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Power of the Matchmaker

Chasing Fireflies

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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.

It’s destiny.

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.

311 pages, Kindle Edition

First published July 1, 2016

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About the author

Taylor Dean

46 books716 followers

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.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 158 reviews
Profile Image for Julie Carpenter.
1,355 reviews148 followers
February 4, 2023
Oh my! I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book. Definitely going to vote for this one for the swoony awards! I have a new favorite book! This is part of the Power of the Matchmaker series. I have read most of them and really enjoyed them all but this one is my fav so far.

Can I say that I cried during the beginning chapter where Savannah is remembering her mom passing away. I loved what her mom told her.

"No more watching."

"Don't give up, Savannah. I know life has thrown you some hard knocks. But you are strong, stronger than you think. I know you'll find your special someone, I know you will. Keep searching. I want you to have love in your life, a love like I have known. It's my greatest wish for you, the utmost desire of my heart. You are a special girl, Savannah. Never doubt your worth. Promise me you'll never give up on life. Promise me you'll demand a life that requires all the love inside of you, a life that reaches inside of you and squeezes out every ounce of love from your heart. Only then will you find happiness."

I think those words were just what Savannah needed to hear because of different aspects of her life she hasn't fully lived and when she finally makes a big decision her sisters try to convince her otherwise but she remembers her mom giving her that extra support, love and encouragement that she needs to try to live and not just watch.

Now a slight pause...I just don't know how to continue approaching this, not because of a lack of thoughts. Because I really don't want to give anything away. There are so many surprises throughout that just make this novel amazing! So let's say that I'm really trying carefully to guard my words in this review yet still be able to peek your interest to read this too. So if it seems a bit vague just know I'm really trying to be spoiler free.

Savannah ends up leaving for China to teach English. Why China you ask? Well when she was young she met, unknowingly, the matchmaker Miss Pearl. Savannah is given 3 important instructions from Miss Pearl that she must follow exactly. Now if I was told what Miss Pearl told her I would probably think she was a little bit crazy but as moments follow and the first two things happen Savannah can't deny what she was told and decides to pursue the third instruction. What is this third instruction? It is that she needs to remember the name Paul, for he will be her true love and bring her lasting happiness...or something like that, I'm paraphrasing. I won't reveal the other two because those are some of the surprises that won't be revealed right away.

So Savannah has been searching the world over for Paul. She even goes to college in Texas, far away from home, to search. While reading an article from her university's magazine, she discovers that an alumni named Paul has created an amazing business in China and he lives there. A moment after reading the article she comes across an add for a company that takes volunteers to different places to teach English. Yes one of those places is China and the same town where Paul the alumni lives. Coincidence?

I love the group of people that go to China together to teach for this company. They were great supporting characters and side stories. They really fed into the main storyline very nicely. Guess what? One of the guys in the group has an important name too...I'll let you figure that one out.

Savannah finds herself meeting many people and loving her time in China. The group eats at a local restaurant called Burger, Burger. While there she meets Julian, a former teacher who came to teach English turned local businessman and part owner of Burger, Burger. Julian and Savannah have a great connection but his downfall is his name. Julian is a great character, he really helps this new group of teachers to navigate the area and can understand some of their concerns and frustrations with teaching and the culture. Savannah also searches out Paul the alumni and through some crazy happenings they start dating. Yes sparks fly and Savannah is so happy that her search has finally lead her to Paul.

Ok this is the part where I'm stumped in what to say because if I give further information then you'll know some big reveals that you can't know yet. So needless to say I won't go further with the storyline. I'll tell you that Savannah has more upsets and sorrows before the book is through. She also has some amazing moments where she connects with great friends and learns more about herself.

I love the fun back and forth between Julian and Savannah. The chemistry between Savannah and Paul is pretty intense. I love how the author adds in the Pina Colada song(if you like pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain...), that's always been a favorite of mine and it was such a fun addition to this book. I enjoyed the time spent in China and the fun excursions the teachers go on while there.

The ending was just wonderful. The big reveal was heartbreaking and brought to light so much information. But throughout it all true love will overcome anything and life is what we choose it to be.

I loved it and want to go back and reread it again soon. Such a fun swoony book. You might be smiling from ear to ear, you might cry a little, you might definitely laugh out loud some too. I did all three and couldn't put it down and had to tell everyone around me what I was reading. So good!!!!! Grab it and read it and let me know what you think.

I'd recommend this for late teens and older. Some steamy kisses but overall a clean read.

I received a free ebook in exchange for my honest review.

Happy Reading!!!
Profile Image for Aimee (Getting Your Read On).
2,933 reviews242 followers
July 8, 2016
Okay, first I have a confession. I had my doubts about this book. From the blurb I wondered if I would really love this book. I follow Taylor Dean and I read her blog (because I am a HUGE Taylor Dean fan- I just LOVE her books) and she has been talking about this book for a long time. I've been anxious to read it, but just a bit skeptical.

