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Story: When an unfortunate twist of fate leaves 28 year-old socialite Leslee Robinson broken-hearted and unemployed, she embarks on a journey to discover what boggles every twenty-something single woman’s mind: What do men REALLY want and how do you find the perfect mate? With the help of her two best friends; Annie, a self-conscious, sarcastic single mother; and Karen, the neurotic, perfectionist ‘bridezilla,’ Leslee creates The BACHELORETTE Project, a ‘scientific’ dating experiment designed to uncover the enigma of the male species.
After multiple dates gone awry and unanticipated encounters of the extreme, Leslee decides to confide in the last person that she’d ever consider asking dating advice from: Eric, her handsome, womanizing college friend with a well-known ‘love ‘em and leave ‘em’ reputation. Aside from Eric’s infamous bachelor tactics, Leslee can’t help but to be oddly attracted to him, but will pursuing the charming, ‘bad boy’ philanderer that Eric is even be worth the risk?
With unbelievable twists and a contemporary, comedic Chick-Lit feel, The BACHELORETTE Project is the chronicle of a single woman’s journey to finding true friendship, discovering herself, and learning the enigma of love down to a science.
Thoughts and impressions: I came up against some problems when getting into this book. The first and foremost was how utterly incapable I was of relating to the protagonist. She’s very materialistic, to say the least. Personally I have absolutely no interest in expensive clothes brands so reading about a character that is focused on such things is not always easy. She also felt very shallow, especially when at the very beginning her boyfriend is giving a speech and she’s thinking at him to hurry up and finish so they can go home and have sex. Maybe it’s just that I’m coming from a very different humour background, but that just didn’t work for me and it placed a wedge between me and the character.
When she loses her boyfriend and her job in one day, Leslee decides to move back to her hometown. Once there she mopes around on her best friend’s sofa for a couple of months before she’s forced to start pulling herself together. The story only actually focuses on her obsession with getting her romantic life back on track. There is no interest in her professional life. In fact, it gets completely ignored until towards the end she goes for one job and gets it immediately with no problems. There wasn’t enough balance here for me, especially as she admits that she only has $400 in her account when she arrives (and somehow manages to pay for endless taxi rides). I needed to see more of her worrying about her finances and her professional standing, and not just her attempts to secure herself a new man.
Her dating experiment was an original idea. I didn’t really feel that the basic idea was really worked on. The idea was to go on a series of dates, employing different techniques on each to try to find out what a man wants from a woman. Well, she did go on a series of dates and most of them led to some laugh out loud moments, but it didn’t feel like she was actually trying to do things differently each time. It was more like she reacted on instinct a lot of the time.
She roped in a friend to help her with this. Unfortunately I felt that this showed just how shallow she was. The only time she really showed any interest in this friend, Annie, was when she needed something from her to do with this BACHELORETTE project. As soon as she dropped the experiment, she dropped the friend as well and, at the end, admits to not having seen her in months. I did rather like Annie, though. She was more grounded in a group of other characters that were just weird at times (even if that weirdness did lead to laughs at times).
I also felt that Eric was not really given enough attention. I didn’t feel the relationship between them growing. There were some interactions between them and then a couple of hints at his interest in her, her potential interest in him… and then she got drunk and things get physical. This would have been a great opportunity to work on growing Eric’s character but instead he disappears and Leslee starts going on a few dates with someone else. I wanted to get to know Eric better. From the synopsis, I expected there to be more focus on him and her fighting her feelings for him.
The book wasn’t in anyway bad. It was a well-imagined plot that’s not really anything new in the chick lit genre but entertaining in its own right. I simply felt that the book focused on too much on certain things that were not as necessary and didn’t give enough time of day to other things that needed to be developed more.
Style: Some problems here and there but nothing that would potentially drive to distraction.
