Jenni Blake is Nate's personal assistant. She's contending with her own problems. Faced with a mountain of debt from her adoptive parents' nursing care and deaths, Jenni lives in a small flat with secondhand furnishing in order to pay off the bills as quickly as possible. Like many adopted children, Jenni wanted to know about her birth mother, but what she soon discovers turns out to be far different from what she expects.
Nate had told Jenni to use the office address when she contacted her birth mother but he was so wrapped up in his own troubles that he didn't connect the letter in her hands to her birth mother until she reminded him.
She hadn't even opened the envelope because she was afraid her birth mother wouldn't want to know her. Nate volunteered to open the letter for her and was relieved to see that her birth mother wanted to meet with her, but became concerned when he realized the location of the cafe where Jenni's birth mother had requested to meet her and told Jenni that he would accompany her.
Nate's concern for Jenni forces him out of his self-imposed shell and he soon finds himself caring for her in a way he thought he?d never care for anyone again. When Jenni begins to transform her looks and care about her appearance, Nate's forced to realize his feelings for Jenni go beyond the workplace.
THE CINDERELLA SUBSTITUTE is a very sweet, heart-touching tale. Jenni will capture the reader's emotions as you envision her risking her own emotional well-being by first contacting her birth mother and then by slowly transforming her clothing choices and personal style to reflect her inner beauty. As Jenni's dealing with her own issues, she's inadvertently helping Nate get over his own tragedy.
In this modern day twist on the age-old tale, I'd say Jenni may be the Cinderella, but Nate was the one who needed to be saved from his own demons. Nell Dixon brings the characters' emotions to the forefront and allows us to experience their hopes and fears vicariously through this story. Watch for Nate's twin sister, Nathalie's story to be released from Moonlit in early 2007.