Friday, May 1, 2009

YotC Review: Valentino's Love-Child

Title: Valentino's Love-Child
Author: Lucy Monroe
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: May 2009
Harlequin Presents #2820
Year of the Category Challenge

Under the Sicilian sun, Valentino’s mistress tempts him like no other!

Their relationship is scorching, its intensity unmatched, the desire indescribable. Only, love can never be mentioned....

But Faith, his stunning, intriguing American lover, is testing his resolve. He said he’d never marry again, that his principles won’t allow it.

The one person to tame the untamable Valentino is Faith—the woman who’s carrying his child....

What do you think of the title? No too bad, I've certainly heard worse. And the cover? It's not bad either. I like the colors of the brown and teal, they go well together. And you might not be able to tell but she has a little baby bump. But way the sheet is bunched at Valentino's rear it looks like a giant bow. I guess you could say he's got his essentials gift wrapped!

The story is about an American artist, Faith Williams, who meets the handsome Sicilian that she can't seem to resist. They spend their time together have wild, passionate sex but keep their relationship a secret. It's a type of arrangement that seems to suit them both at the beginning. But things rarely stay constant when dealing with men and women and feelings begin to change as it becomes more than just sex.

Valentino loves having Faith in his bed. But that's where the relationship ends. He believes it's convenient arrangement of mutual physical need. Faith is not a woman he wouldn't consider having a long term emotional relationship with. She is not Sicilian and nothing like Renata, his deceased wife whom he loved very much. If he were to ever marry again it would be to give his young son a mother. One like Renata so that his son will be raised the way she would have raised him. This is what Valentino believes regardless of his deepening feelings for Faith. He's surprisingly stubborn about this.

Faith, who is also widowed, cares very much for Valentino or Tino as she calls him. She knows that he considers the relationship only physical and the only place they have sex is his apartment in the city. His real home is at the vineyard where his son and parents live. A place that Faith has never been to or expects to be invited to. While she tries to understand Tino's feelings it's still hard for her to accept it. But when she finds out she's pregnant her life changes dramatically not only in the very real sense of the coming birth but also her relationship with Tino.

This book surprised me. It's a short 185 pages but Monroe managed to pack a fairly adequate story. It wasn't without it's share of problems. I wasn't crazy about Tino, geez, talk about needing to move into the 21st century. He thinks of Faith as his mistress even though he doesn't pay her bills etc. but he basically keeps their relationship hidden. Something only to bring out at night when he can satisfy his need for her. And without giving any spoilers some of the coincidences in the story were a little too coincidental. But considering the length I'd say Monroe does a decent job of developing the characters particularly the character of Faith. The reader was given enough background to get a sense of who she is and how her past experiences have brought her to where she is now.

So overall a satisfactory read but not one I'll pick up again. But I do plan on reading more of Lucy Monroe, next time I'll give her one of her trade paperbacks a try. Ms. Monroe's website.

Rating: B

And speaking of picking up a book I've got a little info to share about these category books. It's quite possible I'm the only one that didn't know this but I went looking for some category novels by Sarah Mayberry since she has come highly recommend by many in this challenge. I get to the UBS, head to the back wall where the categories are shelved, lots of those blue ones, don't remember what those are. Anyway, I spot the lovely red Blaze books and start looking for Mayberry. Oops! They're not in alphabetical order. They're shelved by number - the number is on the spine. Not knowing this ahead of time I didn't bother to write down any numbers. Luckily, there were only about 50 or so Blaze titles so I just started with the most recent releases. Found and bought Burning Up, Harlequin Blaze #380. I'll read that for the May challenge.


  1. LMAO at your cover comments. Bow-wrapped junk lol.

    This one doesn't sound too bad, Leslie. I hear you on his old school attitude, but I wonder more and more if that's not some kind of unspoken requirement for these categories. It seems like all the Presents heroes are alpha to the extreme or carry these outdated notions of women around.

    Still, they must sooper seekritly be what readers want because they keep popping up.

    Great review! The one Monroe I want to read isn't available for my Sony Reader. *pout*

  2. LOL-The bow reminds me of those on bridesmaid dresses. *shudders*

    The outdated notions could be because these billionaires are European/Mediterranean. I'll have to hunt down an American billionaire book. :)

  3. Tino's an Alpha and on top of everything a Sicilian but he sure turned around didn't he?

  4. Hi Marilyn - He did turn around in the end but boy was he stubborn. :)