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REVIEW: Bachelor Cop by Carolyn McSparren

Dear Ms. McSparren:

Cover image of Bachelor Cop by Carolyn McSparrenOne negative aspect of having titles like the one that is given to your book is that it diminishes the content of the story Bachelor Cop is actually fairly intense emotional story but the title suggests something far more flippant. Perhaps that works in both positive and negative ways. Positive because the reader who believe she does not like the more serious books may pick up this story and enjoy it regardless of her original expectations but negative in that readers who are looking for something more meaty might pass this over.

Randy Railsback is the titular character. He has a reputation for being a womanizer and has no desire to settle down. In addition to his peacekeeping duties, he also runs a self-defense clinic for women. One in his new trainees is English professor, Helen Norcross. Helen is a divorced single mother who suffered a horrible rape and assault. The serial rapist who attacked Helen targets professional women; and sometimes, but not always, will return to the victim and kill her.

Helen is having a hard time recovering from her attack and attending the self-defense course is part of her goal to protect herself and her family from the criminal. Helen presents an interesting character because she is struck by panic attacks and is prone to having a number management issues. She’s not a very typical romance heroine and I really appreciated the diversity of character presented here.

In order for Helen to protect yourself however she really needs to control her rage. I did not feel as if the story suggested that women should not be angry or that Helen was not justified in her rage. Instead it was presented that Helen’s behavior from time to time would actually endanger herself because the anger would overcome her ability to fight back in a particular situation. Other readers assessment of this may be very different.

Randy is attracted to Helen, a little against his will. He ordinarily goes for the women who are into the same type of no strings physical enjoyment attachment versus the type of women like Helen who could barely stand next to him but there is something about Helen that really draws Randy. He exerts himself to get to know Helen, meet her daughter, and learn about how smart she is.

The the sex scenes were handled well. Helen is still in the recovery stage and she attempts to use Randy to test her resiliency when it comes to the opposite sex. This place is Randy in a very unique and uncomfortable situation, one that he has not been in before. His momentary outrage at being the test subject provides a little of it to a given his background with women. Randy’s transformation from tom cat to domesticated lap cat provides the humor in the story:

Randy was worn-out. All this celibacy and extra exercise was sapping his energy instead of giving him more. He ought to feel pumped, ready to hit the clubs down on Beale Street, have a margarita or two, check out the ladies.

Instead he went home. As he watched a basketball game on ESPN, he said, "Before long I'll adopt a cat."

Whether Helen’s recovery is believable will depend upon the reader. This story takes place over a fairly short period of time, maybe a few weeks, although it has been two years since Helen’s abduction and rape. I chose to accept that she had recovered because I felt that Helen’s greatest emotional challenge at the start of the story was overcoming her fear and anger rather than the shame of the attack itself. And it’s never suggested that she has to let go of her anger only that it’s dangerous to allow the anger to control her.

The story is very dialogue heavy and at times I felt that the dialogue was almost too mundane to be shared with the reader. Further, the emphasis on dialogue and lack of internal introspection could have contributed to my uncertainty over Helen’s recovery. As I said previously I accepted that she was because I was told that she was but in truth, I didn’t spend as much time in Helen’s head as I would have liked. B-

Best regards,


This book can be purchased at Amazon, Kindle, eharlequin, ebook Harlequin, or other etailers.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Bianca
    Jan 29, 2010 @ 16:33:00

    Based on that title, and the cheesecake cover, I would have totally dismissed this book — if not for this review. Looks very interesting. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. :)

  2. Erotic Horizon
    Jan 29, 2010 @ 18:35:00

    I have read her stuff before and she is definately an author that I have no qualms about reading anytime…

    But I do agree with you – that title and the pic does trivialize what is rather a really good book…


  3. Kaetrin
    Jan 29, 2010 @ 19:27:21

    thanks for the review Jane. I’ll be picking this one up. It wouldn’t have even been on my radar if not for your review.

  4. joanne
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 07:27:21

    One negative aspect of having titles like the one that is given to your book is that it diminishes the content of the story

    Maybe, probably, to someone who doesn’t read Harlequin releases or romance books. For me Bachelor Cop tells me what I’m getting in terms of the main protagonist.

    Without reading the cover blurb I would know it’s about a cop, ergo someone with ‘issues’, who sees the world through anything but rose colored glasses. Yup, all that from a title so I’m sending kudos to Harlequin/Silhouette for knowing who they sell to.

    I love cop stories. I pick this up based on the title and know that whatever the tough-guy has going on in his life Harlequin the heroine will make him happier.

    Keeping it simple for stupid is not a bad way to keep a business floating, lol!

  5. Katie
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 10:22:50

    I never read harlequin but I just ordered the book based on your review.

  6. Jane
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 20:36:52

    I’m thrilled you are all thinking about getting this book. Please come back and tell me if you liked or hated it!

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    Jan 31, 2010 @ 16:46:46

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  8. Dear Author Recommends for February | Dear Author: Romance Novel Reviews, Industry News, and Commentary
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