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Call Me Irresistible: A Novel

Call Me Irresistible: A Novel

4.1 478
by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

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The funniest love story of the year, Call Me Irresistible is the book Susan Elizabeth Phillips fans have been craving. The beloved New York Times bestselling author returns with a delightfully sassy, sexy, and downright irresistible tale of true love Texas style.

Ted Beaudine, one of Phillips’s most charming characters (the adolescent


The funniest love story of the year, Call Me Irresistible is the book Susan Elizabeth Phillips fans have been craving. The beloved New York Times bestselling author returns with a delightfully sassy, sexy, and downright irresistible tale of true love Texas style.

Ted Beaudine, one of Phillips’s most charming characters (the adolescent heartbreaker from her hilarious debut, Fancy Pants, and the new college graduate from Lady Be Good) is now all grown up and in a heap of romantic trouble all his own—in a perfectly marvelous contemporary romance that fans of Emily Giffin, Kristen Hannah, and Elin Hilderbrand will simply adore.

Editorial Reviews

From Eloisa James's "READING ROMANCE" column on The Barnes & Noble Review

When it comes to romance writers, lifetime membership in the Optimists' Club is practically a prerequisite. More than the writers of any other genre, we must keep the faith: that a thoughtful, sexy, and loving relationship is possible, long-term. But that doesn't mean that we're optimistic about so-called "perfect" matches or, for that matter, "perfect" people. Perfection is highly overrated when it comes to love, as these five romances demonstrate.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips's Call Me Irresistible opens with two flawless people on the verge of marriage…until the bride's best friend shows up. Meg is far from perfect: she never graduated from college, and doesn't have a job, a decent car, or a career. But when she says -- skeptically -- of the groom, Ted (a gorgeous millionaire with umpteen degrees), "He sounds like Jesus. Except rich and sexy," the bride realizes that she's not ready to marry a deity. This plot could easily turn dizzy and light, but instead the novel offers a fascinating picture of two people who have made a lot of mistakes. Meg truly has wasted her life, and Ted is so overwhelmed by his own reputation that he can't emotionally connect with anyone: beneath her banter and his aloof demeanor is a deep loneliness. Yet for all their antagonism (Ted blames Meg for his failed wedding), it turns out that they are at their best together. Meg learns to be responsible, and Ted finds his wild side. But Susan Elizabeth Phillips doesn't pull her punches: a man who is unavailable emotionally is not a good lover, no matter how many orgasms are exchanged -- and it takes Ted a long time to reform. In fact, in the last chapters, when it isn't clear whether Ted will be able to win Meg back, I defy you not to be turning the pages as fast as you possibly can read.

In Elizabeth Hoyt's Notorious Pleasures it's the heroine, rather than the hero, who seems to gaze down from an unapproachable height. Lady Hero Batten is the daughter of a duke: she's beautiful, tactful, intelligent, and witty. Even so, she is mortified when her fiancé's brother Griffin mocks her with the title Lady Perfect. Griffin Remmington, Lord Reading, is Hero's polar opposite. His reputation is even worse than Meg's in Call Me Irresistible: he has made himself notorious for drinking, carousing, and general worthlessness. In reality that façade hides an even more terrible truth about his activities, as Hero discovers. One of the wonderful things about this novel is that, like Phillips, Hoyt doesn't underestimate the challenges of falling in love with someone who has made dreadful decisions. But it's the downfall of Lady Perfect that gives the book its tantalizing, seductive pleasure: when Hero wonders whether "she could ever resurrect her perfect façade again," you'll be rooting for Griffin, sins and all. This is a novel that laughs in the face of anyone who believes that romances can't or don't depict the dark side of life -- while still standing up for the idea of real, long-term happiness.

Courtney Milan's Unveiled also contrasts a high-born heroine and a flawed hero, but here again, the stakes are much higher than mere reputation. Lady Anna Margaret Dalrymple is in a dreadful position. Her ancestral home, Parford Manor, now belongs to a vengeful distant cousin named Ash Turner; discovery of her father's bigamy has resulted in his children's disinheritance. Margaret promises herself that "she would be noble, even if she was no longer considered nobility." But perfection comes at a price. Since her horrible father is dying in the master bedroom, Margaret poses as a nurse in order to stay with him. And when she falls in love with Ash, Margaret finds herself torn between her role as a dutiful daughter and sister, and the man she loves. Only after she realizes that Ash would sacrifice everything to make her happy does Margaret understand love is the real yardstick by which we should measure loyalty.

