
here.” Cat stood up. “I met an adorable girl at the gallery last
week, and I got her number. You set me up on dates before I met Xavier, so now
I’m setting you up.”
“Definitely no,” I told her. “And I set you
up on dates that had a high mathematical probability of working out
successfully. That’s how you met Xavier, remember?”
“Yes, but first you gave me Dr. Buttchin.”
I smiled as Cat’s description of that date came back to me.
The formula had needed tweaking back then. But you had to hand it to a guy so
germaphobic he’d managed to find a place to buy condoms to put on the passenger
seat of his car. “Still. Definitely no to the setting-Max-up
“Definitely yes, you mean.” Cat had her phone out
and was texting someone.
“Stop. I’m serious.” This was not at all what I
wanted. I stood and went to look over my sister’s shoulder, but she’d already
“Her name is Julie. She was adorable, very inquisitive.
You guys are probably perfect for each other.” Cat smiled like she had
just achieved world peace.
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Delancey Stewart is an award-winning author who writes fiction with
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