I was all set to post another installment today of what seems to have turned into “Short Story Wednesday” before I glanced at the calendar and realized that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. In the past, we’ve celebrated here by talking about favorite love poems, romantic gestures, and love letters, as well as with a few original short stories from Michaeline like Olivia, Jack and the Stupid Cupid and A Love Story for Valentine Week.
This time around I found myself in the mood to read a novel set on or around Valentine’s Day. After a quick perusal of my own bookshelves I could only find one that fit the bill.
The Trouble with Valentine’s Day by Rachel Gibson.
It’s the one day each year when being single is a sin . . .
The Trouble With Valentine’s Day?
It just plain stinks!
Kate Hamilton should know. Dumped by her boyfriend, burnt out by her job, she’s returned to Gospel, Idaho, where a Mountain Momma Crafters’ original poetry reading is about as good as it gets on a Friday night. Then her first attempted seduction of a hunky stranger is completely rejected. So much for her self-esteem!
I was sure there had to be other books out there, so I headed off to the internet to track them down. While I found a number of lists of books for Valentine’s day reading, they weren’t quite what I was looking for. Pride and Prejudice, Doctor Zhivago, and Gone with the Wind might be considered “the most romantic books for Valentine’s Day” by some people, but they’re not actually set on or around Valentine’s Day. One list even included A Farewell to Arms – what were they thinking?
Undaunted, my search continued and I found a few books that seemed to fit the bill.
The Kissing Game by Marie Harte
Rena Jackson is ready. She’s worked her tail off to open up her own hair salon, and she’s almost ready to quit her job at the dive bar. Rena’s also a die-hard romantic, and she’s had her eye on Axel Heller for a while. He’s got that tall-brooding-and-handsome thing going big-time. Problem is, he’s got that buttoned-up Germanic ice man thing going as well. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Rena’s about ready to give up on Axel and find some other Mr. Right.
Be My Valentine (an Anthology) by Debbie Macomber
My Funny Valentine
Dianne Williams needs a man. But only for a night. The night of the community center Valentine dinner, to be precise. Exasperated by her children’s relentless efforts to get her a date, Dianne finds herself approaching a handsome stranger named Steve and making him an outrageous offer. An offer he doesn’t refuse. An offer that might lead to more than just one night.
Bailey York needs a man. But only on paper. She’s writing a romance novel and she’s having difficulty creating a hero. So she needs a real-life model for her story. Parker Davidson is perfect, everything a hero should be. But he wants to become the hero in her life, not just her book. And not just on Valentine’s Day, either!
A Catered Valentine’s Day by Isis Crawford
Bernie and Libby, owners of A Taste of Heaven, have plans to partner up with the Just Chocolate store for a taste-tempting Valentine’s Day fundraiser featuring pairings of exotic chocolates, food, and wine, as well as a bachelor auction. And though Bernie isn’t too happy about her boyfriend volunteering to be auctioned off, she’s got too much on her plate to be jealous: one of the coolers is leaking; they need a new butter supplier, and the mother of a very good client has died. Putting their preparations on hold, Bernie and Libby attend the funeral, only to be recruited to help solve a mystery.
Still searching, I finally hit the mother-lode of potential books over at Goodreads in a Best Valentine’s Day Themed Books list. With 73 books to choose from, I’m sure to find an entertaining Valentine’s story. Of course I may just wind up re-reading Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels instead – there’s nothing like a humorous, entertaining, believable happily-ever-after to get one in the Valentine’s Day mood.
So, do you have a Valentine-themed story to recommend?
None of these summaries hit my sweet spot either, Elizabeth. I’m thinking what we need is a Valentine’s Day story in which Our Heroine decides she’s finally going to murder her feckless Boyfriend/Husband. And so she poisons the chocolate-covered strawberry, or she bonks him over the head with the frozen leg of lamb and then cooks it and serves it to the cops (thank you, Alfred Hitchcock), or she smothers him with the rose-scented pillow, or something like that. And she gets away with it. And she celebrates by herself in Paris or London or New York, doing what she does best, and sipping champagne, of course.
Yeah, maybe that’s a little off-kilter for Valentine’s Day. Hmmm…I bet there’s a nice vampire story out there somewhere…
Sounds like you’re all set for this Friday’s Random Word Improv 🙂
Most anything Georgette Heyer works for me on Valentine’s Day, but The Unknown Ajax and Sylvester are favorites (yes, I know I’ve mentioned them eleventeen times here on the blog). There aren’t many stories I can think of that revolve around Valentine’s Day. And TBH, I think a little of what Kay suggested might be a fun twist to a romantic holiday, even if I do love HEAs. 🙂
Maybe we need to do another progressive story, this one centered around the holiday with heart.
That sounds like fun! February is still two weeks long!
Thanks for linking to my stories! I’d recently re-read the bakery one. I think it’s some of the best work I’ve ever done. But I’d totally forgotten about stupid Cupid.
I just didn’t have time for a V-day story this month, but hope springs eternal. My husband and I met for the first time in February at a Valentine’s Dance (on the 20th; always a little late is a theme with me), so I might have something for next week. Maybe. We’ll see.
Jackie Lau has a new book out for Valentine’s Day; I’m so behind on my reading though. I might save it for next Valentine’s Day. She’s been working on a lot of holiday-themed books lately, which is really good from a writer’s perspective in a lot of ways. Built-in deadlines, and also every year, she can promote one of the old books. She was on Twitter this week reminding people that it was only a month until Pi Day (3.14), and The Ultimate Pie Day was a really sweet, sexy, delightful book.