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The Match Makers

The Match Makers

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The school's biggest rivals are finally going to play nice. Maybe too nice. In fact, there might be kisses involved...

Edie and Dane have been at each other's throats for years. Now, for the first time in ages, they actually agree on something—the Love Quiz app is wrong. And they mean to prove it. Their desire to disprove the app's accuracy has nothing to do with their results, or the fact that they got each other as a love match. 

Nope. Their determination to succeed is solely for the sake of science. Obviously. 

Except...after a couple days working side by side, all scientific objectivity gets thrown out the window. As group project leaders, they're supposed to be watching from the sidelines. So why is Dane suddenly so interested in Edie's results? And why is Edie so angry when she spies him with another girl?

The Match Makers is the third installment in a three-book YA romance novella series. The books should be read in order to avoid confusion and spoilers. 

Main Tropes

  • Enemies to More
  • Fake Dating
  • High School Rivals


Edie and Dane have been bickering rivals for as long as either can remember.

They have a history, and neither can forget it. Not only that, but they share a similar competitive, high-achieving demeanor. So...

Maybe that's why the stupid new dating app keeps pairing them up? Clearly that's the only option.

But since their teammates in a psych class experiment failed to prove the app wrong, it's now up to them to show this app who's boss.

But doing that means spending time together. And the more they do that, the more clear it becomes that the real reason sparks fly when they're around each other isn't because they hate each other, but because...they don't.

These two proud rivals will have to admit defeat if they're ever going to find a happily ever after...

Intro Into Chapter 1


This was a disaster.

I hit refresh on the Love Quiz app and tried again.

Dane Foster. 


I bounced my foot, tapping it against the bottom of Mr. Portman’s desk as I glared down at my phone. This app was ridiculous. Everybody knew it was a joke. I mean, an app that could predict your love match? So dumb. 

But the fact that it kept matching me up with Dane Foster, of all people?

This app wasn’t just wrong, it was insane. Nuts. The thing had lost its virtual mind.

“Ah, Miss Zindell, here early, I see.” Mr. Portman, our psych teacher, was smiling at me when I looked up and saw him heading into his classroom for our meeting. I smiled automatically in response, but that smile faded fast at the sight of Dane Foster walking in behind him. 

“Edie,” Dane said with a nod.

I bit back a growl. Instead, I gave him a smile that was more of a sneer. I couldn’t help it. I really couldn’t. Dane was my Achilles heel. My kryptonite. I’d normally say he was my arch nemesis except that for once we were working on the same team, and that was precisely why we were both here.

Dane slipped into the seat beside me and we both turned expectant looks in Mr. Portman’s direction.

Mr. Portman had been the one to call this meeting and I was anxious to get it over with. Not just because I had no desire to spend any more time than necessary with Dane Foster, although that was a big part of it. 

It was bad enough that I had to be a group leader with the pompous, annoying, egotistical—

“You two came up with quite the group project idea,” Mr. Portman said.

I clasped my hands together in my lap and straightened in my seat, all thoughts of Dane’s irritating personality long gone. Something in Mr. Portman’s tone had me on high alert.

There was a ‘but’ hanging there in the air between us, unspoken and potentially brutal.

I felt Dane shoot a look in my direction but I ignored him, all my concentration on our psychology teacher. A notoriously hard grader, he’d decided to try something new this semester and have the class split into two groups for an assignment that would make up a large part of our grade.

It all revolved around the Love Quiz app that had been taking our school by storm this year, along with most of the high schools in this country, from what I gathered.

Mr. Portman had thought the app and the philosophy behind it posed an interesting conundrum. Could love be quantified? Could human emotions be predicted using data science?

No. Obviously. Which was what our group was going to prove.

“I’ve read the hypothesis and the summary of the experiment the two of you are planning,” he said.

His gaze was hard to read. I fought the urge to shoot Dane a questioning look to see if he had some idea where this was going.

Mr. Portman folded his hands on top of the desk. “I’ll admit I’m impressed by your ingenuity,” he said. “The other group did as I’d expected. They’re researching various aspects of the topic and preparing a written and oral presentation to reveal their results.”

“Sounds boring,” Dane said with a cheerful smile that took the sting out of his words.

That was one of Dane’s specialties. He was straightforward and stubborn, a strong personality who always thought he should have his own way—but he somehow charmed everyone into believing he was all laid back and cool.

He wasn’t.

He was every bit a control freak as I was, he just hid it better. 

The jerk.

As expected, our teacher chuckled at Dane’s statement, neither affirming that their plan was boring but not denying it either. I straightened again, this time with pride that we’d had the better idea. In our group of six, we’d decided to prove that the app was inherently flawed and easy to trick since it used predictable data like locations and online interactions. Sure it took into play a person’s likes and hobbies, interests and pastimes, but my hunch was—it was a simplistic formula that could easily be manipulated.

