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Deadly Valentine: A Valentine Mystery Book One Kindle Edition
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Tess Madison thought she left her old life behind. She was content to devote herself to her law practice and a man wasn't necessary, until the dinner party at the Worthington mansion and the return of Jack Valentine. Tess was humiliated by Jack three years ago and she wants to crawl under a rock when she sees him again. Jack shouldn't be at the dinner party. Her old life wasn't supposed to meet her new life, but it does and the dinner party full of dysfunctional family members ends badly. Now Jack is the prime suspect in a murder. What do you do when a super-hot man who gets to you in a way no other can is being investigated for murder? You represent him of course!! This puts her at odds with the people in her new life, but Jack is innocent; at least she's pretty sure he's innocent and her hormones aren't messing with her judgment.
When I first started DEADLY VALENTINE I swore that I was transported back in time. Back when I played the board game "Clue." I mean the whole dinner party at the old mansion with the old rich guy and the butler, etc. The plot is right off the game and into a story. It does evolve into more, but it takes some time.
I would categorize DEADLY VALENTINE as a murder mystery with a romantic subplot. Most of the story revolves around the investigation into the murder that occurs at the Worthington mansion and subsequent events. I love mysteries, but DEADY VALENTINE had twists that I felt were too predictable and the storytelling was drawn out at times; mainly the first half. I did enjoy the long list of interesting secondary characters (My favorite is Cora.). So many people could have been the murderer and we learn about many of them, which make for a complex story.
Jack and Tess reveal very real and understandable emotions concerning their relationship and I genuinely felt their turmoil, but I just wish there was more heat. Like I said, this is really more of a murder mystery than a romance novel. While their relationship is an important part of DEADLY VALENTINE and there are a couple detailed bedroom scenes, I didn't get the whole hot and bothered feeling that I've come to enjoy from steamy novels. It’s more like a warm and fuzzy love story.
If you're looking for a light and entertaining mystery with a love story, then DEADLY VALENTINE is one to get. Enjoy trying to solve the case.
The author has no trouble holding your interest and keeping you entertained with some drama, a little excitement and a thrill or two. There is danger all around with everyone pointing fingers but they all seem to be pointing at poor Jack who has no idea why he was invited to the party. Even I have to admit with the things he did it didn’t look good for him. At first Jack comes across as the over powering man but it doesn’t take long to find he is really a sweet heart that just isn’t sure of his self when it comes to one women. Tess doesn’t want much out of life just a good one with only men friends, she has had enough of the happy ever after to last her a life time. She is sweet but no dummy after living through the mess she did she knows what she wants and is making a good life for herself. In walks Jack to mess with her mind which puts men against men with a delightful love triangle. The story is mostly built around the murder mystery and why with just the right touch of romance.
I really liked the conflict, confusion and the many people who had a reason to kill Asa. It does seem the man knows how to make enemies even with his own family. There are two mysteries in this book one of who did the killing and one of a lady and her child. I found this story intriguing until the very end, I really had trouble putting it down and stayed up late at night. I thought it was well written, very interesting, the characters are lively, there is some humor which makes you smile along. This is just a cozy delightful read. I do plan on reading it again.
There's a story to Tess. She leaves her affluent parents and fiance behind to move to a small town and set up a fledgling law practice. We have hints as to why and certainly the reason for leaving the boyfriend behind eventually becomes clear, but there's still some mystery to who Tess is.
There's even more mystery to who Jack is although he doesn't even realize it. He's heartbroken by the news and reacts as anyone in his situation would - although that puts Tess out a bit.
Although this is the first book in a series, it's definitely a standalone. Thank goodness. I'm not a huge fan of cliffhangers and am happy to continue traveling along on Jack and Tess's adventures. I'd recommend this to anyone who likes cozies, romance, or mysteries.