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Playboy Mass Market Paperback – 28 Feb 2003
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About the Author
New York Times bestselling author Carly Phillips is an attorney who has tossed away legal briefs in favor of writing hot, sizzling romances. Her first contemporary romance, The Bachelor, captured a spot as a "Reading with Ripa" book club pick on LIVE with Regis and Kelly. Carly currently lives in Purchase, New York, with her husband, two young daughters, and a frisky soft-coated Wheaten terrier who acts like their third child. When she's not spending time with her family, Carly is busy writing and promoting (and playing online!).
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
In The Playboy, Rick Chandler's mother is obsessed with marrying off her boys and becoming a grandmother. Later Raina admits she just wants to see her boys settled and happy as she was with their father. As a mother (or foster) of 7 boys, I can very much identify with Raina in this.
Rick and Kendall Sutton meet in an amusing scene; eye contact jolts, the sparks fly. I love the page where we find out about Kendall's woefully untalented attempt to turn her blond hair to a rich auburn the night before her wedding. It was very pink/punk when she and conservative cop Rick meet. This scene is deftly and hilariously presented, and the reader can say to herself "I've been there"! Soon Rick comes up with the idea of Kendall playing his girlfriend so his mother (and the women in town) will leave him alone.
Rick has good reasons for his fear of commitment. Kendall does not believe in the fairy tale of happy relationships with anyone. Her standard plan is to distance herself emotionally by packing up and leaving. Her character comes alive as we begin to understand her complex background; she belatedly realizes her younger sister has experienced a very similar childhood. This explains her teenage brattiness. Actually, I thought that Hannah had normal teenage brattiness with the habit of totally embarrasing her sister. Hannah is a wonderfully entertaining addition to the story at any rate.
I found the book to be not only a keeper, but a one-nighter as well. Ms. Phllips writing style focuses on her characters in the foreground, with their surroundings rather sparsely covered. In a Regency novel I would be disappointed; but in a contemporary book I like to fill in the setting with my own imagination. This is another trilogy where you want to tell the writer to hurry up already.
Kendall was engaged to Brian. On the day of their wedding they amicably called it off. They remained good friends. Kendall's Aunt Crystal recently died. Kendall went to a small town in upstate New York to sell her aunt's house. She planned to use the proceeds to travel to Arizona. Unfortunately the aunt's house needed work before it could be sold. Rick offers to help Kendall repair and paint the house in return for a favor. His mother has been sending single women to him. She wants Rick married. Rick asks Kendall to pretend to be his lover so other women and his mother would back off. Kendall agrees, and they start spending time together. Other stories include Rick's mother faking a heart condition as part of her effort to get her sons married - and Kendall's 14 year-old sister Hannah at a boarding school causing trouble.
We don't see a relationship develop; they just fall in lust immediately. The motivations and actions could have been better. Kendall didn't want to settle down, and Rick had been hurt before so he didn't want to be hurt again. There was a little too much inner monologue and pondering. I'd prefer more action, interesting situations, and interesting conversation. It was ok, but I wanted to be more surprised or delighted.
Kendall secretly craves having a family and people who love her, yet she runs from it. She was raised in boarding schools away from her parents who were usually off on archaeological digs. Now she has a man, a sister, and a dog. Her jewelry business is doing well. She's happy. But when another person does something to embarrass Kendall, she decides to throw it all away and leave town. This bothered me. It didn't seem reasonable. Most romance novels have a conflict to separate the couple near the end. This is what the author used. I wish she would have come up with something better.
Story length: 330 pages. Swearing language: moderate. Sexual language: mild. Number of sex scenes: 5. Approximate number of sex scene pages: 9. Setting: current day Yorkshire Falls, New York. Copyright: 2003. Genre: contemporary romance.