Final verdict: The story didn’t blow me away but I enjoyed it for what it was. 3.5 stars
Extra notes: bad language is present. Sex takes place but it’s not described in detail and the scene cuts before anything really happens.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*
I follow Mark to his house from the bar. We pull up to this very quaint brick rancher with a gigantic front yard and half groomed bushes and trees spread about. There is nothing spectacular about Mark’s house. It’s … well, very plain actually. It’s not a dream house nor a McMansion. It’s as ordinary as ordinary can be. Yup, I think to myself, this will definitely be a booty call. I can’t even imagine living in a house like this. It doesn’t scream RICH and FABULOUS the way I would want a house to scream. I imagine that my future husband will have a fantastic two-story house with a classy cobblestone driveway and this breathtaking garden with white roses and lilacs growing in effigy. Yeah, maybe I need to leave this dream world of mine and face reality. I could very well fall in love with a man who lives in a rancher or worse, a motorhome.
I park Karen’s car in front of his house. He walks over and opens the car door for me. “So, this is it,” Mark says as I exit the car. “This is my home.”
“It’s very nice,” I reply politely. So what if I lie? Don’t act like you’ve never done it.
“Yeah, I’m not home a lot because of work and all,” he tells me. You can say that again, I think to myself. Who in the world doesn’t make sure that their hedges are cut? Who doesn’t mow their own lawn? There’s a solution to this scenario and it’s called hiring a landscaper.
“That … sucks,” I blurt out. I couldn’t think of a good word to use. It seems that most of our conversation topics were used up at the bar. Maybe it’s a good thing, though. Less talk, MORE ACTION!
I hold on to his arm as we walk to his front door. I place my head onto his shoulder devouring the exotic scent of his cologne. I’m in heaven. I decide to go in for the kill. Before I know, I’m stopping him in his tracks and planting the most passionate kiss on his lips, taking his breath away. He looks stunned, in a good way of course.
“What was that for?” he asks.
“For being the sexiest man that I’ve ever met,” I say slyly. “I can’t wait to see the inside of your house, mainly your bedroom.” I slowly move my hand under his shirt touching his finely-chiseled abs. Mark becomes speechless.
“I, um, yeah,” he stutters in shock. “Yeah, you can see the bedroom,” he says eagerly and rushes me to the front door. “Let’s, um, do that!” He opens the door and pulls me inside. I push him against the closest wall and begin to kiss on his neck. “You still,” GROAN! “Want that … oh, God! Coffee?”
“Not … right … now,” I say between breaths as I pull anxiously on the top of his jeans. I then feel something rubbing against the bottom of my leg and I jump.
“What is it?” Mark asks with his eyes closed.
“Your dog,” I reply. The dog continuously jumps on my leg and I laugh. “He’s a cute dog.” A little brown, furry thing. His dog is the most adorable pocketbook dog that I’ve ever seen.
“Let me put him in the guest room,” Mark tells me. “I’ll be right back.” He directs me to his couch. “Have a seat. I have a surprise for you.”
“Already?” I ask. I doubt it’s diamonds. After all, we just met. Maybe it’s a very fine Chardonnay of some sort. A girl can wonder.
“Let’s just say I like to set the mood,” he says then winks. He walks away with the dog.
OK, I think to myself as I take a look around the living room. It’s your typical man-home equipped with a gargantuan-sized flat screen TV, an X-Box, surround sound speakers, an overly technical stereo, a wooden coffee table with absolutely nothing on it, and a wide collection of DVDs and video games. One thing’s for certain, he has a clean home that doesn’t smell funny. That has to be a plus, right?
“Leslee?” I hear Mark say seductively a few feet behind me.
“Yes?” I ask without turning around assuming that any second now he’ll be the one kissing my neck. He claps twice and the room darkens. The sound of house music blares from the speakers and white strobe lights begin to flicker within the room. What … the … fuck? “Um, Mark?” I ask. “What is going on?” I hear him breathing heavily behind me and I begin to panic a little.
“There’s one thing that I didn’t tell you at the bar,” he says and I’m so afraid to turn around. Where the hell did I put my Mace?!
“And, um, what’s that?” I ask. Now I’m speechless! What in the world is about to happen? Should I be praying?
I feel him licking on the back of my neck and I shiver. “I’m a dancer,” he says.
