Book Review: M.J. Carnal’s Taming the Bachelor

Posted August 20, 2014 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

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

Book Review: M.J. Carnal’s Taming the Bachelor

Taming the Bachelor


M.J. Carnal

romance in eBook edition that was published by Amazon Digital Services on June 26, 2013 and has 174 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

First in the Moretti Novels romance series revolving around the Dickerman gang. Based in Beverly Hills. The primary couple focus is on Marco and Sophia while a secondary focus is on the about-to-be-wed couple, Molly and Rich.

Caution: Insta-love on both sides.

My Take

Omigod, this was a train wreck. Carnal really needs to hire a proofreader before putting out her novels. REALLY! Between the confusion over what is properly lowercased and what should be uppercase — hullo, maid of honor is not uppercased, proper nouns are always uppercased, and normally, only the beginning word in a sentence is capped; poor punctuation (at the very least, learn about the vocative case!); a lack of or a confused use of articles and prepositions; extra verbs (I’ll will and I’m am and the like will never cut it); totally clueless about closed compound words; misspellings (oh, lord); just because I’m feeling pissy, hyphenation can help; improper word use; learn how to use contractions; and lastly, consistency should be your god. Pick up a style guide. Get a dictionary. Merriam-Webster or Oxford are both good.

Why Carnal is calling this the Moretti series when she’s taken care of the sister’s romance (in what I had assumed was an earlier installment) and this story is about her brother’s romance — and this concludes the Morettis before going on to their close friends whom they refer to as the Dickerman gang about whom Carnal is dropping references throughout the story. Why didn’t she simply call this the Dickerman Gang Novels?

Then, it’s very impressive that Marco Moretti goes off to college, joins the Marines for at least a couple of tours, and then turns into a stockbroker making enough money to buy a multimillion dollar home. In 10 years.

Okay, so the Moretti parents. Dad is in the military and plunks the family down in, ahem, Beverly Hills because, oh yeah, where else does a soldier stick his family? So Dad swans off doing his job, leaving Mom and the kids to cope with the cost of living in B Hills. Mom is struggling to make enough money, and Marco goes to work as soon as he can so his baby sis can have what she needs to fit in. ‘Cause, oh yeah, living in Beverly Hills is one’s only option…*eye roll*… By the end of the story, Marco can barely tolerate being around his parents…for some reason which I obviously missed.

The underlying issue is Sophia’s horror of being cheated on, so what does Carnal do? Oh, yeah, she has her sensitive wonderful male protagonist do everything he can to look as if he’s cheating. Thank god I was in bed reading this or the dizziness from the eye rolling would have put me on the floor. Wasn’t it sweet of Mr. Sensitive to get someone else to go with him to buy the home of his fiancée’s dreams and for him to be totally unavailable to her for an entire week? Of course, Sophia is TSTB (too stupid to believe) as she immediately falls to all the wrong conclusions throughout the story. I think I’m getting a headache from more eye rolling… And sweet little Sophie learns on the flight out that Caleb is in love with her. And he’s bunking in with her on the island. So, naturally, sweet little Sophie is really considerate and is all set to boink Mark out in the ocean in front of all their friends. Ain’t she sweet? When she confesses it to Caleb, she’s totally confused as to why Caleb won’t comfort her when she thinks Mark has already gone off to cheat on her.

Then there’s the big conflict towards the end when, again, Sophie can’t be bothered to get the other side’s story, but immediately leaps into melodrama — AND includes her sister as one of the bad guys! The sister who has always had her back. Yep, yessiree, I am so believing this…not.

Okay, I am so cracking up on this one. And I must have missed the reasoning here. But Sophie is a VERY last-minute substitute as the maid of honor. Seems the original one got pregnant. Oopsies, didn’t see that one coming *eye roll*! She must’a swelled up right quick for it to be a problem at the last minute.

I do love Rich and Molly’s idea of groomsmen and brides’ maid gifts! Woo-hoo! It was also cute to have Caleb and Sophie fighting over her erotic novel.

Um, if Molly and Rich had planned the party trip out and knew how many people would be there, how did they not have enough rooms? Oh, boy, then there’s Mark asking Sophie “Tell me more about you. I want to know everything.” And she does tell him. E-V-E-R-Y-thing in a major info dump. Oh, brother. I’m surprised Mark’s eyes didn’t glaze over.

And it’s a tell with very little show…but plenty of lame melodrama.

The Story

It’s the week before Molly’s wedding, and Marco is back in town for it. Heck, he’s more than back in town for he’s come to stay.

It’s instant attraction between these two, Marco and Sophie, and that vacation at the Hedonism hotel in Jamaica ratchets up the hot-and-bothered for both.

The Characters

Sophie Barringer is a junior editor with Phantom House books (hmmm, I wonder if “books” is part of the company name?); Caleb is her boss. She had moved to L.A. with her boyfriend, Shawn. Layla Barringer is her sister.

Marco “Mark” Moretti has been working as long as he can remember to ensure he would “make enough money to care for everyone he loved”. In school, he played baseball, went off to UCLA, which naturally is followed by a couple tours in the Marines before he turns into a highly successful stockbroker — and in between, he’s a major player.

Molly Moretti is Marco’s baby sister, and she’s engaged to his best friend, Rich Dickerman. The guy who’s been in love with her since 8th grade. Molly is also an editor at Phantom House. Mario Maretti is the father and in the military. Rather than drag his family all over the world, he left “his wife and two children behind to struggle to keep up with the socialites of Beverly Hills”.

The rest of the gang includes:
Rich Dickerman, Caleb Allen who is now a senior editor at Phantom House, Ryan West is the playboy of the group and works as a personal trainer, Steve, and Chad.

The bridesmaids include:
Amber is a former high school sweetheart of Mark’s, and she’s engaged to Steve, then there’s Liz, Claire, and Jessica.

The Cover and Title

The cover feels right with a hot, ripped guy standing shirtless and looking out the window. That short haircut helps give that stockbroker feel with an edge.

The title is accurate enough for Marco is a confirmed bachelor, but Sophie is Taming the Bachelor.