Why this one: It had a cute cover and I was in the mood for something different and I got it for a very good price
Steam Level: Nice and toasty
My preference is normally the deeper, more emotional read. But sometimes a lighter, ‘make me smile’ read is just what the doctor ordered. Such is the case with Bringing Down Sam by Leslie Kelly. I’ve read more than a few of her books that were published through Harlequin and quite enjoyed them. So when this book popped up somewhere, either for free or a greatly reduced price, I snapped it up. It was the first contemporary book I read after a slew of Westerns and was a delicious cleansing to my pallet – not that I didn’t enjoy the Western run, but a change was a nice change of pace.
Sam Kenneman writes for a column for a men’s type magazine and has also written a few self-help books for men dealing with women. His latest book was written very tongue in cheek, 101 Ways to Avoid Commitment. But the problem with writing something tongue in cheek is that sometimes people take you seriously. I’ve had this happen to me on occasion. Just about everything I write is in that vein and there has been a few times I’ve had to go back and say I wasn’t serious. So I ‘got’ the whole thing.
Unfortunately, a friend of Eve Barret, our heroine, was dumped by her boyfriend ‘cause he thought the book was serious. Eve and her friends decide to get back at Sam for what he’s caused. Eve is a former child model and gorgeous so she is the ‘bait’. She’s a high school teacher now, but the plan is she pretends to be a ditzy model, that’s the kind of girlfriend Sam’s book recommends. She will make Sam fall in love with her and then dump him to teach him a lesson. They are in luck as one of her group of friends works at the very same magazine as an editor.
But the plan is destined to fail as ‘ditzy’ is the least kind of girl he’s interested in and things get a bit complicated when he sees glimpses of an intelligent woman behind the mask Eve shows to Sam.
This could have been a book of frustrating misunderstandings that can make the reader grit their teeth, but most gratefully it isn’t. We see Sam right away as a great hero with deep seated issues dealing with a controlling father. Eve sees past the ‘public’ Sam and it doesn’t take her long at all to figure out that the book he wrote was done tongue in cheek and she begins to fall for the real Sam, just as he is falling for the real Eve. But she feels guilty because of the ‘plan’. She also has deep buried issues going back to her years as a child model with a con man for a father.
There are excerpts at the start of every chapter taken from his book and I really did get a hoot out of his ‘recommendations’ in avoiding commitment. I really, really like both Sam and Eve. They are perfect for each other and have similar issues stemming from their childhoods. They are both good people who care a lot about others close to them. They are both the kind of people I’d love as friends. There is no Big M thank goodness. I read much of the book with a smile on my face thinking “I like this book, I really do.”
There is another book in the series that just came out May 1 and deals with Sam’s half-brother who has a cameo in this one and one of the group of Eve’s friends. Of course I had to get it.If you are a fan of light-hearted, fun contemporaries, then no question, this is a book you should enjoy
Grade: 4 out of 5