R5. The Single Dad's Virgin Wife by Susan Crosby

(So I've sort of belatedly realized my hypocrisy in accusing William Styron of name-dropping and then name-dropping Fyodor Dostoyevsky in the same review. On that note, let's just be clear that I've never read any of his other books, and all of the symbolism that's supposedly in The Brothers Karamazov was totally lost on me. And now, some smut. -M.R.)

The Single Dad's Virgin Wife (Silhouette Special Edition)Pages: 212

Pairing: glorified nanny and "businessman"
First Sentence: Tricia McBride came to a quick stop a few feet from the interview room of At Your Service, a prestigious Sacramento domestic-and-clerical-help agency.
Climax: Then his body went rigid, moved more urgently, more rhythmically, and he followed her into the incredible oblivion that suspended time and sustained life.

My standards are obviously dropping rapidly, because I didn't think this book was that bad. After the crushing disappointment of Highland Rebel and fucking Because of a Boy, which I'm still angry about, this book wasn't that bad. In comparison with, say, The Postman Always Rings Twice, this book was terrible.

This time around, the main character is Tricia McBride, who goes to work as a teacher to Noah Falcon's two sets of identical twins: Ashley, Zoe, Adam, and Zach. I am not making up those names, although to be fair lots of real twins have dumb names. Noah, by the way, is a filthy rich widower. I'll spare you the really boring details, and just say that everyone loves Tricia, and Noah also thinks she has a great rack. The "tension" comes from a) the fact that Tricia is Noah's employee (woo harassment!), and b) the fact that her "dream job" is waiting for her in San Diego, so she's only going to be working for Noah for a little while.

To absolutely no one's surprise, Tricia ends up deciding not to take the San Diego job, which conveniently isn't available after all anyway. Oh, and Noah proposes. After like a month of them knowing each other.

Tricia is also a 34 year-old virgin, a fact that's treated as a big reveal during a steamy scene in Noah's home office, except that it's in the title. I guess that's so people with, um, virgin fantasies (?) can easily find the book on a shelf or something, but it totally ruins the surprise.

Given all of this, you might still be wondering why I say the book isn't that bad. There're a few reasons. First of all, it's nice and short, so my boredom wasn't prolonged unnecessarily. Second, it didn't take itself too seriously. Third, the kids are actually portrayed decently. Not well, by any means, but decently. I grasp at straws.

It does have a chronic case of convenient/ludicrous plot points. But seriously, as long as no one, including the author, takes it seriously, I don't mind.

Sometimes he even missed all the European travel he used to do.

"Nice," he said, looking around then focusing squarely on her. "Good bones. Great architecture."

There was a big difference between someone dying and someone leaving.
"But the end result's the same," she said, her breath fogging the window a little. She dragged a finger through it, then realized she'd drawn a heart with a crack down the middle.

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