I NEVER should have doubted the talent that is Taylor Dean. Never. Ever. I am a silly girl to have been skeptical going in. I'm going to spend five seconds hanging my head in shame. 5 . . .4 . . .3 . . .2 . . .1

There. Now. Now I will tell you how much I adored this book. :)

Adoration and love. This book just weaved itself around me. The characters were alive and vibrant in my mind. Everything just came to life like a movie for me. I love when that happens. This book should be a movie!

The whole blurb gives you more questions than answers, and for pretty much the whole book you still don't really have a clue as to what it all means. It's fantastic because as a reader I was guessing and wondering and forming my own ideas but I was wrong. Ha! Totally didn't have a clue. But after the whole book with these characters- the moment of dawning and understanding just filled me. The connection to the book was complete and I just loved it. L-O-V-E. Love.

If you have never read a Taylor Dean book, you really should. My first book by her was I Have People. It was fantastic and started the beginning of my obsession. I have read all of Taylor's books and like I said before- I am a fan.

This book is part of the Power of the Matchmaker series. Each book in this series can stand alone and is not dependent on the others. However, you may want to read the prequel novella to understand how all these books connect with one common character who is the matchmaker.

Content: Clean

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Katie (Hiding in the Pages).
2,839 reviews205 followers
July 22, 2016
This book is part of the Power of the Matchmaker series but can certainly stand alone. Pearl, the matchmaker, is a common thread in all of the books. I recommend reading The Power of the Matchmaker first to get some background on Pearl, but otherwise, they can be read in any order.

How many people grasp onto a dream and chase after it? When Savannah is young, she has an encounter with Pearl and three important things about her future are shared with her. Being so young, it would be easy to dismiss these words of advice, but when the prophecies start to become fulfilled, she can't help but to put everything into these dreams.

My in-laws went to China for just under a year to teach English and although they shared pictures, stories, and experiences with us, I found this country and the Chinese people come alive through this book. The real-life experiences and settings are phenomenally written! In such a unique setting, I grew to know and love the characters as well, through their ups and downs, including some very life-changing decisions for several of them. I love a story that has inside jokes and this one has many. Those kinds of things really make me feel as if I'm sitting right there with the characters and a part of the story. These people are dear friends now! Pina Colada anyone?

I don't want to give anything away, but the romance in this one is very swoony and yet clean. There is definitely chemistry and some very deep connections, but the twists and turns caught me off guard. This is one story that I will absolutely be suffering a book hangover from--I didn't want it to end! Taylor Dean is a new author for me and one that I'm really excited to read more from.

Content: mild romance (swoony clean kissing, some innuendo). Clean!

*I received a copy through eBooks for Review in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Rachael Anderson.
Author 30 books1,768 followers
August 20, 2016
Absolutely loved this one! It had everything I look for in a good romance--fabulous writing, intriguing plot, great pace, awesome characters, and a unique setting. I never wanted to put this one down and learned so many interesting things about China. I am a new fan of Taylor Dean's and look forward to reading her other books.
Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
2,857 reviews1,497 followers
September 10, 2016
At its core, this is a marvelous romance. Savannah and Julian are awesome and Dean does an incredible job bringing across both characters in ways that really resonated with me (and not least as the father of a girl very like Savannah). Unfortunately, there are a couple persistent weaknesses that drag this down considerably. Which is a complete shame because they obscure the real talent Dean has with the genre and I can see these keeping her from an expanded audience I think she's more than capable of earning.

My oldest daughter is very much like Savannah—withdrawn and quiet in social situations and practically non-existent with people she doesn't know well. We learned to expect bewildered babysitters on their third night with us; they all had the same comment "what the heck happened to Teleri? She's energetic and about talked my ears off and she's so funny!" Well, what happened is that Teleri got to know you well enough to come out of her shell. That's Savannah and Dean does an excellent job letting us into her head and heart and putting us right there with her in a matter-of-fact way that doesn't invite pity so much as understanding. I loved that. And seeing her connect so strongly with Julian was bliss. She does a similarly strong job with Julian, the spontaneous informal guy who can be a goof, but has a serious and constant heart that will do anything for those he comes to care about. This was awesome.

Unfortunately, the two weaknesses are both pervasive and serious and drag the book down considerably. The first is kind of a rookie mistake that I can see Dean working her way out of over time. She seems to feel the need to show every single aspect of her main character's background. So you get chapters that jump back and spend pages and pages building up and going on and on when we really only need the last paragraph or maybe two to understand the impact on the most recent timeline. Flashbacks are almost always a mistake and Dean throws them around like confetti. Yes, the past impacts present action, but you can show that without having to actually do the scene. The biggest problem is that this bogs the pacing down horrendously. Unfortunately, the worst evidence of this is right at the beginning where Dean wastes a whole lot of time getting to the start of this story because she started it way, way too early (essentially starting with a flashback, though you could argue semantics on the use of the term). Which meant I very nearly dnf'd the book without ever getting to the good stuff because it was taking so very long to get to anything interesting.

