Once Upon A Romance

Once Upon A Romance's Review Of...
Valentine Bride by Christine Rimmer


Cover art: Valentine Bride Reviewer: Robyn Roberts
Title: Valentine Bride - Bravo Family Ties
Author: Christine Rimmer
Publisher: Silhouette (Special Edition)
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-65505-2
Release Date: February 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Contemporary Romance
Year/Setting: Present day, Texas
Overall Rating: 5.0
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle/Sensual
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: None
Christine's Website: www.christinerimmer.com

Caleb Bravo knows how good he has it. He’s a freewheeling bachelor with the best housekeeper ever. He has never regretted taking his best friend Victor’s cousin into his home and making her the housekeeper. Irina Lukovic needed a job in order to get her green card out of her war-torn country. She is quiet and efficient and doesn’t mind his many girlfriends coming and going. So when Irina is about to be deported, Caleb makes a snap decision. He will marry Irina for the two years needed to get her permanent green card. When she makes some strong demands on their sham marriage, he surprises even himself by giving into her demands. No women, no carousing and most of all—no telling anyone because if they are caught, they could both do jail time.

After a Valentine’s weekend wedding, they start the process of getting to know each other. Irina is emotionally battered from what she experienced in her homeland and physically marred as well. She has kept it all bottled up for so long that she has no idea how to share these things with anyone, especially her new husband, Caleb. With Caleb’s persistence and patience, he wears down her defenses and she begins to trust again. But when her world is suddenly turned on it axis, will it be the breaking point for their sham of a marriage? Can she make it to the end of her two-year marriage without losing her heart?

Wow! Christine Rimmer hit a home run with this book. I’ve read some of the Bravo Family Ties books, but not all of them. This one has catapulted itself to the honored position of my favorite in the series. Christine Rimmer writes of Irina as if she herself had lived through the horrors of war and speaks with such knowledge about what an immigrant goes through. Having had family and friends immigrate to the USA, I couldn’t believe her depth of knowledge and her accurate portrayal of the emotions; feelings and situations immigrants go through.

I loved Irina Lukovic from the first moment she spoke. She was a beautiful butterfly hidden behind a cocoon of ugly clothes and a soft-spoken demeanor. As I began to see the depths of her intelligence and got to know her spunky side, I wished she could be my best friend. Caleb is so perfect for her because he’s handsome, honorable, intelligent and has a silver tongue. It gave me the giggles every time he’d think he was winning an argument with his slick tongue, just to have Irina give him a little zinger to trump his argument.

When the upheaval started to occur in their marriage, I was rooting them on. I couldn’t believe how stubborn both of them were being. I really wanted to knock their heads together and tell them to get their act together. I really wasn’t sure that the situation could ever be resolved. I’ll let you read to find out what happens and see if their sham of a marriage can survive the tests and trials of life and blossom into something forever…like love.


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