Call Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, so of course I wanted to read the sequel. By the way, if you're reading this I'll assume you have read the first book. In a nutshell, Lucy Jorik, the adopted daughter of the a former U.S. president, runs out on her fiance Ted Beaudine on their wedding day. Everyone is left to wonder why. Call Me Irresistible was Meg's story, now we get Lucy's point of view in The Great Escape.
I liked the idea of getting Lucy's point of view. By the end of Call Me Irresistible you know Lucy is in a better place, but you don't know how she got to that point. Why did she run out on Ted? It seemed like such an impulsive act for a 31-year-old woman. Maybe if she was younger, but at 31 aren't you supposed to be more mature than that? It's great that Lucy realized marrying Ted would be a huge mistake, but she probably should have figured that out sooner. Ted is everything a woman could want, handsome, rich, from a good family, and of course he's PERFECT. But does Lucy really want perfection? Of course not.
Lucy runs off without a plan or money. She runs into the mysterious biker Panda. Yes, you read that right a grown man nicknamed Panda. He's a "friend" of Ted's, and helps Lucy run from not just Ted but reality. They clash constantly. She can barely get a few words out of him. It's hard to break through his thick exterior. He doesn't want to reveal anything personal. He tries to make Lucy afraid of him, so she will run off back to her rich parents. But Lucy can't go back, not yet. Going back to a normal life would force Lucy to face her problems. Of course there is a lot of sexual tension between Lucy and Panda. They could give into their feelings. But what about all the complications that come with romance? Well it's a good thing Lucy and Panda convince themselves what they have isn't a romance. Yeah right!!
Panda is really Patrick Shade, a former Army vet and police officer Lucy's parents hired to look after her. When Lucy realizes that she is furious. Was anything with him real? Was he with her simply because he was paid to? Lucy runs off again, but not far from Panda. She ends up taking over his vacation home. This is where the book got a little too convoluted for my tastes. If the plot was just Panda, Lucy, and a few minor characters, it would have been fine. But there are several subplots, and they take away from Lucy's storyline. There's Bree, a white woman who has returned to the glory of her youth, and her mixed race 12-year-old charge Toby. Why do I bring up race? A big deal is made about it in the book. Bree is rebounding from divorce, at the same time she is made the guardian over the grandchild of a long-time family friend. Bree and Toby alone could have carried their own book. Then Panda returns with a client in tow, Temple Renshaw, a demanding reality TV star. I didn't like Temple at all. She came across as the typical spoiled and entitled reality starlet. Yet Lucy finds the good in her, and as readers we are supposed to as well. Quite frankly, I did not. I don't think her character was necessary, but I guess as a plot device Temple was necessary. Without her how would Panda and Lucy have been able to reconnect?
Overall, there were some things I liked and some things I didn't. The ending felt a little awkward and rushed. But I loved Lucy and Panda's chemistry. Right off the bat, they sounded like an old married couple. They can crack jokes on each other. They can be rude to each other. They can pretend to not like each other. But you know all of this is in the name of love.
Rating: Give it a try
Note: I received a copy of the book from the publisher (HarperCollins) as part of a blog tour with TLC Book Tours