The second problem is one a lot of chaste romances are guilty of and that's the missing faith problem. We have two contemporary American adults who have an intense and intimate relationship and yet neither even thinks about having sex (and this one has the further problem with missing alcohol, probably as a result of Dean's Mormon background). I'm sorry, but contemporary American culture assumes that couples have had sex by the time they are engaged. That's the very longest you can leave it without it coming off as strange and even unnatural to the core audience of your romance. If your characters are talking marriage, they're thinking sex. And not having it has to have a reason or it feels strange. And the thing is, I know a lot of readers who don't care how authors meet the cultural expectation so long as it makes sense. Many read romances for the emotional catharsis rather than the explicit sex, so chaste romances that have religious characters putting off the sexy times for marriage isn't an issue. But it breaks the sense of reality when contemporary characters don't have a reason and still don't have the sex. Many of these authors are religious and may not be aware of how unnatural their stories come across. I hate that otherwise talented authors like Taylor Dean are limiting their audience so unnecessarily by cutting out the religion of their characters when the scars of its removal are so obvious. Please, include the religion, or figure a way around the issue of sex. Leaving it completely unaddressed is strange and off-putting and it doesn't need to be.

Anyway, this book managed a solid three-stars even with these problems—problems that would have had a hard time getting more than one star from me in ordinary circumstances. I hope I run across future stories by Taylor Dean. I hope she keeps the strengths of this one and learns to avoid or mitigate the problems.
Profile Image for Melanie.
748 reviews23 followers
August 31, 2016
I already love Taylor Dean and when I found out she was part of the Matchmaker series, I was excited! To date, this is my favorite book of hers and of the series. When Savannah was young, she met Pearl the matchmaker who told her three things. Two of them have happened so she just knows the third one will, too. The name of her one true love is Paul. She's only ever dated boys named Paul and just isn't interested in anyone else. She learns of an American entrepreneur named Paul who lives in China so she takes a job opportunity that lands her in his city.

I knew I would need to start reading this when I had some time and was glad because, sure enough, I couldn't put it down once I started! The author has done a lot of research and it's based on some of her daughter's experiences while she was teaching English in China, so there is an authentic feel to this story. I loved the setting and learned so much about China. Then, there were the characters: Savannah, who's shy but determined to find her soulmate named Paul and will do whatever she needs to in order to achieve that; Paul, the businessman she is determined to meet; Julian, the chef at Burger, Burger, an American Restaurant, and the other teachers that were in her group who became her friends. I also loved the pacing--it never felt slow to me.

I loved how the story unfolded and the hint of things to come (like the Red Bird Incident). I also loved the twists and turns along the way to a completely satisfying ending. It was interesting to see how she incorporated Miss Pearl into the story--it was different than the other books in the series but it worked well in this case. If you're looking for a clean, swoony read, get this book right now! And then read more of Taylor Dean's books--you won't be disappointed!

I received a copy via eBooks for Review for an honest review. My opinion is 100% my own.

Mel's Shelves
Profile Image for Kathy.
2,741 reviews5,978 followers
June 15, 2016
Great story! Love this addition to Power of the Matchmaker!!

Content: Clean (No language, nothing more than passionate kissing)
Profile Image for Kathy Jo.
709 reviews114 followers
July 19, 2016

Ok guys... this is going to be one of the hardest reviews I have ever written! Why?! Because I absolutely LOVED this book but I can't write my review the way I normally do because I will take the chance of giving things away! And I really, REALLY don't want to ruin it for anyone! Part of me wants to tell you to stop reading my review right now if you have not read this book just in case I let something slip. But the other part of me wants to share the awesomeness of this book by telling you to stop what you're reading right now and read this book! Yes... it is THAT good in my opinion!

Savannah met Miss Pearl when she was only 11 years old. From that moment on, she knew that she must follow what Miss Pearl tells her to the letter. She devotes her life to finding Paul. When she gets discouraged she thinks of other things Miss Pearl has told her that came true and she knows she must keep on searching for Paul. He is out there, he is real and she must search far and wide for him. After reading an article in her college magazine, she decides to take her search to China. Everything is falling into place and she just knows she will find Paul in China.

She does indeed meet Paul while she's there. But there is another that catches her eye as well. The only problem? His name is not Paul... it's Julian. The more she gets to know both Paul and Julian, the more confused she becomes. Savannah will have to do a lot of thinking and soul searching. Her destiny has always been Paul. But why does she feel such a strong pull towards Julian? Will she chose to stay true to what Miss Pearl has told her? Or will she venture on a different path to see if she can find happiness on her own?

I seriously LOVED this book! I had a hard time putting it down and got frustrated when real life got in the way. I wasn't able to read it for 2 full days and I found myself thinking about Savannah's story, wondering who she would pick, how it would end and wishing I could just pick it up and read! From the friendships, to the relationships, to the food and the different adventures the group went on... it was a perfect read for me! There was not one thing I disliked about this book!

