Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Holiday by Design - Patricia Kay (HSE #2296 - Nov 2013)

Series: Hunt for Cinderella (Book 9)

Turning thirty? Time for artist Joanna Spinelli to put her life plan into action! Will true love be on her to-do list?

Joanna Spinelli was determined to make her design dreams finally happen. Getting a show at Marcus Barlow's art gallery was key. Sure, the straitlaced businessman might be just a little too sedate for her taste. But just one look and she could feel herself melt like chocolate….

She was like a fresh breeze to his all-work, no-play life. And though Marcus appreciated her carefree lifestyle, he knew Joanna would have to change to fit into his world. Yet by asking her to become someone she was not, would Marcus lose the things he cherished in her the most? Or would he finally learn to loosen his tie -- and open his heart?

Good book, though I did have a hard time with the hero.  Joanna is ready to take the next step to make her dreams come true.  All she needs is a way to get her designs in front of the public.  Scoring a chance to show her work at Marcus's gallery is just what she needs.  She's not sure how well they'll deal together since he's pretty conservative and she's not, but she'll do her best.  She didn't expect the heat between them and was very sure that getting involved with him would be a mistake.  But Marcus doesn't seem to agree.

I really liked Joanna.  She knows what she wants to do with her designs and she is determined to find a way to do it.  I loved her visit to Marcus's gallery and the way she refused to be intimidated by the snotty manager.  Her excitement when she got his call was fantastic and gave her a nice boost in confidence.  That excitement dimmed a little when she met him because she felt that her sense of style was one that he didn't really approve of.  She wasn't too sure about his suggestion that she pair her designs with his sister's jewelry but was willing to keep an open mind.  That open mind paid off when she and Vanessa had a chance to meet and get to know each other and they discovered that they could work well together.  Joanna was a little disturbed by his disapproving attitude toward his sister.  She also found that there was a lot that she and Marcus did agree on and their attraction kept building.  There were some great scenes of them together when everything went well. I liked the charity dinner that they went to and how Marcus made a point of introducing her to so many people. There were also times when Joanna's insecurities caused her to feel that being with Marcus was not going to end well, especially when she had to deal with his snob of a mother.  I felt really bad for her when inviting Marcus and his sister to spend Thanksgiving with her family didn't go well.  I loved the fact that she stood up for herself and let him know that if he didn't like her the way she was that was his problem not hers.

I spent most of the book wanting to push Marcus into a really cold body of water to wake him up to what a jerk he was.  I felt a little sorry for him because he'd given up his own dreams when his father died and he had to take over the family business.  But he spent way too much time worrying about appearances and trying to control what his brother and sister did.  I did like the way that he used his gallery to help various artists get started and the way that he shut down the manager when she was snotty about Joanna.  He had a good eye for possibilities which is why he wanted to pair up Joanna and Vanessa.  I didn't like the way he treated Vanessa like a child when they were at lunch with Joanna.  Or the way he kept putting down his brother.  What really made me mad about him was the way he admitted his attraction to Joanna, but kept thinking about how he would have to get her to change certain things so that she would properly fit into his life.  When he went with her for Thanksgiving his attitude about her family was terrible.  It served him right when he later made a comment about her tattoo and she told him to take a hike.  It was satisfying when he finally realized what an idiot he was, and his "go big" moment was pretty darn good.  

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