One Bachelor to Go
I don’t know – I think it must be me, but most of the time, I simply don’t connect with the Silhouette Romance line. I had read Nichol Burnham’s SR series, Going To the Castle, The Prince’s Tutor and The Knight’s Kiss and enjoyed them, so I had high hopes for One Bachelor To Go. Alas, this book didn’t work very well for me. Characters and behavior that seemed charming in a quasi-royal setting seemed childish in the mundane world.
Emily Winter’s father owns the Wintersoft company. She is his only child and a vice-president in the company. She has neither asked for, nor recieved, any special treatment and rose through the ranks on her own talent, skill, and hard work. Emily and her father love each other and have a strong relationship, but she knows that he always wanted a son. To that end, he has pushed some of the young execs at her and she married one with disastrous results. The divorce hasn’t stopped her father, though: he still has plans and his plans involve hot marketing executive Jack Devon.
Wintersoft is about to release a big new software program, and Mr. Winter picks Jack and Emily to go to a major trade show in Lake Tahoe to demonstrate it. In order to save some money, instead of staying at a hotel, he wants them to stay at the Winters’ family vacation home in Lake Tahoe. The prospect of being thrown together is discomfiting to both Emily and Jack, but they are professionals.
Most of the book consists of Emily and Jack at Lake Tahoe. They demonstrate software, then go back to the house and cook. They demonstrate software, then have a spat. Then they kiss a bit. Then they go skiiing. Then they demonstrate the software. Then they kiss a lot. Then her father calls. So they talk. Then they go back to the show and wrap up the software demonstration, at which point they are finally truly alone.
And that was the problem. The sexual tension between Emily and Jack had a lot of potential, but instead of a slow simmer that built up to a boil, it was more like a stream of water that runs hot then cold, then hot then cold, then…but you get my drift. In one sentence, Emily and Jack are aware of each other with every fiber of their beings, and in the next they are eating pizza and talking shop. On their last night in Tahoe, they have a spat, then they make up, have a heart-to-heart talk, and sleep together (no sex) in their underwear before a romantic fire. But then they go back to their pre-trip staus quo since they both know that she is dedicated to the company, and he is a non-commitment man. I wonder – were they even listening to each other when they were sharing that heart-to-heart talk?
Nichol Burnham writes smoothly, with an engaging style, and I couldn’t help but wonder what this book would have been like if she had been able to make it longer. As it was, everything about Jack and Emily was told, not shown. She told him about her relationship with her father and her bad marriage, and he told her about his childhood with a gambling-addict father. Had the book been longer, we could have been able to see more and not have to have it told to us. Also, I know the Silhouette Romance line is a sweet one, but the sweetness didn’t work here. If there had been a deeper sensuality, it would have made for a better story.
Most of the titles I’ve enjoyed from the Silhouette Romance line are those in a mythical royalty or other fairy-tailish setting. I think from now on, I’ll concentrate on those, and read real-world romances from other Harlequin/Silhouette lines.