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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Call Me Enchanted!
Meg Koranda blows into the town of Wynette Texas to be a Maid of Honor at the wedding of her best friend, Lucy Jorik. Unfortunately upon meeting the Groom (Ted Beaudine) Meg has a bad feeling that the wedding shouldn't occur. Something is wrong. In spite of the fact that the Groom is nearly as perfect as any man could possibly be (Including mysterious halos of light...
Published on January 20, 2011 by JP Reader "Me"

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71 of 82 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I would give it 3 stars, but I expect more from SEP.
Just read it over the weekend. I'm not going to say that I hated it (it's not the worst SEP book I've ever read), but I won't be re-reading it and it wouldn't be the SEP book I'd recommend to anyone.

It read like a mish-mash of SEP's previous books. If I had to choose, I'd say that this book is a mish-mash of "Ain't She Sweet" (entire town against the heroine)...
Published on January 24, 2011 by BookWorm


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71 of 82 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I would give it 3 stars, but I expect more from SEP., January 24, 2011
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This review is from: Call Me Irresistible: A Novel (Hardcover)
Just read it over the weekend. I'm not going to say that I hated it (it's not the worst SEP book I've ever read), but I won't be re-reading it and it wouldn't be the SEP book I'd recommend to anyone.

It read like a mish-mash of SEP's previous books. If I had to choose, I'd say that this book is a mish-mash of "Ain't She Sweet" (entire town against the heroine) and "Match Me if You Can" (girl from over-achieving family has to figure out what she's good at and she ends up with ultra-successful guy that every girl wants to be with).

I actually loved both of those books, so I probably enjoyed "CMI" more because of it. (Just because the theme interested me.) However, there were a lot of problems with THIS book that I didn't have with the previous books.

First of all, I've read "First Lady", but I have not read "Fancy Pants" or "Lady Be Good". Nor will I ever read them, because I feel that SEP's work becomes quite dated quite quickly (probably because of her obsession with designer stuff) and reading those books is very much like watching an old episode "Dynasty" or "Dallas". It just doesn't work for me.

So, for me, I kind of walked into this book with no knowledge of Meg or Teddy. (I haven't read "What I did for Love" either, because I knew it was about Jolie/Aniston/Pitt.) So, I was ready to read the book on its own merits without worrying about the history of these characters.

The Good Points:

If a person likes SEP's writing style, this book is very much true to the best of SEP's writing. The characters have a good sense of humor (especially Meg) and their conversations are fun. It's fast paced without being too fast-paced. The hero and heroine have good chemistry and neither one of them do things that make them Too Stupid to Live.

I understood the motivation behind Meg's decisions, for the most part, and I found her to be a sympathetic heroine. (To an extent.) I wanted to see her get an HEA.

The Bad Points:

I felt like SEP expected every reader to have read her previous books, so she didn't flesh out Teddy's story AT ALL. Since I walked into the story without any idea of who Teddy is, I kept waiting to learn more about him and what makes him tick. The major key point of Teddy's character is that he is "perfect". But, obviously, no one actually IS perfect. So I kept waiting to get Teddy's POV, where we're told about all his flaws and why he feels the need to set the bar so high for himself.

Unfortunately, the majority of the book (about 85-90%) is in Meg's POV. Folks can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't seem to recall that being the case with a lot of SEP's previous work. For the most part, I seem to recall that she splits time fairly evenly between her hero and her heroine. In any case, this book suffered because of the lack of Teddy POV. The only way I could see his actions was through Meg's POV and (of course) she's a biased character. Teddy is going to come across as a jerk to the reader, because Meg considers him a jerk. When she no longer sees him as a jerk, then the reader is forced to re-asses. Not because we're shown WHY we should reassess, but because the main character essentially tells us to.

I might even have been able to go along with it, if we were told Teddy's story through Meg. If Teddy and Meg had spent some time getting to know each other and, through Meg, we learned his background. Other than a brief mention of an incident that took place when he was nine, I never got the sense that Meg took the time to get to know Teddy and - unfortunately - that meant that I didn't get to know him, either. Instead, the reader is essentially told that Meg just GETS Teddy on a level that no one else does and he GETS her in a way that no one else does. And that is why they have True Love.

Well... I'm gonna need a little more than that, SEP.

I could continue, but you get the point. I think that SEP suffered from the idea that folks loved Teddy so much from previous books that they were intimately familiar with his story and to go over it again would be a re-hash. Well, given that she wrote those two books over a decade ago, I think she was wrong in that assumption.

