Book Review: Ginny Baird’s How to Marry a Matador

Posted August 16, 2014 by Kathy Davie in

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Ginny Baird’s How to Marry a Matador

How to Marry a Matador

in eBook edition on October 15, 2012 and has 191 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon., Barnes & NobleKobo.

I suspect it’s meant to be the first installment in a series. The couple focus in this one is on Jessica Bloom and Fernando Garcia de la Vega and takes place mostly in La Esperanza del Corazón in Spain.

My Take

Cute and short enough to be a novella at 189 pages. It also has some odd problems.

It’s cute in that Jess gets married on a whim — or is it a subconscious desire? — to the businessman-cum-matador she has been negotiating with for the past six months over the acquisition of his telecommunications business.

There’s a codicil in his paternal grandfather’s will that puts a deadline on Fernando to ensure the family’s continuing. And then we learn that the rancho is from his mother’s side of the family while the techcomm business appears to be his own venture. So what he’d be losing…I don’t know.

There’s the disconnect between Jess not having paid attention to her faith for years, and Fernando thinking she’s religious. All interspersed with the silly tropes of Jess telling Fernando she doesn’t want him and then being pissed because he finally accepts what she’s telling him *eye roll*. Then what’s with the scene in the bullfighting ring? Jess is supposedly intelligent and yet she can’t seem to make that mental connection between bull-in-ring-about-to-charge-her-husband and the fact that he probably needs to concentrate on the more immediate danger? Duhhh… Another reason to question her I.Q. is how slow she is to pick up on the Gemini comment.

For all that, there’s surprisingly little conflict. Yes, I know it’s there in Fernando wanting to stay married and Jess not wanting to. In Jess’ own internal debate. But it’s not really there. You’ll see what I mean if you read this, as everything is la-la land. I suspect the story conflict is supposed to be why Fernando wants this marriage as well as Jess’ experiences in the past. The first is bypassed quickly and the story concentrates on Jess’ issues.

The rancho is worth two billion dollars with vineyards, desert, and bulls raised for the ring with poor villages?

What’s with the flipping back and forth between using Spanish and then not using it? Fernando requests dos café of an old family retainer, and she responds with a query about two. The same servant, I’m assuming she’s Spanish, flips between referring to Fernando’s mother as Señora and Mrs. At the wedding, in Spain mind you, the priest pronounces them Mr. and Mrs. Um, wouldn’t Señor y Señora be more appropriate?

Evie rushes to stop Jess and does a sudden about-face, claiming she only came to check on her. But she’s spent all her time here so far, trying to push Jess onto a return flight to New York. WTF?

On the plus side, it is sweet and a story of equals.

The Story

A drunken night of sangria and a handsome man finds Jess married to the man whose company her company is buying out. This wasn’t part of her plan…and besides, no man has ever stayed for her.

The Characters

Jessica Bloom heads up the foreign acquisitions office at Global Financial Telecom. Madeline is her boss. Allen is the ex-boyfriend. Evie Parker is her best friend and works as a general dogsbody in a publishing house. Jess says Evie makes so very little, so I’m curious as to how she rates a platinum credit card.

A successful businessman, Fernando Garcia de la Vega gave up a promising career in the bullring to make one woman happy. Now it looks as if he’ll be giving up the love of his life to make another woman happy. His mother, Ana María, is trying to make the best of it. Margarita is his sister. Consuelo is the housekeeper; Gustavo is her son and almost a brother to Fernando. Don Pedrito seems to be all things. Ernesto Garcia de la Vega is his grandfather and also his father, both famous matadors. Tia Margarita is actually Fernando’s great-aunt; Antonia is her maid. Rudolfo is her puppy. Alejandro is a dangerous and unpredictable bull.

Father Domingo is an old family friend. Brother Emilio taught Fernando his numbers.

The Cover and Title

The cover has a white background with the groom in a black suit carrying his frothily dressed bride carrying her bouquet. A flash of red pulls in the matador side.

The title is how Jessica manages in How to Marry a Matador.