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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Seduction of Jake Tallman

The Seduction of Jake Tallman by Cait London. Contemporary romance.

This is one of those books I picked up at a flea market at 5/$1. Which made it almost worth the money.

Morganna Larrimore is a CEO on a wilderness bonding trip with her executives... only the weather's gone sour and all the executives have abandoned her. But Morganna is determined not to quit.

Jake Tallman is a rancher, and is off to rescue Morganna whether she wants it or not, as a favor to her father, who confides in Jake that her life has been threatened, and he wants Jake to keep her under wraps until the bad guy's caught.

It sounds like a decent premise, right? And it would be, except that Morganna's not tough and determined--she's just a stupid, stubborn bitch. It's not a matter of being too proud to accept help, or being plucky and resourceful--either of those kinds of characters I could have bonded with and rooted for.

For example, a heroic type of heroine, when she's caught in bad weather with no shelter would either work her butt off building herself a shelter or graciously accept sharing someone else's, as an equal. They wouldn't condescend to share shelter, insult their rescuer, and then proceed to get their borrowed clothes all soaked.

Mostly, Morganna seemed a bit like a surly alien. It's like everything she knew, she learned from a book. The book said wilderness trips foster community in the workplace, and she's baffled when the executives aren't thrilled. All her reactions are just a bit off like that. It got worse when she arrived at Jake's ranch, and found the ranch & household chores to be novelties, and seemed confused that she was expected to pick up after herself. She was like a... dumber version of Paris Hilton in "The Simple Life". That bad. She wasn't snobbish or spoiled, she was confused.

It really made me wonder how effective of a CEO she actually was--I suspected that her father was the real head of the company and Morganna just had the title for show, because a truly successful CEO would have to either be flexible, or be willing to trust their employees, neither of which was true of Morganna.

Truly, it would have made much more sense, and I'd certainly have liked the book better, if it turned out she'd been an alien, or raised by wolves or something.

Jake was the usual bland "romance hero"--a rancher, and the obligatory Native American "half-breed" so beloved of romance readers. He seems mildly frustrated by her antics, but doesn't do much about it, and is perfectly content to play along with her delusions of intelligence and competence. About 2/3 of the way through the book, we're informed that he's in love with her. How and why this ocurred is unexplained. Possibly because it's inexplicable. Maybe that mysterious Love Fog enveloped them and so now they're "in love."

Jake does have a hobby that's supposed to endear him to us--he carves little animals and records tapes for blind children. Which would be nice, but it's not followed up on. It's never explained, and even more oddly, nothing is made of the fact that Morganna had heard his tapes before she met him.

Gah. This book is from 1993. I'm glad I didn't read it then--it would have confirmed the opinion I had of romance at that time. Now, at least, I know better, and am not as prone to generalizations.


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You're hysterical. And this sounds completely awful.
I've read several books where I get frustrated with the hero because I have no idea how he fell in love with the heroin.. a completely obnoxious brat.
It is actually possible to enjoy this book--you just have to turn off you critical reader, which is harder and harder for me to do.

For instance, the scenes with Morganna being clueless about things like irons are pretty funny, if you can keep from asking yourself why she's so stupid.

One of the drawbacks to reading so much.
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