This is my very first book by Taylor Dean and I can tell you without a doubt that it will not be my last! She literally sucked me in from the very beginning and I loved the journey she took me on! This is an AMAZING addition to The Power of the Matchmaker series. I am SO glad I picked this one up! Have I told you yet that I loved it and that it's AMAZING?! ;)

And in the spirit of not giving anything away... I give you my casting! ;)

description
Profile Image for Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...).
1,452 reviews427 followers
February 26, 2017
Despite my misgivings over some of Savannah's choices, this story grabbed me and drew me in. It's told in first person perspective so I felt like I was really in her head as the story progresses. There are still surprises along the way as Savannah alludes to significant events in her life that are fully revealed later in the book. I related to her shyness and struggle with socializing, and admired her attempts to reach beyond her comfort zone to more fully experience life. She meets and befriends a wide variety of people on her adventure in China, and they all create a colorful palette as she searches for her one true love. The romantic moments are oh-so-romantic, well-described and drawn out enough to savor, which I absolutely loved! This novel is definitely one of my favorites from the Power of the Matchmaker series!

(Thank you to Ebooks for Review for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
Profile Image for Christina.
656 reviews26 followers
February 3, 2018
A MUST read!!!!

I've had this book sitting on my kindle for a while now, and I'm SO glad I finally got to it. It was incredible!! The characters, the setting, the storyline, and don't even get me started on the swoon-worthy romance!!! There were many unexpected twists in the story, but I loved it. I can't write much without giving away what happens but this is definitely a MUST read!
Profile Image for Alisa.
766 reviews35 followers
July 7, 2016
Another great addition to the Matchmaker series!

This book started out slow for me, but once I got into it I didn't want to put it down! I loved being in China for this book. I loved getting to know all the members of Savannah's group, and I felt like all their stories were a big added bonus to this book - without distracting from the main story. Mistakes are made, lessons are learned, friendships are made and strengthened, and the story is beautifully written. I also love the appearances by Miss Li and Mr. Zhu.

At age 11, Savannah met a woman named Pearl who told her 3 things; two of the things happened within those next couple of years so she knows the third thing is true, too. She knows that her true love is Paul and that she must search far and wide for him. After several failed relationships with different men named Paul, she sees an article about Paul Brooks, an American businessman who lives in China. So against her sisters' wishes, she joins a group to go teach English in Zhongshan, China.

One of the favorite places for the teachers to go is Burger, Burger - an American/Chinese restaurant co-owned by the American Julian Andreas. Julian makes it no secret that he sees Savannah from the very start, even though one of the other teachers is constantly (and shamelessly) hitting on him. Savannah loves everything about Julian, except that his name isn't Paul. Savannah has some tough choices to make - give up Julian or give up her search for Paul (which has consumed all of her adult life)...

The story is told completely from Savannah's point of view with a few flashbacks to her earlier years. Invisibility is one of my superpowers so I really related to that part of Savannah. While I have read all the Matchmaker books (and loved most of them), this book could be a standalone!

Content: Clean
Source: Review copy (opinion is 100% my own)
Profile Image for Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa).
2,182 reviews169 followers
August 27, 2016
***4.5 stars***

I am a fan of the Power of the Matchmaker series. Every single book has been fantastic, and this book just added to my respect and admiration for the author's involved with this project.

I have mentioned in other reviews of this series that it is several books that have one central character, Pearl. She is a Chinese Matchmaker and is perfect at and for her job. She is lovely and really wants to help others find their perfect match. She is magical and always knows where to be and what to say.

This book has US characters living in China. I loved the perspective of the culture of people seeing and living it for the first time. It helped me appreciate the people and their history.

Savanah is the main character. She is in China as an English teacher. She has searched far and wide to find "Paul". A name she was given by Pearl at the age of 11. Her quest is hard, she has had her feeling trampled on many times. She has also learned through experience that just because someone is named Paul it doesn't make him right for her. Some of the plot points are quite funny. But the path of her life has many disappointments. There are experiences mentioned that are a mystery most of the book but make the ending sweeter.

I loved this book. It has innuendo and kissing.
Profile Image for Brooke -Brooke's Books.
362 reviews6 followers
July 19, 2016
I received an ebook in exchange for an honest review

My Review:
I have been reading The Power of the Matchmaker books each month. If you've been reading this blog, you have seen the reviews. I have liked each of the books, some more than others, and some I connect with more than others. This one I really connect with.

Within the first 2 chapters of this book, I get a pretty good feel of who Savannah Tate is. I don't know everything about her, I don't know all of her secrets, but I know her. Taylor Dean does an excellent job of introducing the reader to this character and creating interest in her and her life. I definitely want to know more. I want to know what the "Red Bird Incident" is. I want to know what happened to her engagement to Paul Ellis. And, as I read portions of Chapter 2, Taylor Dean writes words that describe how I sometimes feel about social situations. Wow! She totally gets the shy/introverted mind process, at least mine. She writes:

"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 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.."

From the very beginning of this book, I'm hooked. Again, I want to know more. I want to know Savannah's past, but I also want to know what happens to her. Does she find happiness? Does she find Paul?

