Feature book: The Man Who Saw Her Beauty
Michelle Douglas’s latest Harlequin release is a sweet romance with two characters that tread a rocky path towards happily ever after. Blair Macintyre has returned to her rural hometown for a month’s holiday with her Aunt after battling breast cancer. Blair is worried about others seeing her as being sick and weak, especially her Aunt. Aunt Glory raised Blair after her parent’s deaths and Blair is worried about the impact her illness has had on her aunt and chafes at the restrictions she is trying to put in place.
Blair volunteers to be a mentor for the local agricultural show beauty pageant entrants, hoping to convince the townspeople she is well and to impart the knowledge she gained as a model and a fashion designer. Just after volunteering Blair meets Stevie who has entered the pageant to conquer her fear of public speaking while also seeking some female assistance with growing up.
Stevie’s widowed father, Nick Conway, had forbidden Stevie entering the pageant and discourages her pursuing any activities that enhance physical beauty. After seeing the fashion industry destroy his wife and family he is becoming increasingly frustrated by Stevie’s interest in makeup, clothes and other feminine interests. When he meets Blair Macintyre again he reacts badly when he is reminded of his wife constantly talking about her successes. Blair manages to get Nick to understand his daughter’s needs and he agrees to let her stay in the pageant.
Slowly they get to know each other and begin to open up about the nightmares of their pasts. They also begin to discuss their dreams for the future and start to assist the other in achieving their dream. Then they face their next challenge when they realise they need to come to terms with their present circumstances before they can move on. Of course the catch is that they need to make peace with themselves and then determine if they are still a good match for the other. The final scene will stay with you long after you close the book. Blair is ecstatic that Nick has declared his love for her and accepted her love for him. Only one obstacle remains between them. Blair shows Nick her chest and the scarring left behind by her cancer and is overjoyed when he accepts it.
I can’t recommend this book more highly. Michelle has written a romance with a heroine who has battled cancer but it isn’t the main focus of this story. Blair is a well rounded heroine who is moving on with her life and Nick is a hero who soon realises he needs to get out of the rut his life had become.
reviewed by Tracey T
A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher. All ARRA members who leave a comment will go in the draw to win the book. (This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Lyn W.)