truly, madly by Heather Webber
Lucy Valentine is as smart as can be, as single as you can get, and so not qualified to run a matchmaking service. But, when her parents temporarily step down from the family business, Valentine, Inc., it's Lucy's turn to stop up and help out -- in the name of love. Plus, her rent is due.
Here's the problem: Lucy doesn't have the knack for matchmaking. According to family legend, every Valentine has been blessed by Cupid with the ability to read "auras" and pair up perfect couples. But not Lucy. Her skills were zapped away years ago in an electrical surge, and now all she can do is find lost objects. What good is that in the matchmaking world? You'd be surprised. In a city like Boston, everyone's looking for something. So when Lucy locates a missing wedding ring--on a dead body--she asks the sexy private eye who lives upstairs to help her solve the perfect crime. And who knows? Maybe she'll find the perfect love while she's at it...
* This post may include what some would consider spoilers. Read at your own risk.
Sorry for the spoiler alert, and in truth, there may be no true "spoilers" in this post, but just in case, I'd rather be safe than sorry. Lucy Valentine comes from a long line of matchmakers. Like the BCC says, her family believes that they have been given a gift by none other than Cupid himself, and they can see the auras of others and this allows them to match people with their true love. However, it seems that Cupid didn't give the gift free of charge, no not at all, it was accompanied by a curse as well, and for generations, no Valentine has been able to sustain a loving relationship with those of the opposite sex. When her father, the current head of Valentine, Inc. is caught, quite literally, with his pants down with a mistress on the beach when he has a heart attack, her parents decide that it would be best for him to step down for a while and for them both to get out of town while the media circus dies down.
Lucy is a bit reluctant to take charge though, but since she long ago decided not to use her trust fund or accept any financial help from her family, she really has no choice. She's between jobs and she's behind on her rent (she rents from her grandmother, who would never throw her out, but it still bothers her that she's behind). So it is with crazy nerves that she steps in and begins her first day on the job at Valentine, Inc. Thank goodness Suzannah, her father's secretary and all around office manager, is there to help get her going, because Lucy is sure if it weren't for the other woman's help that the business would surly go up in flames.
But matchmaking isn't the only thing happening on Lucy's first day. A little boy has gone missing and with the cold winter temps it is very critical he be found before too long. Lucy's upset that her "gift" at finding lost objects can't help the boy - or can it?
When Lucy meets with a client that her dad has not yet seen, therefore has no aura color swatch to help guide her, she listens to his story of why he hasn't found anyone since losing his long ago girlfriend and first love, Jennifer, the story tugs at her heart and she decides that she will try and find Jennifer and maybe, just maybe once she finds out the true story of long ago events, she will be willing to meet back with Lucy's client. But when saying goodbye to her new client Lucy shakes his hand, she immediately sees the engagement ring that he had given her - it's on the ring of a skeleton, buried in a shallow grave. Lucy immediately knows that this is going to be way over her head, and decides to enlist the help of the P.I. that rents the office space above Valentine, Inc. Only when she arrives, she finds out he's gone and his brother, ex-fire fighter Sean is helping out. What's worse, is that when Lucy shakes his hand, she doesn't get an image of what he's lost, but an image of the two of them - in bed together. Is Lucy seeing the future or simply going crazy? Will she and Sean be able to figure out why the engagement ring is on that of a dead girl and will Lucy be able to keep her secret safe from Sean and the world at large?
truly, madly was a mixed bag for me. I loved the author's voice. I loved how the book was filled with humor and quirky dialogue. The characters were real for me and the mystery was great. I enjoyed getting to know Lucy and her eccentric family - those related and those not.
That said, I really didn't enjoy the way Sean and Lucy come together. The attraction seemed forced to me. Yes, I understand that she had this totally erotic vision of the two of them together but - they had just met and BAM they are talking trust. Trust to me is something earned and not to be given lightly. I also didn't enjoy the sexual nature and relationship-esque manner in which Sean and Lucy spoke to one another. I simply didn't buy any of it. Maybe I'm just a cynic but I simply did not like the relationship between the two. I also couldn't seem to get over wanting to throw the book against the wall whenever Lucy cites the family "curse" as a reason not to get involved with some one. We get it, your family thinks they are cursed.
Aside from that, I enjoyed the book. It's a fast read with tons of humor, a great cast of characters, and a mystery that had me guessing to the end. And WHOA, what an ending, I was blindsided with it and that is one of the best things about the book. I can only hope that the next book answers a few questions for me, such as why the hell did Lucy "see" the future when shaking Sean's hand, but never with anyone else. I will definitely continue to follow this series, as Webber left me wanting more of the quirky Valentine's.
Heather Webber is also a Cozy Chick, so don't forget my contest and this could be one of the books you choose! Since Miss Beautiful was very sick this week and I haven't had a chance to blog very much, I'm extending the contest until Monday.