The story follows Savannah to China where she teaches English. Savannah meets new friends, finds joy in teaching, and tries to push herself out of her comfort zone. There are successes and failures as she pushes herself, but that is what life is right? Savannah meets more than one Paul. I find her journey in finding "her Paul" interesting. I like seeing her look beyond her preconceived notions of what or who Paul is. We do find out what the "Red Bird Incident" is. And we do learn some of Savannah's other secrets.

The story is written with months written at the Chapter headings. This helps the reader understand the time frame as Taylor Dean writes many flashbacks. I like that she did it this way. Miss Pearl, The Matchmaker, shows up in the flashbacks. And, through her miraculous power, she also shows up in the present. Miss Pearl continues to amaze me with her compassion and insight. She does have The Power of the Matchmaker.

Warnings: None

I would let my 15 year old read this book.

Read full review here:
http://brooke-brookesbooks.blogspot.c...
Profile Image for Kelly.
712 reviews51 followers
August 16, 2016
My heart was pounding near the end. I felt my heart breaking and wanted to put the book down because I couldn’t stand the emotions I was feeling! I know it was just a book but I felt like it was me getting their heart broken and I didn’t like the feeling!

The beginning is a little slow and didn’t really grab my attention but as I got further into it, I began to love it!

I love to read this series and see how all the different authors have a twist on the matchmaker. This book was a little different but I loved the things that the matchmaker told Savannah when she was a little girl. You don’t know all she said to her till near the end and the suspense was killing me. All you know is that the red bird was seen by her sisters and that she should marry a guy named Paul.

Savannah wants the love of her life and she has searched everywhere for him. She goes to China to teach a semester because she saw a Paul that lives in China who is an architect. Savannah has put her whole life into looking for Paul. I don’t know if I could have done that. Would I look for love or only for the Pauls in the world and would I not look at his personality or a match for me?!

What she gets is the small group of teachers who go to China with her. They form a pretty close bond. They go down the street every evening to Burger Burger, a restaurant run by an American and one Chinese Man. There they learn how to cook and try different foods. Julian, aka Mr. Pow Pow, is the American part of Burger Burger. He is attentive and kind and matches Savannah’s personality. They hit it off. But as Savannah falls for him, she continues to find something with the Paul from China. But as the reader, I could easily see that Savannah is better matched to Julian. Even Julian knows this. But Julian just waits and remains who he is. I fell hard for Julian myself! The ending just tugs at my heart strings!

If you like China, searching for Mr. right, friends, foreign foods, trying to figure out what is up with the red bird, Chinese sayings, a very short love triangle, than this might be for you!
Profile Image for Christy.
815 reviews34 followers
June 12, 2016
Chasing Fireflies is the seventh book in the Power of the Matchmaker series. I’ve read all of the books so far except for the one that released in June. I’m not sure how I missed out on it, but I’ll have to go back because I’ve loved each book in the series. Though they are written by different authors and each is a stand alone novel, they have a common thread running through them. That thread is Miss Pearl. You can read Miss Pearl’s story for free in the novella that started the series. You’ll definitely want to read Miss Pearl’s story first!

Just as I’ve loved all of the prior Power of the Matchmaker books, I loved this one as well! In fact, I couldn’t put it down. I read the complete book in less than a day. The story just made me want to keep reading to find out if Savannah would ever find her true love. I loved all of the information on China which the author gleaned from her own daughter’s experiences in China. You can read Taylor Dean’s blog to see how she put those bits of experience into the book.

I love how in just a short amount of time, you can become so invested in a character’s life. Good authors know exactly what it takes to get you so involved that you feel as if you’re living the story. Taylor does that. I love Savannah and felt her emotions deeply. These characters are so well written! I love how Miss Pearl fits into the story. The side story that happens with a character named Hunter is very intriguing! Read it and you’ll see what I mean.

Chasing Fireflies is the perfect combination of heartwarming and heart wrenching scenes. You’ll laugh and feel good, yet you’ll weep for Savannah as well. It is a clean romance, so you can share it with anyone! You’ll love it.

I really can’t say enough good about this book! I really enjoy reading all of the books that Taylor has written. This book releases July 1, 2016, so you’re going to want to pre-order it now.
Profile Image for Julie.
Author 45 books514 followers
September 1, 2016
Ms. Dean is a new author to me and I only picked up this book because it's part of the Power of the Matchmaker series, but there was a lot to like!

The book is set in China, which in itself gives the story another dimension. Our heroine, Savannah, was told at a young age by the matchmaker that she would marry a man named Paul and she's been searching for the right Paul ever since. Her search takes her to China where she will teach English, but her main goal is to meet a famous entrepreneur named Paul that she read about in a magazine. (Her quirky colleagues give a nice secondary cast to the entire China trip and I hope some of them get their own story!)

