In The Other C-Word by M.K. Schiller the company that Marley works for is bringing in an efficiency consultant. It is enough to strike fear into the heart of any worker whose job could be easily outsourced. Come the day of his arrival, her catty co-worker, Kathy decides that she is “too sick” – translation – she can’t be bothered to pick up Mr. Randy from the airport and in a deft “Mikey will eat it” move leaves Marley holding the bag or keys if you will.
As is the law of Murphy, Marley is late getting to the airport and of course has no idea what the expert she is picking up looks like. She is struck by a gorgeous Chris Pine lookalike, who couldn’t be her consultant, her mental image is that of someone at least 60 and who looks not look a day under 80. Lost in a field of suits she realizes that this problem is easily rectified, why not make a sign like all the rest of the chauffeur types. With lurid pink lipstick she scrawls “R U RANDY?” and is immediately accosted by a geriatric somewhat senile Lothario. “Green eyes” aka – the lookalike saves her from an incensed daughter and a possible kidnapping charge revealing that he is in fact Rick Randy the efficiency expert.
Marley Mason is dreading the arrival of the new business consultant. After all, this man will most likely outsource her job to China. The last thing she would expect is a case of mistaken identity, leading to false accusations of kidnapping when she attempts to pick up the wrong man at the airport, or worse…that she would have such a visceral reaction to the right man.
Rick Randy is super sexy, scandalously flirty and perfect masturbation material, but a relationship is out of the question. Rick is contracted on a temporary basis to fix Marley’s ailing company, then pull out, although as he expresses to Marley, pulling out is difficult for him, in more ways than one! Marley’s feelings range from utter confusion to intense contemplation as Rick charms his way into her life. All of those C-words Marley can control, but it’s the other C-word she fears—commitment.
Do you remember that infamous Sex and the City episode, you know the one where Charlotte coined the now legendary phrase from the seemingly innocent acronym “See you next Tuesday”? We all know that’s the c-word you were thinking, admit it, but you would be wrong. If you still don’t know what I am talking about then I give up. Despite the very provocative cover, the central theme of M.K. Schiller’s light hearted romantic read features Marley Mason’s very real phobia of commitment and how this could ultimately cost her the man that she secretly wants but is afraid to keep.
There were a number of things that I enjoyed about M.K. Schiller’s novel, particularly the members of Marley’s family and the character of Rick himself. Often times in books the “quirky family” becomes almost a farcical caricature more of a distraction than adding to the whole, however in The Other C-Word the Mason family is just odd enough to be realistic. Marley’s vegan mother, style obsessed and Little Women loving sisters coupled with the boy turned fiance next store and her obsessive compulsive gay best friend all come together to paint a picture of genuinely appealing yet slightly wacky family.
This is the second book that I have read recently that dealt with some very dark and intense themes in a light, artful manner, without minimizing their significance and neatly avoiding the self important overly dramatic soap opera like scenes that can result from subjects commonly touched on in New Adult fiction. I hope this trend continues as I finished The Other C-Word and rather than feeling conflicted I felt contented and curious to see what M.K. Schiller’s catalog of work might contain.
AUTHOR: M. K. Schiller
RATING: 4 Stars