Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Irresistible by Susan Mallery

Susan Mallery has been rather hit or miss for me. I read and enjoyed Delicious (B+) but I disliked the last book in the Marcelli family series, The Marcelli Bride (C-).

Delicious and Irresistible are the first and second books in the Buchanan family series. The Buchanans are a likeable family of 3 brothers and a sister (Walker, Cal, Reid, and Dani) but grandma is one evil bitch. The book is set in Seattle where the Buchanan family owns three restaurants. I love books set in Seattle since I live in a nearby suburb and I like to see if the author gets the landmarks right. Mallery has done her homework because everything seems correct.

Walker Buchanan returns to Seattle after 15 years as a Marine and he has a number of secrets. He is on a mission to find the girlfriend of his buddy who took a bullet for him leaving him with guilt and nightmares. Walker has sworn off women partly because he is still feeling guilt over the way he treated his first love after learning she had breast cancer many years before. Elissa Towers has sworn off men and also has a number of secrets laced with some guilt. She is a single mom raising a 5 year old named Zoe and is barely scraping by. When Elissa's car develops a flat tire her reclusive neighbor, Walker, buys her a new tire. In exchange Elissa offers to fix meals for him and they both fight their growing attraction.

Both Walker and Elissa were solid characters and their problems were realistically portrayed. There were some emotional moments when Elissa is reunited with her estranged family and I was pleased to see that there was no quick convenient solution. Elissa and her parents had hurt each other and they worked through those hurts in the course of the book in a realistic way. Walker's grandma, Gloria Buchanan who is the matriarch of the family and runs the family restaurant business with an iron fist, has a heart attack and when she falls, breaks her hip. Gloria is one mean old lady hated by her family (except Reid) and a bit over the top.

This is a character driven story and I enjoyed reading how both Walker and Elissa deal with a mass of problems which kept me turning the pages. Walker and Elissa fight their attraction for a bit longer than I like and Elissa does something to distract Walker when he gets too close that I found rather distasteful. The dialogue was quick but rather emotionless at times and Walker would have been a better character if he had shown more emotion. Children can be rather distracting for me but Zoe was not overplayed and added a nice touch. I look forward to the next book in the series titled Sizzling (Reid's story) due out January 2007. I'm curious to see what becomes of lady-killer Reid Buchanan. The 4th book titled Tempting (Dani's story) is due out July 2007.

My grade: B

7 comments:

Kristie (J) said...

I wasn't as keen on this one as I was on Delicious. It started out good, but then - I don't know - just seemed to lose something along the way for me. But I'm really looking forward to Ried's book. From the preview, it looks like he get's taken down a few notches :)

Tara Marie said...

I'm the opposite of Kristie on this one, I liked this one more than the first, but I liked the main characters more. Completely looking forward to Reid's book and poor Dani deserves a break.

"grandma is one evil bitch"--this is my biggest problem with this series, can the woman be more evil, obnoxious and over the top. Are there people really this horrible in real life??

Kyahgirl said...

Hi Renée. I haven't read these books but I'm interested in your reviews because I'm still looking for some contempory romance to really love. For some reason it seems that the historicals usually have more depth and complexity and appeal to me more but I periodically keep trying different contemporary authors when I see them at the library.
BTW, I read A Rose at Midnight, you asked to know how I liked it....I loved it. Definitely a keeper.

ReneeW said...

Kristie: Yes, I liked Delicious slightly better than this one. I agree with you about Reid. I think the heroine is probably Lori, the nurse he hired for grandma who is not impressed with him. We'll see.

Tara: Yup, grandma was way over the top. But I figure Mallery has plans for this character in the next two books to turn her into something warm and fuzzy. I just hope it's realistic and not sappy.

Kyahgirl: woohoo! I'm glad you liked ARAM. Wasn't it wonderful. It seems that many contemporary books are rather light and fluffy but there are some with more depth and complexity. Linda Howard and Anne Stuart are a couple of my favorites but they are more romanntic suspense than contemporary. For straight contemporary I like SEP and Crusie. Hmm, I'll try to think of some others.

Kyahgirl said...

Thanks Renee. I do have a couple of Cruisie's which I've really enjoyed (Bet me and Welcome to Temptation). The only contemporary of Stuart's that I've read is Black ice. Taht was good. Thanks for the recs!

Valeen said...

I've heard alot about this author but I haven't actually picked up anything by her yet.

I may try this one!

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

I've got to tell you I'm a Susan Mallery fan and this book after I got into it was great. However, I agree it started out slow but I still would rate it five stars based on storyline, family issues, sensuality, and humor and intrigue......wondering about the family. Also, a tribute to our service men.

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