The Bachelor Chronicles
It’s never pleasant to pan an author’s debut, but I have seldom met a sillier couple than Erin James and Jared Warfield and I have seldom read a sillier book than The Bachelor Chronicles. Silly couple + silly book = really bad reading experience.
Erin James is a newspaper reporter set to interview hot millionaire (and coffeeshop owner) Jared Warfield as part of a series on prominent bachelors in the area. Erin is recovering from a bad marriage, and her mother is a shrew. In case you forget about her rotten husband and nasty mother, don’t worry: the author will remind you on practically every freakin’ page of the book.
Jared is as screwed up as Erin. His family was dysfunctional. His mother was not in the picture and his father was a distant millionaire only concerned with the latest trophy wife. Jared was only close to his half sister Caroline (he called her Care-Bear, isn’t that just precious?) and when she was killed in a motorcycle accident with her druggie boyfriend, Jared took charge of her daughter, Allison (he calls her Allie-Bear, isn’t that just cunning?) and has vowed to keep Allison out of any newspapers because reporters hounded him after Caroline’s death and they are all evil, evil, I tell you, EEVIILLL!!!!
Erin gets the interview off on the wrong foot by asking an insulting question (but she thinks Jared is hot). He gets mad and cancels the interview, but his business manager says they need the publicity, so he spends some time with Erin (and ends up thinking she’s hot). So Erin writes the story and considers that Jared is nice except that he’s a man just like her ex-husband and all men are evil. Since this is a romance, they meet again when Erin does a follow-up piece. Jared thinks she’s nice because she likes his dog, and when Jared stands up for Erin when he mother starts criticising her, she thinks he might be a nice guy. All is going smoothly, but then Jared gets a call: Allison has fallen down and cut her head. Oh woe!! It’s all my fault, says Jared, just like Caroline’s death was my fault.
Allison’s accident sets up the Big Misunderstanding. The newspaper gets wind of it, and wants Erin to write up a story: Millionaire Entrepreneur’s Adopted Daughter In Accident – Nanny At Fault!! Miscommunication. Understanding. Reconciliation. Kiss. The End. And they lived happily ever after and Allison calls her new mama Hair-Win (isn’t that just adorable?)
Both Jared and Erin are supposed to be adult professionals. She is a reporter, he started and runs a successful business. But I’ve met pre-teens with more maturity than either one of them. They are so focused on their rotten childhoods that they can’t seem to connect to the opposite sex. It’s like they go around with a case of “Yuck – cooties” when it comes to actually interacting with someone. It makes me think that in a few years they will be the featured couple in Can This Marriage Be Saved?.
The Bachelor Chronicles is written in a style that is short and choppy. It’s not simple – it’s simplistic. Jared and Erin are a very shallow couple with zero chemistry between them and the supporting characters are nothing but wallpaper. I’ve written before that I used to be a series romance snob and then I read a good one, The Bachelor Party by Paula Detmer Riggs. If this book had been the first series romance I ever had read, I doubt I’d have given the genre another try.