A dutiful woman, a desirable man ...
An artist with a keen eye for the beauty surrounding her -- yet none for her own -- duty-bound Claudia is resigned to marrying the man of her domineering father's choosing. First, though, she must resign the job she has held in secret as society illustrator "C. J. Prattley." But dashing newspaper owner Derrick Middleton is instantly captivated by Claudia's talent, wit, and sweet nature -- and the passionate inner fire she unknowingly possesses. He has other plans for this extraordinary woman.
Until Claudia first entered his London office, Derrick cared for only his paper and the wild bachelor life he has long enjoyed. Now saving Claudia from a dismal marriage -- and winning her for himself -- becomes his main concern. But courting a woman like Claudia will not be an easy undertaking for a handsome cynic who has always believed true love is not for him -- especially after they succumb to an indiscretion that could lead two hearts to ruin ... of a most delicious variety.
With all the cookie-cutter Avon stuff going around, I was a bit apprehensive about reading Robyn DeHart's Courting Claudia. Was it going to be stupid? Was it going to have a TSTL heroine? Was the hero going to be a complete jerk?
Happily, not really. There's a scene at the end where you wonder why Claudia put herself in danger, but she honestly had no clue what was going on. So I didn't really think of that as a TSTL moment. I rather liked Derrick, it's obvious he comes to enjoy Claudia.
And Claudia...hmmm...well, you've got to like a heroine who's described like this at the beginning from the hero's viewpoint:
She lifted her ahnd to her chest, and he couldn't help but notice the ample bosom it rested upon. She was a plump woman with curves in all the right places, and apple-round cheeks with just the hint of an extra chin.It was rather refreshing to have a heroine who's said to be curvy actually show that she's plump (and not just large-chested) instead of just getting the impression that she's got curves, but no fat. So I guess I liked her a bit more because of that. She doesn't think of herself as attractive and hides behind overly flouncy, ruffly dresses because of it.
So...it's not anything remarkably new and different, but it is a pleasant romance and I enjoyed reading it. I think I might just have to get the sequel when it comes out, too.