Although I liked Meg, for the most part, I did have some problems figuring out why she stuck around a town where everyone hated her. I understood the idea that going back to LA wasn't an option and that she'd hit rock-bottom. But she was incredibly nice to an entire town of people who truly didn't deserve it. Add in the fact that the entire town pretty much pimps her out for their own gain and it becomes even more baffling that she would feel that she owed them anything.

I also had problems with the ending where Meg/Teddy have their Big Misunderstanding (you know the drill from all romance novels - "He/She doesn't love me as much as I love him/her, so we're parting ways for a few chapters...") and I'm completely taken aback.

** SPOILER **

Essentially, Meg tells Teddy that she's in love with him and if he's not in love with her then he sucks. And she's out of there. Now, I fully understand that she fell for him and that she's trying to protect her heart. But - seriously? He tells her that he was just engaged to someone else just TWO MONTHS AGO and she thinks that's not a valid reason. And, later, Teddy has to grovel and chase after her because that was a huge mistake on his part. Not realizing that he was in love with a woman two months after meeting her, even though when they met, it was the night before his wedding TO ANOTHER WOMAN. The heroine doesn't give him time to sort out his feelings. She doesn't say, "Hey, I have to go live my life. But call me when you get your act together." He's calling her parents, her brothers, everyone in the world, and she completely ignores him. Like he killed her puppy in front of her or something. When all he did was say, "Listen, this is hard for me. I almost just married another woman. I can't just be in love with you two months later."

I really wish that they'd allowed him more dignity and that the heroine would have been more mature. I understand the need for the Grand Gesture in romance novels, but does it really need to be at expense of the characters' personalities?

** END SPOILER **

But that's not even my biggest gripe with the book. The one that will probably make it that I will never re-read this book again. The people of Wynette. The entire town (and I include characters from previous books in this). They were - how do I put it? - completely reprehensible.

From the beginning, they were introduced as small town people with a bias against big city people and huge inferiority complex that manifested itself in the form of pure rudeness and haughtiness towards Lucy (first, as Teddy's fiancé) and then Meg. I truly did not understand how or why I was expected to find any of them likable or sympathetic. First of all, they treat Teddy like dirt (like they own him or something) and act like Lucy is not good enough for Teddy even though she's the child of a former president of the United States. (And since I've read "First Lady", I can tell you that Lucy - as a child - was a very awesome character who does not deserve to have an entire town looking down at her.) Then, when Lucy is out of the picture, they have a gang mentality and turn on Meg, completely making Lucy blameless and making Meg's life hell, even though it really wasn't Meg's fault.

As time goes on, they do absolutely nothing to change my opinion of them or give me ANY reason to think that Meg should like these people and that she should want to stay in this town. At one point, Teddy's mother (who was the heroine of "Fancy Pants") hits rock bottom, in my opinion, and essentially humiliates Meg in front of the majority of the town. And the town folk? Talk smack about Meg and we're supposed to think it's sweet because they don't do it in a loud voice. They only do it so the `core' group hears them and not the whole party. Well... um... in my world, they shouldn't be doing it AT ALL. It's like they keep trying to bring Meg down a peg, when she's really hasn't done anything to deserve that attitude. What lesson is Meg supposed to learn from this? That people are mean?

And, in point of the fact, that's the crux of the matter. The reason why "Ain't She Sweet" works with this similar story line (an entire town hates the heroine) is because the heroine was truly a horrible person in her youth. The book is the story of her redemption and her healing the rift she caused with the people of her hometown. In this case, it's more along the lines of a small town being a little clique and closing ranks on the "outsider" and using her for their personal gain without giving her anything back.

Anyway - I really love SEP's books and look forward to them (especially since she only releases one every 2-3 years). But this one is definitely not going onto my keeper shelf. Reading it once was enough and I'm not sure that I could recommend it to anyone. Its not her best work and I wouldn't even say that it's the best contemporary I've read recently.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Call Me Enchanted!, January 20, 2011
Meg Koranda blows into the town of Wynette Texas to be a Maid of Honor at the wedding of her best friend, Lucy Jorik. Unfortunately upon meeting the Groom (Ted Beaudine) Meg has a bad feeling that the wedding shouldn't occur. Something is wrong. In spite of the fact that the Groom is nearly as perfect as any man could possibly be (Including mysterious halos of light dancing about his head and bands of trumpets choosing the exact moment he appears to begin their practice) Meg feels that he is simply all wrong for her best friend Lucy. And she says so.

