The Determined Groom

The Millionaire Takes a Bride

Tall, Dark & Cranky

A Bachelor at the Wedding
by Kate Little
(Silh. Sp. Ed. #1746, $4.99, PG-13) ISBN 0373-24746-X
It is always a little tricky when a young professional woman is about to be the last of the unmarried daughters in an Italian family, especially if she is the oldest daughter. It is also a little tricky when said daughter just broke up with a boyfriend of four years (who also happens to be a friend of the family ) because there is no real spark. It is especially tricky when said intelligent woman gets the hots for her boss and decides to have an affair with him and then gets her feelings hurt when he acts as if she is just a one night stand.

A Bachelor at the Wedding can be summed up by those things and a few other standard clichés that abound in category romance. Despite all that, it is a nice little book to while away a few hours.

Stephanie Rossi has worked for the hotel business and is a hard worker behind the scenes. She grew up in Brooklyn in a nice Italian family. It is a loving family, but her father is seriously behind the times. He thinks women should be married with children and doesn’t understand her need for a career and independence. When the CEO’s assistant had to take emergency leave, Stephanie was suggested as a good replacement. She was excited for the opportunity but nervous about working with good looking Matthew Harding, who has a reputation for womanizing and ruthlessness in business.

Matthew was born with a silver spoon, but had to work hard to build his business thanks to his father’s lack of business acumen. While privileged in one sense, he is a self-made man on the other hand. And he has never been as attracted so instantaneously as when he meets Stephanie. So he treats her like a nuisance and keeps the charm to himself as a protective device, figuring he can keep her at arms length that way. The plan works until he gets a call one night from his properties on the Florida Keys that require his presence. His brand new hotel is open and the staff just went on strike. He needs to get down there to negotiate the deal while figuring out how to keep the place running. He engineers Stephanie to come along with him to run the operations side.

So here they are and there is water, wind, sand and beds. After a one night stand, which turns into a week long vacation together, things get extremely complicated. Some of the complications are their feelings, their fears of commitment, their different backgrounds, Stephanie’s conniving elderly grandmother and her all-too-helpful family. Can all these things work towards their happily ever after?

There are a tad too many clichés here to be a really good book. But the writing is smooth and the two characters parlay their banter into a nice romance. The sexual tension is high and the action is hot. However, I cringe when there is office romance and especially when the power differential is between a CEO and an employee. It made me struggle with accepting their romance as a good thing, even though I liked their chemistry. The meddling grandma is too convenient. While the title talks about the wedding of Stephanie’s sister, we don’t actually get to go there. We know it is coming and then we see the pair after the fact. I found that to be a little off kilter, since the build up was so high.

A Bachelor at the Wedding is an entertaining way to spend a few hours, but it doesn’t break any new ground and is easily forgotten when one is done.

--Shirley Lyons

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