Below are my reviews for the BAD VALENTINE series. These are lighthearted Valentine’s Day shorts by four different authors, each story written with the same opening line: “Nothing good ever came of a Valentine.” All the books are totally standalone romantic comedies, and you can read them in any order.
Love Magic by Jesi Lea Ryan
“The day I met Derrick while playing my violin in the park was magical. Unfortunately, magic and love together don’t always mix.”
Oliver met Derrick while busking in the park, and they hit it off from the start. At first, Derrick’s “mysterious magician” vibe was intriguing, but after two botched dates, Oliver was ready to call it quits.
Magic flies in this sweet romance
This story was intriguing from the start. I wasn’t sure where it was going, or even if we had a ghost love story, but soon everything became clear and I was swept into the magic of Jesi Lea Ryan’s world. It was subtle but I was glad to catch onto it before Oliver did. Told from his point of view, I would probably have been in the same boat as him wondering what was going on, especially when Derrick was such a hottie!
The story takes you on the wows of dating, and magic aside, this was a sweet tale of two guys who come together, recognising something in one another that allows them to open up and start something together.
Available on Amazon
Quill Me Now by Jordan Castillo Price
What if the words you wrote came true?
Spellcraft isn’t exactly a respectable business, but it does pay the bills. At least, it should. Unfortunately, Dixon Penn failed his Spellcraft initiation. Instead of working in his family’s shop, he’s stuck delivering takeout orders in his uncle’s beat-up Buick.
The world that Jordan has created is amazing. I was very happy to see that there will be more from this world, and it’s characters in the future as I want to see where this will go and what will happen next. Getting ahead of myself though, and returning to this story, it was one I couldn’t put down. I fell for Dixon Penn and his cousin, Sabina, from the start. Stuck with what they had, but with a make do attitude, they made the most of everything.
The romance in this one was a slow burner for me. It played second to the story, and we didn’t meet the love interest until sometime later in the story, but that was okay. I was more than happy to be swept up in this world, and then the romance when it happened. This was another story which made me smile and get lost in their world.
Available on Amazon
Hidden Hearts by Clare London
Accident-prone Ethan has a dating history that reads like a disaster movie script. Strong and silent Kel can’t seem to master the necessary small-talk on a proper date. When they both get signed up anonymously for a Valentines’s night event—”for those with an adventurous spirit but an open diary”—they never imagined they’d be matched. They never imagined the romantic sparks would fly. To be honest, they never imagined they’d survive the week.
A comical romantic tale I couldn’t stop reading.
This story had me grinning ear to ear from the beginning, right until the end; and yes I did want more. However, for a short story it really did pack a lot more in than you would have thought. I was worried that the “accidents” would be manufactured in a way to make it work, but they were added in so subtly that I didn’t see them coming. Ethan was a delight in that he had given up on love, and based on his history I could see why. Kel was adorable too, and despite the exterior you could tell what a softy he really was underneath.
This story, for me, about going for what you don’t know or expect. These guys both had a history of going for what they think they should do, as opposed to what they really wanted. When they let go of themselves and went for it, something special happened. This was a very heart warming, page turning story with enough spice and sizzle, if you know what I mean!
Available on Amazon
Temporary Dad by Dev Bentham
Nick Compton owns a small but mighty fashion magazine. He already has enough on his plate, between work and, well, work. There’s no room for a kid in his life but when his sister drops her seven-year-old daughter for an extended stay, he has to figure it out. Just before his niece arrives, Nick meets a blazing hot firefighter. They get on like a house a fire and the sex—scorching. Too bad the he disappeared in the morning. Like smoke. Now Nick’s stuck with a kid he doesn’t know how to manage and without the man he’d love to get his hands on again.
Dylan Gil wishes like hell he hadn’t taken his roommates advice and lied about who he was. He’s finally met someone he really likes and can’t stop thinking about. But now he’s too embarrassed to confess that he’s just a second-grade teacher, not a manly firefighter. Good thing that work gets distracting, particularly when one of his brightest students goes to stay with her uncle and all hell breaks loose. Some people shouldn’t be allowed to have kids.
Sweet romance where fate plays a hand at bringing the guys together.
This was a warm and fuzzy romance for me, which had me rooting for the guys to finally get it on. I didn’t take to Nick much, although much was said to make him more likeable, I couldn’t believe he was in the same town/city as his sister and had only met his seven year old niece a couple of times. It may be a personal thing, but I wasn’t sure how that could be. However, it did play well into the story when he’s suddenly the guardian for his niece and looks after him. Going for one last night out before he becomes a temporary dad, he meets Dylan and the sparks do fly. This was very quick and more like a hook up as opposed to something more, but the chemistry was there, and days later both guys were still thinking about the other.
I liked how the romance in this one was there slowly brought out as opposed to both guys being in each other’s pockets straight away. We don’t have much time on page for them both, but when we do there is something real there. At the end, I was bowled over by what had happened and was happy to see them together.
Available on Amazon