While she's experiencing China and all it's exotic flair, she meets an American cook at a restaurant called Burger, Burger. Julian seems to have a thing for her, but she's finally met Paul and things are going well between them. Everything comes to a head when she's torn between following the matchmaker's prediction she would marry a Paul or pursuing what she feels for someone not named Paul. She has a difficult choice to make.

I had a hard time getting into the story at first, and getting used to the first person narrative, but about a third of the way in I really started to identify with our heroine and the pacing picked up for me. I was a bit annoyed about the references to the Red Bird Incident that we aren't given any idea about until near the end, but I loved the setting of China and thought the author did an outstanding job with that. I loved the way the romance was developed and our hero was definitely sigh-worthy. I will definitely look for other titles by Ms. Dean.

Originally reviewed on http://ldswritermom.blogspot.com
Profile Image for Christi.
620 reviews13 followers
February 2, 2019
I had the privilege of participating in the Clean Wholesome Romance January 2019 book club, which choice was Chasing Fireflies by Taylor Dean. I chose not to read the synapsis on purpose, letting the story tell itself, and I am so thankful that I did. Savannah, the heroine of the story, mirrors me in so many ways. An introvert, so shy that her timidity has left her frozen in life. She also had an internal conflict that no one knows about: Savannah is on a secret mission to find Paul, a mystery man that Savannah was told by a mystical woman years before that she is destined to be with. Paul is her one true love, and it is this motivation to find him that brought Savannah on an amazing trip to China.

Before participating in the book club, I had already fallen in love with the story, but during the Clean Wholesome Romance Facebook book club meeting we got to hear the motivation and inspiration behind the story from the author herself, which made me fall even more in love with Chasing Fireflies. It was the author's daughter that had taken the month-long trip to China and it was her experiences that Taylor Dean drew the majority of her inspiration from.

Learning the backstory made Chasing Fireflies that much more meaningful. The heartfelt and wonderful writing, along with wonderful characterization and descriptions, made this an incredible read, and is an excellent installment in the Power of the Matchmaker series.
Profile Image for Maureen Timerman.
2,753 reviews467 followers
August 12, 2016
Savannah Tate is the youngest child in her family of all girls, and a mysterious meeting with Miss Pearl when she is eleven changes her life, and actually saves her and her sister’s lives. Now, and with a few misses, Savannah is searching for her Paul, and by searching she is traveling the world, and ends up in China.
She is on the trail of the elusive Paul, and while in China has what looks like a dream, fun job of teaching English in a fun way to the Natives. She again begins her search, and lets a couple of men she is attracted to, because they are not named Paul. So she stalks a famous architect from her Texas University, and throws herself at “the Paul”!
We do get to experience some beautiful sites and unknowns to the tourists we see a beautiful country, and even climb some of the deteriorating parts of the Great Wall. In all we do though, Savannah is on the lookout for her Paul.
Will she find him here, or will we be leaving and looking elsewhere, and hope she makes the right decisions.
I received this book through Inspired Kathy, and was not required to give a positive review.
Profile Image for Ru4repeat.
333 reviews
August 13, 2018
I can relate to the feelings of being an introvert that Savannah experiences. I love the quote, "I made a vow to always try to be friendly, even when it feels awkward—which it always does." I think that is something that we can all strive to do, regardless of how it feels. Fake it until you make it!
I really enjoyed Julian's character. He is such a heartthrob. He truly has it all. His looks are only enhanced by his loyal, loving, friendly personality. I was a little mad about the secret he kept from Savannah, but that was short lived because I totally agree with his reasonings.

I loved the role that Miss Li and Miss Pearl played in this book. I enjoyed her character from the prequel novella and was glad to see her role(s) in this book.
On a steaminess level I would rate this a hot PG-13. **Spoiler...While there was an extramarital incident. It wasn't detailed out and it did help move the story along. (Please keep in mind that if this had be addressed in any other way, I wouldn't have continued reading the novel. I don't enjoy reading books that have lower standards than I do.)
Profile Image for Kelly.
56 reviews17 followers
June 19, 2016
Taylor Dean is one of my favorite authors and she has once again written a wonderful romance in Chasing Fireflies. I was lucky enough to be receive an ARC of this book in return for an honest review. Chasing Fireflies is book 7 of 12 in the Power of the Matchmaker series and is scheduled to be released on July 1, 2016.

Savannah met Miss Pearl at a very young age and since then she has been on the search for "Paul" ...

"You must find your Paul, you must search far and wide for him, yet you must be astute. ...Your Paul will love you, Savannah, and he will see no wrong. He will see a jewel of great worth."

Savannah was given no information as to when or where she would meet him. She wasn't even given an idea of what he looked like so she could identify him. She had only a name and a deep desire to find him.

After many years of failed searching, the death of her mother, and the completion of her Masters degree, she decides its time to take life into her own hands. She ends up traveling to China for four months to teach English and follow a Paul.

While in China, Savannah makes new friends in her fellow teachers and also meets Julian and the Paul she chose to follow. Savannah has built this new Paul up so much that she refuses to pursue the connection she feels with Julian. Julian is not a Paul though. How can Savannah go against what Miss Pearl said? Should she follow her mother's advice? Which women's advice will lead her to true happiness?

