Deeply, Desperately is the second in the author’s Lucy Valentine series. Set in Boston, the book is an interesting mix of mystery and chick lit. I liked all of the characters – and there are a lot – but there were just a few too many plot threads for me to give a more enthusiastic recommendation.
Lucy Valentine and her large family are direct descendants of Cupid. While everyone else in the family can read auras and identify people’s true loves, Lucy has a different ability. She’s a finder of lost loves. By making contact with a client and asking them to think some important object to their lost love, Lucy can identify where the object is.
Lucy has established a department in her family’s match-making business to locate lost loves. Business is booming, and Lucy is being followed by a reporter doing a series on the topic. Lucy’s business allows her to interact on a regular basis with private investigator Sean Donahue. Sean and Lucy are interested in each other, but are taking things slowly, really slowly, because of the family curse: None of the Valentines can have a happy romance.
I liked Lucy. She has a soft heart for those in need, loves her family, and is a loyal friend. Although she has a large trust fund, she doesn’t want to live on it, but instead chooses to prove herself in the family business. In the process of trying to find her clients’ lost loves, Lucy runs into other interesting people and meddles a bit in their lives, always with good intentions.
Sean is more of a mystery. As is typical with chick lit, the book is told completely from Lucy’s first person POV. That isn’t necessarily a problem, but Sean and Lucy’s budding romance definitely takes a backseat to a myriad of other subplots. In fact, for large parts of the book Sean never appears.
I found most of the subplots and characters interesting, but there were just too many of both for me. Lucy’s father has a secret. Sean has a secret. The reporter following Lucy knows some secret about the Valentines. Lucy’s mother and grandmother are busy protesting and getting arrested. Lucy and a friend are spying on a third friend’s fiancée. And, as if all that wasn’t enough, Lucy is receiving threatening anonymous letters. And then, Lucy does have a few clients. At times, I just had problems keeping everything straight.
Now don’t get me wrong, all of these plots were interesting, and many were funny. But while they were enjoyable and featured a lot of clever dialog, nothing remarkable happened for a good part of the book. And then all of a sudden one of her cases became really interesting. And a number of the subplots heated up as well. I especially liked the growing friendship between Lucy and the female reporter.
While I enjoyed the book, there just seemed to be too much going on with Lucy’s business, her family, and her friends. Sean and his problems, as well as their potential romance, definitely took a back seat for most of the book.
If you’ve read and enjoyed the first book in the series, you may feel a stronger attachment to the characters than I did. That being said, this worked as a standalone for me, and I will definitely seek out future entries in the series.