And Lucy impetuously agrees and does a runner.

Leaving Meg to face a town of angry town folk who are angered at the insult to the golden favorite son, angry parents, and Ted himself - who although seems far less upset than he really should be isn't quite yet ready to issue Meg a thank you. Throw in the fact that Meg's parents have chosen that exact same week to cut off her financial support and the Jorik's forget to pay her hotel bill as they take off after their fleeing daugher .... And Meg has a problem.

The book is laced with the humor and quirkiness that made the name "Susan Elizabeth Phillips" a staple of romantic comedy. We witness Meg (finally! In the view of her parents) learn to be self-sufficient and we witness Ted (finally! In the view of Meg) throw off his anointed one persona and claim his right to be occasionally selfishly human.

I agree with some of the viewpoints here that Ted's POV is underrepresented through most of the books, however I suspect that was mostly a deliberate decision. In the beginning chapters Ted Beaudine is little more than a town figurehead. He does what he believes he should do, what the perfect man does. His indoctrination into that role is so complete that he doesn't even allow himself access to those private thoughts and desires - much less us readers. We, like every other citizen of Wynette are left being "Just another woman who think she knows Ted." When in reality, until the end of the book not even Ted knows Ted.

I will also agree that the book is laced with flashbacks to previous books, sometimes good and relevant and frankly sometimes not so much. I didn't find it overly distracting but I suspect that a reader who hasn't read Fancy Pants etc might sometimes wonder "And why do I care?" I don't find this to be a negative enough point to distract from my rating though.

Great job on the book SEP! Five stars, and that isn't something I say often.
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58 of 70 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars How long can she keep writing the same stories?, January 20, 2011
This review is from: Call Me Irresistible: A Novel (Hardcover)
...and how long will I keep buying them in hardback? This book was such a disappointment. I'd already noticed several books ago how often SEP repeats herself...Heroine is down, way down on her luck; she lands in an unfriendly place and is mercilessly bullied by the locals. Sometimes she arrives in town in a ridiculous outfit (Fancy Pants, Natural Born Charmer). Sometimes she and other characters float around their natural surroundings dancing for joy (Nobody's Baby But Mine, Natural Born Charmer); sometimes the heroine has a huge inferiority complex owing to a super-accomplished family (Call me Irresistible, Match Me If You Can) or super-gorgeous hero (This Heart of Mine, Heaven Texas). I could go on I'm sure but I barely remember What I Did for Love and some others. It saddens me that the last SEP I really enjoyed was Ain't She Sweet. That book shares key plot points with this one(abandoned and despised heroine forced to humiliate herself) but had a much, much better payoff in the end in that the "redemption" resonated. It could be the characters were better drawn and more likable (honestly, when all is said and done, Meg's a big wimp and Ted is boring). I don't know. I do know that when asked, SEP jokes that she gets her ideas from a warehouse in Tulsa. Maybe it's time to find another one.
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36 of 43 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Call Me Disappointed, January 27, 2011
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This review is from: Call Me Irresistible: A Novel (Hardcover)
Believe me it wasn't easy for me to hit that one star button. I preordered this book in Oct because I knew it was about "my" Teddy you know the sweet little boy who carried the world on his tiny shoulders that just made you want to hug him tightly and make his world okay.......Or the teenage Teddy who made you sigh and wish you could find someone just like him.....So when I started reading this book I was so excited...Finally I was going to see Teddy become the man I knew he was destined to be....Uh...I was SO wrong...I couldn't find him on page 1 and I still didn't find him on page 385. Because he didn't exist in this book...Now true there was a man named Ted Beaudine/Mr. Irresistible...But this unemotional...detached and dare I say it...sexless man was NOT the Ted I loved in Fancy Pants and Lady Be Good.

After finishing the book last night...I closed it ...opened it again and thought to myself this book didn't make me laugh...giggle....it didn't make my heart flutter...and I hate to say it but I didn't even like "this" Ted....But it did make me feel one thing..... disappointment.

SEP is a wonderful writer....I have many of her books and they are all a little tattered because they have been read many...many times. But this book will never be bookworn it will stay just like I bought it .... ..a book with a beautiful cover with nothing in between.
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48 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't be able to put it down!, January 18, 2011
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This review is from: Call Me Irresistible: A Novel (Hardcover)
I bought the kindle book at midnight of the day it came out and thought I would read the first chapter or two before I turned out the light. Big mistake! I could not put this book down. I stayed up all night reading it and it was so worth it.

