AUTHOR: JoAnn Durgin
Valentine’s Day isn’t just for February 14th anymore! Love should be celebrated every day of the year. That’s Thornton Fielding’s philosophy. In spite of a few false starts in the arena of love, he holds out hope he’ll eventually find the woman of his dreams. The problem? He loves his job, and there’s no end in sight to his travels. But when Thornton returns to his tiny hometown of Cherish, Minnesota, he meets a beautiful and intriguing woman he believes might be God’s answer to ending his bachelor status—permanently.
Vara Alexandris is soured on love and scoffs at the notion of soul mates. But soon after meeting the handsome and unconventional Thornton, the speech and language pathologist suspects he might be the perfect ally to help jump-start her stroke patient’s recovery—if only Vara can keep Thornton grounded in Cherish long enough. This man who spouts romanticized and idealistic ideas about love seems all too eager to resume his world travels. Could it be Thornton actually prefers globetrotting in order to avoid a romantic relationship?
Is it time for Vara to call the dreamer’s bluff? And can Thornton convince Vara to put past heartache behind her and trust in God’s plan for her heart?
I received The Valentine Verse as a gift, a gesture I truly appreciate. (Thank you, my friend!) I’ve read many—maybe all—of Ms. Durgin’s books, and thoroughly enjoyed each story. This one is no exception. From Vara and Thornton’s initial chance meeting, their clever conversations kept me smiling—often chuckling aloud. I loved their witty banter and sweet, good-natured teasing, especially Thornton’s mischievous substitutions for Vara’s last name.
While the romance is mostly light-hearted, The Valentine Verse deals with some difficult subjects, too. Thornton’s beloved grandmother, Charlotte, has suffered a stroke, the reason Vara comes to Cherish in the first place. Charlotte's struggles with all she’d lost are clearly shown, and I felt her frustration. Rosalinda, Carolyn’s employee and long-time friend, demonstrates a strong character and self-sacrificing love. I learned much from her.
There is a plot twist near the end of the story that I found quite enchanting, even though it caused considerable angst to those involved. Throughout, the good news of Jesus Christ is clearly presented without preachiness. Faith is a crucial component of Thornton and Vara’s lives and therefore their romance. As it should be.
I loved The Valentine Verse and award it five stars. Highly recommended.