Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dating Mr. December by Phillipa Ashley

Book Description:
When a nice girl asks twelve men to get naked, it's sure to cause a scandal...

Emma Tremayne leaves her high-powered PR job and moves to the Lake District looking for peace, quiet-and celibacy. So perhaps it's not the best idea when, in the spirit of "community-mindedness," she agrees to help the local mountain rescue team fundraise by putting together a "tasteful" nude calendar. Especially since quite a lot of the community seems to mind what she's up to-including the tall, dark and handsome Mr. December, Will Tennant, who appears to have gotten the wrong impression about Emma's intentions. So how does she convince him that he's more than just the flavor of the month?

I bought this book for my kindle on a whim because it was only .99 cents.  It's a cute chick lit kind of story with some Pride and Prejudice themes.  First impressions can be deceiving and everyone deserves a second chance.  Londoner, Emma Tremayne finds this out.  After being fired from her high powered PR job in London, she moves to the north of England's Lake District to get away from it all, re-group and lick her wounds.  While there she helps out the local community by doing PR work for the volunteer search and rescue squad to raise money for their new base.  Her idea to raise money?  A nude calender, with a different male member of the squad posing for each month.  All very tasteful, of course, nothing too raunchy or embarrassing.

The idea is voted in, but not everyone is crazy about it.  Emma takes an instant dislike to her main opponent, Will Tennant, one of the squad members who is also a prominent and highly successful entrepreneur.  He fears it will make the squad look foolish and they won't be taken seriously.  Ironically, he winds up posing for the month of December because they ran out of guys on the squad who can pose for it.  It doesn't hurt that he's tall, dark and handsome - but, with a notorious past when it comes to romance.  Rumor has it he left his ex-fiancee at the alter the day of their wedding!  Unforgivable!  Despite Emma's attraction to him, she wants nothing to do with him.  She's already had her fill of jerk love 'em and leave 'em boyfriends to last her a lifetime.  Of course she has the totally wrong impression about him, all is not as it seems.  Turns out he's the one that got left in the lurch and was left brokenhearted (shades of Bridget Jones's Diary).

The book jumps back and forth between Will's point of view and Emma's.  He's instantly smitten with her, but hesitant to ask her out because there's so much animosity between the two of them.  She finds him irresistible as well, but his reputation puts her off.   The backdrop with the whole climbing and rescue theme was interesting and new to me.  It made me curious about the Lake District of England.  I learned some things about rappelling and climbing and also about the Cumbria area and how dangerous it can be when the mists roll in on the mountains. 

As you can imagine, Will and Emma follow a rocky road to love, but they do get there... eventually.  Still, I never quite warmed up to Emma and grew tired of the long build up in their romance.  The misconceptions and lack of communication between them really dragged on and once Emma finally "saw the light" about him, it was still frustrating that she had some issues about him.  It took a bad fall and a hospital stay to clear the air.  Overall, it was a cute, somewhat predictable story with a lot of atmosphere, but I found Emma a tad unlikable. I don't read a lot of chick lit, primarily because I generally find modern day heroine's annoying in chick lit novels.  Still, it wasn't all that bad, a nice little diversion for me and a quick read.

By the way, this book was originally released under the title of Decent Exposure in 2006 in the UK.   It was also the inspiration for a TV movie called, 12 Men of Christmas in which they Americanized it and changed the location from Britain to Montana - I'll have to check it out sometime. 



Amy said...

My library has this one, so I may go ahead now and borrow it. Sounds good!

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Amy - good, glad to hear it, I hope you like it!

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