Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 1-59998-866-6
Contemporary Romance, 2008
Bonnie Dee’s The Valentine Effect is easily the most conventional romantic entry of the three that comprise the Strangers in the Night special series. Carrie Morrison, our teacher heroine, is feeling a little bit blue about her own not-so-happening upcoming solo Valentine’s dinner as she is handing out cards to her third grade students. Lo and behold, look who walks in through the classroom door but Enrique “Ric” Torres, the hot single daddy who also embodies everything stereotypical about the hot Latin lover thing.
This is a sensibly handled down-to-earth romance story with some spicy love scenes here and there. The thing is, though, this is also a familiar story with characters that remain superficial stereotypes at the end of the day. Carrie and Ric are decent characters. Ric can be pretty sweet at times while Carrie can be quite a sympathetic lovelorn heroine even when she’s being a silly goose. There is nothing particularly annoying or wrong about their relationship, but at the same time there isn’t any memorable sparks where I am concerned.
The characters are okay, the story is okay, the way the author handles the relationship is pretty good, and everything is okay, really. I just wish there is that special something, something unfamiliar or unpredictable, that will make me get a little bit more excited over this story.