The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years. – Audrey Hepburn
A mother takes twenty years to make a man of her boy, and another woman makes a fool of him in twenty minutes. – Robert Frost
Jane has a life I would never want to even attempt. Orphaned at ten, she is shuffled off to live with her uncle Mays, her father’s twin brother and his family. Broken hearted and alone, she is shuffled to the side by her aunt and their daughter, Sara, who are furiously jealous of any attention that her uncle bestows upon her – the only daughter of his beloved twin.
There is another difficulty – for Sara is that incredibly rare creation of nature, a perfect beauty. The kind of beauty that leaves women in despair, and whom men . . .? Well, drooling idiot comes to mind. And let’s just say that Sara has that whole “bee-atch” thing down to a science. Hateful, vicious, self-centred, cruel, demanding, “fill in nasty descriptor here.” And Jane? Well, being the technical assistant to now supermodel Sara for the last five years (because uncle asked, and of course Jane can’t turn him down), Jane has withstood more poisonous vituperation than any one sweet, gentle, kind, good natured woman should have to stand.
As the third in the Heart of Montana Romance series, you no doubt can guess that the next shoot is to be set in Yellowstone, one of the most beautiful parks in the world, much less the United States. As always, Katy gives you a taste of the awesome beauty of Northern Montana all through the book, from the Loop to Sheepeaters, Old Faithful and Yellowstone Lake. The town of Gardiner plays its part as well, acting as the quaint and historical setting for all 720 of its inhabitants.
Coming ahead to set things up for Sara, or ‘Samara’ as she calls herself now, Jane meets Lars Lindstrom, who is set to be the local tour guide for Samara’s entourage. Fully loaded down with Samara’s ‘send ahead’ luggage: “I think it was eight bags. Maybe nine. Maybe eighty-six thousand and twenty-four. I can’t remember.” And the first thing Lars thinks is. . . “She really wasn’t much to look at.” Sigh. And there you go. The set up for pain, misunderstandings, and sheer stupidity on the part of the male population of the little town of Gardiner – and especially on the part of one naïve Swede named Lars. One stupid, drooling, fawning, naïve Swede named Lars. Sigh. So, though Lars is apparently drawn to Jane’s wit, courage, kindness, and a growing knowledge of how lovely she truly is, and refuses to believe that he will fall into Samara when she arrives, lured to her by her breathtaking beauty – and though Jane wishes with all her heart that she could be wrong, that he could be that .01% of the population that doesn’t fall under her spell – well.
Believe me, Samara is one person that anyone with a conscience should happily love to hate. And my blood boiled with it, I must admit. The thing Sara truly doesn’t comprehend? Beauty is ever to the lonely mind a shadow fleeting; she is never plain. She is a visitor who leaves behind the gift of grief, the souvenir of pain1. Sara may be beautiful for a few more, fleeting years – but Jane. Jane will be beautiful forever… But will Lars figure that out? Or will he, like so many others, be merely another broken toy, flung aside by a spoiled, vindictive child-woman, while Jane herself is once again left to fade into the background? No way, People. You HAVE to read this book; I certainly am not going to tell you!
Katy’s handling of Samara and Jane, as well as Lars, Nils, Maggie, and the rest of the characters in this third of this marvelous series, is as wonderfully handled as always. She draws you into the characters and the landscape, and the reader can’t help but long for the stunning vistas of Montana, and the presence of its people, as the story wraps around your heart and mind and pulls you in.
And is it silly to say how much I love the Swedish language peppered throughout the story? Katy imbues her books with the strength and loyalty that threads throughout the families in her books. The feeling of not only history and pride in heritage, but the love and compassion that the families have for not only their blood relations, but for their friends and neighbors. Vardefull (I can’t find the a with the two little dots over the top, darn umlauts!) Anyway, the word means “valuable…precious” sort of what I feel about Katy’s books. One way or the other, this has always been one of my favorite things about her writing. Her focus on a family life lived well, even if Jane’s personal family is a train wreck, Lars’ definitely isn’t.
Fair warning: Toward the end of the book one of the characters decides to engage in a BDSM lifestyle, although graphic scenes are not included in the book. This bothered me. If you are offended by this “lifestyle” as I am, please keep this in mind.
This book was provided to me by Heather Davenport at Book Plug Promotions in return for an honest review. No remuneration was exchanged. All thoughts and statements are my own.
1 Christopher Morley
When a plain Jane photographer faces off with her supermodel cousin to win an easygoing cowboy’s heart, someone’s going to fall. Hard.
When his company is contracted by a magazine to help with a fashion photo shoot, easy-going Yellowstone tour guide Lars Lindstrom rolls his eyes. This means he’ll have to “babysit” supermodel Samara Amaya’s assistant. Little does he know that Jane Mays, Samara’s down-to-earth, smart-mouthed assistant and cousin, with her smoky voice and surprisingly soft heart, is someone of whom he can’t get enough—or that spoiled Samara has her sights set on a weekend fling with him and will do just about anything to get her way.
KATY REGNERY, contemporary romance author of the Heart of Montana and Enchanted Places series, has always loved telling a good story. She credits her mother with making funny, heartwarming tales come alive throughout her childhood. A lifelong devotee of all romance writing, from Edwardian to present-day, it was just a matter of time before Katy tried her hand at writing a love story of her own. Living in northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, her family creates just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories of all are the messy and unexpected ones.
Please track down Katy on Twitter (@KatyRegnery) or Facebook (KatyRegnery) where she loves interacting with her fans…especially at #LunchtimeLiveWithKaty every weekday from 12-1pm EST.
Katy Regnery Links!
• Katy Regnery (Goodreads): https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7211470
• Katy Regnery (Amazon Author link): http://www.amazon.com/Katy-Regnery/e/B00FDZKXYU/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1394938840&sr=8-2-ent
• Facebook: www.facebook.com/KatyRegnery
• Twitter: @KatyRegnery
• By Proxy (Goodreads): https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18299829-by-proxy
• Midsummer Sweetheart, Heart of Montana #2 (Goodreads): https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20613919-midsummer-sweetheart
• See Jane Fall, Heart of Montana #3 (Goodreads): https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20920630-see-jane-fall
By Proxy – http://amzn.to/1lcMKV3
Midsummer Sweetheart – http://amzn.to/1aRG3UA
See Jane Fall – http://tinyurl.com/lgmxr6w
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