Compromising Positions

Loving Mariah

I'll Be Seeing You

It Had to Be You

Saving Susannah

Ten Ways to Win Her Man
by Beverly Bird
(Silh. Romance #1550, $3.99, G) ISBN 0-373-19550-8
I almost never read Silhouette Romances but I always read Beverly Bird. Hence, I couldn’t resist this book on my weekly trip to the bookstore. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but liked what I found: a modern fairy tale. It was just what I needed to take my mind off everything and provided me with a couple of hours of sheer escapism.

Danielle Harrington is the CEO of a major real estate development company. She inherited the company and lots of money from her husband. Her latest project is building a multi-million dollar resort on a lovely stretch of the Pacific beach known as the Gold Coast.

Maxwell Padgett is the director of the Coalition for Wildlife, Fields and Streams. He and his best friend, Senator Stan Roberson, are leaders in the environmental movement. Stan’s platform includes preserving the coast from rampant development. Max’s goal is to stop Danielle’s hotel in order to save the semipalmated plover, an endangered species who nest on the Gold Coast.

The two meet when Max comes to Danielle’s office to plead the tiny birds’ case. Danielle is stunned by the impact her handsome adversary has on her senses. She decides that she wants Max and sets out to get him. But Dani - as Max calls her - has little idea how to attract a man. Her husband had been twenty years older and theirs had been more of a business partnership than a romance. But a Stanford MBA knows how to conduct a campaign: research the topic, make a plan, and carry it out.

Max is equally taken with the brainy CEO, but he had spent his childhood and youth in a series of foster homes and does not believe in love and commitment. Still, he enjoys Dani’s efforts to carry out her plan and finds her a fascinating combination of shrewdness and naiveté.

There is nothing at all original about Ten Ways to Win Her Man. It’s a pretty standard category romance with its heroine who has never really known love and passion and its hero who doesn’t believe in “happily ever after.” But Bird knows how to tell a story and she mixes humor and poignant moments in a enjoyable blend.

The fact that their romance is complicated by their being adversaries over the fate of the semipalmated plover adds interest to the tale, even if the outcome is a foregone conclusion. We just know that Dani won’t be able to hurt the cute little critters.

Fairy tale sums up Ten Ways to Win Her Man. So if you are looking for pure escapism - and who isn’t these days - Bird’s first Silhouette Romance is a good bet.

--Jean Mason

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