Teri Wilson's newest novel, The Accidental Beauty Queen, was the perfect fit.
Charlotte loves her job - she's an elementary school librarian. Her identical twin Ginny has made beauty pageants her life's work so far. She's desperate to win the one elusive crown she's never been able to claim - Miss American Treasure. This is the last year for a chance before she ages out. When she suffers an allergic reaction to a face mask, she refuses to opt out. Instead......yup, you guessed it.....she asks her identical twin Charlotte to step in until she can participate. Which Charlotte reluctantly does.....
I really liked Charlotte as a lead character. (And not just because she loves books and all things Harry Potter!) She's warm, funny and personable. I enjoyed her inner dialogue as she attempts to navigate the world of pageants - and more. The relationship with her sister, her family - and that judge on the panel. (And I laughed when I read the name of that judge - Grey Beckham - conjure up any mental images?) But most importantly - Charlotte herself.
The Accidental Beauty Queen was fun for me. I always enjoy the yes/no/maybe so of a rom-com read. I enjoyed Wilson's spin on this and the unique setting. Not being familiar with pageants, I was surprised that the upper age limit for participation does indeed include those in their late twenties.
Joy Osmanski (a perennial favourite of mine) was the reader. It's hard to explain, but her voice is fun and lively. Her reading is very expressive and she absolutely captures the tone of the book. Her voice matched the mental image I had created for Charlotte. It's clear, easy to understand, well enunciated and pleasant to listen to. Hear for yourself - listen to an excerpt of The Accidental Beauty Queen.