RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: The Valentine’s Curse by Jodi Thomas


Title: "The Valentine's Curse" in Be My Texas Valentine
Author: Jodi Thomas
Publication Info: Kensington 2012
ISBN: 9781420119671
Genre: Historical: American

Book Be My Texas Valentine This RITA® Reader Challenge 2013 review was written by Phyllis. This story was nominated for the RITA® in the Romance Novella category.

The summary:     

Out on these rugged plains, love never comes easy. And four daring ladies will do whatever it takes to capture the hearts of four irresistibly sweet-talking Texans…

When a quiet foreman comes to the aid of a mystery lady, they'll find that this perfect starlit night is made for courtin'.

And here is Phyllis' review:

I first read this novella not long after it came out. I then forgot I had read it. I checked it out of the library again and as soon as I started the Thomas story, I remembered it clearly. The others in the anthology, not so much.

The heroine, Valerie, has been mistreated by her first husband, who died in the Civil War, then she married a man who went off and… died in the Civil War. Now she’s shunned as being a Black Widow and is much happier living on her own outside of town, scraping by with some milk and egg money, and just visiting her ailing father in town rather than living with him or trying to get along with everyone.

I loved that Brody’s as much of a loner as she is, partly from his bad upbringing, partly from betrayal by a sweetheart, and partly because he’s the only Yankee around and all the other cowhands play spiteful tricks on him.

The loner woman and the loner man come to a business-like agreement to marry, but Brody insists on making it a real marriage, if he can convince her. And then the curse seems to be coming true, as he keeps getting injured.

I wished Thomas had explored Valerie’s feelings about the war and her dead husbands (who fought on the Confederate side) more when she met Brody, the Yankee ex-soldier. Even if she didn’t love her husbands (and was warped by the first one), she should have some opinion on the war, since it’s supposed to have ended only two years before. I guess that’s the crux of what kept me from giving this novella an A: the heroine was sort of a non-entity, even when she started coming out of herself and falling in love.

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