Say You Want Me
Say You Want Me is one of those books whose details are all but forgotten once the final page is turned (luckily I’m a fast typist). And, if you’re a series reader, you’ve probably read versions of these characters and the plot elements 100 times over. There’s nothing new here and, unfortunately, little to elevate this book (like sultry love scenes or witty banter) above the hoards of other books just like it.
Joni Montgomery is a 27-year-old emergency room nurse. She’s content and appears to have it all together, but her family of hopeless romantics feels differently. They believe it’s high time she got herself hitched. When Joni’s mom warns her that her grandmother (AKA G.P.) is coming to town to find a Joni a man, what’s a not-so-bright girl to do? Thank ol’ G.P. for the lovely visit then tell her to mind her own freaking business? Umm, no. Joni instead decides to find herself a man who will pose as her true love so G.P. will leave town satisfied. (But what about the rest of the brood, Joni?!). Naturally, Joni doesn’t have a man-friend she can ask to do her this service and with only two days to go she decides to go on a blind date with a safe, boring, accountant-type (all accountants are boring, balding, narrow shouldered whimps in Joni’s world, by the way,) but a mix-up occurs. Sound familiar? I thought so.
Carter Sullivan was sitting alone, minding his own business when Joni, dressed to kill, plops herself down at his table apologizing for her tardiness for their “date.” Unwilling to kick fate in the teeth, Carter plays along until the real, and, of course, geeky, date arrives. Joni brushes off the scrawny man after getting a good look at him because she’s enjoying Carter’s company so much (she’s dense, shallow, and rude – gee, I’m charmed). Carter’s a real catch. He’s personable, hunky, and single but, of course, he’s all wrong for her because he’s a dangerous “adrenaline junkie” (she assumes this in roughly two seconds once she learns he’s a cop) and bound to cause her heartache. She’s got some weird phobia when it comes to “dangerous” men that is never properly explained and screams “plot contrivance” to me.
Figuring her family (especially the daredevil man-loving G.P.) will simply love Carter, Joni decides to drag him into her family scamming scheme. He agrees with the condition that she’ll go on one “real” date with him after all of the playacting is through. Shall I continue even though I’m fairly certain you can guess what happens from here?
The plot moves along from one “been there, read that” situation to another. There’s the meeting the family scene where everyone accepts Carter with open arms and the two get to indulge in some hot kisses. There’s also the obligatory “hot” dressing room scene as the two shop for outfits to please G.P., but it wasn’t until the two began dance lessons (to fake out G.P. again) that I developed an overwhelming urge to take a nap.
Joni’s a cowardly twit and though she’s vaguely annoying throughout the story, and her reason for pushing Carter away is weaker than her original blind date, she only teeters over into detestable territory towards the end when she asks something of Carter that made me so angry I finished the book in a red haze of fury. Fortunately, Carter is a great guy. He grew up with some bad breaks but his past hardships haven’t made him bitter or resentful. Instead he’s become a kind, romantic (but always manly) guy determined to help homeless kids get off the street. His persistence in pursuing Joni baffled me and baffles me still. I closed the book imagining many aggravating days ahead for this fine hero.
Say You Want Me isn’t a book I’d run out to purchase. Still, it does a have a few touching moments so I guess I wouldn’t run screaming from a free copy thrown my way either. I can’t promise the same if I ever bump into a “Joni” in the ER, though!