Jill Shalvis's Animal Magnetism pits the perfectly sweet, charming Lilah Young against a weary, battle-worn ex-soldier named Brady Miller. He's spent the last few years in battle zones where "grime and suffering trumped hope and joy," whereas Lilah lives in a Disney-ish small town named Sunshine, where everyone loves her and she loves everyone -- including the baby animals she's surrounded by. In short, she's a princess, and he's a cynic. Her real perfection (from Brady's point-of-view) is that she accepts his wandering nature and offers red-hot sex with no strings attached. But, as he comes to understand, that may sound "perfect. Only it wasn't. Not even close." This is a wildly sexy, sweet story, as Lilah and Brady realize that falling in love with a flawed person can be a passionate affirmation of love's ability to bring people together.

My last romance poses a particularly modern conundrum: what if the person you fall in love with online, your Tweetheart, isn't really as unblemished as his electronic persona seems to be? Teresa Medeiros's Goodnight, Tweetheart moves between text and tweets to depict a love story between a struggling novelist, Abby Donovan, and an English professor on sabbatical, Mark Baynard. Their tweets are fascinating, as they joke about everything from Project Runway to Velveeta. It's impossible not to fall in love with someone as witty and sweet as Mark (he signs off as Goodnight Tweetheart), even though Abby does realize that he's using humor as a defense mechanism. Can someone so glowingly "perfect" ever live up to his Twitter feed? Of all the novels, this one falls most firmly into the "no one is perfect" camp. When Mark reveals a shocking truth about himself, Abby realizes that perfection is deeper than tweets: it's Mark's smile, the smile that says "I will always love you no matter what you've done and no matter what you'll ever do."

My latest romance, When Beauty Tamed the Beast, has just been published -- and as you can imagine, my hero is definitely less than perfect. I chose to rewrite this particular fairy tale because I think that a love story between all-too-human persons is far more interesting than that between "golden boys and girls," as Shakespeare had it. In fact, these novels are a splendid antidote to an overdose of sickly sweet Valentine's Day sentiments. Buy your beloved a card that insists he or she is the perfect match for you -- and then remind yourself that love trumps all those flaws the card pretends don't exist.

Claudia Deane
Even if you're not a self-proclaimed "SEPpie"—one of Phillips's die-hard romance readers—Call Me Irresistible is just a bit irresistible. It's satisfyingly mindless and mirth-inducing without being in the least moronic…Phillips's lead female character is strong, complicated and quick to sass even as she goes about discovering her own potential.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Phillips again delights her readers by moving on to the next generation of the characters she created in Glitter Baby, Fancy Pants, and First Lady. The handsome, personable, practically perfect Ted Baudine sees his next step is to take an equally perfect bride: the daughter of a former president of the U.S. His plans are thrown into tumult when the maid-of-honor, spoiled, flighty Meg Karanda, persuades the bride-to-be to jilt the groom. Meg earns the animosity of the town, and gradually she and Ted fall in love. Shannon Cochran gives a good performance creating the voices of the characters that Phillips describes so clearly. Slow Texas drawls and clipped British accents are equally believable, as are the variety of different personalities in strong, decisive women and big, powerful men. Cochran brings the wonderful romance to life. A Morrow hardcover. (Feb.)
Jayne Ann Krentz
Susan Elizabeth Phillips writes absolutely splendid women’s fiction. Her books are infused with wit, heart, insight and intelligence. They delight and entertain on every level. A book by Susan Elizabeth Phillips is always a sparkling tonic for the senses.
Kristin Hannah
...Susan Elizabeth Phillips at her very best. Romantic, funny, sexy, and poignant.... If you’re down or busy or distracted, I have the cure: Call Me Irresistible is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. I loved this book.
Library Journal
It goes without saying that each of Phillips's books is The One that fans have been waiting for, but in this case, it's truer than ever. Uniting characters from a number of her past novels, Phillips serves up a funny, steamy, blood pressure-spiking heart-wringer. "Mr. Perfect" Ted Beaudine, genius inventor and adored mayor of tiny Wynette, TX, is paired with "Miz Screw Up" Meg Koranda, honest, proud, outspoken, and reckless. They work their way from loathing through lust to love—despite a pitiless town filled with people who will do anything to keep that from happening. From the minute Meg walks into town and her best friend, Lucy Jorik, walks out on her wedding to Ted, Meg's been a pariah. While all ends well, Meg's path to acceptance is rocky, to say the least—and in the hands of an exceptional writer like Phillips, readers feel every sharp stone. VERDICT Phillips has the ability to drill down into her characters' motivations, while conveying their stories with sensitivity and laugh-out-loud humor. Consistently remarkable, she's done it again; Irresistible is stunning. Phillips (What I Did for Love) lives in the Chicago area.
Kirkus Reviews

