Wednesday, April 28, 2010


This is the first book of the Buchannan series, and features the oldest brother, Cal. Cal needs to hire a top chef to save his ailing family business. The best one he can find just happens to be his ex-wife Penny.

Cal and Penny have been divorced for three years. After Penny had a miscarriage, Cal revealed to her that he didn't want to have children. Unable to accept this, Penny finally left him. With her biological clock ticking, and no man on the horizon, Penny decides to have IVF in order to have a child.

"Penny Jackson knew that it was probably wrong to be so excited to see her ex-husband come crawling back, but we was willing to live with the character flaw."
When I read this opening line, I thought I'd love the heroine and the book. She sounds refreshingly fun yet realistic. I was wrong. There was a lot of potential but I just couldn't believe how easily Penny falls for Cal. She keeps emphasising the fact that they have been divorced for three years, and that she is therefore completely over him. Considering he broke her heart and lied to her, I find it very hard to believe that she has absolutely no anger or bitterness towards him, even if she is still attracted to him.

Cal admits to Penny that he never really loved her, and that though he was not exactly happy about the miscarriage, he was relieved when it happened. Yes, there is a fine distinction between the two, but the bottom line is that he didn't really want the baby. His nasty grandmother reveals various secrets Cal kept from Penny which also negatively impacted their marriage. After all this, for some bizarre reason Penny thinks she can now get back together with him and things will be different this time. I have no idea what she bases this on considering Cal still hasn't told her that he loves her, and he wasn't the one who told her his secrets.

There are also a few side stories which I suppose are used to set up Cal's siblings for their own books. Again, I found the characters somewhat unbelievable. Cal's sister Dani discovers her husband cheating on her. He had an accident when they were still dating, leaving him paralysed from the waist down. She loved him so much that she still married him, and has supported him financially and emotionally for the past six years. Yet when her marriage breaks up, she claims that she no longer loved him anyway and it is mainly her pride that is hurt not her heart. All I could think was, "How convenient."

There are other examples I could give, but basically what ruined this book for me were the unrealistic characters and their relationships. I wasn't looking for a lot of angst, but I couldn't believe the lack of bitterness all around. I don't know if I'll bother reading the rest of this series.

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