“You mean like Cabaret dancing, Riverdancing, what?” I ask as my body shakes. I have no clue what he’s talking about nor do I want to. “You dance the Tango?” I guess. “Waltz? Tap? Ballet?” I ask quickly.
“No,” he says and laughs. “I … am … SUPERMAN!” he shouts as he leaps over the couch and jumps onto the coffee table wearing a Superman thong and a red cape all while holding a glowstick in each hand. Oh … my … God, I think to myself. Is this really happening? My libido has gone from roaring and ready-to-go to temporarily shutting down for the night. Is he serious?
Mark throws his arms in the air and freezes into some sort of funny, galactic pose. The music stops for a second and his eyes widen. Dramatic effect, I guess?
He throws off the cape and begins to thrust his pelvis forward. The music seems to get louder and louder, and I become more and more anxious to run.
“Accountant by day,” Mark yells, “private dancer by night, baby!” He then leaps off the table and jumps on my lap, humping me like some overly anxious teenage boy. I cringe. This is not how I imagined my night … not at all.
“Maybe I should go,” I say with fear in my voice. “I, um, have to get up really early for Pilates and I …” I’m lost in thought. Why do these things always happen to me?!
“You like this body?” he asks as he breaths heavily into my face.
“Um, sometimes?” I say in the form of a question. “I don’t know?”
“You like this rock-hard ass?” he asks as he stands on the floor and bends over.
“I, um, it’s getting late. I should go,” I say in a rush and grab my purse. I try to stand up but he pushes me back on the couch. Kick to the crotch NOW? I ask myself but too frightened to move.
“Grab my ass,” he instructs me. Apparently there’s no shame in his game.
“Oh, no. I really shouldn’t.”
“GRAB MY ASS, DAMNIT!” he yells.
“OK, OK!” I yell back as I grab his left buttock. For some people, this would be the ultimate turn on, being dominated by a man in a Superman thong, but to me, not so much. I hold on to his butt cheek for dear life as his eyes roll into the back of his head. He looks just like a man who’s just cum. How is he getting aroused by this? Is this some sort of crazy Superman butt fetish that I wasn’t informed about? I have to get out of here!
“Ooooooh!” he groans loudly, then slowly his knees buckle and his body drops to the floor. He doesn’t move.
“Mark?” I say. He resembles a dead fish: pale, non-mobile, sickly looking. I clap twice to turn on the lights. “Mark, are you OK?” I ask as I stand over him and let my foot give his limp body a little nudge. He doesn’t respond. Oh fuck! I think I killed him! I grab his shoulders and shake him. “Mark, get up!” I yell. He lays still. “You can’t be dead!” I whimper pathetically as I smack his face. Sadly, part of me wants to take off the thongs and sneak a peek at the goods, another part of me wants to roll him on to his front yard for his neighbors to see what type of freak they live next to, but the part of me that’s telling me to leave quietly and quickly has hands down gotten my vote.
I slowly grab my purse and head to the door as his dog walks out into the living room and begins to lick on Mark’s face. The secrets that the dog could tell me are probably endless. Should I just steal the dog? No, Leslee, you can’t, I tell myself, then again …
“Since I obviously can’t have the man, I guess I’ll settle for man’s best friend,” I say aloud. The dog pauses from licking Mark’s face and runs toward me, jumping into my arms. The dog just looks at me. “What?” I ask him. “Would you rather be adopted by a woman with fabulous taste or would you rather be an orphan?” The dog looks down and whimpers. “Yeah, I thought so,” I say as I walk out of Mark’s house quietly. Another date, another disaster, but this time I leave with the cutest, most adorable partying gift ever: my new dog.
Tami Anthony is an author, a playwright, and the beautiful mind behind Pink Butterfly Publications, a publishing company devoted to female-driven literature. She is a graduate of Rutgers University with a Bachelor’s in English Literature and Theatre Arts. Tami presently resides outside of Philadelphia with her son and is currently working on her second novel and future plays.
Twitter - @ tami_anthony