Love Finds a Way - Jenny Lane
"When Christy’s best friend breaks her ankle just before they are about to go on holiday together, she decides to brave the trip on her own. On the ferry to Holland she bumps into a handsome Dutchman called Piet van der Bijl. She is instantly attracted to him. But does he feel the same way about her? On her tour of Holland, she runs in Piet again, and sparks begin to fly, and Christy finds herself falling deeply for the Dutchman. But when he asks her to become a governess for his nephew, Theo, she fears that he only sees her as a teacher - and not as a woman. 'Love Finds A Way' is a moving romantic drama about finding love."
3/5 stars: Predictable romantic escapism, perfect for fans of the genre, but I didn't really warm to either of the main characters; Christy was passive in the extreme whilst Piet just didn't seem that interesting. That said, I read it in a day, and particularly enjoyed the chapters set in Holland. Given all the disapproval from the other characters about the prospect of Piet and Christina being together, I feel that the final chapter should have extended beyond the proposal (spoiler but it's pretty obvious!) to the reactions of their family and friends. A short straightforward read for Valentine's Day.
Tell Him About It: A Valentine's Story - Holly Kinsella
"She has been in a relationship with the successful and charming Simon Keegan, a financial consultant, for the past six months. People keep telling her that they make a good couple. Good, but not great. When Simon jets off to New York on business Sara spends the week on a publicity tour with the enigmatic Adam Cooper, a thriller writer and the ex-husband of Victoria Glass, the celebrity socialite. Being with Adam causes Sara to ask herself certain questions in regards to both her personal and professional life. How does she feel about Simon? And what will be her answer to the question he may pop when he gets back to London? And what of Adam? Is he too good to be true? Reports in the press from his ex-wife would suggest that he’s not all that he seems to be. Sara Sharpe needs to find out about how she feels - and tell him about it."
3.5/5 stars: Sara is the ideal heroine for a romantic novel: she works in publishing, spends all of her spare time reading and can quote Byron at the drop of a hat. Valentine's Day is all about declarations of love, and it is declarations, or lack thereof, that drive the plot of this novella. Dreading a proposal from her tiresome boyfriend, Sara falls in love with one of her authors, and he with her, but neither are willing to do anything about it. The novella also gives a very detailed insight into the cutthroat world of publishing - almost too detailed - and some of the scenes in the office were verging onto The Devil Wears Prada territory in terms of tense board meetings and a vindictive boss. A romantic read for book lovers everywhere.
The Viscount's Valentine - Donna Lea Simpson
"Viscount Blackthorne is better known as Blackheart, a notorious rogue with a reputation for seduction. Forced to flee London and a young woman’s irate father, he escapes to the wilds of Yorkshire hoping to rest, relax, and wait out the scandal. The last thing he expects to find in the country is the stunning beauty he first eyed twelve years ago, the one woman who captivated his heart and made him question his ways. The widow Honey Hockley has given up on romance and settled into the quiet simplicity of her small Yorkshire village. Before marrying her infirmed husband, she had one sparkling night of a London Season, a night she’ll hold on to forever. But Honey’s peaceful days are shattered when a handsome and mysterious stranger comes to town, forcing her to question her decision to accept a life alone. Upon meeting, attraction flares, and it’s only Honey’s fears and the Viscount’s reputation that keep them apart. So while Honey works to accept the possibility that life and love may yet hold some surprises for her, the Viscount works to clear his name and win over the one woman he believes can make him virtuous again."
4/5 stars: If historical romance is your thing then this is definitely the Valentine's novella for you. As sweet as Honey herself, this is a predictable but very enjoyable read. Blackthorne is your stereotypical dark and brooding hero, and I couldn't help but root for him to succeed. It loses a star for a few distracting typos but aside from that I would highly recommend it.
Have you got any Valentine's Day recommendations? Or are you a cynic when it comes to romance?