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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
The Beauty Queen & The Reporter by Scott Douglas Vaughan is a Christian fiction novella that crisscrosses the lives and romance of two young people on the fringes of love. Vicki Hall is a high school senior in Georgia with the right amount of maturity for her parents to decide she could stay behind when the family moved to Texas and finish out her final year on her own. She initially moves in with the Palmers who offer little more than a bed and little doubt of their expectations before she relocates to the Campbells. Frank Wilcox is a fresh graduate and journalist returning with little fanfare to his parents' home, who is told of Vicki with a wink and a smile, an Acorn County beauty who is also intelligent, fit, and talented. When Frank is sent to cover a beauty pageant that Vicki is participating in, the journey of the pair truly begins.
The Beauty Queen & The Reporter is a good bit of fun and a quick read. Scott Douglas Vaughan brings both teenage hope and real-world dilemmas to the table, each of which is compounded by the same outside forces that influence many relationships. That makes the story relatable and the characters authentic. The writing style can be a little too dense with the narrative, but the dialogue and internal thoughts provided via a third-person point of view do well to make up for it. I liked how Frank first views Vicki through the lens of his camera. It's a heartwarming meet that made me smile, and that same smile broadened when Frank unknowingly flashes Vicki a unique, symbolic wave that can only be attributed to divine will. As a Christian romance, the storyline is clean and Vaughan's novella imparts prayer and devotional references as part of his tale of young love. This is done with the skilled balance of a seasoned writer and even those who aren't Christian will not feel alienated in reading it. I enjoyed this look into Frank and Vicki's world and am certain others will also.