Title: Chasing Fireflies
Author: Taylor Dean
Publisher: Taylor Dean Books
Release Date: July 2016
Length: 311 pages
Series?: Power of the Matchmaker #7
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My sisters think I’m crazy.
But, I’ve never forgotten the mysterious woman from my childhood who told me Paul is the name of my one true love.
She told me to search far and wide for him.
I haven’t stopped looking ever since.
When I stumble across an article about a successful American entrepreneur named Paul who lives and works in China, I’m intrigued. When the opportunity to teach English in China presents itself on the same day, I know it’s not a coincidence.
My sisters say I’m chasing a dream.
Just like the fireflies we tried to catch on the warm summer evenings of our youth, the dream seems beyond my grasp. Will my quest for the elusive Paul always be just short of fulfillment?
My sisters tell me it’s a fool’s errand.
Until I remind them of the day we saw the Red Bird.
The memory silences them.
The Red Bird Incident remains inarguable—and proves my search for Paul is not a silly fantasy.
I will find Paul . . . I will.
Savannah met Miss Pearl, the matchmaker, when she was 11. Miss Pearl told her three important things. The first two have come true, and now Savannah must fulfill the last thing: find Paul. Not just any one specific Paul, but the Paul that his her soulmate. How in the world does she do this? She ignores anyone (romantically) without the name Paul. After flipping through her university’s alumni magazine, she discovers Paul, a UT alumni businessman in China. So she signs up for a program teaching English in China in the same city as Paul.
Savannah – an extreme introvert on a mission
Dakota – Savannah’s read-headed roommate who is incredible intuitive
Hunter – a young, blond, goofy kid more interested in the food and the fun
Lori and _____ – the married couple leading the English teaching expedition
Julian – an American chef at Burger, Burger; former teacher in the same program at
Paul – UT graduate and businessman in China
The Highs and Lows
- Pearl and the Prophecies. The way Pearl showed up in this installment in the series was different than all the others. Savannah meets Pearl when she is 11 years old. Pearl is the next-door neighbor of one of Savannah’s friends, and when the two meet Pearl tells her three important events about her future. When these prophecies begin to be fulfilled, like the tragic news and The Red Bird incident, Savannah holds steadfast to Pearl’s last item: she will search far and wide for Paul.
- Savannah. She is an introvert to the max, like me, so it was very easy to understand her character and can relate very much. It is something that is hard to explain to other people. Savannah keeps to herself and goes through life wearing an invisible cloak that lets her blend into the background and be forgotten or overlooked in social situations.
The truth of the matter is I like being invisible.
Social situations sometimes exhaust me. Not that I don’t enjoy them. I do. Absolutely. But afterwards I need space, time to regroup and recover from the effort.For some reason, social situations take a lot out of me and I can only handle them in small doses. But it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy them or need them.
I don’t enjoy situations where I feel at a loss for words. Every once in a while, I find myself searching for words and not finding them. That’s when things get awkward.
I don’t enjoy being the center of attention. I like to observe and listen, it’s the niche where I feel most comfortable.
I hate the disconnect between my brain and my tongue. It’s an innate part of me that I can’t seem to fight, no matter how hard I try. The words stick in my throat.
- Julian. He is an incredible individual, and I was impressed with his business skills to co-own Burger, Burger in China with Mr. Tang. He caters more to the American tourists, which the book made clear is where the group eats daily, preferring American fare over Chinese. The other thing that got me was his instant attachment to Savannah, and his brazen way of letting her know and calling attention to that fact as much as possible. He is also very obvious in his dislike for the group leader, Lori and her husband, and another girl in the group who hangs on his every word and is very fake. Overall, he’s a fun guy and I liked that in his character. Savannah did, too. Only problem is his name isn’t Paul. But all the things you’d want in a partner are there in Julian. Who cares if his name isn’t Paul?
- Pina Coladas. Julian plays on this song quite a bit throughout the novel, and it is kind of like their “thing” he and Savannah share. They make light of others in the group only having half a brain. Comments about yoga and the taboo making love at midnight comes up.
- Hiding Savannah’s Past. Since the first two chapters, “The Red Bird Incident” is referred to several times, but never explained in any kind of way except that it was the second item Miss Pearl foretold Savannah about. It drove me crazy! Savannah and all of her sisters gabbed on and on about these things, and it was like being left on the outside looking in – and not in a good way. It really made me want to stop reading entirely. I didn’t ever foresee being told what the hell was going on. There would be chapters that would flash back and the entire chapter would be about Savannah’s past. It would build up and build up and then just dropped. The book even started in this way. I was left wondering who the hell Paul was and why her sisters didn’t trash him or build him up as an individual. The reason was he didn’t exist – he, as a specific person. Paul is just any man named Paul, and Savannah set her sights on the UT alum in China.
- Fundamental Drawbacks. As I read, I had some things I couldn’t get past some things at the end. Some of Savannah’s commentary about her relationship or responses to Julian. It was weird. I did feel that Savannah and Julian had some sort of connection, but there were some things that didn’t mesh for me as a reader. For these reasons, I was disappointed in this installment in the series. Because of these things I felt it did not live up to the basic principles of romance and true – TRULY – true love. It was subpar and I feel like the last few chapters reinforced all the wrong things I think young girls and women today fall victim to in relationships.
I didn’t really like this one. Developmentally a lot of things could have been different. I also don’t really see the swoony romance here. I see a connection that is then up in the air as both Savannah and Julian have different thoughts and make up their minds about things.
Taylor Dean lives in Texas and is the mother of four grown children. Upon finding herself with an empty nest, she began to write the stories that were always wandering around in her head, quickly finding she had a passion for writing, specifically romance. Whether it’s paranormal, contemporary, or suspense-you’ll find all sub-genres of CLEAN Romance in her line-up.