A spoiled California girl becomes a pariah when she sabotages her best friend's wedding.

The mayor and premier citizen of Wynette, Texas, is about to marry the daughter of the nation's first woman president. Bride-to-be Lucy's pre-wedding jitters are exacerbated when her maid of honor, Meg, daughter of Hollywood A-listers, suggests that if the groom-to-be, Ted Beaudine, seems too perfect to be true, he probably is. When Lucy jilts Ted at the altar, the entire town of Wynette turns against Meg. Since her parents, exasperated with Meg's free-spending ways, have cut her off, she's so broke she can't pay her hotel bill. Hotel owner Birdie is one of a cadre of females who have it in for Meg either because they're allies of Ted's formidable mother Francesca, or because they want Ted for themselves, or both. Birdie forces Meg to work off her bill as an underpaid chambermaid. Stuck in Wynette until she can amass enough money to leave, Meg learns that Ted is not as crushed by Lucy's departure as he appears. In fact, his smoldering glances at Meg may hint at much more than anger. Once her indentured servitude at the hotel ends, Meg crashes at a deserted church and lands a job at the local country club. She caddies for Ted and his golf-star father, who are hoping to woo multi-millionaire plumbing magnate Spence to develop a new "environmentally green" golf course that will boost Wynette's sagging economy. Spence feigns enthusiasm, but his cooperation really depends on whether Meg becomes his mistress. She dodges Spence by telling him she's in love with Ted, which is a lie, until...it's not. Ted demonstrates conclusively that in addition to being impossibly handsome and buff, he's the perfect lover. Too perfect. Phillips' witty dialogue and supple prose are outgunned by an overabundance of characters (the acid-tongued whine-ettes who ostracize Meg are particularly hard to keep straight) and an overly complex plot.

A novel that's ponderous where it should be frothy.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Wynette, Texas , #6
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What People are Saying About This

Jayne Ann Krentz
Susan Elizabeth Phillips writes absolutely splendid women’s fiction. Her books are infused with wit, heart, insight and intelligence. They delight and entertain on every level. A book by Susan Elizabeth Phillips is always a sparkling tonic for the senses.
Kristin Hannah
...Susan Elizabeth Phillips at her very best. Romantic, funny, sexy, and poignant.... If you’re down or busy or distracted, I have the cure: Call Me Irresistible is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. I loved this book.

Meet the Author

Susan Elizabeth Phillips soared onto the New York Times bestseller list with Dream a Little Dream. She’s the only four-time recipient of the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Favorite Book of the Year Award. A resident of the Chicago suburbs, she is also a hiker, gardener, reader, wife, and mother of two grown sons.

