Published by Silhouette on October 3, 2003
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Narrator: Ashley Adlon
Hillary Baxter had been only 21 when she left rural Kansas to pursue a New York modelling career. When Bret Bardoff offered her a prestigious six-month contract, the sky was the limit. But Hillary fell in love with Bret.
Back when I first got into romance novels, Nora Roberts was one of the first authors I read. I have a lot of memories combing through Nora Robert’s backlist (it was so long, even back then!) at the library, and I would often see what grocery stores had in stock. When I was in college I picked up a set of three re-issued Nora Roberts books, which included Blithe Images. It is one of her earlier category romances, and at the time I enjoyed it. So I decided to give it another read via audio. Unfortunately, Blithe Images doesn’t stand up to time well, and I was quite disappointed.
Blithe Images is about model Hillary Baxter, and magazine-empire CEO Brett Bardoff. Hillary is from the midwest, but moved to New York a few years ago to become a model. She has become quite successful, and is offered a special job for a series of photographs for one of Brett’s magazines. They don’t really get off on the right foot, but of course they are super attracted to each other. But Brett can be kind of a jerk, and he does mess some things up.
I liked Hillary quite a bit. I did find it odd that she doesn’t really have a passion for modeling, but that is the job she pursued. But she’s kind and tolerant of the forgetful photographer. I loved that she had a best friend neighbor that she talked to. She could be a bit naive, but I think that is really a sign of what heroines were like back when this book was written.
Brett, on the other hand, was a jerk. For most of the novel. He was judgmental, and honestly he just was kind of an ass. Brett always wants to get his way, and he doesn’t have a good opinion of women in general. He never really talked things through with Hillary, which drove me crazy. Although I realize this is just a product of the time in which this story was written, it still doesn’t make me like this any more. I truly didn’t think Brett deserved her. I also was super annoyed at the end when Brett came to Hillary’s hometown and her parents just let him have his way. Not a good grovel moment at all! I think it was supposed to be funny, but it just pissed me off.
Because I wasn’t super into Brett, I really couldn’t get into the romance. It was hard to root for them when the hero is an ass. The narrator, Ashley Adlon, also left something to be desired. I can’t really recommend Blithe Images to anyone. While it’s interesting to see how Nora Roberts’ novels have progressed, this one really isn’t worth it. If you’re looking for some of her category romances, I recommend the MacGregor series or the Stanislaski series. Much better.