REVIEW: Too Pretty by Andrea Grigg
When being beautiful means you are constantly criticised, how would you react?
Ellie Paxton has endured more than her fair share of criticism – simply because she’s beautiful. Frustrated by a long string of empty relationships, Ellie makes a promise not to date for six months. The same day, she is rescued by the handsome but enigmatic Nathaniel. Thinking it’s unlikely she’ll ever see him again, Ellie unburdens herself to him and then they part.
Wanting a fresh start, Ellie leaves her country town and moves to Sydney. An unexpected reunion with her best friend from high school leads her straight to Nathaniel. Appearing reserved and aloof, she discovers this is merely his way of dealing with his intense attraction for her. But what about her promise?
Ellie has another pressing problem – no job. Frustrated, she gives in to an impulse which could jeopardise any hope of her having a relationship with Nathaniel.
Will he be able to forgive her? And when will Ellie learn to ‘let go and let God’?
Dear Ms. Grigg ,
The blurb for this one sounded different but it was after I checked out the sample with Ellie and her delightful cousin Chloe (who reminds me of the character of Scarlett in “Four Weddings and a Funeral”) that I wanted to read it. Ellie’s gorgeous, Chloe’s quirky but they have each others back at the command performance community dinner event knowing they’re about to run into the dreaded Auntie Rita.
After facing down an irate Auntie and meeting a wonderful older lady, Ellie gets presented with temptation right after making a vow to God to swear off men for six months. Dorothy’s grandson is sinfully sexy but couldn’t make it clearer that he has no interest in her. Well, that stings. He does save her from a bore on the dance floor and finds herself telling him more than she counted on.
They meet again through mutual best friends in Sydney and as they get to know each other, the truth comes out. They’re both interested in each other but have personal issues to deal with and work out and agree to abide by Ellie’s six month vow. No dating until then which will be right after a major event for their group of friends. But when it comes down to it, will Nate have dealt with his past demons and be ready to try relationships again and will Ellie have arrived at a personal spot where she’s ready to let him?
Ellie is beautiful but she’s right when she responds to her Auntie by saying that it’s not anything she has control over. It’s like who your parents are. Then she tells Nathaniel about her job woes which remind me of the lawyer (?) who got fired from her firm last year ago because she was distractingly attractive. Being beautiful comes with a price.
She’s unconsciously tried to substitute boyfriends for her much loved and missed overseas family without success. Nate – deeply hurt by his jilting fiancée – is gun shy about dating at all. Both also have issues that cause them to hesitate in relationships. Ellie’s looks always make her question if a man likes her or just wants a trophy girlfriend while Nate’s family money makes him debate if a woman wants him or that.
Chloe isn’t the only great friend Ellie has. Annabel goes to the wall for her too just as Ellie returns the favor. Their positive relationships with their parents/parents-in-law are also important – something that often gets short shrift in romances unless it’s a bad one.
Faith is an important part of many characters’ lives, especially Ellie and Nate. Though Ellie is the daughter of medical missionaries, she and Annabel went through a wild phase in their YA/NA years before reaching back for their belief. To me, none of the characters come off as preachy or holier-than-thou – merely as affirming someone else’s beliefs before discussing their own so as not to bring up religion when it’s not wanted as a topic of conversation.
The Big Mis is maybe not quite as big as the blurb hints but it strikes back to the heart of Nate’s hesitation about involving himself in a romance again and working through it gets them finally on track to their own HEA. I enjoyed an inspie that doesn’t try to convert me or the characters and is one in which faith plays a large role in their ordinary day to day lives. B