Reviewed: November 12, 2010
Genre: Light/Comedic Romance
Line: Harlequin Blaze
Rating: 4 Stars
Length: 256 Pages
Formats: Mass Market Paperback, Kindle, Nook
Three years ago being stranded alone in Vegas and lubed up on alcohol slipped the collar of respectability off stingy, staid, and prim financial planner Denise Cooke. In a whirlwind packing the punch of an F5 tornado, she met stunningly gorgeous U.S. Marine Redford DeMoss, married him at a chapel's drive through window, and spent a week celebrating his...er...assets before returning to her life in New York City while he went back to duty overseas. It didn't take long for the combination of common sense, fear, and doubt to work their far less glamorous magic on her once she was back in her own element. She filed for an annulment, put the wild week behind her, and tried to forget she'd ever heard of Redford DeMoss, let alone celebrated his very, very impressive...um...attributes with all the patriotic dedication of a war bride.
She was only partly successful.
Still, three years is quite a long time and two of those she'd spent dating the dependable, if a little lackluster, Barry. She expected to marry again...maybe...someday...and was at least content with the comfortable relationship. But thoughts of Redford intruded at the most unwelcome times, even after Barry finally proposes. Still, Denise, being the staid, logical, pragmatic and thrifty soul she is, says yes to...whats his name...and anticipates an easy, uncomplicated future. Until the IRS sends her a letter with the word every tax paying citizen in the world most fears stamped on it: audit. And if an audit isn't bad enough, the year she's being audited is the one in which she filed (with possibly just the teensiest fudges) jointly with Redford before their marriage was officially annulled. So he would be getting a letter, too. And he would be coming to NYC for the audit. She'd see him again.
Soon her staid, logical, pragmatic world is flipped upside down and feelings she had thought long gone are now surging hotly through her. It doesn't help that Redford, now out of the military, is still gorgeous and still, apparently, wants her. And here Denise thought what happened in Vegas stayed in Vegas. Oops.
Stephanie Bond has penned a fun, quick, sexy little number in My Favorite Mistake. The characters are engaging, even when they're doing less than the most upstanding of things, and Denise is such an adorable mess it would be difficult to dislike her. Rarely do you come across characters who so obviously need each other to the level that Denise so desperately needs Redford. She's a dry, boring little thing on her own. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing how attractively she comes unglued whenever Redford is in sniffing distance.
Redford is everything a male romantic lead should be - including, apparently, being impressively endowed. What's not to love about that? His attraction and caring for Denise was totally sigh worthy - the good sort of dreamy sigh that can only come from sweet fiction, and his sex appeal burned up the pages.
Yeah, okay, normally I would have a big problem with a female lead who cheats on her fiance, dumps him over the phone, and is less than honest in just about every interpersonal relationship she has, but come on, it's a Harlequin Blaze. If you're looking for serious character issues and a wealth of significant repercussions for questionable morality, you're probably in the wrong place.
My Favorite Mistake is a fun, sexy read with cute characters. It's exactly what it's supposed to be, and I enjoyed it for that reason alone. I look elsewhere for deep, meaningful reads with complex characters and complicated, thought-provoking plots. I will say this to Bond's credit, as well, she provided several secondary and ancillary characters who felt very real and whose connections to Denise felt deep and well established. I haven't read much by Bond, but I had the impression that one or two of these characters had previously been featured in their own book, because they had that sort of presence and solid backstory around them. It was touched upon just enough to potentially remind readers of such without overwhelming the lead characters' relationship development. If they haven't had their own book, then double kudos to Bond.
Enjoy it for what it is, and don't fret what it isn't supposed to be. My Favorite Mistake is just a lot of fun. And it's nice to know that sometimes what happens in Vegas can happen everywhere else. Even if it is just in books.
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