“Call Me Irresistible” by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

STORY: Lucy Jorik is the daughter of the former President of the United States. Meg Koranda is the offspring of legends. One of them is about to marry Mr. Irresistible—Ted Beaudine—the favorite son of Wynette, Texas. The other is not happy about it and is determined to save her friend from a mess of heartache. RSVP TO THE MOST RIOTOUS WEDDING OF THE YEAR!

But even though Meg knows that breaking up her best friend’s wedding is the right thing to do, no one else seems to agree. Faster than Lucy can say “I don’t,” Meg becomes the most hated woman in town—a town she’s stuck in with a dead car, an empty wallet, and a very angry bridegroom. Broke, stranded, and without her famous parents at her back, Meg is sure she can survive on her own wits. What’s the worst that can happen? Lose her heart to the one and only Mr. Irresistible? Not likely. Not likely at all.

REVIEW: I don’t read contemporary books. I tried the genre MANY years ago with “Lucky” by Jackie Collins, and I just never got into them. The stories to me just didn’t “sing” like Historical Romance genre does. As a LibraryThing.com member I got to read some of Contemporary authors last year, and I’m concluding that my feelings haven’t changed at all on the genre. So, that said, here are my thoughts on this book.

First, this is the only book by this Author that I read and if all her books are paced as this one, then I like her pace. This book wasn’t boring for a very simple reason. It was chock full of smart dialogue and plenty of action and reaction. It kept moving the plot and kept my interest. It was entertaining and would make a good Made for TV movie. Then why did I find it lacking? After two nights of reading it I figured it out.

Ted, our hero was seen mostly through Meg and we got a glimpse of him through some of the secondary players, like his mother and close friends. What a ‘miss’ that was! By the time I got to ‘see’ his point of view, ‘feel’ what he felt, I’m already at the ‘climax’ of the story. That made me ‘unfulfilled’. I yearned to know him better because he turned out to be so much more than the ‘glimpse’ the Author has allowed me to see.  Through that last part, I realized that this man is so complex and beautiful and not just from the outside, but way down inside.

I’m wondering if maybe Author did this for a reason, not getting us into his head, I mean. Did she want me to be one of the women who “loved” Ted but didn’t really know him, his thoughts or his feelings? Was I to follow in the footsteps of all of Wynette’s residents and make assumptions about him just as well? If that was her purpose, only those readers that were familiar with her earlier books could ‘get’ him. As a first time reader of her books, I wasn’t allowed inside that circle until the end. Once I was allowed to ‘meet’ the hero, I mean really meet him, it was bitter-sweet as I wanted more of him.  

What are the chances that she’d rewrite it and this time include his POV? Truly, I would read it if she did.

As for Meg, our Heroine, I must say that I liked her a lot. I think a lot of us, even the ones that didn’t grow up with so much privilege as she did, can identify with her. Not many of us can say we had our shit together by the time we were thirty. Most of us had all kinds of hang ups to deal with before we finally got our act together and grew up. I liked her honesty, her spunk and wit. Here’s the excerpt of their first meeting from Meg’s POV at the beginning of the book:

Those eyes… Golden amber touched with honey and rimmed with flint. Eyes that blazed with intelligence and perception. Eyes that cut to the quick. As she stood before him, she felt Ted Beaudine gazing inside her and taking note of everything she worked so hard to hide—her aimlessness, her inadequacy, her absolute failure to claim a worthy place in the world.

We both know you’re a screw up,” his eyes said, “but I’m sure you’ll grow out of it some day. If not… Well… How much can anyone expect from an overindulged child of Hollywood?

Lucy was introducing them. “…so glad the two of you can finally meet. My best friend and my future husband.”

Meg prided herself on her tough veneer, but she barely managed a perfunctory nod.

“If I could have your attention…” the minister said.

Ted squeezed Lucy’s hand and smiled into his bride’s upturned face, a fond, satisfied smile that never once disturbed the detachment in those tiger quartz eyes. Meg’s alarm grew. Whatever emotions he felt for Lucy, none of them included the fierce passion her best friend deserved.”

Some of my favorite scenes are of Ted wandering the streets of San Francisco and thinking…

Coit Tower wasn’t open yet, so he walked the grounds, gazing out across the city and the bay as the fog begun to lift. He wished he could talk this whole mess over with Lucy, but he could hardly call her up after all this time and tell her that her best friend was an immature, demanding, overly emotional, unreasonable nutcase, and what the hell was he supposed to do about that?

He missed Lucy. Everything had been so easy with her.

He missed her…but he didn’t want to wring her neck like he wanted to wring Meg’s.

He didn’t want to make love with her until her eyes turned to smoke. He didn’t yearn for the sound of her voice, the joy of her laughter.

He didn’t ache for Lucy. Dream about her. Long for her.

He didn’t love her.

With a rustle of leaves and a chilly gust, the wind carried the fog out to sea.”

In reading that I knew that Ted’s heart and brain have aligned. At that moment the ‘fog’ is also lifting in his mind, and he realizes how much he loves this unpredictable, messy, nutty and utterly loveable woman. What a pleasure it was to finally meet him, see and feel through him! A scene where he loses it is priceless, but the one where he admits and accepts his feelings for Meg is great. Not to mention their final confrontation!

The plot weaved through the book was okay, but predictable, yet I didn’t mind it. Towns ‘folk’ were a bit over the top, and our villain was not that bad. As I mentioned before this book would make a ‘cute’ TV movie.

Trough the Author’s notes at the end of the book I found out that this is one of Wynette Series and I’m looking forward to reading all of them if for no other reason but to know Ted better. Lucy’s story will be next, and I hope that SEP’s paying attention to her readers, new and old, and lets us enjoy her books by giving us both POV’s, Hero’s as well as Heroines.

If you want to be entertained and laugh a bit, go ahead and read this book, although I wish to have read the previous books first.

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