Loveswept, $3.99, ISBN 0-553-44461-1
Contemporary Romance, 1994
I’m early with the first TBR Challenge review of 2017, but that’s because I’d be pretty busy over the weekend. Chinese New Year is only a week away, and there are still quite the number of errands I need to do before the holiday season descends. Since there is no guarantee that I can update the website over the next few days, well, here it is. A Man’s Man by Terry Lawrence.
Now, two very wealthy people are dating. Oh no, these are not the hero and the heroine. The hero, Reilly – just Reilly – is the faithful helicopter pilot and errand boy of a wealthy, if rather bumbling European nobleman, while Melissa Drummond is the nanny and governess of the daughter of a fancy socialite. As the nobleman and the socialite indulge in a whirlwind romance, Melissa finds herself attracted to Reilly, but alas, she just knows that they cannot be.
Okay, this is where the story falls apart for me. Melissa is already saddled with a boring baggage, the poor thing – she doesn’t trust men, thinks all men are unreliable, has a secret pain she keeps close to her heart, blah blah blah. But as the story progresses, she becomes insistent that she cannot be with Reilly, because she must be that brat’s nanny forever. Her attachment to that creepy little girl (who, of course, is also precociously bent on seeing her nanny end up under Reilly) is unhealthy to the point that I seriously wish she’d see a shrink. Maybe it’s a good thing that she finds Reilly, or else she’d one day show up on TV screaming as she tries to kidnap that creepy little girl while surrounded by a bunch of cops yelling at her through a megaphone. Our heroine starts out a dull little thing, but by the time the story ends, she is pure “See a shrink already!” weirdness.
On the other hand, ooh, Reilly. The author has created a perfectly sexy and broody kind of hero who, at first, is determined to stay aloof above things like love and other finer feelings. But when that man melts, oh my. His dogged pursuit of Melissa is sweet and even breathtaking in his dedication, without being too aggressive or stalker-ish, and there is also a hint of danger in his past to make him just the right kind of dark and sexy. Our hero is not a womanizer, and in fact, his dark and dangerous past actually makes him almost a virgin in all the way that counts, hence there is this appealing mix of awkward shyness and earnest-randy obsessive quality to his whole approach to making Melissa his sweetheart. I really like this guy. If I were a character in this story, I’d happily push Melissa off a cliff and then do all the naughty things Reilly ever dreamed of, and then some, to that man.
Anyway, Reilly is certainly A Man’s Man, but Melissa is the weakest link in this story, with her exasperating and irritating stubbornness to keep Reilly away so that she can wallow in self pity and get disquietingly clingy to her charge. To be fair, she seems to be a good and responsible nanny. Still, she remains a lousy type of heroine.
So, this one has a great hero, but it also has a heroine that makes me roll my up eyes. The plot is driven by the heroine’s determination to drive all happiness from her life, so there’s no chance of overlooking the wretchedness of Melissa as a character even if I focus doubly hard on Reilly’s virtues. I’m glad to meet Reilly, but I could do without having to deal with Melissa’s histrionics in the process. I suppose the hero balances the heroine somewhat in the end, so this one gets three oogies – the usual rating for an average story.