by Lucy Monroe

July 2010
ISBN: 978-0373129294
Reviewer Graphic Button Harlequin
Mass Market Paperback

Cassandra Bakerís life is music. At a very young age she was discovered to have exceptional musical talent. From then on her life consisted of a series of public appearances and concerts. Her parents pushed Cass incessantly without thought toward her wishes. After her mother's death, Cass followed the schedules set by her father. He and Cassís manager ruled every minute of every day of Cassís life. She was miserable. When her father died, Cass retreated from public view and never performed another live concert. She still produces music, but much to her managerís annoyance, Cass only plays at home or in the recording studio.

Cass is agoraphobic. Her fear of crowds now rules her life in place of her father. There is no opportunity for her to build relationships other than what relates to her music. Once a year Cass donates piano lessons to a charityís highest bidder. This year that student is none other than billionaire Neo Stamos. Her anxiety is understandable. One does not become a billionaire by being delightful.

Neoís best friend and business partner, Zephyr, wins the bid for the piano lessons. Zephyr bought the lessons for Neo. Zephyr thinks Neo is a workaholic in dire need of a distraction. If only Zephyr knew.

Neo is taken with Cass from the beginning. The trouble with Neo, however, is once something or someone has his attention he tends to take control. Well, Cass has had enough of domineering males. She may suffer debilitating shyness, but she is no pushover. Neo is quick to learn Cass has little inhibitions about saying no. Cass finds out when Neo encounters a challenge there is nowhere to hide.

Talk about strong wills! Cass and Neo struggle to find common ground at first. Her quiet life is invaded by this gorgeous man who doesnít know how to do things halfway. Neo is both enchanted and intrigued by Cass. He finds out all he can about agoraphobia and makes it his mission to make life as comfortable for Cass as he can. Now, who can resist that? Certainly not Cass. Neoís gentleness and his caring is what breaks through Cassís fortifications.

Monroeís sleek writing, her gift for creating three-dimensional characters, and the heart in her stories make The Shy Bride a most enjoyable read.

Zephyrís story is next. I can barely wait.

Reviewed in June 2010 by Rho.

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