Monday, September 23, 2013

Book Review: A Portrait for Toni by Annette Lyon

Back Cover Blurb
genre: contemporary romance
Toni has no idea what she’d do without her best friend, Carter. Who else would she be able to vent to about her parents, her job at the dance studio, or her latest relationship woes? When Toni’s father lands in the hospital, Carter, as always, is there for her.

That is, until he starts questioning Toni, saying he thinks she has an eating disorder. Then she starts dating Clint, the hot new guy at the studio, and somehow that puts a deeper wedge between her and Carter. When she’s hospitalized after an on-stage collapse, and Carter stupidly starts in with advice about food and weight, she sends him away—then instantly regrets it.

One night after a performance, Toni tries to mend the hurt between them. Instead of finding Carter, she stumbles onto proof that he has feelings for her that go way beyond those of a friend. Toni is left with the very real prospect of losing Carter forever, unless somehow she can return his feelings—but that’s impossible.

Isn’t it?

My Review
4.5 of 5 stars
I have always loved this author's work, and she didn't disappoint with this one! Carter's love for Toni--and Toni's oblivion to his feelings--instantly drew me into the story. I was rooting for this couple from page 1. I was also taken in by the evidence of Toni's eating disorder, and felt my worry for her grow with each chapter.

I love the emotional and romantic tension between Carter and Toni throughout the story. I felt for Carter! He was a perfect leading man. He always kept Toni's needs and feeling at the forefront of his thoughts and actions, and he was such a great best friend to Toni. I also loved Toni's reaction when she found out about Carter's feelings--it was so believable, and so not the typical romance-novel reaction to a confession of love. 

I felt like Toni's eating disorder was, for the most part, dealt with very well. It brought up some of the very real issues and concerns that those dealing with a disorder struggle with on a daily basis. I do wish that the matter hadn't been solved quite so neatly. I would've loved to see Toni's struggle with bulimia intensified even more. I also really wish there was an epilogue to this story--I loved Toni and Carter (and their relationship) so much, and I just wasn't ready for the book to end!

A Portrait for Toni was a feel-good novel that left me with a happy sigh as I turned the last page. I felt a real emotional depth in the story, and felt myself close to tears a few times. This might be my new favorite book by this author. 

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