REVIEW: Paper Love by Aubrey Wynne
Growing up in a Papua New Guinea mission, Joss Palmateer is a gentle soul with a unique view of life. Still adjusting to a new home in the U.S and the sudden loss of her mother, love is the last thing on her mind. Sexy physical therapist, Ben Montgomery, meets his sister’s friend and the sparks fly. He takes it as a challenge when she ignores his advances, but it’s her extraordinary inner beauty that captures his heart. With the help of a stray homing pigeon and an old origami legend, Ben sets an unwavering course of romance to win her love.
Dear Ms. Wynne,
After I enjoyed For the Love of Laura Beth so much, I planned on trying your other three Christmas novellas but didn’t get to this one until too late to post it before Christmas. Does a day after count? Since a lot of it is set in the months before Christmas, I thought I could squeak by this time.
Joss gets dragged by her teacher friend to a singles party being hosted by Becky’s brother Ben. Since Joss’s family lived in PNG all her life and her previous year has been consumed with helping them deal with the sudden death of her mother, she doesn’t have many friends here. Still she’s reluctant to face a houseful of strangers as many seem to know each other already. Ben is a nice guy but Joss casually turns down his request for a date. Honestly, Ben started out annoying me a bit with his belief he can read people’s actions and his comment about one particular woman there. I liked his sister and Joss so I kept reading.
Becky cheerfully gives Ben all kinds of grief and refuses to hand out information about Joss so Ben turns to what the world does now and requests Joss add him as a friend on Facebook. She does but still doesn’t give him much to work with. Intrigued he tries to find out about her – in a non-stalkerish way – and keep their friendship going. Getting nowhere he has to turn to his sister who yanks a knot in him about why Joss remains only friendly.
Armed with knowledge and self knowledge, Ben vows to do better as he tells Becky that yes, he knows the difference between true interest and merely pique over Joss not agreeing to a date. Ben is smart and works out his strategy using a group outing to get to know Joss better and scoring a coup at the Field Museum. Feeling like I got to know a lot about Chicago too, I enjoyed watching him try to discover what she might like and then see to it she had a good time.
He gets clever when he enlists family help with his courtship and assures Joss they’ll take their time. When something wrecks his plans though, Ben’s got to rely on his pet pigeon – yes! – to give him the idea he needs to make a special occasion. Will he manage to sweep Joss off her feet?
I like how Ben truly does try to discover what Joss is going to like and appreciate. His visit to her father – even if Ben doesn’t quite get the man’s sense of humor – also proves that he’s serious unlike the jerk who two-time Joss and made her skittish about relationships. Ben’s family is a hoot with sister Becky not cutting him any slack until she was sure of his intentions towards her friend. Even Charlie the Pigeon is cute and his plan is genius. That is one fantastically romantic proposal from a man determined to prove himself her hero and who makes the Hallmark channel look dull. Oh, and I loved the chapter header quotations! B