Thanks to a cruel prank five years ago and a recent breakup, Bryan Colby is cynical about, and hates, Valentine’s Day. His best friend, Tyler, is pressing him to go to a Valentine’s Day party that is a huge event in town, but all Bryan wants to do is stay out of it and concentrate on selling houses for Barclay’s Real Estate. In fact, it’s that desire to sell those houses that gets him in trouble. Bryan thinks he’s going to an empty property to give someone a walk through. Instead, he gets attacked, and his car and briefcase are stolen. When Bryan comes to, he sees a handsome face above him. This man introduces himself as Officer Ben Collins, and he’ll be handling the investigation to find Bryan’s attackers.
Bryan’s shameless flirting is difficult for Ben to resist…not that hasn’t tried. Ben has never been pursued like this before. Eventually, he gives in and decides to meet Bryan for coffee. That coffee leads to the men spending a little time together, and one thing leads to another. The sex is amazing, but Ben’s not the romantic type, and he’s not really out at work. However, it’s hard to deny Bryan and his charm.
Will Bryan and Ben be able to get over their Valentine’s Day aversion, overcome their issues, and build a relationship?
I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was fun, flirty, and sexy. Bryan and Ben are lovable, even with Bryan laying it on thick to try to bed Ben. They both try to present tough exteriors, but it’s obvious that underneath those exteriors are two vulnerable men who need someone special in their lives. I found their stories compelling, and I wanted to know more about them….especially Bryan. He suffered a humiliating prank five years ago and I can really understand where he’s coming from when he says he hates Valentine’s Day.
I loved the detailed descriptions of the locations mentioned in the book. They were just enough to let me “see” what was going on without being overwhelmed by tiny and unnecessary ones. I consider this to be a great example of the author’s skill with dialogue. Rather than endless droning about what color the couch is, or what color tie Bryan wore to show the house where he was attacked, Bryan, Ben, and the others actually talk. I’m a fan of characters who talk to each other. It helps me to get to know them on a more personal level.
There are a few background characters who played an important role in Valentine’s Day Blues. I think the really major one, though, is Bryan’s BFF Tyler. He’s the only character in this charming book that I disliked. Tyler is obsessed with a Valentine’s Day party that’s being thrown and how he wants Bryan to loosen up and go with him. It’s not cute like Bryan trying to get Ben to go for coffee (and other things). Let me give you an example. Bryan was brutally attacked by two men who pretended to want to look at a house. He’s in the hospital and in pain, but Tyler asks “Will you still be able to make the party?” Even though he does show concern for Bryan, that came off to me as obnoxious.
The story flows nicely from chapter to chapter. It’s told in the third person, and I think that’s the best choice Bowie could have made. Again, this goes back to the dialogue. Everything was seamless thanks to the conversations the characters had with each other. It was that smooth flow that helped keep my attention from beginning to end of the story. I read it in one shot because I was caught up in what was happening.
There were really no surprises with the end of the book. However, that was perfectly fine by me. I would consider Valentine’s Day Blues to be a “comfort” read…a short, sweet (very sweet), and to-the-point romance. It’s the perfect story for the upcoming Valentine’s holiday. I highly recommend this one. It’s downright adorable.