TITLE – Luxury Model Wife
AUTHOR – Adele Downs
GENRE – Contemporary Romance
PUBLICATION DATE – September 20, 2016
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 74,000
PUBLISHER – Boroughs Publishing Group
Antiques expert Steve Carlson must face the mistakes of his past to discover a treasure he never imagined: the heart of a vulnerable yet determined widow.
Twenty-eight-year-old Victoria Van Orr just lost everything. With the death of her billionaire husband went his mature patience and warm encouragement; and the veneer of acceptance from everyone else. His friends and colleagues now ignore Victoria, and if his son succeeds she just might be forced back to the streets upon which she was raised. But money was never her goal. All she wants is love. Real love.
Antiques expert Steve Carlson knows the value of everything. Pain and betrayal? Those he gave away–and now they’re coming back. His worst mistakes were all with one man: an old friend, the son of a father figure, now the stepchild of a beautiful young widow who wants Steve to help her auction off the family estate. To help Victoria, Steve must face his past and become a better man. To find true love, he will discover her surprisingly pure heart, vulnerable yet determined. And beyond price.
BUY & TBR LINKS
Steve tilted his head, his bright blue eyes sizing her up. “Sorry, but I gotta’ ask. Do you always talk like that?”
Victoria felt her cheeks warm. “Whatever do you mean?”
“There.” He studied her again with not-so-subtle curiosity. “You sounded like your late husband James just now. Funny, you don’t seem like the snooty type to me. More like a regular girl.”
His comment touched a nerve like hot wires to stripped cable. Victoria bit back a retort while blood rushed through her ears. She closed her eyes against the sound to clear her head. Twenty-eight was hardly a girl, and she was damn tired of defending her right to be a Van Orr.
For five years she’d tried and failed to fit into the privileged world of her older husband—learning couture, keeping her posture as straight as a modeling school graduate, rounding her O’s when she spoke —apparently fooling no one on either side of the social spectrum in the process.
Defeat swept over her and her shoulders sagged beneath five-thousand dollars’ worth of silk and linen. No matter how hard she tried, she’d forever be exposed as the abandoned kid who’d grown-up in shelters.
Strange though… when she opened her eyes and returned them to Steve Carlson’s handsome face, she sensed his remark was meant as a compliment, and not a reminder that she lacked James’s pedigree. It was like he saw her.
Her. Not James’s luxury-model second wife.
Still, his manners were disgusting. Even store-owner-janitors should know how to behave. Snooty type. Who was he to say that to her? She was a potential client for heaven’s sake.
Victoria stood to leave. She was sick and tired of people voicing their opinions about her and her late husband’s disparate lineage. She’d been bullied and belittled since the day she’d become engaged. “You don’t know me well enough to analyze me, Mr. Carlson.” She kept the annoyance out of her reprimand. The rich had taught her that cool distain wounded more deeply than anger.
Steve grimaced, rubbed his jaw, and then stood to face her, his expression sheepish. He waved her back to her seat. “Please. I’m sorry I offended you. I’m a friend. Really. We’ve gotten off on the wrong foot.”
He ran a hand through his hair and his bicep bulged with the movement. Victoria’s gaze followed the lines and curves of sinew and muscle and took in the military tattoo peeking from the hem of his tee shirt.
She resisted the images that teased her dormant libido, and brought her eyes back to his face. Damn. That didn’t help. Why did this annoying man have to be so good-looking? Her attraction to him only made her feel guilty, like she’d betrayed James’s memory.
Widowhood came with a unique set of baggage.
What can I say? I love Ms. Downs. Honestly, I think that I’ve read everything that she has ever published. So to say this is her best book to date is indeed a privilege to say. Yes, the best book to date. Ms. Downs writes with such passion and it comes across in her characters, settings, and dialogue. She knows how to pull a reader in and doesn’t like go. Like a dog with a bone.
Victoria and Steve have that instant connection that can’t be beaten. Of course, Victoria was a little slower on the uptake to see what was really going on. I completely understood why it was hard for her to let go of her late husband. It is not sad or heartbreaking. But it makes complete sense when you put everything that she goes through in the book for her reluctance to fully commit to Steve.
Steve has got to be the most patient and kind man on the planet when it came to Victoria. He tried to fight it in the beginning and hearing his back story with the Van Orr’s, that is understandable. What I didn’t get (until the end) was the complete “why” with Jimmy Van Orr. Oh yes, there is a son, Jimmy Van Orr in the mix. Don’t worry, it’s not a triangle or icky. Keep reading the book to fully understand Jimmy. It might break your heart.
The secondary characters are just as good as Victoria and Steve. Beverly is a treat and just the friend that Victoria needs. Pirate, Victoria’s bird is a trip. The “villains” are well thought out and truly despicable. Did I mention that there is a mystery and a bit of suspense in the book? Oops, I didn’t. Trust me, it’s a slow build but the climax is just brilliant. Well done, Ms. Downs. It was unexpected and awesome at the same time. 😉
Again, this is the best book that Ms. Downs has written. It had everything that I love in a book. Mystery, intrigue, suspense, a couple to cheer for and a love to fight for.
Adele Downs is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than 20 romance titles, including those written under another pen name, and a former journalist with hundreds of articles to her credit. When not writing in her home office in rural Pennsylvania, she can be found reading a book on the nearest beach, taking photographs, or riding in her convertible.
AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS
Paperback copy of LUXURY MODEL WIFE plus Swag (Mailed USPS inside Continental USA). (One Winner.)
Paperback copy of LIP SERVICE by Adele Downs plus Swag (Mailed USPS inside Continental USA). (TWO Winners.)
$10 Starbucks Gift Card.