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Jessica Bird: An Unforgettable Lady

Jessica Bird: An Irresistible Bachelor

 

Crescent Blues Book ViewsAn Unforgettable LadyBallantine (Paperback), ISBN 0-345-45895-8
An Irresistable BachelorBallantine (Paperback), ISBN 0-345-45896-6

Book: jessica bird, an unforgettable lady
When Grace Woodward Hall, the heroine of An Unforgettable Lady, tries to keep her impending divorce out of the press, she finds herself in the middle of a power struggle at work as well as a personal crisis. Her father named her as his successor at the Hall Foundation, but others on the board feel they should lead the company instead of her. She struggles with them about nearly every detail of the foundation's annual fundraising auction, determined to both save money and throw a fantastic party.

But danger lurks nearby. A recent newspaper article profiled the six most influential women in New York City, including Grace. But someone now seems to be using the article as a hit list. One by one, the women turn up brutally stabbed in their homes. With no signs of forced entry, the police conclude that the women knew their killer well enough to let him or her in. Grace hires a bodyguard by the bland name of John Smith, who looks every inch the part. Hard, mean and tough, John agrees to the job with the stipulation that she will follow his every rule.

Strong-willed Grace chafes at some of the rules but finds herself drawn to this man. For his part, John realizes this job could be a huge problem. He can't stop thinking about Grace, a lapse in focus he never faced before. The pair finally give in to the passion between them, but John then decides he must turn her safety over to one of his associates. For the first time in his life, John finds himself thinking of a future with a woman beyond just a night or two in the sack. And he can't afford that kind of distraction, especially when the killer makes his move.

Book: jessica bird, an irresistable bachelor
In An Irresistible Bachelor, it finally seems time for Jack Walker to settle down and give up his playboy ways. All his hard work in business allows him an extremely comfortable lifestyle, despite his father's best attempts to bankrupt the family. Many years of careful and savvy investments now let Jack buy back some of the priceless family heirlooms sold off years ago, including a portrait of Revolutionary War hero and Jack's ancestor, Nathaniel Walker. Years of day-to-day wear left the portrait in need of conservation, and Jack hires Callie Burke on good recommendation from noted socialite Grace Woodward Hall.

After just one meeting, Callie's red hair and curvy body haunt Jack's dreams. She merely sees him as someone to interact with as little as possible. She knows there can't possibly be room for her in his life, despite the sizzling attraction between them -- he's engaged. But they both fall hard for each other, and Jack breaks off his engagement. Callie allows herself to hope for a future with him, but his consideration of a run for the governorship gives her pause. All her life, she hid a huge secret -- her father. A well-known businessman, he only dallied with Callie's mother. Revealing her parentage could derail Jack's election plans (especially when coupled with his tomcat past and sudden break-off of his engagement) as well as hurt Callie's only family -- her half-sister, Grace.

Although Jessica Bird writes a suspenseful tale (An Unforgettable Lady) and a solid romance, the two stories both lack some emotional punch. Everything seems just a bit flat, and the main characters come off as a bit on the stereotypical side. Although John's security associates possess some interesting quirks, they appear too seldom to make up for the lack of emotional depth of the main characters.

Jen Foote

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