Calder Pride
by Janet Dailey, contemporary (2000)
Harper, $7.50, ISBN 0-06-109459-5


This is my first Janet Dailey novel. I mean, I've heard of her after the Unfortunate Incident a few years back, and I am curious to see how her books are like. If Calder Pride is anything to go by, I'll say her books are right on for JR Ewing groupies and other cowboy fans. There is enough cowboy shtick here to make any lady who is into that sort of thing wet her diapers.

Cat is a Calder, which means she is Headstrong, Proud, and Full of Hot Air. When her boyfriend dies (without plucking her apple tree), she is Bitter and Will Never Love Again. Oh, you go lady! Show 'em, Cat! Then one day she meets this cute hottie who looks just like said boyfriend, and wham, bang, one night stand, pregnancy time. Our Cat, however, Needs No Man and decides to raise the kid On Her Own, free from Men's Influence.

Too bad, the daddy turns out to be the new sheriff, Logan Echohawk. With a name like that, you bet his sperm cells are out to kill, baby. As they sweep the peaceful countryside free from evil, they bicker, they yell, they shake their head, and they make lots of hot air. Cat has no character except for this tendency to stamp her foot, Logan is a bit better as the stereotypical cowboy/Indian/virile poster boy hero, and there are enough insulting stereotypes to feed the neighborhood.

For instance, every other woman who isn't family must hate Cat. Redneck county rules, I guess. Every other non-Calder man (except the hero, of course) is a moron, the women scheming Delilahs, and every sheep and cattle lovers that are the Calder groupies in this novel respect, adore, and prostrate themselves in eternal servitude to this family. Because Calder have lots of money and they have Calder Pride.

Which is why, when Cat is drunk and is urging Logan to pluck all her cherries and heck, make wine out of her vineyards to boot, he hesitates.

With her guard down, it wouldn't be that difficult to work his way into her bed, and he knew it. If she had been like other women he had met in bars, none of this would be bothering him. But she wasn't. She was a different breed entirely.

It is so nice to see where non-Calder women stand in our Calder men and their in-laws' mindset. Probably next to that old, diseased cow over there labeled "Use and Discard".

Calder Pride boasts juvenile bickerings, rather overly simplistic writing style, and lots of redneck buffoonery masquerading as Class. Well, no matter how much money these hillbilly cattlemen have, lack of class always show, I say. Calder Pride is nothing but hot air.

Rating: 46


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