Shy Esme Jaramillo is so excited to be asked to speak about her work with gene cloning on The Barry Stillman Show. It is rare for a scientist to have so much exposure - and to be on television! Esme made sure that her mother, father and two best friends could be there for her to support her in the audience. She is a little uneasy after some questions that the gorgeous makeup artist, Gavino Mendez, asked her, but she was too distracted by Gavino's gorgeous looks and seemingly real interest in her. Before she knows it, Esme is out on stage and is horrified to realize that she is actually part of a beauty makeover show where they invite ugly bookworms to be made over. She cannot believe it when she learns that her co-worker, Vitor Elizalde, nominated her for the show. She immediately forces her way out of the studio and refuses to listen to Gavino's attempted apologies. Sure that everyone who has ever known her has seen the show, she retreats to her home in Denver, Colorado and limits her visitors to close friends and family.
Gavino feels terrible about what he helped do to Esme and knows that he needs to apologize to her. He quits his job and travels out to Colorado where he tries to make up for what he did. Esme is reluctant to accept his apology, but Gavino just has a way of forcing himself into her life. It would also help if she wasn't so attracted to him. She reluctantly agrees to rent him the studio apartment over her garage as long as they remain friends. Gavino is disappointed that she does not seem interested in him in a romantic way, but he is willing to follow her lead for now. He even offers to help her get a whole new look so that she can wow everyone at the employee dinner where she will run into Vitor for the first time since she was on the show. As they spend more and more time together, Esme and Gavino fall deeper into love, but neither of them is sure how to share their feelings. Several misunderstandings threaten to tear them apart and Esme seems to have lost all faith in Gavino. Can he make her see that she is beautiful just the way she is?
This romance is a classic Cinderella story, but written so beautifully and with such wonderful characters that you don't even care. Esme was a beautiful, caring woman who couldn't understand that physical beauty was nothing compared to who you are inside. She also learned that what other people say about you is not necessarily true and that you need to believe in yourself. Gavino was a gorgeous, sexy man who had a been a real wild child and was now finding that he could make a whole new life with this wonderful woman that he had found. Esme's friends, Lilly and Pilar, and Pilar's children were fun secondary characters (both of whom have a book written about them, by the way). The book was nicely written, with a well-developed plot and lots of hot scenes between the two main characters. Sparks were definitely flying here! A great read - go out and find a copy for your very own!
This report prepared by Debbie