I also took away labels such as vampires, werewolves, magic, witch, wizard, etc. I was using them mostly to sub-categorize the paranormal romance and urban fantasy books, but I realized I wasn't consistently using them. Plus, you can find more than one of the supernatural species in the book, so there were too many labels... I figured if you wanted to look for werewolves books, you'd simply click urban fantasy or paranormal romance and go through my posts :P
In the meantime, I still have books from February left to review :D One of them is Truly, Madly by Heather Webber. This book first caught my attention on Kris' blog. It sounded like a cute story, plus it has psychics, so I wanted to give it a try :)
Truly, Madly by Heather Webber
published by St. Martin's Press in February 2010
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...
Genre: paranormal romance - psychic
Series: Lucy Valentine, Book #1
The Story: Generations of Valentine have been blessed with the ability to read auras - except their own - and thus, have been very successful in the matchmaking business. Lucy wishes she could join her father in the business Valentine, Inc.; however, she doesn't feel "worthy" - having lost her ability to read auras and gained the ability to find lost objects. Only, things change when Lucy's father has a heart attack on the beach in company of his mistress. Going away to recover while the bad publicity quiets down sounds like the perfect solution and thus, Oscar leaves Valentine, Inc. in the hands of Lucy. She doesn't want to, but what choice does she have? Plus, she needs the job.
Everything goes well till a young man walks in and upon contact, Lucy "sees" his grandmother's heirloom engagement ring that he has given to his ex-fiancée on the finger of a skeleton... Wanting to find out answers, Lucy decides to ask help to SD investigations, the PI agency located in the same building as Valentine, Inc. Instead of meeting with the owner, she meets Sean Donahue - the brother... who triggers the kind of visions Lucy never had before...
My Opinion: I enjoy books with psychic characters and this one sounded different and lighter, so I wanted to give it a try. Truly, Madly turned out to be a good choice, as it was a light, fluffy and fun read. What surprised me most was despite the fluffiness, the mystery thread had depth and I thought the plot was very well constructed.
Lucy was a very lovable heroine with a head on her shoulder. While no fault of her, she feels bad having lost her ability to read auras and let say, she hasn't come to term with her new ability either because it makes her different than her family. As a result, Lucy has declined entering in Valentine, Inc., but also using her trust fund. Instead, she's been taking odd jobs and paying rent to her grandmother. It's clear that for Lucy, the ability to read auras is very important and is part of her identity. Not having that ability anymore, Lucy is looking for herself, exploring and trying to see if she can make it by herself. A lot of characters in books try to make something of themselves, not wanting to be like their parents, but it's the opposite for Lucy. She's always wanted to be part of the family business, but until she finds herself, she can't. In a way, Truly, Madly is in part Lucy's journey to finding herself and I really liked the resolution of it.
Aside from Lucy, Truly, Madly has a colorful cast of secondary characters. There's Lucy's family: her parents - while they lead separate lives, they are still very good friends, and her grandmother LOL. There's also Emma and Marisol, Lucy's two best friends since childhood, Raphael, the family chauffeur, and of course, Sean. All of the characters are quite interesting and have a role in the story, they're not just playing filler or there to provide comedy-relief. They're Lucy's entourage and obviously, very important to her.
As I mentioned, there's also a mystery to Truly, Madly. I was quite happy with it and thought it was well constructed. It was logical which allowed the readers to guess who did it and what happened, but at least, it wasn't obvious. Know what I mean? More importantly, I thought it really blended well with the other storylines. I thought Ms Webber did a great job balancing everything in Truly, Madly. I mean, there was a lot of characters and a lot going on, but it never felt too much and Ms Webber was able to keep it light.
My only complaint would be that the romance between Lucy and Sean was very light. However, this is the first book of a series, and it seems Ms Webber was setting things up. I'm sure - or at least, I hope, that Lucy and Sean's relationship will be explored further in the next book :)
My Grade: B+. Truly, Madly was a fast and very enjoyable read to me. It was cute and light and cheered me up :) I'm definitively looking forward to the next book, Deeply, Desperately, coming out in August :)