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  • Hannah Fielding - Romance Novelist

From the blurb:

In the two years since the tragic car crash that killed his fiancée, Nathanial (Nate) Mayer has successfully avoided another relationship. His family and especially his twin sister Nathalie are worried. Jennifer (Jenni) Blake is Nate’s personal assistant. Hired after the accident, she has her own problems to deal with, including the deaths of her adoptive parents and the debts incurred by their nursing care. But those difficulties pale into insignificance when Jenni finally traces her birth mother…

This book is a modern-day love story about two very troubled people – Nate and Jenni. Told from both their perspectives, you really understand where both are coming from, how both their pasts continue to affect their lives in the present and how neither can admit their true feelings. Their professional roles as boss and personal assistant are the masks behind which they both hide, self-conscious of their separate personal situations – yet their caring attitudes towards each other show through. Both are troubled by their feelings for the other, not wanting to surrender to the possibility of rejection.

She had always been aware of Nate attractiveness, but because of his past – and her own – she had never allowed it to impact on her. She couldn’t change her mind now.

It had to be Jenni, but she deserved love, deserved a man who could give her his whole heart. Not someone like him. A man whose heart was buried with another woman in a cold and lonely grave. Nate had forfeited all rights to fall in love again the night he had failed Cerys.

The story follows the pair as they work together on a work project and the Christmas party, and as Jenni makes first contact with her birth mother. Nate is a workaholic and a true gentleman. He is protective of Jenni and tries to look after her during this tough time. Jenni is embarrassed by her financial situation and lacking in confidence regarding her appearance. But determined to make the right impression for Nate’s business clients, she undergoes a makeover/transition. As they spend more time together and find out more about each other, they kiss, but Nate’s reaction is not what Jenni was hoping for:

He had looked at her after they’d kissed as if he hadn’t known who she was. He had recoiled from her so fast it had been embarrassing. She had to face the truth – no matter how much she might try to reach it, Cerys still held Nate’s heart.

This book soon becomes a real page turner as you try to find out why Nate is still so caught up in regret about the tragic death of his fiancé two years ago, why Jenni lives in such a rundown area, why her birth mother is making excuses not to meet and, most importantly, whether these two will ever acknowledge their feelings and get together. It is a very sweet book, full of tender moments and intrigue. A lovely, heartwarming read.

The Cinderella Substitute is available now from Amazon; click on the book cover below to visit the store.

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