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Monday, December 29, 2008

The Best Selling Toy of the Season

The Best Selling Toy of the Season by Elaine Cantrell
Publisher: Midnight Showcase
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Full
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3 Books
Review by: Edelweiss

Can a beautiful unwed mother from the wrong side of town find happiness with a rich lawyer? Not if his family can help it.

Nikki Lane and Tommy Price come from vastly different social stations. He is a lawyer, from a wealthy, well bred family, in a smallish southern town. She is the unwed mother of two young boys, the daughter of an embarrassingly alcoholic father, and she and her kids barely get by on her pay as a minimum wage clerk in a discount department store. He lives alone in a four bedroom house in the best part of town, just down the street from the mayor; she and her kids live in the seedy part of town in a rented trailer. So I think you get the picture. What makes this story different and intriguing is that this is not a girl who is upwardly inspired by the attention of a wealthy, eligible bachelor. Nor is this a girl with the heart and instincts of a princess who has bettered her mind or aspirations yet finds herself saddled with meager means. No, this is really and truly a lower class girl, un-self-educated, unambitious, a girl who has made big mistakes with her life and is resigned to her station. Yes, she is beautiful; yes, she is principled, sometimes annoyingly so, but she has never so much as glimpsed longingly at the high society on the other side of the tracks. Not only that, she lacks any self confidence and is prone to social blunders of the first magnitude. So why is Tommy attracted to her? That is the question I kept asking myself. Fortunately the book is well enough plotted that I couldn’t resist reading on to find out.

A weakness in the book is that the dialogues are written in a metronomic cadence, so that the various characters are hardly distinguishable except for the attributions. But the upside is that this makes the fast paced prose flow even smoother. At one point, I did think that Nikki’s protestations of Tommy’s blandishing advances a little repetitive. But the author gives us a climaxing episode and a denouement that is satisfying.

Although a serious love story, this tale has demolition derby aspects to several social scenes that will make the lips of many readers lift in amusement.