A Whirlwind…Makeover
by Nancy Lavo
(Silh. Rom. #1745, $4.25, G) ISBN 0-373-19745-4
New to Silhouette, Nancy Lavo has written a unique story devoted to a less-than-perfect woman who has little self-esteem and a man who helps her find her outer beauty while all the while loving her inner beauty. A Whirlwind…Makeover introduces us to Maddie Sinclair, an account executive in a marketing firm, and Dan Willis, a famous photographer.

Maddie is the daughter of one of the founders of Cue Communications. Even though her father is dead, she has been given a job and has earned her way into her current position. Unfortunately for Maddie, she is tall (5'11") and built for her height, while her mother and sister are petite and skinny. She has been told her whole life how much of a giant she is and how big she is. Her lack of a social life is a favorite topic of conversation for her mother, when her mother is not bragging about the wonderful success her sister is. Maddie truly believes she is ugly. She wears her long thick hair in a horrible style and dresses in tent dresses and always in black.

Dan Willis is a fashion photographer who made his fortune in New York and Milan circles. He is burned out on the cynical world of high fashion and is looking for true humanity. He literally bumps into Maddie and falls for her immediately. His practiced eye sees the beauty in her soul and he is determined to help her feel beautiful. They become quick friends, even as Maddie has a major crush on a new colleague.

Handsome and stunning Colton Hartley is every woman's dream man. He is gorgeous, charming and very self-centered. Maddie sees only the outer beauty, though. Dan is the exact opposite and definitely the type of hero every reader would want for Maddie. He is sensitive, sincere, and aware of her inner beauty and as he falls in love with her, wants to see her accept the talents and attributes she possesses. He uses his connections in the glamour world to help with her makeover. As she begins to show off her physical attributes, she starts to unfold emotionally, just like a butterfly. And she starts to finally see Dan and Colton in the proper light.

This is a fun tale. Lavo has found just the right touch with Maddie to keep the reader sympathetic to her plight, even while lamenting her gullibility. Maddie sees Colton as the perfect man, and in this reader's opinion, this lack of awareness is Maddie's major fault and almost made her a character that I could not like. Colton forgets her name, is condescending to her, uses his charm to gain points with co-workers and peers, takes the credit for their success when Maddie made the difference and only starts to pay her attention when she changes her personal appearance. The fact that Maddie thinks he is wonderful until the very end does not recommend her intelligence. Dan is the true hero and his appeal keeps the reader engaged.

Reading A Whirlwind…Makeover is a fun way to spend an evening and introduces an author to keep an eye on in the future.

-- Shirley Lyons

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