Review of CALL ME IRRESISTIBLE by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
William Morrow, January 2011
Meg Koranda shows up in Wynette, Texas just in time to be maid of honor for her best friend's wedding. Except there's a slight problem. Meg wants her friend, Lucy to be happy, to be with a man who worships her and can't imagine life without her. And while Ted Beaudine is smart, handsome, charming, and generally perfect (the sun can't help shining on him when he enters a room), he doesn't seem swept away by Lucy the way Meg is certain he should be. Meg doesn't exactly tell Lucy she's making a horrible mistake, but she gives her a gentle nudge in that direction--a nudge that Lucy is happy to take.
The town of Wynette, Texas wasn't sure Lucy was good enough for their favorite son--they're certain, though, that Meg, the woman responsible for his being left at the altar, is the spawn of the devil. Just about everyone in town goes about their business of ensuring that Meg learn her place. Which wouldn't normally have been a problem. After all, Meg isn't from Wynette. She could simply up and vanish. Except her unpaid hotel bill causes a problem--and when she tries to run, the sheriff (along with too-handsome Ted) pulls her over and threatens to throw her in jail for theft. Meg is left working off her hotel bill as a hotel maid--something Ted seems to enjoy a great deal.
Gradually, Meg comes to like Wynette and there's something about Ted that draws her, even though his cool reserve makes her feel that there's something missing from his life. And when a visiting billionaire offers to build a job-creating golf resort in Wynette, Meg becomes involved in the effort to attract the money--while trying to avoid sleeping with the lecherous older man.
Author Susan Elizabeth Phillips (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of romance by Phillips) has found a recipe for her stories and it works. Take a ditzy but intelligent woman who needs some structure to make her life complete, throw in a super-smart, super-jock, super-wealthy man, give them a reason to hate each other and a reason they need to be together, and shake vigorously. It's not the mixture, though, that makes Phillips special, it's her writing. We all know that Meg and Ted are going to end up together. We also know that Meg will grow past her casual explore-the-world phase and that Ted will have to find the emotions he's locked so tightly under his intellectual surface. What we don't know is how Phillips will take us there, what string of embarassments Meg will have to deal with, how she will gradually win both Ted and the entire town to her side. Because it's Susan Elizabeth Phillips, though, we're pretty certain that we'll be laughing the whole way.
CALL ME IRRESISTIBLE isn't really believable. Meg was in town for a wedding--it was hard for me to believe she wouldn't have enough jewelry she could pawn to get out of town. The attitude of the townspeople toward Meg made winning them over a challenge, but it also made me not like them (which is a problem in that some of them were heroes and heroines of earlier Susan Elizabeth Phillips romances), and made me wonder what was wrong with Meg to put up with that grief. It's an indicator of what a talented writer Phillips is that I could push these problems to the back of my mind and keep on reading, wanting to know what would happen next.
If you're looking for an enjoyable light read, with an interesting hero and a sympathetically ditzy heroine, it's hard to go wrong with Susan Elizabeth Phillips and CALL ME IRRESISTIBLE.
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