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An Irresistible Bachelor

av Jessica Bird

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216691,968 (3.94)Ingen/inga
Art conservator Callie Burke's new assignment is restoring a masterpiece owned by ruthless, wealthy, and sexy politico Jack Walker. When she's persuaded to move into Jack's sprawling estate to finish the job, a mere business proposition turns into something far more complicated.

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Callie Burke is a struggling art conservator who can't really say no to an offer from millionaire Jack Walker. Jack has plans for his life and they don't include the passion that Callie inspires in him. She's afraid that her secrets will mar his life but the attraction is strong.
Honestly the plot is quite similar to that of another book I read by J R Ward. Both feature wealthy self-made men whose fathers disapated their wealth. Still it was a fun read and a fun refresh from a book that I didn't enjoy reading. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Nov 12, 2020 |
An Irresistible Bachelor is my favorite of Jessica Bird's contemporary romances I've read to date. It had a Cinderella story vibe to it with a down on her luck heroine who has no money and has just lost her job and a very wealthy but rather jaded hero. He hires her to restore a valuable painting of an ancestor that he has just purchased and returned to its rightful place in his family's collection. It doesn't take long for love to blossom between them, but their opposite sides of the track status stands in the way of their potential long-term happiness. There was also a light romantic mystery subplot that I really enjoyed involving the painting and a couple of love letters that were found in a box of old papers. The hero and heroine's relationship was sweet and tender, but rife with conflicts that kept me turning the pages to see how they worked everything out in the end.

Callie was the bastard daughter of a very wealthy man (she shares a father with Grace, the heroine of the previous book, An Unforgettable Lady) and his long-time mistress. He was never there for her, so she always felt like she was nothing but his dirty little secret and was only second-best to his other family. She had it ingrained in her from an early age that she could never tell anyone who her father was, and even though he's now dead, it's a rule she still follows religiously, in part to protect her half-sister who is very much in the public eye. Despite her father's riches, Callie has virtually nothing. She lives in a crummy apartment in New York, has only a few hundred dollars in the bank, and has just lost her job, when an opportunity presents itself to restore a priceless old painting. This is something Callie has dreamed of doing ever since graduating from art school, but at first she turns the offer down, worried about the reputation of the man who wants to hire her and the strong, immediate attraction she feels for him. Because of how her father treated her, there's also no love lost between Callie and her wealthy patron. In fact, being around someone that rich makes her somewhat uncomfortable. Callie is a proud and independent woman who holds her head up high and doesn't want any handouts from anyone, but eventually her strong desire to work on the masterpiece wins out over any misgivings she might have. Callie was a modern-day virgin which is pretty rare in contemporary romances these days and which I found quite refreshing. She's the sweet, ordinary girl next door, but she also has a strong backbone. I liked that she didn't take any crap from Jack's snobbish mother, or from Jack himself either.

Jack initially comes off as the consummate cold-hearted, take no prisoners businessman, who is only interested in deals that will make him scads of money. As a consequence, he's something of a workaholic, who cares for little else beside wheeling and dealing. He also has a checkered past, littered with tabloid news reports of ex-lovers and his wild ways. Of late, he's settled down a bit and has recently become engaged to one woman, but he doesn't love her. She's merely someone he respects as a friend and who will look good on his arm when he runs for governor. Jack isn't even sure he believes in love until Callie comes into his life. From the moment he first laid eyes on her, she's haunted his dreams, and once he has her living under his roof and working on the painting, she stirs within him the promise of something he never thought possible. She's basically everything he's not, but surprisingly finds that he wants to be. I love how protective Jack is of Callie and how he won't let his snobbish mom treat her like a servant. Even after he realizes she has no money, he believes she deserves only the best his money can buy, not because he's shallow, but because he truly cares for her and wants to make her life easier. As the story progresses, we see a new and improved Jack emerging, someone who has a good heart and really cares about and wants to help the people around him, but was perhaps afraid to do so in the past because of his father's profligate philanthropy. I love how Jack always seems to be in awe of the emotions Callie stirs in him. He's never felt anything like it before. It's all very new and exciting to him and almost too good to believe, yet he embraces it fully, allowing it to make him over into a new man. I thoroughly enjoyed watching this new Jack emerge from his cocoon as a result of his love for Callie.

