A Girl, a Guy, and a Lullaby

That Maddening Man

Tutoring Tucker by Debrah Morris
(Silh. Rom. #1670, $3.99, G) ISBN 0-373-19670-9
Tutoring Tucker is an interesting story of the suddenly-rich pauper turning into Prince Charming while the fairytale princess loses her riches and has to turn into a nice person. Based on the strength of the hero, I am giving this three hearts. However, if you need a strong heroine to enjoy a story, this one may not be for you.

Brindon (with an i) Tucker has grown up poor. He is known as Briny and was voted most likely to do jail time in his high school yearbook. He was orphaned at 10 and grew up in a home for juveniles. Luckily for Briny, he was “parented” by a loving couple who saw his potential and supported him all the way. He went to work in the oilfields and was generous with the little he had. One day, he purchased his weekly lottery ticket and won 50 million dollars. His life changed overnight…but Briny did not.

He came to Dallas looking to find a way to use his new found wealth for good. His new financial manager (the same man who managed the finances of his boss) decides he needed some tutoring to help him “fit in”. He introduces him to Dorian Burrell.

Dorian is a high society miss from birth. Born with a silver spoon in her mouth, she has always had every material thing she could want. Dorian has been emotionally shortchanged. Her father loved her, but between being busy with work and then suffering a debilitating illness, he died young. Her mother is the epitome of evil mother…sending her off to boarding school and not loving her at all. The only person who cares is Dorian’s grandmother, who happens to own the oil company Briny works for.

Dorian has just been told she is penniless for three more months. She has spent every bit of her quarterly allowance and then some. Grandmother has decided to teach her a lesson, and cuts her off. If Dorian wants money, she has to go to work. Dorian is forced to admit that she has no skills, so when Briny offers her the chance to be his tutor at the astronomical fee of $30,000 a month, she reluctantly accepts.

Although Briny learns from Dorian all he needs to know to get on in society, Dorian is the one who learns from Briny. He teaches her compassion, the true meaning of giving and the falseness of appearance for appearance sake. She transforms, albeit slowly, and they find a happy ever after.

The writing is fresh, the story moves along and Briny is one super hero. He is exactly the kind of man every mother hopes her daughter finds. He carries the story.

Dorian is a rich snob, and is so good at it I hated her from page 1. This dislike is hard to overcome, although Morris throws in every means of getting the reader to change their opinion that an author can throw. Dorian is shown as helplessly shallow, as a result of her vulnerability. She is shown as hating how she is, but lacking the fortitude to change because of the lack of love she received from her mother. I could never quite like her, so it was difficult to see what Briny did. In fact, I thought he was shortchanging himself.

So, there you have it. Tutoring Tucker is an interesting story, with a twist on the traditional fairytale and a generally well-written tale with a great hero and a less than deserving heroine.

--Shirley Lyons

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