Author: Katy Regnery
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Holiday
Publication Date: Sept. 24th 2013
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 received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review**
First, I would like to say how much I love this cover! Maybe I'm just a sucker for blue (and Christmas!), but I think it fits the book perfectly-- festive and oh so cute! When I was first approached by the author to review By Proxy, I knew I had to give it a shot. First of all, the concept was something completely different-- and, honestly, centered around something I had never even heard of before: a double proxy wedding.
For those of you saying "huh?" like I did, here is the definition according to Wikipedia: "A proxy wedding or (proxy marriage) is a wedding in which the bride or groom (or both) is not physically present, usually being represented instead by another person. If both partners are absent a double proxy wedding occurs." This actually very interesting to me, and I can see how, in some instances, this practice can be extremely helpful-- with military couples (which is true for this novel), for example. But, despite that, it just screams impersonal to me. Oh well, to each their own! Obviously they don't do this by choice.
Now that I've sufficiently veered off course, I'll get back to what I thought about By Proxy! I will admit that this story was a bit difficult for me to get into in the beginning. I was having a very hard time connecting to the characters and had my fingers crossed tightly for something exciting to happen. After pushing through the first parts of the book, though, I had a much easier time and ended up really enjoying the story.
Jenny, a teacher, is exactly as the blurb depicts her: stubbornly small-town. But she's also very sweet, and has a heart of gold. But those things definitely don't mean that she isn't tough. Being the baby of the family with three older brothers, she definitely knows how to stand up for herself. When she meets Sam, who makes them late for their appointment and doesn't make a good first impression at all, she writes him off as an arrogant man who has no respect for her down-home lifestyle. And while Sam does seem to look down on life in a small down, it turns out that he truly appreciates it at heart. Originally, I found the two main characters to be pretty judgmental of each other, feeding into stereotypes. But once the story really got moving, I was hooked and found I really enjoyed their interactions with each other. There were laugh-out-loud moments for me, and this story turned out to be extremely heartwarming.
In the end, I found this novel to be completely charming and so sweet. I became quite attached to the characters and found myself really invested in how their story would play out. I loved that the basis of this story was something new and different. And by pairing all of the sigh-worthy, romantic moments with Christmas and the holidays, Katy really gives us something magical. If you're a sucker for Christmas stories and books about finding love in the most unexpected of places, this one needs to go on your list!
Purchase By Proxy Now!
KATY 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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