An Irresistible Bachelor has a number of great secondary characters. Jack has a twin brother, Nate, who pretty much disdains the family fortune. He's a talented chef who wants to open his own restaurant, but who has a rather restless spirit. He was definitely a charmer though, and will be the hero of Beauty and the Black Sheep aka The Rebel, the first book in the spin-off series, The Moorehouse Legacy. Jack's best friend, Gray, goes out on a couple of dates with Callie while Jack is getting his head on straight concerning his feeling for her. Gray is a political insider who will become the hero of the second Moorehouse book, His Comfort and Joy aka The Player. Jack's mother, Mercedes, is a master manipulator and the character readers will love to hate. I was so glad to see Jack finally put her in her place. The family's personal chef, Thomas, was an intriguing guy, who oddly enough owns a classic purple GTO just like Rhage's in the Black Dagger Brotherhood. I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention Jack's dog, Arthur, who was one of the best animal characters I've read.

Overall, I really enjoyed An Irresistible Bachelor and have to agree that it was an apt title. Jack was pretty irresistible, and Callie was no slouch either. The Cinderella theme being one of my favorites only made the story all the more likable. The little side mystery was sweetly romantic though tragic. There's nothing I can think of that I didn't like about the book. The only thing that kept it from being a perfect five stars is that it seemed a little slow in places, which resulted in my mind wandering occasionally. All in all though, I had a really good time reading it, and I'm very much looking forward to Nate's and Gray's stories. ( )
  mom2lnb | Sep 3, 2014 |
Callie Burke is struggling to make ends meet and to build her reputation as an art conservationist when an opportunity to restore a world-famous painting. The owner wants her to do the work in his house and this brings the two of the very close together, can her secrets work with his future and can she survive dealing with his mother?

It's pretty predictable, the secret is pretty well done and the reasons for not revealing it is quite believable. She's a well drawn character with depth and he's interesting, I enjoyed the read. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Jun 4, 2014 |
I thought I'd step outside the BDB for a little while. This romantic novel had everything necessary to keep me from putting it down - suspense, social conflict, the characters fighting their attraction until they reach their breaking point and a heavy dose of angst.

Jack Walker made me swoon. When we first meet him he's engaged to a woman he considers a friend, someone comfortable, and someone who would look good on his arm as well as help polish up his playboy image before he decides to run for Governor. His only problem is Callie, the beautiful conservationist he hires to restore a masterpiece painting. As the attraction between then grows, he tries to become a better man for her because he knows she's unlike any woman he's ever met, nor can he treat her like all the others. Throw in their different social standings, a dragon of a mother-in-law and a lot of misunderstandings based on assumptions and you have the fixings for a drama packed story.

Callie has a deep, dark secret she's been hiding since childhood. Jack is the type of man she's sworn to avoid. When Jack hires her, that sneaky man whisks her away to his estate in Boston to restore his painting. Living under the same roof as him and his mother spells trouble and turns her world upside down. But can she have her cake and eat it too?

I thought Jack was really sweet when he finally realized what he had in front of him and took every measure to become the man that someone like Callie could eventually trust and love. He had a quicker turnaround than Callie's character. There were many times I wanted to grab Callie and throttle her, or at least shake some sense into her. Her past has left her so jaded that she doesn't see the simplest solutions to her problems. Her excuses for not telling Jack the truth of her background left me baffled. If she loves him then surely she can trust him. It takes her until the end of the story to finally let go. I wasn't particularly keen that it took that long for her to come to her senses. Regardless, I'm still giving this four stars because the plot was good and the conflicts kept the excitement up. It kept me guessing as to how they'd overcome their obstacles and my emotions were all over the place. Ms Ward is the master puppeteer when it comes to jerking the reader in all kinds of directions. ( )
  MsRomanticReads | Apr 12, 2013 |
An Irresistible Bachelor…..WOW. Captivating from the start, I found this book entirely difficult to put down, a real and true page turner, and for the first time ever in reading a book, was rewarded with goose bumps within the story. An Irresistible Bachelor is one book that proved itself irresistible to enjoy.

