Ivy, $6.99, ISBN 0-345-45896-6
Contemporary Romance, 2004
Maybe it’s because I’m reluctantly caught up in the world of Latin American soap operas where it is common for up to five skanky hos to catfight for an ugly guy for reasons that are beyond me, but Jessica Bird’s An Irresistible Bachelor is a fascinating train-wreck romance story that I can’t tear away from. I devour this book in one sitting. I hate everybody in it and I think they are too stupid and they are just wasting oxygen with every breath they take, but I can’t stop reading. Just like how I can’t stop watching that crappy soap opera where that ho blackmails the ugly hero’s five-year old daughter to tell Daddy to marry the ho.
Callie Burke hates men because her mother was a mistress to a rich man (who sired Callie) and therefore she always feels like she’s just second best. Because of this, she falls for a man that reminds her of her mother’s sugar daddy. Forget Dr Freud, Dr Kervokian is a more reasonable person to make a housecall to the Burke residence. She is working for Jack Walker, a young gazillionaire and proof that money can’t buy intelligence, because of the money he is paying her. Maybe it’s just me, but I would respect a woman sleeping with a man she hates for money more than I would respect a woman who is sleeping with a man she hates because she can’t help herself. So there’s no respect for Callie today. Or ever.
Anyway, Jack hires her to restore a painting in his mansion because he has erotic dreams of Callie while having intimacies with his Other Woman whom he’s going to marry to further his political ambitions. Even though he hates women in general because his mother is nasty, et cetera, of course.
So here we have a woman who lusts for a man who is the kind of man she blames for ruining her life, and a man who hires a woman he knows he lusts after even when he’s about to marry another woman for reasons Anna Nicole Smith would appreciate. Soon they are both committing infidelity, though of course this is okay because Callie and Jack lust after each other even though they hate each other and… oh, my head. No wonder I can’t stop reading. These people and their subsequent actions are so over-the-top alpha or just plain dumb that it’s like watching a parody of a soap opera, if soap operas can ever be parodied. Callie acts like a five-year old girl incapable of thought and who of course keeps secrets ineptly but stubbornly (with predictable consequences to follow), but she’s in good company with legions of soap opera heroines who can’t put two and two to get four even if the number four falls onto their head and crushes them to death. Jack is always unreasonable stupid or over-the-top arrogant that I suspect that the only way he’s a gazillionaire is either through a superstar career in the adult industry where brainpower is always optional or he choked the money out of a poor legitimate gazillionaire with his thick, meaty paws.
The end result is a book where the characters make me scream at them because they are so stupid, weep for them because they are a waste of genetic material, and howl in laughter at the unintentionally funny moments that arise from these people behaving like witless fools. I don’t know how it will reflect on me if I confess that I have a blast reading this book. An Irresistible Bachelor is pure guilty pleasure material – I know it’s a dumb story, but after using all that energy screaming, yelling, and laughing at those nitwits, I feel real good, as if I’ve all charged up and energized again and ready to tackle anything those dumb TV soaps are ready to throw my way.