A short romance, Cara Colter's THE PLAYBOY'S PLAIN JANE packs an emotional story of romance between a man and a woman who learn through each other to reach out beyond stereotypes and appearances to their hearts. Cara Colter's romance brings the reader to a powerful emotional experience as the reader feels the very frustration over appearances that leads the characters to see each other and indeed themselves anew through the eyes of love.
Katie Pritchard has had her heart broken. Working as a florist, she sees love in terms of appearances and symbols and she sees herself as plain. Flowers and their symbolism become a substitute for the risk of feeling and interaction. Sports hero and daredevil Dylan McKinnon with his fast car and sexy looks is irresistible to women. Katie knows everything about his love life from the flower orders he places. She will not fall for this fickle man with his fast track dating record! What will happen when he asks her out? Can they put appearances aside and share from the heart?
True to this author's style in this romance as well as in THEIR CHRISTMAS WISH COME TRUE, Cara Colter uses objects to stand for emotions; here flowers and in the Christmas book, figurines. This author shakes things up so that when the two meet, each character realigns their ideas about each other and themselves. Katie, unlike the other string of women dates, opens the door to Dylan's past and his past hurts. As they see themselves through the eyes of the other instead of their own misconceptions, both Katie and Dylan work through the hurt of the past events in their lives. The scenes around Dylan's mother were very well written --- emotional and thought-provoking. Cara Colter's THE PLAYBOY'S PLAIN JANE is a powerful romance about the transforming power of love.
Readers may wish perhaps the author had spent more time on Dylan and his parents and a little less on the flower symbolism, particularly if they are already aware of flower color symbolism. To me, it felt a bit overdone. For younger readers or those not fluent in flower symbolism, Cara Colter gives enough background for the reader to understand the symbolism and to begin to feel that the symbolism is a substitute for experiencing emotions. Cara Colter's use of flowers and appearances creates a kind of emotionally moving frustration as the reader is one step ahead of the heroine's progression. Katie comes to a breakthrough within herself only after her reliance on appearances is frustrated and broken. Cara Colter uses form to reinforce the emotional message of this romance. This book can be a personal button-pusher but that is also what makes it so moving. Cara Colter's THE PLAYBOY'S PLAIN JANE carries a powerful message for the reader as well as her characters, especially in a context of one's own past adolescence or growing experiences.