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Review for SEP Hero Blog-Along: CALL ME IRRESISTIBLE by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Wynette, Texas #6)

Book two of the blog-along. Next week, SEP’s latest–HEROES ARE MY WEAKNESS. (Squee!)

Call Me Irresistible
by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Synopsis:

R.S.V.P. to the most riotous wedding of the year . . . 

Lucy Jorik is the daughter of a former president of the United States. 

Meg Koranda is the offspring of legends. 

One of them is about to marry Mr. Irresistible—Ted Beaudine—the favorite son of Wynette, Texas. The other is not happy about it and is determined to save her friend from a mess of heartache. 

But even though Meg knows that breaking up her best friend’s wedding is the right thing to do, no one else seems to agree. Faster than Lucy can say “I don’t,” Meg becomes the most hated woman in town—a town she’s stuck in with a dead car, an empty wallet, and a very angry bridegroom. Broke, stranded, and without her famous parents at her back, Meg is sure she can survive on her own wits. What’s the worst that can happen? Lose her heart to the one and only Mr. Irresistible? Not likely. Not likely at all.

Review:

Call Me Irresistible isn’t always an easy read. (I should know, since I’ve read it three times so far. Okay, so I read it once and listened to it twice–details.) There are things I love about this book, things that are just okay, and things I have a hard time with. Luckily, there’s a fantastic ending that makes up for a lot of what has happened before it–really, a lot of my four star rating rests on the strength of that kick-butt conclusion.

What I loved:

-Ted. It’s a close call, but the last quarter or so of the book really saves him for me. When he finally starts acting heroic (what he does out at the landfill in front of the whole town–can’t say any more because I don’t want to have spoilers) I had a hard time putting the book aside to do the things I had to get done. When we finally see things from his POV at the end is when he really won me over to his side for good. (When he tries over and over again to “please” Meg was pretty funny too, though. Lucky woman. Poor, frustrated man.)

-The birds, halos, trumpeted Alleluia chorus, etc. whenever Ted was around. Made me giggle every time. (Though Meg’s right–it would be darn creepy in real life. In a book it’s amusing, however.)

-Meg’s jewelry making. I just love the descriptions of the things she made and how she went about putting such interesting components together. It always makes me want to pull out my beads, wires, and tools and get busy.

-Zoe’s horrendous elementary-student-made jewelry. Too funny. As a parent and teacher, I can totally relate.

-Meg’s overall resourcefulness. Even though the entire town of Wynette tried, they couldn’t keep her down. Her money making ideas, how she kept herself clothed and “her” church furnished–all very commendable. It went pretty far in making up for the really negative self image she had for 97% of the book.

-Meg and Ted’s banter. Meg especially has some fantastic comebacks.

-The ending. Almost makes me forget about the earlier things that drove me crazy. (Almost.)

What bothered me:

-Ted. We don’t see things from his POV until the very end, and for a lot of the book before that we have no idea why the heck he’s doing and saying the things he is doing and saying. His dry snarkiness is something I’ve always appreciated, but for most of the book he comes off as an unfeeling robot. If we could have seen things from his POV earlier, I think I would have liked him a lot more for a bigger chunk of the book.

-The people of Wynette. What. The. Heck? At first, the descriptions of the wedding souvenirs was entertaining, and their comments to Lucy about Ted’s awesomeness was mildly amusing. But their single-minded hate campaign against Meg? Their feeling that she owes them anything at all (seriously, why??) and must practically prostitute herself to get them their golf resort? No. Way.

-Ted’s former fiance being so giddy about giving her best friend permission to sleep with him. “Every woman should have Ted Beaudine make love to her”? Really?? Ew.

-That Lucy’s mother, who I loved in First Lady, could be so harsh towards Meg, her daughter’s best friend since forever. Which leads me to…

-Everyone on the planet blaming Meg for the wedding not happening. Okay, I get the first knee-jerk reaction. But to keep it up? Honestly, Meg didn’t have a gun to Lucy’s head; Lucy made her own decisions and did the deed herself. Yet no one held her accountable.

-Meg’s self image is really, really low for much longer than it felt like it should have been. Why did no one see this? Bothered me…

Overall, though there are points during the re-reading that made me question my sanity when I first rated this book, the ending keeps bringing me back. Ted and Meg are a perfect example of opposites attracting, and the enemies-to-lovers troupe–one of my favorites–is ultimately well done here. SEP’s Wynette, Texas series is a mixed bag for me–I like some of the books more than others–in the end, this one remains on the positive side of the spectrum.

Because–did I mention it’s a very satisfying ending? Just the right amount of hero grovelling. 😉

(The audio version is well done, BTW–the narrator has a good ear for accents and does a decent male voice. I still miss Anna Fields, though…sigh.)

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