Going to the Castle

The Princeís Tutor

 
One Bachelor To Go
by Nicole Burnham
(Silh. Romance #1706, $3.99, PG) ISBN 0-373-19706-3
***

One Bachelor To Go is a fitting conclusion to the Marrying the Bossís Daughter series and nicely ties up all the loose ends. This is actually the bossís daughterís story and the last single executive left standing.

The series premise is that the owner of Wintersoft Software, Lloyd Winter, wants to marry off his only daughter, a senior vice president, so that she and her husband can share in the company. Emily Winter always has assumed her father wanted a son, and this is his way of getting one. So Emily and Lloydís able executive assistant Carmella, have conspired to marry off all the senior vice presidents, so they are no longer eligible for Emily. They have been successful so far, but Jack Devon is a mystery. Nothing in his personnel record has given them a clue about his taste in women or his likes or dislikes. He generally keeps to himself, so even their personal knowledge hasnít helped them find the right match for him.

There is a sudden last minute opening at the big trade show in Reno so Jack (head of Business Development) and Emily (head of Sales) are the obvious choices to go. This means they have five days in Reno working in close quarters. And Lloyd arranges for them to stay in his ski vacation lodge rather than in a hotel.

The attraction heats up. But Emily is fearful that Jack will discover her matchmaking scheme, and think she is out to marry him off. Jack, meanwhile, fights his attraction to Emily, not because she is the bossís daughter, but because of his past. His father ruined the family due to a gambling addiction, and Jack is convinced that he will end up the same way if he ever marries. Add in a great day of skiing, some hot and heavy petting, some truth telling on both of their parts, a customer who likes Emily which creates jealousy and you have the synopsis of the rest of the story. It is fun, enjoyable and fairly predictable.

Jack is basically the tortured hero who has created a bigger monster in his head than the reality of his issue. For an otherwise hunky guy, his sense of vulnerability seems a little stretched. He has a reputation for being a ladies man, but nothing could be farther from the truth. He has always been attracted to Emily, but hid it well.

Emily is insecure, but has a big heart. In past stories she has come across as wanting to preserve her freedom, but as a woman who is competent and a go-getter. In this tale, she is a lot more vulnerable, and her intelligent business sense is almost an excuse to be around the guys. I liked her more in the previous story than in this one, but I still liked her.

However, for those following the series, (I read four of the six), the pattern is maintained and there is a decent romance hidden in the deception. This is encouraging, since different authors wrote all six stories. So, while nothing extraordinary, One Bachelor To Go is an enjoyable series ender and worth reading if you are keeping up with the Winters.

--Shirley Lyons


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