Bride of Fortune

The Doctor Wore Spurs

Expecting His Child

His Majesty, M.D.

The Secretary &
the Millionaire

Some Girls Do by Leanne Banks
(Warner, $5.99, PG-13) ISBN 0-446-61172-7
Employed as a personal assistant to powerful Philadelphia business tycoon Ivan Rasmussen, Katie Collins deliberately downplays her appearance. The Texas native daughter of the town slut who had four children by as many men, Katie has shed her trailer-trash roots and changed her named from Priscilla Sue. When her boss offers her a $100,000 bonus if she finds a husband for his low self-esteem, chubby daughter, Wilhemina, while he and his most recent trophy wife are on a six-week cruise, Katie jumps at the opportunity. Her brother Jeremy is deaf, and his school requires a large tuition.

Michael Wingate is a security specialist hoping to obtain a contract with Ivan Enterprises. Ivan dangles the lure of engaging Michael’s services if he will act as Wilhemina’s bodyguard during his absence and do a background screen on any potential husband. Michael has his own family issues - his father committed suicide, and his mother is in a mental institution.

Katie encourages Wilhemina to accept an invitation to a Philadelphia high society party. Things seem to be looking up romance-wise until Wilhemina overhears a conversation -the jerk is having financial trouble and is paying her attention because Daddy’s money compensates for all her physical deficiencies.

Wilhemina realizes she’ll never find the husband she wants in her Philadelphia environs. Inspired by a tale Katie tells her, she decides to take off for Texas along with her prize hairless cat Chantal to look for a cowboy knight who will rescue her and provide a happily ever after. Katie and Michael can’t afford to let Wilhemina go searching for love in all the wrong places alone so they follow her to Texas.

Wilhemina’s attempts to meet a suitable cowboy knight are in vain until her rented Cadillac ends up in a ditch. Douglas McGinley, a hog farmer, comes to her assistance. A mutual interest quickly develops.

Meanwhile, Katie and Michael are developing their own mutual interest.

This is a two-fer story line: two road stories, two virginal heroines (when was the last time you read a story with two twenty-something virgins?), two willing-and-able heroes, and two love stories (three if you count Chantal hooking up with a low-class barn cat).

In Leanne Banks’ first single title romance, the author hasn’t left her category romance origins far behind. While Some Girls Do is a contemporary, there’s something of 70's traditional sweet category romance feel to it. Katie’s persona - renouncing her mother’s life style, disguising her attractiveness, sacrificing for her brother’s education -seems quaint in a twenty-first century contemporary. (Frankly, I never got purpose of the name change from Priscilla to Katie. If she wants to appear starched and sexless, Gladys or Mabel would seem more practical.) Similarly, Wilhemina’s character seems caught in a romance genre time-warp. Frumpy, plump, and with no apparent social or life skills, she would fit more comfortably as the beautiful heroine’s friend in a nineteenth century historical.

Some snappy contemporary dialogue does enliven the story. When Michael and Katie’s relationship progresses to intimacy, Katie does not experience an orgasm. (Now that’s something different!)

Michael swore again. “You didn’t come.”
Trembling, she clung to him. “Well, I didn’t go away.”

The best aspect of Some Girls Do is the likeable main characters. They aren’t very realistic or multi-dimensional, but they are the kind of characters you hope good things will happen to. It’s impossible not to sympathize with poor Wilhemina who has nothing but her father’s money going for her and not to root for her to develop some spunk in dealing with others.

A three-heart book contains some good features, some not so good features, nothing really special but nothing really dreadful either, and that pretty much describes Some Girls Do. For those who are looking for something easy to read that won’t require much emotional investment, or for those who are usually more comfortable with category romances, this a contemporary that may appeal.

--Lesley Dunlap

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