A man is forced to become a young woman's legal guardian, and ends up falling for her against his will just as she also ends up falling for him, but there is another woman who loves him and nobody is willing to admit their feelings until the threat of losing each other looms large. In Canada, a young girl grows to the age of seventeen in a beautiful cabin on the prairie with her elderly grandmother, a woman without warmth or much affection, and who Lyn never really grew to love or feel truly loved by. When Lyn's grandmother dies of old age, a new guardian must be found for the remaining year before Lyn attain adulthood, and this leads to the unexpected arrival of Tor, the brother-in-law of Lyn's recently deceased cousin Jason. Although they are not related by blood, Tor feels his responsibility towards his late brother-in-law Jason, and coldly instructs Lyn that he will keep her under his shelter for a year, and then she is out. Bewildered and alone in the world, and confused by her feelings of attraction to this imperious, tall, dark stranger in his late twenties, Lyn agrees.
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They pack up and move to Tor's enormous Toronto townhouse. Tor is a wealthy businessman, schooled in the graces and social niceties of polite society. Lyn is educated but basically an awkward hillbilly. Cool and condescending, Tor begins to instruct her in the ways of society. He buys her new dresses, gets her a makeover, and is then stunned by the difference it makes in her looks. Tor instructs her in manners and conventions with surprising patience. Jason's widow, Louise, lives next door and watches in amusement while also befriending Lyn and taking it upon herself to act as elder sister mentor. Lyn is dazzled by this new world, and begins to grow confidence - which attracts Tor further, or seems to. He fascinates her and there are some teasing moments of restrained passion on his part. These flirtations lead Lyn to start falling for him. She likes his strength and power, and his protectiveness, and his masculine appeal. However, Tor has a sophisticated blonde companion, Elizabeth, who everyone says he intends to marry. However, Tor himself seems in no hurry to commit to Elizabeth, though it is clear she is hungry for marriage. The night of Lyn's eighteenth birthday, her cool, emotionally unavailable, yet powerfully seductive mentor throws her a birthday party, at which Lyn looks exceptionally beautiful, more mature and polished and attractive than she did when Tor first found her. Tor is bewitched all evening and at the end of the night Tor and Lyn almost have sex, but he stops himself and says he doesn't love her, and this would be wrong.
Bitterly humiliated and rejected, Lyn packs her bags immediately and moves in with her cousin-by-marriage Louise. Lyn is now an independent woman in her own right, and with Louise's mentoring and financial support, begins to live as her own woman. They go to parties together and host parties together, and Lyn becomes more confident and mature. She attracts many suitors and admirers, and Tor begins to notice this. Eventually when a suitor named Frank looks almost ready to propose, Lyn desperately hopes Tor change his mind - and he does. Tor finds Lyn in her garden and kisses her and begs her to marry him, waving away the blonde Elizabeth as a fling and that he had not really seen her since Lyn moved out. Lyn melts into his arms and accepts.
Best part of story, including ending:
I enjoyed the chemistry between the two protagonists.
Best scene in story:
The makeover process as Lyn is primped, cleaned, made up, and dressed until she is a new woman.
Opinion about the main character:
I thought Tor was responsible and fairly kind towards Lyn despite also being cold.