Saturday, May 31, 2014

Valentino's Love Child by Lucy Monroe

Lucy Monroe's Valentino's Love-Child
Valentino's Love Child is as rich as a fine red wine on a winters evening... well that's how it made me feel when I was curled up on an icy Auckland night.

Tino and Faiths story offered me everything I love about a Harlequin Presents - truck loads of emotion and lashings of passion mixed in with page-turning wonder at what will happen next.  I also found Valentino's story to be one where you just don't want it to end, you want to keep going.

Tall dark and handsome Sicilian Valentino, or Tino as his lover Faith calls him has his life compartmentalized into boxes.  His wine-making business in one box, his family and precious 8 year old son in one box and his beautiful artist girlfriend/lover/not-mistress Faith in another quite square shaped box and the business and family do NOT stray into the other or combine in anyway.

The lines become blurred when, as all small towns do, everyone knows everyone and it's not long before Valentino realises his no-commitment-no-marriage-no-nothing-else lover is also his sons Art Teacher and his mothers closest companion.  Valentino doesn't want to merge his worlds together, he feels that if he does he's breaking his graveside promise to his first wife of never replacing her.  He enjoys Faith immensely but keeps her at arms length at all times except in bed. He doesn't want to get attached and when he needs a mother for his son he'll find a nice Sicilian wife to settle down with and who can teach him the traditional Sicilian family ways.

Faith doesn't want to blur the lines either although she realised earlier on in the piece where everyone in the puzzle fits.  She's more than happy with the arrangement she has with Tino because she too doesn't want to replace the losses she's suffered in the past.  Essentially Faith and Tino are using each other (in a delectable way) to satisfy their needs in a safe and commitment free and exclusive way

Faith's world is rocked when she discovers she's pregnant and a whole new world of worries come crashing down on her.  How on earth does she tell Tino when she knows she's the very last person he's looking for to replace his wife and mother of his adorable son Gio.  Can she keep the baby given her past tragedies and how does this place her with her graveside promise to her husband?  In the bravest way she walks away telling Tino it's over!

I loved Tino, he's a strong and honor bound man and as the story goes on it's endearing watching his walls be slowly chipped away and as hard as he tries to patch them back up they keep crumbling down.  He's a good man and totally lovable Alpha.  He's very black and white and doesn't do blurred.  Faith is a great heroine, hides her feelings well because she loves what she has with Tino and it works well for her but when her heart starts talking to, growing louder and louder and shutting out her mind she agonizes with the inner battles she's feeling and facing.  There's truck loads of both verbal interaction and both points of view shared along with plenty of lovin to be had!

I got teary and I smiled, I was completely captured.  Published in 2009 it was clearly before the technological era took hold of the world so  references to PDAs like that made me giggle but apart from that this story is quite timeless.  I have a few of Lucy's books and I love the emotional tug she captures mixed in with the typical Alpha male crossed with a story that so rewarding for a Harlequin Presents fan.

I have read and re-read Valentino's Love Child over the years, it's a definite shelf keeper for me.  I will definitely be reading it again in the future and recommend it to all Harlequin Presents or Mills and Boon Sexy fans!

First Published Harlequin Presents 2009 then M&B Sexy 2010