As always Susan Elizabeth Phillips made the characters come to life for me. After I read one of her books a part of me expects to somehow run into one of them in the real world or hear about them on the news and this book was no exception. Great world building and it was a pleasure to have so many characters from previous books be a part of this amazing love story.

I don't like reviews with spoilers, so I'm not going to ruin this for you by going into too much detail about the story. Suffice it to say, you have to read this book...and alot yourself some time to do so. Hopefully you'll get more sleep than I did. :-)
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite 100% Satisfied, January 18, 2011
By 
mmhmm (California, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Call Me Irresistible: A Novel (Hardcover)
Don't get me wrong, this book has all the great (read quirky-awesome) characters, the amazingly hilarious banter, and the lively atmosphere that we expect from SEP's books. And I really truly liked it a lot.

The problem is, like another reader mentioned, there was something 'off' about the book. For me, I believe it was because we don't get inside Ted's head until the very end. Because of this, while Meg came alive and I was 100% invested in her and her fate, Ted came across a bit flat through most of it (definitely shined in the end though). I also think, because of this, I didn't feel the connection between Meg and Ted as strongly as I could have and wanted to.

Overall, I still liked the book a lot and can't wait till Lucy's book comes out.

SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

This I have to mention, because I spent about 20 minutes on this one line. It was my favorite line in the book, and the one that made me fall in love with Ted (for the first time in this book): 'I was wrong. Lucy broke my brain.' This line made me laugh out loud and absolutely fall head over heels for Ted. I just wish it didn't have to come so late in the book.

SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just Okay, January 22, 2011
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I wanted to like this book but it just did not get me there. It seemed like SEP was at her pulpit for the green movement and it frankly got old. Also, Meg's character was not well defined. I could never figure out who she was or what she looked like. I got a better description of Francesca's looks than the main character. It was like SEP did not have a clear picture of Meg other than being flakey, unworthy, really tall and having her mother's eyebrows. Overall, it seemed like she reincorporated scene's from other books and put a new spin on them. Nothing new here.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another awesome book by SEP!, January 18, 2011
This review is from: Call Me Irresistible: A Novel (Hardcover)
So, I too downloaded this book only I did it this morning and I've got to say it was an amazingly relaxing read. Thank you God for making it an ice day in the capital. I had the day to relax and read and this is the perfect book to set the world aside and just fall in love with the characters. The whole story is romantic, funny, and because I actually read all the other books (huge SEP fan here) I felt so connected to the characters. I actually got that weird feeling where I'm kinda worried about reading Lucy's story because frankly I set her aside after she bailed on the wedding. I'm still in Meg's head and with this book and I really do want to read it again.

It's been hard to find good romantic comedies in the movies; it's great to have SEP back in great style with a great book.

Buy it, you won't be disappointed.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Call Me Irresistible, April 11, 2011
This review is from: Call Me Irresistible: A Novel (Hardcover)
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I am a huge fan of contemporary romance. I started reading romance when the Sweet Valley High books became too damn and boring for my maturing tastes. Haha!I was excited when I saw that Call Me Irresistible was available through Amazon Vine. I'd read rave reviews about this book and Susan Elizabeth Phillips' books were recommended as a must read. Since Call Me Irresistible was my introduction to S.E.P., my expectations were high.

Ted Beaudine is the darling of Wynette, Texas. He's about to marry Lucy Jorik, the daughter of the former President of the United Status. The citizens of Wynette are excited to see their golden boy get hitched. Enters Meg, Lucy's best friend since college. Meg thinks that the marriage is a terrible idea. She knows her best friend and knows that Lucy isn't in love with Ted and that she's only marrying him to please her parents. When Lucy heeds Meg's advice and takes off, Meg is left dealing with the fall out.

Call Me Irresistible starts off being told in 3rd person, Meg's POV. After Lucy took off and Meg was stranded in Wynette, I was anxious to read Ted's reaction to being left at the alter. We never got it. From the reviews I read about this book, this is Ted's book; his story. So why is 95% of the story in Meg's 3rd person POV? We never get an inside look at Ted. As the reader, you learn about Ted through other characters. This did not sit well with me. Meg is an okay character but she is not likable or interesting enough to carry the entire book. The main character, Ted, Mr. Irresistible, is missing through most of the book! We finally get a peek at his POV at the end but by then S.E.P lost me. Too little, too late.

