The Book Worm: Review: A Town Called Valentine

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Review: A Town Called Valentine

a town called valentine, emma cane, book review


Welcome to Valentine Valley—where broken hearts come home to mend, and true love may lie just across the range . . .
Emily Murphy never thought she’d return to her mom’s rustic hometown in the Colorado Mountains. But after her marriage in San Francisco falls apart, leaving her penniless and heartsick, she returns to her old family home to find a new direction for her life. On her first night back, though, a steamy encounter with handsome rancher Nate Thalberg is not the fresh start she had in mind . . .
Nate has good reason not to trust the determined beauty who just waltzed into town—he’s no stranger to betrayal. Besides, she’s only there to sell her family’s old property and move back out. But as Nate and Emily begin working side-by-side to restore her time-worn building and old family secrets change Emily’s perception of herself, both are about to learn how difficult it is to hide from love in a place known far and wide for romance, family ties, and happily-ever-afters: a town called Valentine.
Genre: contemporary romance

Publishing date: January 2012

Offensive content: a couple of sex scenes, not too graphic.

I started reading A Town Called Valentine on Valentine's Day because I thought it was an appropriate title. And to tell the truth, I really enjoyed the first half of the book. But then a series of small odd details started to irk me. By two thirds of the story I was almost ready to call it a day and I managed to stumble through the happily ever after just relieved the book was finally over. 

The romance between Nate and Emily is fairly predictable, but then, that happens in a lot of romance novels. So, what didn't I like? 

The are lots of inconsistencies in the story First we know that Emily is recently divorced because her husband cheated and lied to her. So, when she finds out, almost at the end, that Nate lied to her from day one, she forgives him in the blink of an eye? Even though she needed to forgive him to get to the happy ending, it shouldn't have been so easy. Not a very auspicious start for a couple that intends to get married.

Then, I never understood where her money to renovate the store/apartment she inherited from her grandmother came from. Renovating a house isn't cheap, so even if Nate is helping her and lending her his tools and she's working part-time in a flower shop, it seems odd that she can manage (taking into account that she didn't have money for a motel the first might she arrived in town, or to pay for her car to be repaired). 

And don't get me started on Nate. I was pitying him for the heartbreak he'd had in college when he had to choose between his girlfriend ad family duty, until I realized that he blames himself because he feels he helped said girlfriend so much that she was too dependent on him, and that she dropped out of college just because he couldn't help her study that one time. Hello??? An adult with such dependency problems must have mental issues. And how can you hurt people just by helping? How can he think that he can't have a relationship with Emily because he's helping her and as such, he will end up hurting her? Frankly, the whole thing doesn't make sense when you really think about it. But Nate truly spends the entire book, minus the last pages after he decides to propose to Emily, saying that he's helping so much he will hurt her in the end.

As the renovation of the house drags on, so many characters are added that I was lost on who some of the people were, and the side plot of Emily's search for her biological father just ads more confusion instead of the bit of suspense that I believe was the author's intention.Oh, and how can a ranch can be operational with just with four people working on it, one of which a middle aged man, especially when they seem to hang around town so much? But if you look into it, there's no mention of anyone else working on the ranch. 

So, while I had high hopes for it, A Town Called Valentine failed to convince me and to pick my interest. There are too many details that don't add up, too many secondary characters that don't contribute to the story and just make the book unnecessary long, and after the initial sizzling attraction between Nate and Emily, the romance fell flat and ended nothing but lukewarm. Sadly, I think the story had lots of potential, it just needed to be streamlined and move at a faster pace. 

So, while this book has a higher rating both at Amazon and Goodreads, it won't get more than three stars from me. A Town Called Valentine is book one in a series of six (the Valentine Valley series) and maybe someday I'll try to read book two to see if I can digest if better, but for now I'm ready to move on to another author. 

Happy readings, 

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