Look of Love/Miradas De Amor
Dr. Esme Jaramillo is looking forward to her appearance on the Barry Stillman show. She believes she is going on in order to discuss her research in genetic cloning. She is hoping to dispel many of the myths surrounding cloning. In truth, her co worker, Vitor Elizalde, has booked her on the show to have a make-over, and the show’s theme is: “I know you want me – but your bookworm looks have got to go!” Esme has always considered herself plain and unattractive and now that she’s had it confirmed for her on national television, she is beyond humiliated. Gavino Mendez, the show’s makeup man, can only stand helplessly aside while a woman he felt an immediate connection with is devastated. Earlier in the makeup room, the two had talked and they had enjoyed each other’s company. Now Esme feels betrayed by him since he never told her what the show was about.
After this experience, Gavino makes the decision to leave the show. He also wants to apologize to Esme, hating the look in her eyes and his part in it. He travels to Denver to her. At first Esme is hesitant, but she’s attracted to Gavino, and while she is convinced he is acting out of pity, she rents her carriage house to him. She also decides she wants a make-over so she can get even with Vitor. Even though Gavino thinks she is already perfect the way she is, he decides to help her. He is convinced that she wants Vitor and he never even thinks she may be out for revenge. So yes – there is a big misunderstanding which is a little grating at times, but thankfully it doesn’t overpower the love story. Gavino decides he is going to give her an absolutely horrible make-over, which she says she likes in order not to hurt him. As cute as these two are, they are completely clueless about each other’s feelings. How Gavino can believe that Esme wants Vitor after he has humiliated her is beyond me, but I guess love will do that to you.
Gavino and Esme both have serious self-esteem issues. Esme doesn’t think she’s attractive and Gavino doesn’t think he’s good enough for her. While at times you want to knock some sense into them, they are very sweet and you definitely root for them to get together. The two grow closer as friends and manage to fall in love rather sweetly in the process. At one point, Gavino says to her “Don’t speak; I’m locking away this moment in my heart.” This is positively one of the sweetest things I have heard a hero has say in a long while, and I definitely melted.
The book also has a small but good cast of secondary characters. Esme’s best friends are Pilar and Lilly. The three women are very different and have chosen different paths in life but their bond is strong and very touching. If not for worldly Lilly knocking some sense into Gavino, he and Esme might have danced around each other for a lot longer. Pilar’s sons, Teddy and Pep, are also pretty cute – especially Pep. Normally, I am not a big fan of kids in stories but here they aren’t over played.
It’s also worth noting that this novel has no real love scenes to speak of. But it still manages to be very romantic – and isn’t that what it’s all about?