By Kristin Ramsdell, Librarian Emerita, California State Univ., East Bay
This brief list of Valentine’s Day–themed romances has something for everyone. However, it is just a taste, a sweet morsel for romance lovers.
Cane, Emma. A Town Called Valentine. Avon. (Valentine Valley, Bk. 1). 2012. 384p. ISBN 9780062102270. pap. $7.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062102287.
A newly divorced and impoverished heroine returns to Valentine Valley, high in the Colorado Rockies, to sell her late grandmother’s store and finds love with a handsome rancher as well as healing, acceptance, and surprises in a charming town where love and romance are the order of the day. A heartwarming community and family-centered romance with just the right Valentine’s Day emphasis. (LJ 2/15/12)
Davis, Justine & Cindy Dees. Deadly Valentine. Silhouette Romantic Suspense. 2011. 224p. ISBN 9780373277155. pap. $4.99; ebk. 9781426885013.
This pair of secrets-filled novellas—Davis’s “Her Un-Valentine” and Dee’s “The February 14th Street Secret”—from two of the genre’s favorite writers are just the thing for fans who like their Valentine’s Day fare spiced with mystery and danger.
Douglas, Charlotte. Wedding Bell Blues. Harlequin Next. 2006. 288p. ebk. ISBN 9780373881192.
Plans for their quiet Valentine’s Day wedding are thrown into chaos when the PI protagonists must deal with a runaway bride, provide security for a wedding between feuding families, and try to keep their own wedding from turning into a huge event. Then, of course, there’s a dead body.
Evanovich, Janet. Plum Lovin’. St. Martin’s Paperbacks. 2008. 288p. ISBN 9780312985363. pap. $6.99; ebk. ISBN 9781429927185.
In a “between-the-numbers” story in her popular “Stephanie Plum” series, Evanovich pairs her beloved bounty hunter with the enigmatic Diesel and sends them on a mission to help assorted lonely hearts find love before their Valentine’s Day deadline. Although very different from the regular titles in the series, this sweet, funny deviation is a perfect, offbeat Valentine’s Day treat.
Gibson, Rachel. The Trouble with Valentine’s Day. Avon. 2005. 368p. ISBN 9780060009267. pap. $7.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062205643.
A PI needing some R&R after she inadvertently helped a killer locate his family and an ex–hockey player who had his career cut short by a psychopathic girlfriend set sparks flying in tiny Gospel, ID. This sassy, funny romance features a sweet secondary romance and begins and ends, appropriately, on Valentine’s Day.
Jacobs, Holly. Once Upon a Valentine’s. Harlequin American Romance. (American Dads). 2008. 224p. ebk. ISBN 9781426828133.
After accidentally setting a shed on fire and forced to teach fire safety classes with a sexy cop, a single mom and nursing student agrees to pose as the cop’s date for Sunday dinner to derail his matchmaking mom’s plans in this sparkling, fun-filled charmer that features a PTA Valentine’s Day dance. (LJ 12/08)
Maynard, Janice. Hot Mail. Signet Eclipse. 2009. ISBN 9780451225832. pap. $14.
A stationery store owner sends anonymous erotic poetic emails (with a planned Valentine’s Day reveal) to her police chief best friend in this funny, very steamy contemporary romp.
Michaels, Tanya. His Valentine Surprise. Harlequin American Romance. (Fatherhood). 2011. 218p. ISBN 9780373753475. pap. $4.99; ebk. ISBN 9781426885143.
When six-year-old Vicki sends an email to the entire PTA saying that her widowed daddy needs a date for the Valentine’s Day dance, the stage is set for a fun, lively romance filled with realistic characters and plenty of small-town flavor. (LJ 2/15/11)
Quinn, Julia & others. The Further Observations of Lady Whistledown. Avon. 2003. 400p. ISBN 9780060511500. pap. $7.99; ebk. ISBN 9780061744303.
Linked by Lady Whistledown’s gossipy comments, the frightfully cold winter of 1814, and the upcoming Valentine’s Day ball, a quartet of novellas from four popular authors—Quinn, Suzanne Enoch, Karen Hawkins, and Mia Ryan—bring four couples happily together in this lighthearted, charming romantic anthology. (LJ 2/15/03)
Rushby, Allison. Hating Valentine’s Day. Red Dress Ink. 2005. 400p. ebk. ISBN 9781552544129.
A wedding photographer who was dumped by her ex on Valentine’s Day is down on romantic relationships until she gets a wake-up call courtesy of visits from three spirits in this chick lit story that is an obvious and funny riff on the Dickens’s classic. (LJ 1/05)