Sunday, November 17, 2013

MINI-REVIEWS: BY PROXY and THE CHRISTMAS WISH (HEART OF MONTANA #1, 1.5) by KATE REGNERY

By ProxySeries: Heart of Montana #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Publication Date: 9/24/13
Format: eARC
Pages: 224
Source: Received from author for review
Rating: 3.5 stars

A HOLIDAY SURPRISE

Stubbornly small-town Jenny Lindstrom has misgivings when she promises to stand proxy in her best friend’s wedding—misgivings that are fulfilled when tall, handsome Sam Kelley walks into the courthouse an hour late. In order to keep her promise, an afternoon favor turns into a weekend of startling but undeniable attraction, threatening the well-ordered world that keeps her heart at arm’s length from any more pain.

Sam’s plan is to fly to Livingston, Montana, take vows for his favorite cousin, and return to Chicago as quickly as possible. But his plan is turned upside-down when he must spend a weekend with Jenny in Gardiner in order to keep his word. He doesn’t want to fall for the prim, proper schoolteacher whose small-town life seems to him like selling out, but the more time he spends with her, the harder it is to say good-bye.

When city and country come together for Christmas, the unexpected gift is true love.
 


I love, love, love holiday stories, particularly those revolving around Christmas and New Years. By Proxy has not only that going for it, but also a very interesting premise. Apparently in the state of Montana, there is a law that allows couples to marry by proxy, meaning, someone can stand in for one or both people. Weird, right? And who wants someone to stand in for them on one of the biggest days? But when the couple in question is a newly pregnant Army nurse stationed in Germany, and her fiancĂ© stationed in Afghanistan, this actually makes sense. I read an insane amount of books, so when a story can surprise me with something new, I am always happy.

By Proxy is the story of strangers Jenny and Sam, proxies in a marriage ceremony, who fall in love. It is a quickly paced story, with the bulk of it taking place in one weekend. Theirs is a world-wind romance, a very clean one at that. I would say that maybe they fell in love a bit quickly to suit me, but hey, it's the holidays and the two are set up in an awkward yet romantic situation.

This is the first story in the Heart of Montana series, which will also tell the stories of Jenny's three brothers. By Proxy was nicely written, with a lot of country charm and sweetness.



Favorite Quote:

  She lost herself in his eyes, allowing him to hold her up above the water line so she could breathe, so she wouldn't drown.    ~eARC, 70%



Series: Heart of Montana #1.5
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Publication Date: 11/5/13
Format: eARC
Pages: 55
Source: Received from author for review
Rating: 3.5 stars

Waitress Tess Branson has earned a bad reputation, and the nickname “Fast Tessie,” as result of her poor judgement where men are concerned. She learned from a young age that men – of all ages – were only interested in one thing, which has made Tess distrustful even though she yearns for love.

Lucas Flynn, the short order cook at the restaurant where Tess works, has just been released on parole. After committing a terrible crime and losing someone he loved, he’s trying to get his life back on track. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a kind, pretty waitress who has problems of her own.

Tess makes a wish on a star one wintry night, but it's going to take a heap of Christmas magic to help it come true!
 

The Christmas Wish is the story of Tess, a waitress briefly introduced in By Proxy. In that story, Tess seemed sleezy and way too forward. In The Christmas Wish, we learn that Tess is a sweetheart, a sad girl who's never known true love. This also features Lucas, recently released from prison for attacking the man who abused his sister. Lucas doesn't see Tess as the town's sure thing, he sees a kind young woman whom he could easily fall in love with. A wish on a star, a tentative romance, and a Christmas to remember will bring these two sad but lovable characters together.
 
The Christmas Wish was such a neat story. I really liked that the two main characters were not exactly heroic, but became heroic to one another. Despite being an extremely quick read, it managed to touch my heart.

 
Favorite Quote:

   "I'm not going anywhere unless you're going with me, because you're my destination. Wherever you are, I'm home." 
 
  
 
Purchase By Proxy and The Christmas Wish



About the author:
Katy RegneryKATY REGNERY, winner of the 2013 NECRWA First Kiss and 2013 Maine RWA Everything But the Kitchen Sink contests, has always loved telling a good story and 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.

As it turned out, one love story turned into a series of five Heart of Montana romances, following the love lives of the Yellowstone-based Lindstrom siblings. In addition to small-town contemporary romance, Katy is presently writing a paranormal romance that takes place in northern New England and the forests north of Quebec.

Speaking of forests, Katy lives in the relative-wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut where her writing room looks out at the woods and her husband, two young children and two dogs create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories of all are the messy and unexpected ones.


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19 comments:

  1. By Proxy has such a pretty cover. I haven't heard of either of these but they both sound like your kind of read. I'm so happy you enjoyed them. Great reviews, Andrea :)

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    1. Tanja, I am so delighted that you like my cover!! :) Our Christmas tree has blue lights every year (a holdover from my grandmother, who couldn't find any other lights available during WWII) so Christmas and blue have always gone together for me. I hope you love BY PROXY! :)

      -Katy

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  2. I agree with Tanja- By Proxy's cover is adorable! I am making a nice little list of Christmas reads, so I will add these two since you thought they were cute.

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    1. Oh, you are so sweet!! You ladies are making my day with these kind compliments! Thank you so much! :)

      -Katy

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  3. awww these two look so great, absolutely love holiday books myself

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    1. Me too! It wouldn't be Christmas without a couple of Christmas love stories. Thank you so much, Lily, for giving mine a chance. :)

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  4. Thanks for the honest review. The story does seem interesting and I like the cover. Maybe I'll give it a try soon.

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    1. Double proxy marriage is such an obscure law, but I was really swept away with the idea of taking someone else's vows for them. I mean, you're essentially saying those sacred words to a total stranger! I loved getting inside Jenny's head and exploring how that would feel. I hope you enjoy BY PROXY, Shane! :)

      -Katy

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  5. I've never heard of marriage by proxy. What an interesting concept. I love holiday stories. Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Hey Lindy! I had originally set out to write a historical about arranged marriage, but when Wikipedia redirected me to a page about proxy marriage, I was totally sucked in by the concept because it felt so original. I hope you enjoy BY PROXY!!

      -Katy

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  6. So much Christmas fun! I'm really in the holiday story reading mood! These look good, too. Thanks pal.

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    1. Hey Valerie! I love Christmas romances too!! In fact, I just realized that BY PROXY and "The Christmas Wish" are #7 and #8 on the GoodReads Best Seasonal Romances list (sharing space with Lisa Kleypas and Jill Shalvis, be still my thumping heart!) and found a couple more books for my own holiday TBR list! :) I hope you'll give my books a try.
      -Katy

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  7. Both these sound like books to put you in the holiday spirit, Andrea. I would say By Proxy interests me the most because of that premise...but, I also like the thought of characters not being heroic but becoming so through the course of the book. :) So I guess that means I'll check out both of them! ;)

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    1. Thank you so much for checking them out, Brandee! The heroines are very different in the two stories, but I think that makes them an interesting contrast. Love is for everyone - good girls, bad girls, everyone. :) I hope you enjoy them! -Katy

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  8. These sounds like very touching and heartwarming stories. Lovely reviews, Andrea! :)

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    1. I hope you enjoy them, Rachel!! They are very sweet. :) -Katy

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  9. Both sound cute. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I hope you give them a chance, Autumn - I'd love to know what you think! Thank you!! -Katy

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  10. Both of these sound like great Christmas stories. There are such good ones out this year.

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