All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Scarlett And The Model Man by Cathryn Hein

on March 24, 2020

Scarlett And The Model Man
Cathryn Hein
Self-published
2020, 178p
Copy courtesy of the author

Blurb {from Goodreads.com}:

He might be the perfect model, but is he the right man for Scarlett?

When up-and-coming artist Scarlett Ash discovers the perfect model in small-town Levenham, she can’t believe her luck. Her creativity abandoned her months ago and with her move to London to take up a prestigious residency fast approaching, she’s desperate for a muse to bring it back.

Surfing dairy farmer Sam Greenwood is delivering milk when a gorgeous girl accosts him. Charmed by her invitation to model for a painting, Sam wants to say no. While Scarlett might be stunning, she’s arty-farty weird, and he’s flat out with his growing dairy business. Somehow, though, he can’t resist.

As Scarlett struggles to find her way with her new work, Sam becomes determined to help. Scarlett is smart, talented and sympathetic to the unremitting toil of dairy farming, and they’re both healing from failed relationships. Soon burgeoning friendship blossoms into so much more.

Knowing that London beckons and her time in Levenham is short, Scarlett resists the lure of love. She has no plans to return to Levenham, and big-hearted Sam deserves more than a brief fling followed by a quick goodbye. Except as their affair deepens, how can she leave the man who’s not only given her back her passion but her heart?

This is the latest in Cathryn Hein’s Levenham series, books loosely linked by the town they revolve around. Characters often appear in various books although most could probably be read stand-a-lone. Scarlett was briefly introduced in the previous novel when she offered a painting of hers to be auctioned. However since then she has struggled in her art. Nothing is working, she’s not satisfied with anything she’s producing and most days are frustrating. She’s due to take up a residency in London soon and she desperately wants to get back on track before she leaves.

She’s struck with an idea….then she just needs the right man to help. That right man might be dairy farmer Sam Greenwood, who isn’t sure what to think when Scarlett accosts him in the street one day. Life-modelling isn’t for everyone but luckily Sam decides he isn’t shy, especially when it comes to spending time with someone like Scarlett.

This is a super cute and sweet story, I always enjoy the books set here. The town is charming and full of life and well populated. I think one of the things I enjoy a lot about rural romance is that it does give authors a lot of scope to set multiple stories in the same location and therefore you can have plenty of characters from past books interacting. It really gives the reader a sense of community, like when they pick up a new book, the town and people are familiar to them. Sometimes, something like that is just what you need. I’d imagine that comfort reads would be pretty big in the world right about now and for me, Cathryn Hein’s books fit that description perfectly.

I really enjoyed the interactions between Scarlett and Sam. Scarlett is fun and feisty and I thought that Cathryn Hein managed to pack quite a lot into her backstory without devoting a lot of page space to it. This isn’t a long book at all but the characters and story are well fleshed out and it helps that the town is already well depicted in quite a few other novels. Sam is a lovely hero, a big strong strapping dairy farmer who also loves a bit of a surf and he just seems like a general all round nice guy who appreciates Scarlett’s hard work and also feels the need to help take care of her when she’s in the midst of creating by bringing her food and checking in on her to make sure she’s doing okay. When Scarlett is heavily into creating, she tends to forget about things like eating, sleeping, etc so I thought that was incredibly adorable of him. Scarlett’s artistic process, as well as her slump and frenzy of creativity felt really authentic and in line with what I’ve experienced in talking to artistic people myself. Scarlett’s work also sounded really amazing.

My only criticism of this one might be that I wanted more…..more about Scarlett’s career and art, more scenes with her and Sam, more about her overseas stuff, more about Sam’s plans for the dairy farm. It still works as a story with the length that it was but I think it was just the sort of book that I could so easily sink into without having to worry it was going to bring up cancer or some other traumatic thing that I wished it were longer! Although there’s some serious topics in here, including gaslighting and its effects on a relationship, it’s the sort of book that still presents a hopeful and positive tone and the whole thing just felt really uplifting. Which is what I needed.

8/10

Book #47 of 2020

This is the 18th book read for The Australian Women Writers Challenge 2020

 


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