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The Care and Feeding of Unmarried Men (edition 2006)

by Christie Ridgway

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78None153,407 (3.78)1
Member:jjmachshev
Title:The Care and Feeding of Unmarried Men
Authors:Christie Ridgway
Info:Avon (2006), Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:romance, gone

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The Care and Feeding of Unmarried Men by Christie Ridgway

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Christie Ridgway has become a go-to for excellent contemporary romances. When I saw this in the UBS the last time I was there I decided to pick it up. I'm glad I did.

At first I wasn't sure about Eve's character. It's obvious she's shallow and is used to using her looks to get her what she wants. But I was never turned off by her, I guess because I recognized her actions for what they were - defense mechanisms.

Nash I liked right from the beginning. He was the perfect counterbalance for Eve. He didn't let her get away with anything. He constantly called her on her behavior and teased her about her sexual escapades.

( )
  cranberrytarts | Sep 22, 2013 |
On a recent plane ride back from San Diego to Dallas, I decided to crack open Christie Ridgway's The Care and Feeding of Unmarried Men. As you've probably figured out by now, I've been on a bit of a Ridway kick ever since I discovered Must Love Mistletoe late last year. Since this was the only other Ridgway novel my local Books A Million had stocked at the time, I decided to go ahead and pick it up, despite the fact that it was the second in a trilogy about the Caruso sisters.

Despite the fact that this book is the second in a trilogy, I had absolutely no problem keeping up with the plot or keeping track of the different family members.

And there are a lot of family members. Afterall, the Carusos are Southern California's elite mob family.

Eve is the middle Caruso daughter, and unlike her older sister Tea relishes being a part of a mob family. Why? Well, it helps her to get into a lot of Hollywood and Palm Springs parties that she otherwise might not have been able to get into.

See, Eve writes a column for the Palm Springs newspaper titled "Party Girl." Combine that with her family and her blonde bombshell looks, and Eve's gotten a bit of a reputation for living on the wild side. A lot of that reputation is false, but there's always some amount of truth behind every rumor...

It ends up, the Party Girl has troubles. Lots and lots of troubles. To start with, she's the product of an illicit affair. When her mother died, her father brought her into his home and family where she was raised as a full-blooded Caruso. Eve then lost her father at the age of 12 when he "mysteriously" disappeared (which was explained in the first of the "Caruso Chronicles"). Now, she's lost her entire fortune due to an insider trading tip gone wrong (courtesy of a jilted ex lover) and finds herself working at the family spa in Palm Springs. Feeling that her pride is all she has left, Eve tells nobody of her financial woes, and especially keeps her mouth shut when the SEC tells her the only way to stay out of jail is by cozying up to the same man who'd put her in the mess to begin with.

Enter Nash Cargill--aka "The Preacher"--a big, burly monster truck driver who also happens to be the brother of Eve's friend, Hollywood starlet Jemima Cargill. Nash has ridden into town on his mud-covered steed to save Jemima from a stalker.

Nash is the kind of man Eve usually shies away from--big and strong and confident enough to not allow himself to be wrapped around her little finger. Eve is the kind of woman Nash usually goes for--the damsel in distress. The only problem is that Eve doesn't exactly want to be saved.

As the plot unfolds, the tension between Eve and Nash builds, as does the tension all around them. Ridgway subltly layers Eve and Nash's characters (not to mention the secondary characters) a page at a time, slowly giving the reader more and more information about each of them. Behind the cool, confident facade Eve is very insecure. And while Nash appears to be the epitome of calm masculinity, he's secretly afraid that deep down he's as abusive as his father was.

The thing I love about Ridgway's books is that they're layered and multi-dimensional. She writes amazing main characters that are real and believable and that you feel like you really know by the time you read the last word. Her characters grow and change, as good characters should. Her plots are tight, and work smoothly with the romance so that you're not sure which part is moving the story along the most. And her subplots and characters are also amazing. Some authors have a very hard time incorporating subplots and subcharacters well. Too often, the subplot seems like it's just been thrown in so that the author can tell his/her editor, "Here, I have a subplot." Rarely do they work well and actually help to move the main plot forward and enhance the relationship between the main characters. Ridgway (along with Susan Elizabeth Phillips, IMO), is a master at this. The subplot of Jemima's stalker, along with the love story between Jemima and "Charlie," were not only entertaining but helped to give Nash and Eve (and their story) more depth.

Granted, I also love the fact that Ridgway is great at creating believable sexual tension that's so palpable it almost jumps off the page. As a reader, you know that by the time the main characters end up in bed together that it's going to be HOT (along with helping to move the love story forward, but hotness in a love scene does matter).

My only disappointment is that I can't seem to find any of her other books at my local Books A Million, which means I might have to turn to Amazon.com to read further into Ridgway's catalogue (which I definitely plan on doing).

So if you enjoy good comedy, good romance, good plot, great characters and hot sex, I would definitely suggest The Care and Feeding of Unmarried Men. ( )
  chicklitter | Jul 21, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060763507, Mass Market Paperback)

Page Four asks: Which Palm Springs party girl has been caught canoodling with an out-of-town "Adam"?

Eve Caruso keeps her finger on the pulse of Palm Springs and reports every spicy celebrity tidbit to her loyal readers. She knows everyone in this town—except that mysterious hunk who just strolled into the exclusive spa where she's conferring with hot new starlet Jemima Cargill.

Nash Cargill—nicknamed "The Preacher" by all his rowdy friends—is here to protect his flighty sister from a stalker, not fall for a sexy society columnist. But Eve has the perfect name—she's wildly tempting. Nash should resist; after all, her luscious lips speak trouble, her two sisters are too interested in their affair, and the rest of her family defines "notorious." But Eve is more vulnerable than she seems, and Nash has never said "no" to a lady in distress . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:01:30 -0400)

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