Lovespell, 5.99, Dec 2001, 400 pp.
To say that Bootle's Baby Bower CEO M. Billingham Bootle is a bit of an eccentric is probably an understatement. However, this year at the company's annual meeting in New Orleans, he outdoes even his most famous and wildest capers. He announces his retirement and names the four potential candidates to replace him. Wally Gilchrist, Al Gideon, Gil Getz, and Courtney Kelly will compete for the job by going against one another in a scavenger hunt. Kelly's assignment is to find and marry the most eligible bachelor in town.
Though thinking EEOC and a lawsuit, Kelly reluctantly joins the game and soon humiliatingly searches Bourbon Street. She finally meets Mark Wiggleshaft, who turns out to be her boss' nephew Mark Billingham. After sharing a night of passion, Courtney is left pregnant. Mark persuades her into marrying him, but she insists on a marriage in name only. Now all Mark has to do is convince Kelly that he is not his grandfather's puppet and actually wants her and their baby.
Once the reader accepts the bizarre CEO job prerequisite, which is not easy to do, the fan will enjoy this amusing contemporary romance. The lead couple is an amiable duo struggling with their feelings and even more with the interference of that likable lunatic, M. Billingham Bootle. Eugenia Riley has written a humorous tale that keeps the audience laughing throughout most of the story line.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner