I received this book for free from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
A Promise at Bluebell Hillby Emma Cane
Series: Valentine Valley #4
Published by Avon, HarperCollins on February 25th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Romance
Buy the Book • Goodreads
Welcome to Valentine Valley, where romance blooms and love captivates even the most guarded of hearts . . .
From the moment Secret Service agent Travis Beaumont strides into the town and through the door of Monica Shaw's flower shop, she feels a sizzle of attraction. After years of putting everyone else's needs first, Monica is ready to grab hold of life. If she can just persuade the ultimate protector to let his own walls down for once . . .
The President's son is getting married in Valentine Valley, and Travis should be avoiding all distractions . . . not fantasizing about a forthright, sexy-as-hell florist. Especially when she's keeping secrets that could jeopardize his assignment. But just this once, Travis is tempted to put down the rulebook and follow his heart—right to Monica's door.
Roses are red, violets are blue, and in Valentine Valley, love will always find you.
This is the first book I’ve read in the Valentine Valley series, but it is actually #4 in sequence. A Promise at Bluebell Hill can be read as a standalone, but ultimately I think readers will enjoy getting to know the back story behind this small town group of activists, shop owners and close friends.
The small town setting. Valentine Valley, Colorado has a homey feel. Its a timeless community where everyone knows each other.
The loyalty between the characters and the depth of relationships between family and friends. This is a feel good about women book.
That the two main characters were willing to settle down and commit to one another, putting high push careers and political differences aside. They recognized the importance of marriage and family.
The scenic backdrop of bluebell fields and mountains. It’s a romantic place we would all want to visit.
The exploration and resolution of marital problems between Monica’s parents. There is a good plot arc as we see empty nesters work out how to enjoy each other without being directly involved in each others hobbies.
The trade market price. A paperback for $5.
I Struggled With:
The heavy and descriptive romance scenes. I admit, I typically do not read adult romance unless it leaves details to the imagination. This one was a little too fast moving and TMI for me. It’s definitely an adult romance, not for children or teens.
The push at political agenda and correctness. It felt forced to have an activist group against big development and preservation of fossils, flag burning protests, a female President of the US all rolled into one small town novel.
Overall, for me as a reader, the good outweighed the bad and I would read the rest of the series. But it would mean skipping right over the pages with detailed love scenes. I prefer a clean read with tension instead of having it all spelled out.
I loved the writing and the well developed characters and I am glad to have found out such a place as Valentine Valley really exists! You can learn more on the author’s site. Thanks so much to HarperCollins for a fun Valentine’s read!
Emma Cane was born in Erie, a small Pennsylvania town on beautiful Lake Erie, where the sunsets are some of the best in the world. Though Emma enjoyed figure skating and skiing (good sports in the northeast), she brought a book everywhere she went, usually science fiction and fantasy. Yes, Emma was a Trekkie. Early in her teen years, she decided maybe she could be a writer, and wrote passionate stories of teenagers in space, first by hand until her fingers cramped, and then on her dad’s manual typewriter, which she still can’t bear to give away. In high school she discovered historical romances, starting with Kathleen Woodiwiss’s Shanna, and Emma never looked back. The first romance she ever tried to write was a historical Western, but now she’s changed to the 21st century, where cowboys can ride pickup trucks as well as horses. Emma fell in love with small-town, heartwarming stories, and created the fictional town Valentine Valley, a small ranching community in the Colorado Rockies, where she sets her novels. A Town Called Valentine was the first in her new series. A Promise at Bluebell Hill is the fourth book, and there’ve also been two novellas.
Emma always wanted a career. She determined she wouldn’t be good at the family business, funeral directing, mainly because a funeral director is a social creature, out in society, joining lots of committees and being involved in the community. She likes to pick and choose her committees (she’s served in almost every capacity in her local writers’ group) She especially enjoys being at home in the evenings, her face buried in a book. When she went to college, Emma figured it might be difficult to earn a living writing, so she tried many different jobs. After majoring in aerospace engineering and taking all her electives in English, she realized writing was her future. While she learned her craft and raised her children, she worked several jobs, from fitness training to programming computer-controlled machines. She joined her local chapter of Romance Writers of America, found her best friends, and with their help, sold her manuscript to Avon Books. At last, writing has become her full-time career.
Now that her three children are grown, Emma loves spending time crocheting and singing (although not necessarily at the same time), and hiking and snowshoeing alongside her husband Jim and two rambunctious dogs Apollo and Uma.
Emma also writes as USA Today Bestselling historical romance author Gayle Callen.