Callie Burke is a conservationist of art, a professional who restores paintings to their classic beauty through intricate handwork and cleaning. She is relatively new at this and nervous about taking on her first big job, a portrait that dates to the Revolutionary War and is important to the owner because it is his ancestor. She is more worried though, about her attraction to the owner. She fights showing her attracting to the owner, which entices the reader to turn the page, just to see what will happen next.

Jack Walker is a multi-millionaire businessman and possible candidate for Governor of Massachusetts in the next election. He has restored the family fortunes after his father (who was not a good businessman but loved to give away money to philanthropic organizations) almost bankrupted the family. He has now purchased the last of the family portraits that had been sold off and he wants to hang it back in the study in its place of honor. He hires Callie at the recommendation of a friend who also happens to be Callie’s secret half-sister.

Callie, you see, was born into a non-family. Her mother was the mistress of a famous businessman who just happened to be married with another legitimate child. Callie lived her life knowing her father, yet unable to publicly acknowledge him and he failed to show Callie any love when he made his clandestine visits to her mother. After his death, she confronted her half-sister Grace, a celebrity in her own right, who accepted her as a friend, but decided to protect her parents’ reputation by keeping it quiet. And Callie has agreed to that.

Jack is a twin. He and his brother grew up knowing that Jack was going to save the family from ruin. Nate wanted to be a chef and pursued that dream, while Jack entered the business world. And Jack outsmarted his father by demanding a piece of the family holdings for every loan he made to his father. At the time of his father’s death, Jack had maintained ownership of all the property and many of the possessions. His mother, a woman who herself was raised poor and married well, lives off his generosity but doesn’t really appreciate his talents.

Now, Jack has met Callie. He had just become engaged to an old family friend, deciding it was time to curb his playboy ways (which the press had definitely exaggerated) and to help in his campaign. He decides to break things with Blaire because he finds himself too attracted to Callie. Callie and he begin a love affair. But they hit rough roads when Jack starts talking about running for office and Callie will not trust him with the truth about her parents. When Jack’s mother gets involved it turns ugly and something’s got to give.

I truly enjoyed these two characters and their intelligent interactions. They love but they are not dumb about it. They realize that they have issues to overcome and they talk. Even when they are angry with each other and they both choose to sulk, it is done with some sense of acknowledgment that this is not the best way to work things out. Circumstances work with them to finally resolve their issues.

The secondary characters include Callie’s half-sister, Jack’s brother and mother, Jack’s campaign advisor and the family chef and all are written with multi-dimensions. This is so refreshing in a novel that is being marketed for the romantic appeal of the story. Jessica Bird is new to me, but I find myself looking forward to Nate’s book and searching used book stores for Grace’s story.

The third aspect behind the story, which involves a secret romance story within the painting, is truly something that will draw you in and make you shiver with anticipation.

An Irresistible Bachelor looks on the surface like one of the off-kilter romantic comedies that are currently so popular. But look beneath the cover and you will find a well-written, engaging and intelligent love story.

For the first time in a very long time, I give this story and the well written love tale 5 stars out of 5. ( )
  Deserie.Comfort | May 10, 2012 |
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Art conservator Callie Burke's new assignment is restoring a masterpiece owned by ruthless, wealthy, and sexy politico Jack Walker. When she's persuaded to move into Jack's sprawling estate to finish the job, a mere business proposition turns into something far more complicated.

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