An Old-Fashioned Girl - Akemi Maki
This is old school Harlequin Romance at its best. Patience and her aunts are having some hard times. After their investments go bad, her elderly aunts are forced to rent out the family mansion. Patience is worried about the future; how is she going to financially care for her aunts after the rental period is over? She decides to look for a job, and fortune smiles upon her, she is offered a position working for the doctor who rented the family mansion. Julius is working on a book, and the housekeeper impresses upon Patience the importance of silence. Patience is not one of Patience’s better virtues, as the busy doctor is about to discover.
While Patience isn’t exactly quiet, this story is, and that’s what I liked about it. Soon after she starts working for the good doctor, the household is snowed in. Mrs. March becomes ill, and both Patience and Julius work together to care for her, as well as keep things running smoothly while they are trapped in the mansion (and wow, what a hardship that would be! Snowed in a beautiful mansion with a handsome guy! The only that would make that a better scenario would be a couple of fully charged Kindles already loaded to the brim with things to read!). While Patience thought her employer was sullen and grumpy at first, she quickly learns that he’s kind and charming, and that her original impression was completely wrong.
Before too long, Patience has fallen in love with the dreamy doc, but she realizes that there’s no hope for a future with him. He is wealthy, a highly sought after physician, and she suspects that he’s engaged to his unpleasant, but beautiful, neighbor. Patience is not pretty, something that several characters mention during the story; she’s plain, dresses in drab colors, and doesn’t think too highly of herself. However, we, the readers, see right away that she is kind, giving, and has an inner beauty that is quickly appreciated by all know her.
I enjoyed An Old-Fashioned Girl because we get to know both Patience and Julius, and they are both kind, deserving people. There’s not much flash to this story, and even the illustrations are restrained. While not flashy or beautiful, the art elegantly portrays the gentle courtship between the protagonists. And there are dogs! Julius is a dog lover, which made him even more likable to me.
The only complaint that I have is that two characters’ names were misspelled throughout the narrative, in addition to a few other jarring typos.