Ain't She Sweet

Breathing Room

Dream a Little Dream

First Lady

Kiss An Angel

Lady Be Good

Match Me If You Can

Natural Born Charmer

Nobody's Baby But Mine

This Heart of Mine

What I Did for Love

 
Call Me Irresistible
by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
(Wm. Morrow, $25.99. PG) ISBN 978-006-135152-5
*****
SEP used to be a must read and it is hard to say how many of her books line my book shelves. Then there was a period that I didn’t enjoy her stories as much. Call Me Irresistible is a throwback to the early years. This book is truly a keeper and, for her fans, pulls in a couple characters that may be memorable, too.

Lucy Jorik is the daughter of Cornelia Jorik, a former President of the United States. She is about to marry Ted Beaudine, son of famous golfer Dallas Beaudine. Ted and Lucy are perfect for each other. Both are kids of famous people and have grown up in the limelight. Both are beautiful and both realize that while their love isn’t passionate, it is comfortable.

Meg Koranda is also the daughter of famous people – parents who are big in the entertainment industry. She and Lucy have been friends forever. Meg comes to Wynette Texas, Teddy’s hometown, for the wedding and is underwhelmed with the sense of love between Lucy and Ted. In fact, she senses Lucy’s hesitation. Meg doesn’t mean to cause issues, but she wants Lucy to really feel sure this is what she wants. Ted, of course, is less than thrilled with Meg for causing his almost bride to doubt. When Lucy pulls Ted off the altar and breaks it off while everyone in the church waits, no one is thrilled. In fact, Meg becomes persona non grata.

It doesn’t help that Meg is going thru a rough patch, having been cut off from her family’s pocketbook. Her last credit card just got denied and she is standing in the lone Inn in Wynette being threatened with jail. Ted also happens to be the Mayor of Wynette and in his mood, he actually pushes the Sheriff to utilize that key and maybe even throw it away. To save face, Meg ends up being hired by the Inn to work off her debt…as a housekeeper at minimum wage.

The story that follows is one of great humor, angst, and soul searching for many in the community. There is a lot at stake. Ted and his dad have been trying to lure a major developer into opening up a resort in the desert area outside Wynette. This would open up tourism and save the town from many economic woes. Everyone is relying on Ted to get this done. And his reputation of being the hero doesn’t help. Meg, meanwhile has to grow up. She has moved around, not really finding her niche and living off her parents or with men who have treated her less than stellar. She is determined to make things work out if it kills her.

Things get dicey when the town starts to take out their frustrations on Meg and yet, when Meg actually starts doing things well, she starts to garner some respect. When the developer comes into town and it is clear his daughter has her sights on Ted and he, an older man who is less than attractive, sets his sights on Meg, life gets very interesting.

I laughed out loud at times when reading this book. I got tears in my eyes. I got frustrated when Ted acted like an ass, yet felt sympathy for him when he started to let down his guard. Meg is another character that pulls several emotions from the reader. It is easy to start rooting for Ted and Meg to get together even when it seems the most implausible.

Phillips brings in characters from past books and makes them seem real. Her way of building up the town of Wynette is satisfying without being melodramatic. And of course, the romance is fun, hot and engaging.

If you haven’t read Susan Elizabeth Phillips for awhile and you enjoyed her early tales, you might just find Call Me Irresistible a tale that you can’t resist.

--Shirley Lyons


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