Steven Hudson is a wealthy widower who cannot help but be flattered when a television production company offers him the starring role in Trophy Bride, a reality television program designed to match a prominent bachelor with a gorgeous wife. Even the production company seems to recognize that Steven, a modest, down-to-earth man devastated by the loss of his wife and dedicated to raising his children, is the most unlikely candidate to accept its invitation. Yet, for some reason, he is compelled to do just that. First-time author Tom Perkins decided to pen this novel after receiving a similar invitation, and while he had the good sense to decline to participate in the television production, he should have also declined to write a novel as contrived as Sex and the Single Zillionaire.
The story centers on a strategic effort to establish a love connection between Steven, an older conservative man, with bimbo after bimbo - each of whom is closer in age to Steven’s children than to himself. Steven and his potential wives are sent on elaborate romantic dates which are aptly described, but it is difficult to maintain an interest in any of these potential matches since there is rarely a glimmer of hope that a second or third date will follow - let alone the wedding that producer Jessica James promises will conclude the series. To add to the story’s flaws, despite the fact that each set-up is more absurd that the one that preceded it, the producer seems completely baffled by the possibility that there might not be wedding after all.
Since the story is about the making of a reality show, it should come as no surprise that readers must completely detach themselves from any sense of reality if they want to get through this book. The story is simply a string of unfathomable events and coincidences loosely held together by the description of a few sexual encounters which are insufficient to elevate this book to a must-read, even for a rainy summer afternoon. Despite the complete fiasco of the show’s production, however, it is mildly amusing that everything comes together for a perfect conclusion - at least for the production company looking for a season finale that catches viewers by surprise.