Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Book Review: The Virgin Bride Said, "Wow!" [2001]

I picked up this Harlequin romance by Cathy Gillen Thacker for the title alone, make no mistake. It's the last book of a series, The Lockharts of Texas, that I definitely haven't read the rest of, including The Bride Said, "Surprise!", The Bride Said, "Finally!", and The Bride Said, "I Did?" While the punctuation of all four titles is extremely irksome, I feel that The Virgin Bride Said, "Wow!" is definitely the "best" of the lot. Apparently the rest of her sisters weren't virgins when they got married, for one thing. Also, VERY IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER, as far as I remember, she never did say "wow" during the course of the book (despite having over two-hundred pages in which to accomplish this feat), and certainly not in the sort of salacious situation that a seasoned romance reader like myself might imagine and hope for. I could be wrong, but I am not reading it again to make sure.

Kelsey Lockhart and Brady Anderson have started a promising ranch business together, but they need more money, fast. In order to get a loan, they get married to prove to the loan officer (a family friend) that their business arrangement is going to be a lasting partnership. The notoriously fickle (and VIRGINAL) Kelsey has a reputation for never following through, and Brady is hiding a mysterious past from everyone. Of course. It has something to do with the guy that keeps coming around and being vaguely threatening. And then Kelsey and Brady end up having sex after several close calls, I forget on which pretense, and fall in love! Brady turns out to be the secret heir to an oil fortune! They get married again, but this time for reals! THE END.

Grade: C-/D+

I probably would have cared more about the characters if I had grown to know and love them in the earlier books in the series, so I am being a little lenient about the lack of introduction. While reading, I remembered yet again why I usually shy away from series romance titles: there inevitably comes a point (not nearly close enough to the end) where I am rolling my eyes and waving the book around and wishing they would GET TOGETHER ALREADY. The obstacles are the type that, given the weak character and plot development up to that point (generally post-sex but pre-"I love you"), stretch the bounds of believability.

I also dislike the gender roles as they are played out in mainstream romance, although this book at least featured an equal business partnership instead of a handsome gajillionaire (which Brady is) falling for his subordinate. Despite her "tomboy" status (referred to several times), Kelsey is unable or unwilling to:
  • Bargain for a good price on horses, despite the fact that she owns a ranch
  • Work a computer
  • Disobey Brady when he orders her into the house
  • Talk to her sister about a broken laptop without his help
My eyes did a lot of rolling, let me tell you. So, in conclusion, don't bother reading The Virgin Bride Said, "Wow!", because I've already done the work for you. Just sit back and enjoy the sheer beauty of that title.

Book Review Index
Dead Mother: Yes, two for two! So many dead mothers, it's hard to handle!

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