The Stand-In Kindle Edition
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Winn is rather down on her luck, struggling to pay her rent while striking out at audition after audition. She is also still reeling from having been left at the altar a year or so ago because she's preferred to avoid dealing with the tumult of emotions that spawned in her instead of working through them. This head-in-the-sand approach creates some potential problems for her when she accepts the position as a stand-in bridesmaid, but she manages alright for awhile, not really having any problems until Patrick starts to follow her around for his article. Her growing attraction to him begins to demand that she face her past and finally deal with all of the emotional fallout from her failed wedding that she has been ignoring for too long.
Patrick is dealing with problems that are more professional than personal, though he has his share of personal problems he largely avoids as well. His current circumstances mean he has little choice but to accept the article assignment his friend offers him despite not liking either the publication his friend runs or the topic he's supposed to write about. He is caught off-guard by his almost instant attraction to Winn, and struggles to keep it under lock-down to maintain at least some modicum of professional behavior. The longer he remains with Winn, however, and the better he gets to know her, the more he finds it difficult to deny his growing feelings for her and the more he find himself having to make some hard decisions and face down some demons of his own in order to clear the way for them to be together.
I really enjoyed this story. Winn and Patrick are both very relateable characters who are dealing with problems that many of us face in our own lives. Their developing romance is heartwarming, but even more so is they way they both begin to come out of their self-imposed cocoons and start to learn to love again. The process is, of course, not without pain and pitfalls, but it's inspiring to watch them work through it and to find the strength within that was always there just waiting for them to call upon it. As they find themselves compelled to stand up for one another against those who would tear them down, so too do they learn how to stand up for themselves and quit playing the victim. Would that we could all manage it as well as they do.
Anyone who enjoys contemporary romances will love this book I think, and perhaps even those who aren't normally drawn to such. Their romance is sweet, but also more than a bit spicy, and the honest emotions of two normal people will surely appeal to a broad range of readers. I give it 4½ stars, rounded up where necessary, for it is certainly worth that benefit of the doubt.
Winn and Patrick are forced together by their new employers and what ensues is a story filled with humor, sparks, romance, drama, and angst.
I had a hard time putting this book down. I looked forward to picking it back up and reading page after page.
I'm horrible at writing reviews and I hope I did the story some justice. This is a stand alone title and one that should not be missed. Read it. I think you will love it.
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