The Shock Cassano Baby

The Shock Cassano Baby

Book - 2016
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"Life as a single man suits Orlando Cassano just fine. He believes in working hard and taking his pleasures whenever he chooses. Until his affair with sassy CEO Isobel Spicer ends in a very unexpected result! Orlando may not have had a father figure growing up but he will be a parent to his child. Yet getting independent career woman Isobel down the aisle will take more than his legendary skills of seduction. For she demands the one thing he's never given anyone: that he confront his past if they are to have a future&"--Cover, page [4].
Publisher: Don Mills, Ontario : Harlequin Books, 2016
ISBN: 9780373134342
0373134347
Branch Call Number: ROMANCE (PAPER) (HARLEQUIN PRESENTS 3428)
Characteristics: 187 pages ; 17 cm

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FindingJane Mar 15, 2017

Another entry in the unexpected “expecting” genre. This one features the unknowing virgin getting down and dirty with a knowing sexy Latin lover in the shape of one Orlando Cassano. Ungainly title aside, I can see why she’s surprised to find herself pregnant. No, wait, I can’t. She’s inexperienced not stupid. What did she think was going to happen when she had sweaty and breathless unprotected sex with this man after she makes a pitch for his investment in her business?

Oh, double whammy! Not only did Isobel Spicer have sex with this man when she barely knew him, she did it when she was trying to coax him for some money for her capital venture. Does anybody else think that a sleazy business practice or am I the only one?

Isobel informs him of her condition and Orlando is predictably shocked. Then he’s predictably dictatorial, authoritative and downright draconian as he insists that she follow his orders. Like many alpha male types that I’ve read in this situation, Orlando thinks he knows best, lays down the law and expects her to follow. He doesn’t ask; he commands. He doesn’t propose marriage; he states they need to be married and they’re going to no matter what she thinks about it.

Orlando is also one of those threatening males. All too often, the woman finds herself made the target of a steely look, one that promises danger and physical damage in equal measure. Oh, the man never gets really violent. But the woman is scared of him, nonetheless. She may hide it but the fear is clearly written on the page. This is supposed to be romantic? Coercion, threat and menace as a prelude to tying the knot? What is this, the 70s? The 1670s?

[A side note here: After learning that she’s pregnant, Orlando offers her a drink not just once but TWICE. That’s right; he tries to give an expecting mother alcohol. Just part of a healthy diet, isn’t it? I had to double check to see that this book is written in the 21st century. Orlando clearly is as clueless as she is about unprotected sex and the needs of a pregnant woman. What a pair.]

Like many a female, Isobel struggles, balks, fights him at every turn…and ends up laying down and doing what he tells her anyway. Master, meet slave.

She’s meant to be a decisive, able 21st-century career woman. But, in such stories, these women are always portrayed as needing a man’s guidance, a man’s decisions, a man’s strong arm propping them up (or throwing them on the nearest bed). Once again, I wonder for whom these romances are meant. Guys who are secretly fed up with independent, career-minded women would thrill to the notion that, after all, a woman needs a man to take care of her because she’s just so helpless and secretly yearning for him to take charge and tell her what she needs to do.

Well, I don’t care for such stories at all. Screw getting married if you think the man’s an unfeeling jerk. Just sit down with the attorneys and hammer out palimony and visitation rights. Let’s be grownup about this, people.

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