"Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive." This is the theme of WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get), an inspirational romance by Elaine Hopper writing as Renee Austin. Set in the Ohio Valley in the small town of Strawberry Point, this is the story of an online friendship that became something more.
Serena Gregory, a young and beautiful brown-eyed brunette, is lonely. She still hasn't recovered, either physically or emotionally, from the car crash that killed the man she was soon to marry. She is still confined to a wheelchair, and is not sure she will ever walk again. In addition, a long, jagged scar runs from the corner of her eye to the corner of her mouth. Though it has been two years since the accident, and though she makes a good living designing web pages, she still lives with her parents in their country mansion. While her parents are vacationing in Europe, she and her older sister, Saundra are house sitting. Serena remains a virtual recluse in her room with her computer, and nothing makes her want to live again, until she stumbles onto a website populated by Zachary Kane, an Air Force Pilot stationed in Iceland.
What begins as a harmless flirtation deepens into a romance. But when they agree to exchange pictures, Serena is terrified to send Zack a picture of her disfigured face. Instead, she sends him a picture of her gorgeous, blue-eyed, blonde, older sister, Saundra. Yet she pours out her heart to him, writing and recording songs for him and to him. He falls deeper in love with the real Serena, the woman he knows is his soul mate, his Songstress. Even when he tells her he hates lies, she continues her charade, afraid he would reject her if he saw her in reality. But that would never be, for she knows she will never meet her in person.
One night, Zack tells Serena he will be away from his computer for the next month, for he is going on a special mission. It isn't until he turns up on her doorstep that she learns his special mission is spending his month of leave with her. She is terrified to tell him the truth, even more so when a news broadcast tells of an internet predator that has slept with, then robbed, three women in the Ohio Valley, and his description matches that of Zack Kane.
WYSIWYG is a beautiful love story where a lonely young woman learns the painful lesson that lying never accomplishes as much as the truth, and that no matter what you look like on the outside, the inner person is what determines whether you are worthy of love. The book is slow moving, and if you like action, you will not like this book. It deals more with the innermost thoughts of the human being than with action. If you like slow romances, you will like WYSIWYG.