That was what we planned to prove by pairing nerdy Anna—I mean that in the nicest possible way—with our very own rebel without a cause, Zach. There was no way those two would ever get together for real since they were like night and day. But once they pretended to date for a few weeks, the app would declare them a match. 

Then, on the other end of the spectrum, there was Rex and Jessica. Best friends since fifth grade, they were pretty much joined at the hip. It surprised no one that they’d been matched, even though they both swore they were only friends. For those two, Dane and I had found people for them to date who they might actually hit it off with romantically. At the end of the day, we’d prove that the app had gotten it wrong and misread their friendship to be a romantic connection.

“I read your ideas for the other four in your group,” Mr. Portman said slowly, his gaze moving back and forth between us. “But what about you two?”

I looked over and caught Dane shooting me a similar look of confusion. “What do you mean, what about us?” Dane said. “We’ll be monitoring the results, coming up with the strategy to trick the app, and writing up the final results and conclusions.”

“We believe the app should be treated like horoscopes or fortune cookies,” I added. “Simple entertainment. Nothing more and nothing less.”

“Definitely not something to base real life decisions on,” Dane added.

I gave a decisive nod of agreement. Dane, like me, had watched too many of our friends base their romantic lives around this stupid, fallible app. Everyone was treating it like it was some all-knowing predictor of the future and not a silly game that ought to be used as entertainment.

I wrapped my hands around my phone in my lap guiltily. I shouldn’t have even downloaded the app onto my phone. I knew better. 

“While I find it admirable that the two of you are taking on the leadership roles within the group, I’m not entirely sure it’s fair that your classmates are using their lives as part of the experiment.”

I stared at Mr. Portman in confusion. “We’re not asking them to do anything…bad.”

“All they have to do is go on a few dates. No big deal,” Dane said.

I glanced over at Dane because…maybe Mr. Portman didn’t understand? “We’re not having them actually, you know…act on it.”

Mr. Portman’s brows hitched up. “Act on it?”

I looked over at Dane for help and he stepped in. “We’re not suggesting they take things to a physical level of intimacy if that’s what you’re worried about.”

I pressed my lips together in annoyance that Dane found the right words to explain while I had not. But then again, Dane was used to talking about these kinds of things. He’d dated enough girls that I was sure he never grew flustered about talk of intimacy.

The jerk.

“Yes,” our teacher said. “Well, I’d certainly hope not.” He gave a rueful smile. “I’m pretty sure that would break at least a dozen ethical codes of conduct. Not to mention a few laws, potentially.”

I shifted in my seat, not quite certain if he was joking or not. Also, I had no idea where he was going with this.

“My point, however, was that I’m not entirely certain it’s fair that you two be allowed to sit on the sidelines and examine their love lives while yours are left untouched.”

My brows drew down in a scowl. “It’s not like we’re trying to shirk our fair share of the work, Mr. Portman. If anything, Dane and I will be doing the lion’s share of the work. Including writing the final assessment.”

“Yes, you’ve mentioned that.” Mr. Portman looked like he was trying not to laugh, which annoyed me. I hated being laughed at. I was used to it, of course. One didn’t become the undisputed leader of her class without standing out, which meant being the object of amusement at times. But I certainly didn’t appreciate it coming from a teacher. 

“I wasn’t worried that you weren’t doing your share of the work,” he said. “But rather, that you’re not participating on an emotional level. That’s what this experiment is all about, isn’t it? Proving that love is more than just numbers and figures?”

I stared at him. How did that relate to me and Dane and our app results?

“What are you suggesting?” Dane asked.

Mr. Portman sat back in his seat. “I think it’s only fair that you share your own app results with the group if you expect your partners to do the same.”

I blinked rapidly, heat already creeping up my neck at the thought of it. “No.”

“I don’t think so,” Dane said at the same time.

I glanced over at Dane and saw him staring back at me. It seemed as though we were once again agreeing on something, which clearly meant the end was near. This was how the apocalypse began. First with us agreeing on an idea for the group, then working together as co-leaders of said group, and now this…

We were in agreement that we should not have to share our results.

Mr. Portman didn’t seem deterred by our denial. “You’re asking your group to trust you. By revealing their results to you and in a paper that will be discussed as a class, you’re asking them to be vulnerable.”

I cringed at the word. I wasn’t big on touchy-feely talk from my guidance counselor, let alone hearing it from a teacher. I glanced over at Dane, hoping he’d cut in, maybe use some of that pretty-boy charm of his to talk some sense into the teacher.

But he didn’t. And Mr. Portman was starting to pull some papers out of his briefcase like he was ready to be done with this conversation. “I’m thinking the two of you could either use your results to do some tests of your own or just use your results as a control, of sorts. But either way…” His gaze shot up and he met both of our stares evenly. “You will participate.”

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