All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Miss Valentine’s Love Emporium by Louise Reynolds

on April 16, 2018

Miss Valentine’s Love Emporium 
Louise Reynolds
Self-published
2018, 131p
Copy courtesy of the author

Blurb {from Goodreads.com}:

When jaded city divorce lawyer Ethan Taylor arrives in rural Carters Crossing to take his widowed grandmother to a Valentine’s Day gala, he meets free-spirited Lexie Valentine.

Whimsical, sweet and funny, she’s just the kind of impractical woman he doesn’t need in his life.
Lexie is hiding a pain that only her belief in the power of love can heal but to Ethan, love is the first misstep on the inevitable treadmill to his office and a date with the divorce courts.

But as the magic of Valentine’s Day starts to work its charms on Ethan, so does the intriguing Lexie. Can Ethan open his heart to love before it’s too late?

I’m actually reading this quite late – it’s the most perfectly little Valentine’s Day sort of novella but the fact that I read it almost two months later doesn’t change anything. This is a really sweet story, great for a quick read when you just want something that you know is going to be feel good.

Ethan Taylor is returning to the tiny town of Carter’s Crossing, where his grandmother lives in order to escort her to a gala he really knows nothing about. Ethan is a lawyer in the city, a divorce lawyer actually and he claims to have no time for Valentine’s Day – or love. He’s seen too many people sitting across the table from him, carving up their assets and severing their bonds. But on his way down the tiny main street, he spots Lexie Valentine in the window of what used to be the local Emporium. He stops to help her and Lexie is just the sort of va-va-voom that makes Ethan look twice. But when he learns a bit more about her, he finds himself becoming suspicious of just what she’s doing in Carter’s Crossing.

Lexie is a bright and vivacious young woman with a romantic streak a mile wide and a huge heart. She cares about everyone in Carter’s Crossing and the Valentine’s Day Gala is her way of thanking them for accepting her, taking her in, protecting her. Carter’s Crossing is like many rural towns in Australia (and probably the world) – in a way it’s slowly dying. As less and less people farm the land, families sell up and head for where there are jobs, opportunities. Half the shops on the main street are empty. But there’s still a very strong sense of community and that comes through very clearly. Especially when it’s made very clear why and how Lexie came to be in Carter’s Crossing.

At first glance Ethan and Lexie seem like opposites. Ethan seems like a slick city lawyer, a cynic to the core but prod around a little and there’s definitely a few chinks in that armour. And Lexie seems like a starry-eyed romantic dreamer but she has secrets and hidden depths too.

I really enjoyed this. Despite the fact that it’s quite short, the characters feel fully fleshed out and the town clearly portrayed. Most people have known a place like Carter’s Crossing at some stage in their lives – I know I have. Ethan and Lexie play off of each other so well, they have a real spark and their interactions are really fun. I loved the way so many people rallied around Lexie to support her Gala and also to support her when it was clear she needed it most. Including Ethan, who has only known her a very short amount of time.

I often struggle to connect with novellas and shorter stories because I always want more but this one left me feeling very satisfied.

8/10

Book #70 of 2018

 

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