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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Heather Webber: LUCY VALENTINE

Plot Type: CH
Ratings: V-2, S-2-3, H-3
Publisher and Titles: St. Martin’s
     Truly, Madly (2010)
     Deeply, Desperately (2010)
     Absolutely, Positively (2011)

     A review of the newest book in the series (Absolutely, Positively) follows this synopsis of the series so far:

    Members of the Valentine family have been matchmakers for generations, with the exception of Lucy, the sole member of the youngest generation.  After a freak accident when Lucy was fourteen, she lost her ability to see the auras of other people—a much-needed skill in making perfect matches.  Instead, Lucy’s aura ability transformed into a psychometric ability to locate lost objects by touching their owner, and she hasn’t found much use yet for that skill. Lucy has spent her life drifting from one occupation to another, without much success in any of them, so she has lots of self-esteem issues. One other problem in Lucy's life is the "cupid curse" that runs in her family. No one is able to sustain a romantic relationship, not her parents, her grandparentsnot any of her relatives going back generations.

     Supporting characters include Lucy's parents, her grandmother, her father's butler, her two girlfriends, a newspaper reporter who becomes a friend, and a policeman she meets in book 1. Most of these characters are humorous and quirky and they have their own plot threads in each book.

     In Truly, Madly, after Lucy's father has a heart attack in the middle of a sexual assignation, her parents go off to an isolated island to escape the publicity, leaving Lucy in charge of Valentine, Inc. The pressure is on, and Lucy must perform. Unfortunately, Lucy manages to involve herself in two murder investigations and disclose her secret psychometric abilities to public scrutiny—a big family no no.  She also meets her love interest, Sean Donahue, a former fire fighter who now works as a private investigator.

     In Deeply, Desperately, Lucy starts helping people find their lost loves and, of course, gets involved in another murder. The fashion references and Lucy’s chats with her two best friends put this series in the chick lit category, but it also has cozy elements (e.g., bloodless murders, low sensuality rating, amateur sleuth).

     In Absolutely, Positively, Lucy gets involved in three mysteries: the disappearance of a neighbor (Max), the search for a lost love with a criminal history (Tristan), and the discovery of the identity of "The Lone Ranger"a masked man who runs through downtown Boston throwing away fistfuls of money. There's also a missing-dog plot thread. Would you believe that all of the cases are related in a relatively predictable way? Of course you would. As Lucy gets to the heart of each dilemma, she also must deal with her continuing romantic relationship with Sean. Should she ask him to move in with her, or keep things as they are?  Lucy is afraid that if her romance with Sean goes too far, the "cupid curse" will kick in, and she doesn't know just how to proceed as their feelings for one another get more and more serious. Lucy also has to deal with her fears that Sean's damaged heart will stop one day and she'll lose him forever, a fear that is fueled by a medical incident in this book.

     This is a great chick lit series. The paranormal aspect is very lightjust Lucy's psychic feelings as she finds lost objects and her father's ability to see auras, but that's O.K. with me. I like Lucy and Sean, and the supporting characters add depth and humor. If you like chick lit, you'll enjoy this series.

     The author has a new series coming in January 2012 under the name of Heather Blake. The first book of the WITCHCRAFTER series is It Takes a Witch.

This blog entry was last updated on 4/28/2011. 

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