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The Seduction of Jake Tallman by Cait London
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The Seduction of Jake Tallman

by Cait London

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Morganna Larrimore is a CEO on a wilderness bonding trip with her executives... only the weather's gone sour and all the executives have abandoned her. But Morganna is determined not to quit.

Jake Tallman is a rancher, and is off to rescue Morganna whether she wants it or not, as a favor to her father, who confides in Jake that her life has been threatened, and he wants Jake to keep her under wraps until the bad guy's caught.

It sounds like a decent premise, right? And it would be, except that Morganna's not tough and determined--she's just a stupid, stubborn bitch. It's not a matter of being too proud to accept help, or being plucky and resourceful--either of those kinds of characters I could have bonded with and rooted for.

For example, a heroic type of heroine, when she's caught in bad weather with no shelter would either work her butt off building herself a shelter or graciously accept sharing someone else's, as an equal. They wouldn't condescend to share shelter, insult their rescuer, and then proceed to get their borrowed clothes all soaked.

Mostly, Morganna seemed a bit like a surly alien. It's like everything she knew, she learned from a book. The book said wilderness trips foster community in the workplace, and she's baffled when the executives aren't thrilled. All her reactions are just a bit off like that. It got worse when she arrived at Jake's ranch, and found the ranch & household chores to be novelties, and seemed confused that she was expected to pick up after herself. She was like a... dumber version of Paris Hilton in "The Simple Life". That bad. She wasn't snobbish or spoiled, she was confused.

It really made me wonder how effective of a CEO she actually was--I suspected that her father was the real head of the company and Morganna just had the title for show, because a truly successful CEO would have to either be flexible, or be willing to trust their employees, neither of which was true of Morganna.

Truly, it would have made much more sense, and I'd certainly have liked the book better, if it turned out she'd been an alien, or raised by wolves or something.

Jake was the usual bland "romance hero"--a rancher, and the obligatory Native American "half-breed" so beloved of romance readers. He seems mildly frustrated by her antics, but doesn't do much about it, and is perfectly content to play along with her delusions of intelligence and competence. About 2/3 of the way through the book, we're informed that he's in love with her. How and why this ocurred is unexplained. Possibly because it's inexplicable. Maybe that mysterious Love Fog enveloped them and so now they're "in love."

Jake does have a hobby that's supposed to endear him to us--he carves little animals and records tapes for blind children. Which would be nice, but it's not followed up on. It's never explained, and even more oddly, nothing is made of the fact that Morganna had heard his tapes before she met him.

Gah. This book is from 1993. I'm glad I didn't read it then--it would have confirmed the opinion I had of romance at that time. Now, at least, I know better, and am not as prone to generalizations. ( )
  Darla | Nov 20, 2008 |
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MR. OCTOBER

Brooding Man: Rancher Jake Tallman, who had better things to do than teach Ms. Morganna Larrimore the difference between a twig and a rattlesnake.
Greenhorn Woman: CEO Morganna Larrimore, who couldn't think of ANYTHING better to do than ruin Jake's day!
First Fight: Within five minutes of meeting each other.

Corporate dragon lady Morganna Larrimore was used to silk sheets and secretaries, so her attempt at "bonding with nature" on Big Thorn Mountain was just plain dangerous. But since Jake Tallman knew the only way to get her to safety was to challenge her to something tougher, he told her she wouldn't last one hour working on his ranch. And that was how the rescue of Morganna Larrimore slowly turned into the seduction of Jake Tallman....
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