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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

His Darling by Ashley Ludwig

His Darling by Ashley Ludwig
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (178 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Ivy

Former fifties Hollywood starlet—Nona Darling—fell in love onscreen over and again. In her granddaughter Misty’s opinion, true love only exists in the movies and too often, she falls for the villain. Running from a failed relationship and her film production company turned tabloid, she returns to Almendra, California to care for her grandmother, and hide from the world.

Cain Trovato, a small town jack-of-all-trades, finds Misty and refuses to let her escape into obscurity. Blocked for years from songwriting, he starts putting words to music as a way to define his growing feelings.

When the Almendra Film Festival spotlights Nona Darling, Misty’s former fiancĂ©e makes a claim to reveal her grandmother’s secret past. No amount of editing will spare the coming scandal. With Cain at her side, can Misty believe in a happily ever beyond the rolling credits?

His Darling is a sweet romance with some of the most charming characters I have come across in some time. When Misty decides to live with her once famous film star grandmother, she's disconcerted that the local musician slash handyman seems to accidentally be bumping into her every place she goes.

Misty is running away from a controlling ex who has betrayed her in every way. I liked how despite that, her heart is open to the goodness and kindness people still have to offer. Her grandmother is a gentle soul who offers far more than just a place to live — she is the epitome of kindness, forgiveness and wisdom. Who wouldn't want to have a grandmother like that?

I was blindsided by Cain Trovado. He is the essence of sexy: artistic, sensitive, rugged and smart. When he's not helping with his family's olive orchard business, he's putting on lawn concerts and painting little old ladies houses for free. Cain's intrigue and determination in winning Misty's interest and then heart, is such a likable journey. He makes no bones about his interest in her and does everything he can to help her through her tough times, even calling her out on her own weaknesses when things need to be said.

Ms. Ludwig writes with clear purpose. Her settings and characters are universal in a way that captures and keeps your interest, yet there's no pandering to shock plotting or over blown love scenes. It's a sweet, simple story that is beautiful enough to lose yourself in completely. There are several moments of striking cleverness in some of the lines. I truly admired the read just as much as I enjoyed it. His Darling is feel good romance for any long weekend.