Book Reviews, Literary News, and Thoughts on Life
I despise even the term ‘chick lit.’ I roll my eyes at the sappy melodrama the Lifetime channel puts out. The cheesy, fluff the Hallmark channel is famous for makes me want to gag. So why on earth would I request a book from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program about a family by the name of Valentine blessed with matchmaking abilities from Cupid? Well, it sounded fun. . .
And, surprisingly enough, it was. And even more surprising, I *gasp* liked it. Is this a sign of a new and more girly Jenn, who is more tearfully affected by puppies and rainbows and the color pink? Well, I won’t go that far, but I will say that Heather Webber may have opened up some new reading avenues for me.
I liked Lucy Valentine. For a romantic heroine she was a surprisingly independent, level-headed, roll-with-the-punches kind of girl. She also had quite the sense of humor, which I always love in a character.
And once I got over his nauseatingly obvious flirtation with Lucy, I rather liked the male lead, Sean Donahue (I think, of course, that this may be my prejudice against flirty guys speaking. Seriously, they make you feel all special when they pay attention to you, but then you realize they do this to everyone. Grrr . . .). Though I found it a bit convenient how he and Lucy met and had this instant connection (actual sparks? really?) and he just so happened to be a P. I. who could help Lucy in her investigations, Sean is a good bloke and had an interesting back story.
I really enjoyed a few of the secondary characters as well. Dovie, Lucy’s unconventional grandmother, is a hoot, though she makes me thankful to have family members who will harrass me about still being single at the ripe, old age of twenty-six, but haven’t yet gone so far as to set me up on date after date. Here’s a little preview of Dovie playing Yenta . . .
Panic set in.
She couldn’t have possibly . . .
I eyed her.
She would have – she absolutely would have invited Butch the butcher to my house.
My cell phone rang. I pounced on it, not even looking at the I.D. screen.
“Hello.” Please let it be salvation calling.
“Lucy? It’s Sean.”
Temptation – not salvation. Close enough in my book.
My grandmother raised a thinly plucked eyebrow in my direction. Fight-or-flight had set in, and seeking to get out of my house as soon as humanly possible was foremost on my mind. I focused on the TV set, on the pictures of the little boy, and I quickly formed a plot to escape.
“Oh, hi, Suz,” I said airily. “Any word on the little boy?”
“It’s Sean,” he corrected.
“Oh, that’s so sad,” I said. “They need more help? I don’t think I can. My grandmother made din . . .” I paused for dramatic effect. “I know a little boy’s life is at stake . . . Okay, okay, she’ll understand.”
“She will not,” Dovie chimed in, tapping her foot. The staccato beat of her heel echoed (62-63).
Though there were times when I cringed a bit at the rather juvenile disregard of the “show, don’t tell rule (I didn’t need paragraph after paragraph describing just exactly what each character was wearing and what they looked like, Ms. Webber), I found myself enthralled by the unusual premise of using psychic gifts to matchmake and the engaging mysteries that accompanied Lucy’s adventures in looking after the family business. I daresay I might even put the sequel on my TBR pile whenever it comes out.
Seriously, dear readers, if you are looking for a sophisticated story that will have you delving deep into the meaning of life, this is not the book for you. If you are, however, looking for a fun, fluffy read that will put a smile on your face, then look no further than Truly, Madly when it comes out in February (I believe this is correct, but don’t quote me on it).