THE TROUBLE WITH VALENTINE'S DAY

Rachel Gibson, Author . Avon $6.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-000926-7

"There [is] nothing like one whole day devoted to lovers to make a single girl feel like a loser," muses Kate Hamilton, the heroine of Gibson's frothy new romance set in Gospel, Idaho. When Kate's advances are rebuffed by the sexy man sitting next to her in a bar on Valentine's Day, she feels the sting of rejection—which is soon compounded by humiliation when she learns that the stranger is Rob Sutter, owner of the sporting goods store located next to her grandfather's grocery. Both Rob and Kate have skidded to a halt in Gospel—Kate after her work as a PI unwittingly armed a man with information to track down and kill his family, and Rob after his pro hockey career was derailed by a gun-toting psychopath. Instead of exploring this weighty material, Gibson focuses on such lighthearted frolics as whipped-cream fights in the aisles of Kate's grocery store. Because Rob remains literally and figuratively behind the wheel of his Hummer and Kate never fully faces her own demons, their romance lacks emotional heft. Gibson also portrays Gospel's elderly citizenry as cartoonish, rendering what could have been a poignant romance between Kate's grandfather and Rob's mother as condescendingly sweet. The novel begins and ends on Valentine's Day, and the rest of the story never transcends the holiday's reputation for false promises. Agent, Claudia Cross. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 12/06/2004
Release date: 01/01/2005
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 409 pages - 978-0-7862-7529-8
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-0061-5
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