Because we're not privy to Ted's inner thoughts and emotions, I found him unlikable. The man is a robot! Totally perfect. Too perfect. He's a genius, handsome, rich, kind, and loyal. He doesn't say no to anything. And he makes love perfectly. He's not a selfish lover. Bore! I mean come on! Can we have some angst? Some imperfection? Some passion? Why is he this way? Do we see his progression into Mr. Perfect in previous books? Is that what I'm missing?

I had a hard time liking any of the characters in this book. The townspeople of Wynette are supposed to be quirky but to me, they came across as snobbish, rude and obnoxious. I didn't like any of them and found their meddling ways mean and unjustified. Ted's mother was no better. She was the ring-leader.

The story dragged and I tired of Meg's antics fairly quickly. By the time Ted and Meg hooked up, I couldn't understand why and I could care less. There was a teeny tiny hint at attraction from Meg's end but not from Ted's. Again, thanks to the fact that the story is told from Meg's POV, we didn't see Ted's growing attraction. I couldn't get into the romance and found it hard to believe.

At the end of the book, S.E.P. states that she writes each book as a stand alone even though characters from previous books pop up in other books. This story was not hard to follow but it was hard to like. Do I need to read the other books to figure out why the people of Wynette are snobbish asshats? I don't know. Right now, I don't see myself picking up another S.E.P book if I have to deal with the same character antics and crazy POVs.

I would have liked this book more if we got to know the hero, Ted. He was a mystery who we learned about through conversations and interactions with other characters. That's not how I want to interact with the main character of a story. Because of this, I wasn't invested in his story. If you're a long-time S.E.P. fan, this book is for you. As a S.E.P. newbie, I was disappointed. I couldn't connect with the plot, characters and romance at all.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overpopulaton galore, March 9, 2011
By 
Tracy Vest (Northern California) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Call Me Irresistible: A Novel (Hardcover)
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World traveler Meg arrives in time for best pal Lucy's nuptials to former PGA champ now town mayor Ted Beaudine. Lucy has jitters and feels like the town doesn't think she is worthy of their golden boy, and Meg thinks that the two have no spark and urges Lucy to follow her heart. What results is a runaway bride, a groom left at the altar, and a maid of honor hated by an entire town. Making matters worse, Meg is broke and stuck in Wynette because she doesn't even have the gas money to leave. Ted does his level best to embarrass her, and the town treats her like a pariah... then Meg and Ted have a change of heart, and Meg soon wants a happily ever after of her own. Will they ever triumph over their own pride?

Let me preface it by saying that I love almost every contemporary novel written by SEP. Even a badly plotted SEP nevel can easily generate a 3 star review from me because it is so well written, and she has a gift for dialog and humor. Although the one liners and quick witted humor are in abundance in this story, it barely gets three stars because it is simply an overpopulated mess. I read it rather quickly, but mostly because if I put it down for a few hours, I had to relearn who everyone was.

The story combines characters from several novels written in some cases, several decades ago. Since I tend to read them when they first come out, it was really hard to remember who was who and why they were relevant to the story (most were not). We have Lucy and her adoptive mother (now a former president) from 2000's First Lady; Meg and her parents Jake and Fleur from 1987's Glitter Baby; a young Ted and his parents Francesca and Dallie from 1989's Fancy Pants; a teenage Ted and Lady Emma and Kenny in 1998's Lady Be Good: A Novel. With the exception of First Lady, the novels are extremely dated, so getting the back story may be a chore for some readers.

The story had a real "been there; done that" feel to it - mostly because the plot was somewhat recycled. SEP gave us a fantastic story about a pariah who must earn the trust of a town she betrayed in "Ain't She Sweet?" (a far superior novel that actually had plenty of character growth). In this novel, there is no growth, in fact, most of the characters don't even resemble their original selves. I had difficulty differentiating between the parents, and a hard time liking any of the characters at all. Meg (surprise, surprise) lacked self esteem - while at times she was witty, she also was a bit of a doormat and Ted was just too perfect and plastic - he never came alive to me.

While it is well written, I don't really recommend this for readers just discovering SEP for the first time - go back to her Chicago Stars series or read some of her stand alones.
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Call Me Irresistible: A Novel
Call Me Irresistible: A Novel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Hardcover - January 18, 2011)
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