5 stars

Category Romance Review: Rumor Has It by Celia Scott

Rumor Has It, Harlequin, 1990, Frank Kalan cover art

Harlequin Romance #3040

5 stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Celia Scott’s Rumor Has It is a modern-day Cinderella story where the fairy godmother is not an actual person, but a false rumor that transforms a frumpy heroine into a glamorous new woman who finds love.

Lucinda is a slightly overweight librarian (really she’s just voluptuous with big boobs and hips) who lives with her father, stepmother and model-slim stepsister. She’s clumsy, nearsighted and is constantly berated by her family members. In their eyes she’s a hopeless mess. Enter Leo, a dashing Englishman who has business with her father. The family conspires to set up Leo with Lucinda’s more glamorous stepsister, however Leo’s mind is just on work.

Circumstances lead to Leo and Lucinda being forced to share a one-bed motel during a storm. Soon after, Leo heads back to England. Gossip travels fast in Lucinda’s small home town and everyone learns that the two spent a night together. Of course, it was purely platonic, but the townfolks’ shocked reaction makes Lucinda let people think what they want. They all wonder what did a hunk like Leo see in a frump like Lucinda?

Lucinda is now viewed in a different light as she blossoms with confidence, gets a new hairdo and starts to dress appropriately for her curvy figure instead of what’s dictated as “fashionable” (just like Clinton and Stacy on “What Not to Wear” recommend!)

Leo returns and is shocked that everyone, including Lucinda’s angry father, thinks they had an affair. Leo then turns the tables on Lucinda and “blackmails” her into pretending they’re a couple. But are they really pretending?

This was a sweet, funny and very clean romance and an old favorite. I loved it!

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