Book Review: Truly, Madly by Heather Webber (ARC, Feb 2010)
Boston socialite Lucy Valentine isn’t too keen on running the family’s matchmaking business while her mother and father take a necessary trip out of country to let a scandal settle down. You see, she lost the family’s genetic ability to see auras that has led to their matchmaking success. When she was a kid, she was hit by an electrical surge that removed her ability to see auras and replaced it with an ability to see lost objects when her palm touches the owner’s palm. When a potential client shakes her hand, and she sees a dead body wearing his ring, she gets caught up in a bit more adventure than she ever thought her ability would lead her into. It doesn’t hurt that she manages to enlist the aid of the hunky private investigator whose office shares the matchmaking business’s building.
I was excited to discover a book set in Boston that has nothing to do with the Irish mob or the Kennedy’s. Unfortunately, I have this problem with reading about the modern wealthy. I simply can’t identify, and it tends to irritate me unless the book is all about how they’re a serial killer or something. Lucy is decidedly in with the Boston wealthy. Her family owns a building on Newbury Street; they employ a driver; and she has a trust fund. Of course she refuses the trust fund, but she’s still living in a cute, perfect cottage on her grandmother’s land in the South Shore. She calls her grandmother by her first name, “Dovie,” and her mother “Mum.” *shudders* I cringed every time she said either.
On the plus side, once I manage to overlook the whole poor rich girl scenario, the plot is good. It is full of twists and turns that have a slight supernatural bent without going full-tilt building an entirely populated other world of faeries, sprites, vampires, etc… that is seen in a lot of paranormal fiction. Lucy’s attraction to Sean, the PI, is believable and progresses at a good rate. The main mystery actually managed to surprise me with the ending, so that’s a major mark in its favor.
I also enjoyed the little life details Webber put into the story, Lucy’s cat’s activities, exactly what T lines are nearby where the action is happening, etc… However, I did not like Lucy’s personality quirk of doing math problems in her head when she was nervous. I don’t know what it is with romance writers lately having their characters do some annoying thing when they’re nervous, but to me it screams that Webber couldn’t figure out a better way to signal this emotion to the reader.
On the whole, it was a fun mystery plot with a dash of paranormal set in Boston marred by the choice of making the main character part of the wealthy elite with an annoying, unnecessary personality quirk. If you enjoy paranormal and wealthy characters, you will enjoy this book.
3 out of 5 stars
Projected Publication Date: February 2010