Brief Biography

Chicago, Illinois
Place of Birth:
Cincinnati, Ohio
B.F.A., Ohio University

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Call Me Irresistible 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 478 reviews.
nampatel More than 1 year ago
I love SEP. I think as a writer, she writes charming stories. I have read every single one of her books more than once. I love her series books and the way she brings back characters. This one, however, felt like bits and pieces of the other books rolled into one. There was no freshness. The new characters (Ted and Meg) are actually burdened by the return of SO MANY of the old characters and never get a chance to fully stand out as their own. Ted is just like bits of Dallie, bits of Kenny, bits of Dex. You never get a sense of the gawky kid that he was one he first came on board in Fancy Pants or the awkward young man in Lady Be Good. Meg is a little more unique but carries similar to the heroines in Ain't She Sweet and Kiss an Angel. Also, the dialogue - SEP typically writes snappy, witty, funny. In Call Me Irresistible, that the funny feels forced. The Crazy Women of Wynett is not funny and gets beaten over the head. Their antics aren't funny and a lot of them become caricatures. I only say this because SEP is an incredible writer and she typically writes great characters with a fresh plot (Match Me if You Can, What I Did For Love). This seems a little bit too much borrowed and not new. Still, as an SEP loyalist, read it for the fun of it, but you won't get sucked in and emotionally walloped like you do with her other books. Looking forward to the next one where hopefully SEP goes back to a small cast of characters and not too many old ones. I hate to think this, but it feels like the publisher wanted to get as many SEP characters in to this one in the hopes of getting readers to read the others. For example, in this book there are characters from Lady Be Good, Fancy Pants, and Glitter Baby. To the publishers, if you want new readers to read the back list, let the author write the excellent book she is capable of writing and readers will automatically check it out. There is nothing compelling in this book that would make new readers read this, where as they should. Fancy Pants and Lady Be Good are great, fun reads. I still love SEP.
MrsBRV More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed a lot of this. It had much of the charm and flawed heroine stuff that I like about SEP's other work, but this one was a little overburdened with references to characters in other books, the ending wrapped up too abruptly, and I didn't feel convinced of the hero's conversion. I think she could have done better. The traditionally published authors will have to step up their game if they are going to demand $12.99 a book, when there are some great emerging authors who are selling for a quarter of that price.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I normally love SEP books- all except What I Did for Love and the book about Annabelle- which grew on me somewhat. However, as soon as I saw the characters in this book, I knew I would be disappointed. It felt forced putting the characters together- like she's just tying up loose ends and forcing the story. THere just wasn't a lot of emotion coming from the book or the characters. Meg is suddenly in love with TEd, and the reader doesn't even get Ted's perspective through 90 percent of the novel- he only reveals his emotions at the very end, which definitely takes away any impact there. Just disappointed overall.
SharonRedfern More than 1 year ago
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (SEP) delivers again in Call Me Irresistible. Ted Beaudine (Fancy Pants, Lady Be Good) is marrying Lucy Jorik (First Lady)in Wynette, Texas. Ted is a former amateur golf champ,inventor and the Mayor of Wynette. Lucy is the adopted daughter of the former President of the US and her husband. Lucy's best friend Meg Koranda (Glitter Baby) comes to town to be in the wedding. She sees immediately that Lucy has doubts about marrying Ted and ends up helping Lucy bolt before the wedding. After the wedding, Meg becomes persona non grata in Wynette. Unfortunately, her parents have cut her off , she can't pay her room bill and she ends up working for the inn as a maid. Ted,who is revered in town,makes it his mission to make Meg as uncomfortable as possible with help from all of the townfolk. The path that they take from intense dislike to love involves golf, a renovated church, a stalker, an amorous plumbing king and his man hungry daughter, and several characters from earlier books. Like all SEP books there is a lot of humor mixed in with a sharp look at how Lucy and Ted need to become self aware to be happy with someone else. One of my favorite sections was when Lucy was talking to Meg about how perfect he was and how it intimidated her: "Out of nowhere, the church doors blew open. And there he stood silhouetted against the setting sun. Theodore Day Beaudine. Trumpets began to sound. Honest to God trumpets blowing a chorus of hallelujahs. "Jesus", she whispered. "I know, "Lucy whispered back. "Stuff like this happens to him all the time. He says it's accidental." How can you read that and not know you are in for a great time?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ms. Klausner, you have completely ruined the plot for me. This is a place for BOOK REVIEWS (read: opinions) NOT BOOK REPORTS (see: your post.). There is a difference, aquaint yourself with it. I no longer plan to purchase this novel, thanks you you and your full on summary, which I will point out is a re-telling of the novel, stating no opinions/overall feel for the book anywhere in it. Please consider that others who have not read the book yet are reading these reviews to help their decision. I am finding this sort of thing happening more and more. I have had numerous books spoiled for me because people cannot do what is meant on this forum. And... FYI- putting "Spoiler Alert" before the post does not make it okay. If it is a review, why even post spoilers. This specific comment is not for Ms. Klausner, but a general rant. While I am on it, can "we" stop using the term "Squeeeee", too? Are you a grown woman, or a twelve year old girl at a boy band concert? START A BLOG! OR TAKE IT WHERE IT IS APPRECIATED! PLEASE. Elizabeth Grogan, avid reader and paying customer.
