Monday, February 14, 2011

Review: Truly, Madly

Truly, Madly
Heather Webber
Contemporary Mystery/Romance
Lucy Valentine/Book 1
St. Martins/February 2, 2010

From the back cover ~

Lucy Valentine is as smart as can be, as single as you can get, and so not qualified to run a matchmaking service. But when her parents temporarily step down from the family business, Valentine, Inc., it’s Lucy’s turn to step up and help out—in the name of love.

Plus, her rent is due.

Here’s the problem: Lucy doesn’t have the knack for matchmaking. According to family legend, every Valentine has been blessed by Cupid with the ability to read “auras” and pair up perfect couples. But not Lucy. Her skills were zapped away years ago in an electrical surge, and now all she can do is find lost objects. What good is that in the matchmaking world? You’d be surprised. In a city like Boston, everyone’s looking for something. So when Lucy locates a missing engagement ring—on a dead body—she asks the sexy private eye who works upstairs to help her solve the perfect crime. And who knows? Maybe she’ll find the perfect love while she’s at it…

So happy I started this series! I first heard about this last year when Nath reviewed it. Then the series popped up again when Nath reviewed Deeply, Desperately, book 2. Thankfully, I finally took the hint. :)

Lucy is a fun, quirky heroine who is open and easy to relate to. I don't want to say she's misguided so much as having a hard time finding her place in life. She's tried numerous careers but none seem to stick. When Lucy lost her ability to read "auras" she figured she also lost her chance to work in the family business. Fate intervenes in the form of Lucy's dad and a heart attack. While he's recovering in St. Lucia, Lucy must take over the family business of match making. She thinks she's out of her element but she does surprisingly well her first day. It's when she starts digging up the dead and hiding out from the police that the trouble begins.

Lucy has this offbeat group of secondary characters to help her with her efforts in the match making and mystery business. Her eccentric grandma Dovie, BFFs Em and Marisol, hunky PI Sean Donahue and Yoda like chauffeur Raphael. Through Lucy's relationships we see how she is a people pleaser, having a hard time saying no. It may seem like she lets people walk over her but when it comes to the real important stuff, she shows her backbone of steel. I felt sorry for Lucy for having to deal with everything that is dumped in her lap but at the same time, I thought it was just what she needed - to be needed.

The mystery was a good one - a twist, a surprise ending and Lucy is a hero with what looks to be a new career. The pacing is quick with Lucy jumping from one situation to the next. When she's not hunting down leads on her missing person, she's juggling Dovie's match making, her friends career problems, dodging the police and trying not to get distraction by her attraction to one very fine looking PI. The budding romance between Lucy and Sean was sweet to see unfold. Lucy believes in the family curse of no lasting love and sees no reason to get romantically involved. But she keeps turning to him for help and he keeps helping her which puts them together a lot. I'm looking forward to see how their romance continues to progress in the coming books.

There are a number of different sub-plots but it never felt confusing even with the numerous characters coming in and out of Lucy's life. There is mystery, romance and comedy but nothing too heavy even though some of the subjects can be serious, Webber keeps things fairly light. I do think it would have been more fulfilling had Lucy and possibly a few of the secondary characters been fleshed out more. With so many to choose from, we got pieces of each character but not quite enough to complete the whole picture. Which is why I'll be reading the next books in the series.

Rating: B+

Books in this series ~

Truly, Madly
Deeply, Desperately
Absolutely, Positively


  1. Oh, Leslie you liked Lucy too! Isn't this a great book? I'm loving the series and I've enjoyed each book more than the last. :D

  2. Hils ~ Lucy is so much fun! I kept wondering what trouble she would get into next & drag Sean with her. :)

  3. So glad you enjoyed it Leslie!! Now, I need to review the third book to get more ppl hooked on this series :)

    And I totally agree on what you said about Lucy. I think she was needed and it was nice for her to finally find her path.

  4. Such a fun, cute book, right? I am reading Deeply, Desperately now. Well sort of. I made the mistake of deciding to read a few pages of Bet Me and then of course, I can't stop.. lol

    I love Raphael. He's a good father figure for Lucy.

  5. Nath ~ Excellent pimpage! I don't think I would have picked it up otherwise - the covers don't appeal to me.

    Christine ~ Ah, yes. The Bet Me discussion is next week. I need to dig my copy out. Love that book!

    Raphael is wonderful. There for Lucy when she needs him.