"Darling daughter, you can't find your soulmate based on a name. It's nonsense. You'll know the man who loves you when you meet him. It won't be a name that convinces you of his love, it will be his actions."

I don't want to give anything else away about this wonderful book. It is a sweet romance full of adventure and trials for Savannah. It was also a quick read and left me completely satisfied. Sadly, this is the first book in the Power of the Matchmaker series that I have read. I must change that immediately! Even though I have a lot of series I am working through right now, I will definitely make room for this one.

While my main point of interest in this series is that they are romance books, my larger interest lies in the fact that each book is a standalone, set in different time periods, and written by different authors. I love romances set in any era and I also love to discover new authors. While I have read Taylor Dean books before, I haven't read any of the other authors who are writing in this series.

If you are looking for a new romance series to try, check out the Power of the Peacemaker series! Again, they are standalone books that can be read in any order, but I highly advise reading the prequel novella for this series first. This 50 or so page read provides Miss Pearl's history and how she came to be the Matchmaker.

Happy reading!

Idaho Book Junkie
Profile Image for Mylissa Demeyere.
Author 8 books336 followers
July 10, 2016
This book is the 7th in the series of The Power of The Matchmaker, and so far is my favorite one! Taylor takes us on a real adventure with this read, and moves us all the way to China. Savannah, our leading lady, was told by Miss Pearl at a young age that her match was Paul, and she should search far and wide to find him. When an opportunity presents itself to go to China, and she just so happens to read an article about a hot CEO named Paul living in China, she makes the decision to go and meet Paul.

Upon meeting Paul, all seems to fall in place. But why does she feel a fluttering in her stomach every time Julian is near, and is Paul as perfect as she first thought?

This was such a captivating read, once again.

Savannah is such an enjoyable character. She is very shy, a real introvert, but takes this chance of going to China, to make subtle changes, and gets out of her comfort zone. I could truly relate to that. I was not always as outgoing, and still often struggle with my confidence, so reading about Savannah and her struggles, was something I could very much grasp. It was so realistic, and so understandable. She makes a great leading lady, trying new things, pushing herself beyond what she is comfortable doing, and becoming a much stronger, more complete person in the process.

Paul is not a very likeable person, you will have to read the book, to find out why I am NOT a fan!

Julian is a happy-go-lucky kind of guy. He moved to China a while back doing the same teaching position Savannah is doing, and ended up staying there. He is a very genuine guy, and swoon worthy! He immediately takes notice of Savannah, even though she is so quiet and in the background of the group. He is able to see past the noise and notice the depth that lies in this quiet person. It is such an experience watching, reading, enjoying the story unfold.

And then the whole read gets that lovely, magical touch and influence of Miss Pearl, who plays her part perfectly to bring the right match together.

I laughed, I cried, I fell in love with the perfect book boyfriend all over again, I dreamt of China, and the wonderful experiences it has to offer. Taylor makes me want to pack up my bags and go on the journey of a lifetime right along with the main characters, experiencing new and exciting adventures. This book is absolutely amazing, and I’m positive I will be rereading it many, many times again.
Profile Image for Charissa.
Author 12 books73 followers
June 29, 2016
WOW! This might be my new favorite. The words and phrases in this book are like chocolate. I'm a skimmer, but I couldn’t skim this story. It had too many tasty morsels I wanted to savor. The scenes, characters and plot were excellent. Scenes were emotional or educational. I laughed, swiped at tears, and blinked super hard at times; I smiled, shook my head, and learned so many cool things about China (from its geography and sites of interest to cultural and food details). The characters became my best friends. Savannah is a sweetheart. I loved her shy, introverted nature and felt her thoughts were true to that personality (since I’m an introvert too). Then there’s Paul, the suave businessman she has traveled to China to meet. They connect so easily and have some sweet scenes. Julian won my heart as well. Two perfect heroes, it seems. How’s a girl supposed to choose? Oh, yeah…she was given her fortune when she was a child…and has never forgotten the three bits of wisdom she must always remember in order to find her true love.

I absolutely loved this book. The twists the author kept throwing in made me yelp, smile and cry. The suspense was perfect and pulled me along at a steady pace. The story structure was awesome (it would give Frank Lloyd Wright some competition if he had designed words instead of buildings). The author gave me questions right off as I read, and I wanted to figure out the answers. It was like Taylor Dean left a trail of chocolate chips leading to a plate of delicious cookies at the end. Yummy! I had to eat every single one and now I’m full and feasting on the satisfaction of a well written story. I'm definitely going to reread this again (I want more cookies). Dean was already one of my favorite authors, but she keeps improving with each book she writes. This was masterfully done and fit in exceptionally well into the Matchmaker series (stand-alone romances written by different authors with a similar tie-in of a Chinese matchmaker that makes me anticipate each new month in 2016 when a new story will release).