risuena More than 1 year ago
This is my second Susan E. Phillips' book to date, and I can't find myself to like her writing. Match Me If You Can and this one build their romances on premises that I find troublesome. In this book, being a rebound girl and falling for your best friend's ex-finance just didn't do it for me. If you want such a complicated scenario, I suggest Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin (she can pull a sticky non-sympathetic situation around and make you question your view points and judgements and change your mind). Add into that the fact that he was a bit vindictive at first after the broken wedding did not make me like the guy. In both books I've read, the guys can seem quite abusive, yet they're described as being "perfect"; I'm sorry but that just doesn't make me want the main characters together. The storyline does get better after they hook up (you anticipate good changes for their relationship), but then it goes downhill when he confesses his feelings about Lucy. All I can think is both main characters are idiots. The guy should be more appreciative, and the girl should have higher expectations and standards. I also don't find the guy's sudden epiphany very convicing, more anti-climatic and lame. There are too many other characters as well, piquing interest in their stories, yet not well developed, causing more of a distraction for the reader from the main storyline. I will say it's a better read than Match Me If You Can, but overall, I think this author does not appeal to my heartstrings.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
typical SEP novel. The fact that it keeps you interested. I read the other reviews that the plot is always similar, but to me it is the delivery of the same plot that keeps me reading.
CSHunter More than 1 year ago
It has been awhile since I read this author, but this book was a reminder why I loved to read her books. She also incorporated previous characters, something that is always a win for me. Ms Phillips creates magic when she speaks through her characters, inspiring a range of emotions from the reader. It was a page turner and when reading on the nook, that can go fast; You will not be sorry
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As I was reading I started to wonder if I had read the book before. It dawned on me that the humor and relationship between all of the characters, primary and secondary, was very similar to the author's book "Ain't She Sweet". I loved "Ain't she sweet" so this new story was enjoyable but it didn't feel fresh and new.
feather_lashes More than 1 year ago
It's a Wynette, Texas series reunion!!!! Call Me Irresistible is the sixth installment in Susan Elizabeth Phillips's adult contemporary romance series titled Wynette, Texas. While this installment is its very own story, it features many characters from the other books in the series. I found these additions to be an unexpected but extremely entertaining treat. Call Me Irresistible was a fun but somewhat complicated story about the woes of finding Mr. Irresistible. Our heroine Meg quickly learns that being with the "perfect" guy isn't all it's cracked up to be. Ms. Phillips dismisses more than that dream in this book though. Other envious situations tackled include the burden of being a town hero and the downside of being raised by rich and famous parents. As always, Ms. Phillips writes humor and romance like nobody's business. If you haven't read anything by her then just pick any random one and get started. You'll love it! My favorite quote: "Sometimes change is what we need. I guess it lets us look at our lives in a new way." The Wynette, Texas series contains the following installments as of February 2016. In my opinion, they can each be read in any order as standalone novels. #1-Fancy Pants #2-Lady Be Good #3-Glitter Baby #4-First Lady #4.5-My Secret Service Valentine #5-What I Did for Love #6-Call Me Irresistible #7-The Great Escape
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I really liked this story! However, I recommend you skip chapters 2 through about 7, they're dull, fluff, and unnessessary. The rest of the story is fun with great banter between the protagonists and "perfect" sex appeal. Throw in a villain, crazy town's people, (did I mention the humor) and a little mystery to be solved, and you've got CALL ME IRRESISTIBLE. I recommend this book. S.A.K.
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mjherring More than 1 year ago
My favorite SEP book! I have it on audiobook after borrowing from the library, and I absolutely love it! I love Meg. She's so gutsy and strong, and Ted really pushes beyond his boundaries for her.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SEP is one of my favorite authors and this is one of my favorite books. Great story and great characters.
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