Deeply, Desperately - Heather Webber

Deeply, Desperately
by Heather Webber
Book 2 of Lucy Valentine

The irrepressible star of Truly, Madly is back in business.  This time, Lucy Valentine will go to the ends of the earth to find true love for her clients... and maybe even herself.

Lucy wants to breathe new life into her family's Boston-based matchmaking company.  But how?  Even though she comes from a long line of ancestors blessed by Cupid with psychic abilities, a freak accident left Lucy with only one special skill: finding things.  Car keys, socks in the dryer, needles in haystacks... and now, in a stroke of professional genius, lost loves!

It's not long before Lucy's on a winning streak, helping old flames reunite and create new sparks.  Business is booming.  But when Lucy finds herself involved in a possible case of murder, she realizes she's in too deep.  Enter Sean Donahue.  Lucy's handsome fire-fighter-turned private eye neighbor, Sean is just the man she needs to help her on the job.  Could he also be the man she's been looking for all along?  When it comes to Valentine, Inc., falling in love is always serious business...

This second installment of the Lucy Valentine series wasn't as great as the first book, but still extremely enjoyable.

A lot of things happen, and I think the book carries four different mysteries/story tangents.  Between that and the rushed ending, I think my enjoyment of the book in comparison with the first might have been influenced.  I'm not saying it was a bad book, because it wasn't--far from that.

The characters are great, the love line is sweet, and the separate mysteries were actually quite twisty and well-thought out.  There was a slight modicum of predictability, but overall, I think all the story lines were handled quite well.

I only had a few frustrated quibbles, which include Detective Aiden Holliday and the police force's incompetence in dealing with the case of the missing woman.  I get that the final case-breaking point was truly thanks to Lucy's psychic radar.  What I don't understand was how Lucy was the only person who saw the single, most biggest time discrepancy of evidence used against the missing woman's husband, which could have gone a long way to help prove that he wasn't abusive towards his wife or children.  It's something that could have been either proved or disproved easily if someone had bothered to do the investigation properly.

Instead, Lucy figures it out from a sheet of paper that manages to float out of the case file folder.

I was also a little taken aback by the appearance of a potential K-drama trope: that of the "my ex-girlfriend is sick and therefore I need to be by her side" persuasion.  This situation is one I'm familiar with, having seen it in many various Hong Kong dramas and Korean dramas.  It's so widely used to create romantic angst that if not done properly could potentially become a little comical or frustrating--done correctly, it DOES create the desired effect.  At this point, I'm still a little bit conflicted as to how I feel about seeing this plot device used, yet at the same time, I can see the reason behind it's use and how the desired effect on a few different levels was achieved.


My next complaint is about the reporter, Preston Bailey.  I kind of get the whole "annoying like a sibling" relationship she's developing with Lucy, but at the same time, I'm sorry to say that Preston had more than enough moments where she was just plain annoying, rather than endearingly sibling-like annoying.  I have siblings--I know the difference.

Finally, on the romance front, things are steaming up for Lucy and Sean.  And to be honest, the intimacy level was a bit more detailed than I had expected from a cozy mystery, but not to the point of blushing or fanning myself.  So rest assured if you're not one to prefer more sensually detailed sexy times--everything is still fairly closed-door with some exceptions.

Sexy times aside, the love line is really just plain sweetness and hot chemistry.  Due to reasons, Sean and Lucy had less interaction in this book than the previous, so the relative quick pacing of their romantic progress was only a little surprising.  Despite loving my immediate results, being a romance fan and all, I was actually expecting more of a slow, slow burn over the course of the series as opposed to what we got in Lucy Valentine.  But I'm not really complaining.

Not really.

All-in-all, Deeply Desperately had a whole lot of story going on crammed into a surprisingly short length for all the story it had.  At the same time, however, I still really liked it, continue to like the characters, and am looking forward to the next book.


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