Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: September 24th 2013
Series: Heart Of Montana #1
Source: provided by author for review
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 took this book for review because at one time in my life I was considering a marriage by proxy when I was betrothed to a Marine stationed in Iraq. My curiosity about how this works drew me in but the romance kept me hooked until the end. By Proxy was a sweet, romantic and charming unexpected love story.
Jenny Lindstrom dreams of something bigger than just taking care of her father and brothers in the small town of Gardiner Montana. When her mother became ill and eventually passed away her taste for the bigger city was squelched by her fear of losing someone else she loves and that has kept her in her small home town. When she agrees to stand in for her best friend in a proxy wedding she meets Sam Kelley who stands in for his cousin Kristian. Sam is from Chicago and works as an investment banker and is nothing like what Jenny is used to. When he shows up to the ceremony late sparks between them fly and throws the ceremony into chaos when the judge leaves early causing them to spend the weekend together until the he can come back.
Jenny and Sam couldn't be more polar opposite but sometimes that works. She's a small town schoolteacher and Sam comes from a faced paced world in Chicago but craves something simple and like he grew up watching with his parents. I loved seeing how both of their preconceived notions about the other person slowly faded away once they got to know each other. As Sam helped Jenny get ready for Christmas and spent time in her element he started to realize the big city life might not be what ultimately fulfills him. I loved how he helped Jenny overcome her fear of leaving the small town and her family and following her heart. Watching Jenny let go of the reigns she has been tightly holding onto was perfect. She needed someone to shake up her life and show her there was more.
Things for Jenny and Same develop slowly over the weekend he spends in town and when they finally get to participate in the proxy ceremony things get very real for the couple. Basically a proxy marriage is walking a thin line of actually marrying someone yourself and Jenny's concerns and fears about saying vows only once were very valid I thought. Technically you are marrying someone by saying the vows for the couple you are standing in for and I felt this scene was very emotional between these two. I loved how despite her own feelings about this kind of ceremony Jenny was willing to put that aside and do this for her best friend.
The supporting characters of Jenny's very protective, very BIG brothers was so much fun. They gave Sam a run for his money when it came to protecting their baby sister. There were a few hints at what their stories would be, hopefully, when they get their own books. I fell for all those big blond Nords and can't wait to see what happens with them. Sam and Jenny prove that people from two different worlds can find love no matter what and endear me even more to the opposites trope I enjoy reading. I was very pleased with this sweet little holiday romance. It was full of humor, sweet moments and passionate kisses! By Proxy was every bit the pleasant surprise I was hoping it would be and I enjoyed it very much. If, like me, you need a little nudge getting into the Holiday spirit I would highly recommend you check out By Proxy this Christmas.
The attraction between them was like a tight guitar string attached from his heart to hers; it was as though someone had just plucked it, and it hummed and vibrated between them like a current, like something alive. It was too much, too intimate, something irrevocable and life-changing at her heels. Mobi/Kindle 46%
“Jenny, I’ve never met anyone like you, ever. I know we’re still getting to know each other, so this might seem kind of crazy…but I just know for sure I’m not ready to say good-bye to you tomorrow. I know it should be impossible for me to have feelings this strong after only three days, but…” He shook his head, looking down at their hands then back up at her face, seizing her eyes with a fierce longing. “I do. I am falling for you so hard, and you're here and I have to go home, and it feels awful to think of being so far away from you.” Mobi/Kindle 65%
About The Author:
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.