Title: By Proxy
Author: Katy Regnery
Jenny and Sam are doing their two friends a huge favor by standing in place for them for their wedding vows since they are both in the army. This is called a by proxy, and only exists in the state of Montana. But when Sam is late and the judge leaves early for the day, Jenny and Sam are stuck for the weekend, they find that the more time they spend together the closer they become. But what is going to happen after Monday and Sam has to go back to his life in Chicago?
My feelings sort of went up and down while reading this book, but in the end I definitely enjoyed it too much overall to let the little things bother me too much.
So the good things first.
This book is a complete love song for Montana. Which is awesome. The author clearly did her research and seemed to know the area inside and out. The descriptions were perfectly done, full of images that will stay with me I’m sure for some time to come. I experienced such wonder and awe to experience the Christmas season in the small town of Gardiner. I fell completely head over heels in love with the town and its charming inhabitants. Even though I have never been there I have always loved Montana so this book was so great in that regard.
I also really liked the writing style and the way in which the character’s love story was handled. It could have easily fallen into the corny insta!love that occurs in so many novels, but it didn’t. The romance felt real and I really can’t say enough about how much I loved the fact that they addressed the fact that yes people can fall in love within a period of a few days. It wasn’t insta!love, because you could actually see the mutual affection and emotion that grew between the two of them. But I myself am a big believer that time does not really have a big effect on how love works so I was pleasantly surprised to see the way that was handled in this story.
Now the main thing, actually the ONLY thing that bothered me about this book was the female protagonist, Jenny. I don’t know why, but in many parts of the book she just plain annoyed me. I feel like she was TOO MUCH of a caricature of that good ole country girl. Super close to family/community, huge churchgoer, doesn’t curse, doesn’t drink (a lot), and lets not forget virginal. She just acted like such a snit at times that it really got on my nerves, unfortunately. She felt more like a seventeen year old than a twenty four year old and I found myself back tracking to make sure I had gotten her age correct. Don’t get me wrong, I did like her, she just sort of annoyed me at times. I like my female protagonists sassy and quirky and already knowing how to handle themselves around men, and Jenny definitely did not fit any of those characteristics.
But overall this is a really really sweet love story that is perfect to read around this time of year.