Kate Bradshaw is Cupid. She writes an advice column, Dear Cupid, on a web site run by an old friend. When Kate’s advice starts becoming too anti-men after her divorce, the friend gives her an ultimatum: lighten up (and sell the advertiser’s products) or you’re fired. Kate not only loves her job but needs it to support herself and her severely asthmatic son, so she decides that she can lighten up a bit. Kate’s first order of business is getting a little romance in her own life, so she flirts with a random man at the airport. The random man, our hero Mike Cameron, decides instantly that the beautiful flirt with whom he senses an instant chemistry is the woman he’s meant to marry. Mike is ready to have a family, and he just needs to convince Kate to marry him. Mike hires Kate for a bogus job – finding him a wife – in order to spend time with her and make her fall in love with him.
Kate is a hard person to like. Her emotions and reasoning are too up-and-down. Thinking that a little flirting would bring romance into her life didn’t make sense to me. Dating might bring her a little romance, but she doesn’t want to do that. Odd. I could understand her being bitter, but not toward Mike, who was nothing but great to her. While she is attracted to Mike, because he wants a wife, she decides to stay away from him at first. But because she is still attracted to him, all of a sudden it’s okay for her to act on her attraction. She goes back and forth, and back and forth. Argh!
Mike is an earnest, handsome, and very nice guy. That he’s deceiving Kate gets a few points taken away, though, even if it’s in the name of romance. He tries to do nice things for Kate, but he does mess up at times. He’s so cute, though. And Mike is a movie animator – a very cool occupation for a hero, and not one I’ve seen before. Points added back in for that. Mike also makes a concerted effort to get along with Kate’s son, something the boy’s real dad doesn’t do. More points for Mike.
Mike’s instant conviction that Kate is the woman meant to be his wife after a little airport conversation made me roll my eyes. I believe in instant attraction, and there are some authors who can make me believe in love at first sight. But no one can make me believe that you can recognize your spouse at first sight. Take away a few points.
About halfway through, the book picks up. This coincides with the time Kate decides to enjoy her time with Mike. The two do some fun things together, especially when they (and Kate’s son) are watching a stunt on a movie set and going sailing together. When they are together, and Kate is relaxed, they make a cute couple. Kate still has issues with her ex at this point, and she projects them onto Mike, causing the last hurdle in their relationship. Take some points away from Kate. Frankly, Kate is one of those characters readers may want to scream at to “get over it;” I did.
There’s a secondary plot with Kate’s best friend, Linda and Linda’s husband that didn’t really add much to the story. The husband seemed like a clueless lunkhead, and Linda was a typical weepy pregnant woman. Linda and Kate’s scenes together were nice female bonding moments. Add some points for that.
Kate’s character just made it too hard for me to thoroughly enjoy this book, even when she was offset by the adorable Mike. I know Dear Cupid was supposed to be a romantic comedy, but the effort was mostly lost on me. Other readers may appreciate it if the set-up doesn’t bother them. I regret that I’m not one of them. There’s nothing wrong with Ortolon’s writing style, but there also wasn’t enough about this book that spoke to me to really recommend it.