Toxic Bachelors

by Danielle Steel

Reviewed by Coral

Every year in August, best friends Adam, Charlie and Gray get together aboard Charlie's yacht to enjoy life as bachelors.

Charlie, orphaned and alone since 22, is not a bachelor by choice. He has spent 20 years trying to find the perfect woman. She must come from a rich, aristocratic background like his own, be willing to give up her career and pop out child after child. And he wonders why he's still single? Creepily, the women he's dated previously have been tall, thin blondes like his mother and sister. Kind of ew. 

Adam is a divorced father of two, who had his heart ripped out of him when his bitch ex-wife slept with their pediatrician. His family uses him as a whipping post, as he gladly whores it up on the week-ends, chasing girls no older than his daughter, more interested in acquiring implants than knowledge.

Gray was adopted by drugged out rock stars who then found god during his childhood. He grew up miserably and has no desire to pass it on to anyone else. In fact he's developed a complete phobia of children. He likes to date crazy and damaged women. The crazier they are the better, They could steal from him, smack him round, break things in his house, he doesn't care. As long as they don't have children, it's all good.

But, of course, things are about to change, as each man meets a women so different from their norm, they can't help but be enraptured. And, maybe, at the end of it they may even find true love.

Oh, who am I kidding? It's a romance novel! Of course they find true love at the end.

One of the book's problems is that the first two chapters are devoted entirely to fleshing out the mens' characters. That's 40 pages in the hardcover edition! At the end of it I just thought they were pigs. Not characters I found myself seriously caring about at all. Actually, Gray wasn't so bad. But Charlie and Adam are both types of men I completely loathe.

Another problem was the pace each relationship progressed at. Gray's moved especially quickly, it seemed. I also think that Charlie's relationship would have been more realistic if it had slowly grown out of his respect for the work she did in the community. He loves doing charity work, they could have slowly built a friendship/relationship based on that. Instead, after pages and pages of never mentioning her after their first meeting, as he's driving to their second he thinks about how she's been haunting him. What? Then they spend a business dinner talking about personal things that I'm not sure I would ever share with a casual stranger.

And then there's Adam and his girl. So, she thinks to herself that no way a man like Adam will call her again. I think, hey, she's realistic and not that dumb. Then, she gets all indignant that he hasn't called her in months, and I think, what happened to knowing he was never calling you back? I actually find Adam's story to be the most unrealistic. A play-boy horndog who changes overnight because mommy yelled at him one too many times seems .... unlikely. Pretty much as unlikely as someone as sexually active as Adam is forgetting to use a condom.

Plus, the style of writting is way too descriptive and repetitive. I'm not sure why the author felt the need to remind us every few pages that Adam hates his ex-wife, that Charlie's family is all dead, that Gray dates crazies. Over and over again. I'm not stupid. I am capable of remembering pertinent character information from one chapter to another. I don't have to be reminded every three seconds.

In the end, it was a decent enough read. Not horrible, but not great. Just kind of there.

Grade: C