Some Girls Do
There’s no question that Leanne Banks’ single title debut is charming and breezy road romance. That said, however, Some Girls Do is somewhat predictable and features some surprisingly retro plot elements.
Working as a personal assistant to a rich jerk may pay well, but in order to keep her job (and the low profile she desperately wants) Katie Collins hides her figure behind shapeless dresses and her blond hair in a tight bun. When her obnoxious boss offers to pay Katie $100,000 if she finds a husband for Wilhemina, his plump, sweet, and socially awkward daughter, while he and his latest trophy wife and are away on vacation, Katie jumps at the offer. After all, the tuition for her deaf younger brother’s school is high and Katie will do just about anything to keep the 10-year old there.
Though security expert Michael Wingate is a shade more reluctant to get involved in the far-fetched enterprise, the promise of a lucrative contract for his security firm is a lure he can’t resist. His role is slightly ess demanding than Katie’s: All he has to do to earn the contract that will put his firm on the map is keep Wilhemina safe for the duration and screen any potential marriage candidates Katie might manage to drum up.
Surprisingly, Wilhemina is more than willing to go along with the plan since anything has to be better than life in the shadow of her controlling father and his harpy wife. But a disastrous encounter at a party with a fortune-hunting bad guy convinces Wilhemina that snooty Philadelphia Main Line society is the last place she belongs – a conviction that’s even further entrenched by native Texan Katie’s efforts to console the mortified heiress with a fanciful story of a “cowboy knight.”
Where better to go, Wilhemina reasons, than to Texas to find the man of her dreams? So, with a cash advance on her credit card in hand and her fussy cat at her side, Wilhemina escapes her friendly captors and heads off to the Lone Star state. Of course, since so much depends on their success in keeping Wilhemina safe (and in finding the right guy), Katie and Michael aren’t far behind.
I’m betting that even with this brief plot description you know exactly where this book is going. Katie and Wilhemina get sexy. Katie accepts her sexuality and finds Michael. Wilhemina accepts herself and finds a cowboy. Fussy cat accepts Texas and finds a barn cat. And that’s exactly what happens – there are no surprises anywhere in this book.
Frankly, the whole sacrificing-herself-for-her-needy-and-heartbreakingly-good-younger-brother thing also seemed both a shade too familiar and old-fashioned in terms of today’s romance. Add in the shapeless dresses and the tight bun and I almost felt as if I were reading a category romance from the mid-80s. On the positive side, though, (and unlike those books), Leanne Banks did create fully developed, three-dimensional characters in her leads. Michael’s need to establish himself and live down his father’s suicide and his mother’s mental illness take the character of the stoic and sexy bodyguard to a satisfyingly complex level. Ditto Katie’s obsession with her late mother, a Texas siren whose legacy is still very much “alive” to each of her children.
Equally, important, this book is fun! Predictable it may be, old-fashioned it may be, but the characters are appealing, the dialogue is sparkling, and the sex is hot – and, frankly, sometimes that’s all it takes, don’t you think? All in all, Some Girls Do may not be the most original road romance I’ve ever read, but it is a fast, fun read that bodes well for future single title releases from the author.