***I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Profile Image for  The Flipped Page (Susan K).
1,361 reviews29 followers
September 3, 2016
Romance, clean, some adult situations (dating, not closed door).
While this is part of the Power of the Matchmaker series, each book is a stand alone read. This was such a poignant read for me. Savannah's journey, her desire to find her 'Paul', was so beautiful. There were so many intricacies, and developments. While Savannah experienced China, I loved seeing things through her eyes, seeing the people around her, seeing her feelings and how she viewed herself. Her character might not appeal to everyone, particularly women with strong personalities, but her journey to find her 'Paul' was so interesting and while hard, worth the self-realization that she had in the end of the story.
I loved her 'real' H. (don't want to spoil that one). Her interactions with her friends, her love-interests, the family dynamics that inter played in her story from the past and the present made for a cathartic and knowing read. She learns to know herself, and know her heart for what it really is. I loved the genuine, honest characters that were kind and good who formed the basis of most of the novel. Real world aside, her desire to find her one true love, the reasons behind it, the beauty of the setting, and of course her wonderful handsome H, made this a beautiful read for me. Truly a lovely book.
I received an advance review copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Profile Image for Sam B.
201 reviews
September 11, 2016
I received this ebook through ebooksforreview in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is part of the Power of the Matchmaker series.

When I first started reading the book, I wasn't sure if I would like it or not. Savannah had been told the name of her match and since it was what had happened in the previous installment and I hadn't like it much, I was on my guard.

But as it turns out, I loved how the author created her story! Although I found the ending to be a little predictable, I wasn't completely sure of my theory before the end. And I also found myself liking the story so much, I didn't really miss Miss Pearl. I really liked how she was included into the story even if we didn't see her as much as in some of the other books.

The characters were incredibly lovable. Hunter and Dakota were great supporting characters and it was so fun to get a glimpse of both their future in the epilogue. Another plus of this book is the incredible setting. I learned a lot about China and it made me want to learn even more.

For sure I'll check out other books by this author!
Profile Image for Sammie.
78 reviews7 followers
August 3, 2016
The thing is, I had doubts about this book. When I read the short description that accompanies it,I thought there's nothing much more to it than that and for some reason I did think it can be boring. BUT OH BOY I WAS SO SO WRONG!!! SO SO WRONG!!! THIS BOOK IS BEYOND AMAZING!!!!! SO SO GOOD!!! I love how the story was written with so little information at first and towards the end BAM, the flashbacks hit and you'd be suffering from goosebumps from the new information you've found out,and it will keep you on edge after that. Most especially,I love this story since it makes you believe in true love, and being happy with what's given to you. I also wickedly loove Miss Pearl since If we were a movie and even more now after reading this. Amazing!!! My first from Taylor Dean, most probably not the last. endless stars over 5

oh and you'll definitely crave for chinese food afterwards ;)
Profile Image for Melissa Hayford.
1,058 reviews12 followers
October 5, 2020
I've had this book for a few years, but for some reason I just kept pushing it down my TBR pile. I'm not even sure why. I'm so glad I finally decided to read it. This was a great story. It pulls you in from the beginning and there's just enough mystery to keep you turning pages. Savannah is a great character. Sometimes I was frustrated with her and thought her naive, but other moments I was so proud of her. I don't want to give anything away, but this story made me laugh, cry and swoon. Savannah goes on quite an adventure and I love her growth through it all.
Profile Image for Lucinda.
Author 22 books1,299 followers
July 5, 2016
Wow, I loved this book so much! I started reading it and didn't stop until 2:40 am.
Savannah and her search for Paul led her to many lessons and there was one character in particular that I loved.
The setting in China was great and well done, and it tied perfectly with Miss Pearl.
I can't stop rereading chapter 31.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Heather.
Author 145 books1,338 followers
July 1, 2016
My first Taylor Dean book! I loved that this story took the main character to China, back to Miss Pearl's roots. Savannah is on a journey to find her Paul, and I found the premise intriguing as she's trying to do good in the world as well as hopefully find her happily-ever-after.
Profile Image for Rachel.
546 reviews3 followers
November 16, 2018
Miss Pearl strikes again! This time she sends Savannah across the world to find her match.
Profile Image for Gerd.
503 reviews37 followers
May 14, 2018
Loved it.
This is admittedly only my second novel by this author, but it has been a lovely experience to see how much she has grown as a writer since.

Chasing Fireflies a sweet romance which yet struck me as unexpectedly sensual, who'd a think that doing the dishes could be so sexy. Gotta hand it to Taylor Dean, here's an author who does know how to make you really feel the attraction between her characters.

It gets bonus points for using an old pop-song (a real Orhwurm as we would call it in German) which will now be stuck again for weeks in my head.
Thanks for that! (No, really, thanks. That catapulted me right back into my youth.)
And for featuring a realistic portrayal of a shy character (she's still far more outgoing than I would ever be, but it's always so nice to meet a character that makes you feel understood).

The description of China and of Savannah's experiences there read quite realistic to me and more important respectful to the foreign culture.
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