Call Me Irresistible
Talk about your perfect day. I spent the day inside, watching big fluffy snow flakes fall from the warmth of my home, while I snuggled up on the couch with a warm blanket, a cup of coffee, and the brand new Susan Elizabeth Phillips book, Call Me Irresistible.
As with all of Ms. Phillips’ books, this book does stand alone, but most of the characters have appeared in others books. Long time readers know that this is Teddy Beaudine’s book, the prodigy child of Francesca and Dallie Beaudine from Fancy Pants. Meg Koranda is the daughter of Fleur and Jake Koranda from Glitter Baby. Lucy Jorik is adopted daughter of Nealy Case and Mat Jorik from First Lady.
Ted Beaudine, the favorite son Wynette, Texas is engaged to be married to Lucy Jorik, the daughter of the former President of the United States. On paper this is a perfect match. Both are well adjusted children of highly successful parents, both have lived in the limelight, both are highly educated and responsible. Everything should be perfect. Except Lucy has doubts and she has had them for months. Ted is so dazzling, how can she ever measure up?
As soon as Meg meets Ted, she knows that he is not the right man for her best friend. Not too many people realize it, but Lucy has hell raising tendencies just bubbling under the surface waiting to break free. Trying to live up to Ted’s sainthood status will make her miserable. And, when Ted looks at Lucy, all Meg sees is fond satisfaction, not passion. On the eve of the wedding, Meg is not afraid to say what she thinks, even though it makes her enemies. When Lucy calls off the wedding at the very last minute, everyone shifts the blame to Meg, and she is trapped in town as a result of her parent’s new financial policy to not give her any more money. After her last credit card is declined she decides to run but only makes to the city limits when she is pulled over by the police and the mayor of Wynette, the jilted bridegroom. Barely escaping jail time, Lucy agrees to work off her bill, resulting in her spending more time in Wynette around Ted and the disgruntled town folks. Meg has always felt like she was the screw-up in the family, but her time in Wynette gives her the opportunity to discover what her family and friends have always known: That she needs to look within herself and not to the next new colorful locale.
Ted seems so perfect because he uses logic, instead of emotions. He might seem like a man who has everything under control, but he has learned to bury all his deep feelings. After being left at the altar, he puts a tighter lid on his emotions, acts as if nothing has happened, and continues his day to day responsibilities, including courting investors for Wynette. As with most of America, Wynette has been hit hard with the downward swing of the economy and the citizens are counting on Ted to find a way to bring in more revenue for the town.
As always, the many distinctive characters add color and levity to the story. This book is almost a who’s who of Ms. Phillips’ work, with appearances by Lady Emma and Kenny Traveler, and Torie Traveler O’Connor and Dexter O’Connor, from Lady Be Good, plus the parents of Lucy, Meg and Ted. Since there is not a secondary romance in the book, a lot of time is spent with Emma, Kenny, Torie, Francesca, etc. Readers who haven’t read the previous books might not feel the same sense of nostalgia that readers who have read the books do. Since I have read all the previous books, I enjoyed their inclusion.
Ms. Phillips’ writing pulled me in from the very first page. I love the way that she is able to combine humor and pathos. In a less talented author, the disregard of the girlfriend rule would have been a deal breaker, but, under Ms. Phillips’ adept hand, it wasn’t an issue for me. The citizens of Wynette do give Meg a difficult time, but it is handled adroitly and lightly too. If you have read any of her books, you know her wonderful talent for dialogue and readers will find it here,too. The repartee between the heroine and hero is both sarcastically witty and ingenious as well as setting the stage for the combustion of sexual tension and need.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Call Me Irresistible I read it like a woman possessed. It is an almost perfect book with only the ending giving me a slight pause. Without spoiling things, I can simply say that something is done that made me think, “If I loved someone, I wouldn’t do that to them.” Even with that, I wholeheartedly recommend this book to all readers.