Golden Girl by Anne Beverley

Golden Girl by Anne Beverley
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (152 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Hollyhock

Lights! Camera! Sadness…

Most girls would jump at the opportunity to model for a brand new cosmetics line, but Lisa Morgan is different. She resists being the “face” of Golden Girl until she learns it’s the only way she can save the career of the man she has come to love.

Within days her new and glamorous lifestyle leads her into a web of jealousy and competition that she doesn’t understand. The man she loves is fighting with another for power over the company, while the old man in charge prepares to die. And when Lisa realizes that his last wish is to see the Golden Girl campaign succeed, she knows she’ll never be able to back out of the agreement, even though it is tearing her apart.

Reading Golden Girl is like opening a time capsule that shows just how much the world—especially the world of romance novels—has changed since this story was written thirty years ago.

Lisa Morgan is the heroine and golden girl of the title. She’s young—only twenty-two—and innocent to a degree that today’s heroines rarely are. Not just sexually inexperienced, but innocent of the ways of the world, especially the business world. A secretary, she’s roped into modeling for her company’s new cosmetics line, partly because she does not question the motivations or character of the people around her. If I didn’t quite buy the reason she continues with the modelling project, I did appreciate the degree to which Lisa grows and matures as a person because of it, and also because of her experiences with Alain and Paul, the handsome cousins at the center of a power struggle at the cosmetics company.

Paul Genet, the hero of the story, is a bit of a mystery to Lisa even though she knew him before her transfer to London—their mothers were friends and Lisa had a crush on Paul as a teenager. That previous acquaintance left the falling-for-each-other part of the romance a little more off-page than I would have liked, but the interesting details of the cosmetics launch were enough of a compensation that it didn’t bother me too much. There is a significant difference in Paul and Lisa’s ages (eleven years) creating an imbalance in the power dynamic of the relationship—especially since he is an executive at the company where she is a secretary. Lisa is awed as much as attracted by Paul at the beginning of the story, which means their romance is impeded by perhaps a few too many misunderstandings, but I enjoyed how Paul’s reaction to Lisa changes as she blossoms into a self-sufficient young woman.

Golden Girl is probably not for everyone—younger readers will likely be impatient with Lisa’s occasional passivity and naivete—but if you’re nostalgic for old-school romance, you will likely enjoy this trip back to the eighties as much as I did.

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