So, since Who’s Afraid of Mr. Wolfe? did not fail to amaze me, I immediately pre-ordered a copy of Hazel Osmond’s second new book, The First Time I Saw Your Face, when I found out its nearing release date. I was very much excited on the day when my copy arrived at my doorstep. Here’s the plot description from the back cover of the book:
Moving back home, her future isn’t looking too bright. Until she meets Mack.
Sexy, dishevelled and just a little clumsy, he starts to make her believe that she can move on from the past and embrace life all over again. But he has a secret he’d do anything to protect and he’ll have to betray her to keep it…
As you can see, the book cover for this one is different from Who’s Afraid of Mr. Wolfe?. I’m not exactly fond of book covers using pictures of real people, but in this case, it does justice to the plotline of the book. Readers will be able to connect the story to the message the picture tries to project. Moreover, the colors used contrast one another which makes the cover look more attractive.
Moving on to the story, The First Time I Saw Your Face actually presents a story we are all familiar about in the life of a Hollywood star. Mack Stone utilizes a fake identity in a small town called Northumberland to get a scoop on Cressida, a very popular actress, through her cousin, Jennifer. This is basically a big deal in the world of journalism and in return, they provide the readers an update on the lives of famous actors and actresses.
To give you a small background of the story, Mack Stone used to be part of this dirty job, but years after he quitted, he’s recruited once again by O’Dowd through blackmail. Blackmail is something that people can’t easily get away from. Rather than freely choosing choices, one ends up being manipulated by the other party. That’s exactly what happened to Mack and so, he heads for Northumberland to finish what he is tasked to do.
There, he meets Jennifer, a vulnerable woman who’s just stuck in her past. The story behind Jen’s scarred face smoothly unfolds and I like how the story is revealed, not just through a simple narration from the author. As the story progresses, we learn that Mack is at war with himself. He may be judged, but I like how he is able to boost Jen’s self-esteem and confidence again. He later on starts to notice other beautiful things about her rather than dwelling too much on her scarred face. As for the rest of the story, well, it’s for you to find out.
Furthermore, I can’t help but talk about the setting of the story. Despite it being just a small town, Northumberland surely gives readers an idea on what it feels like to live there. Full of greeneries and its serene environment, it reminds me of the time when my family and I went on a trip to Australia and New Zealand. It’s really a perfect place to relax and appreciate the nature, without it ever being disturbed by pollution and other city-related things. And the beach, the way Hazel Osmond describes it is just breathtaking. Plus, she also succeeds in portraying the personalities and livelihood of the people in the community which adds up more to the place’s atmosphere.
This is quite a different story. We get a glimpse of an actor/actress’s life behind the screen or rumors and somehow we feel empathy towards them. And most importantly, the realization of an inevitable fact of life that looks or physical appearances still matter to most of us as they always contribute to our first impression on someone. I’m glad that Hazel Osmond is realistic in her story while she still gives light and hope in these situations that seems to have no way out. I’m also quite surprised by some revelations of the story which spice the book up to make it more interesting and perhaps, scandalous, to read.
The First Time I Saw Your Face is an adult contemporary romance that favors the old-fashioned kind of love and let readers root for the main characters to a happy ending. I couldn’t put the book down. In fact, I have to resist the urge to spoil myself. Hazel Osmond truly knows how to touch my heart through her perfectly-written and structured words. If you guys love Who’s Afraid of Mr. Wolfe?, then without a doubt, you’d enjoy this, too.