Be My Valentino
Sandra D. Bricker
Abingdon Press, Aug 18 2015, $14.99
When Jessie Stanton’s husband Jack disappeared along with all their assets, she hired the only private investigator in Malibu that she could afford Danny Callahan to learn what the hell happened to her perfect fairy tale happily ever after life. Accepting she didn’t know Jack, Jessie learns her spouse was not legally her husband and he was a con artist fleecing people (see On a Ring and a Prayer).
Though feeling beaten, she starts Adornments encouraged by Danny; who feels he owes Jessie as he recognizes her as his muse who reinvigorated him by example to get off the sands and back to work. When Jack returns, he brings a second tsunami with him; since the FBI investigates his financial transactions extending by “marital” default into hers. Though she likes Danny a lot and believes he reciprocates her deep feelings, Jessie has given up on loving relationships with males even expanding her doubts to include the Lord. While her Louisiana grandfather prays for her; Jessie settles for being just friends (without benefits) with her Danny; even dressing him in formal ware for his undercover assignment.
The second Jessie Stanton tale is a fascinating Christian drama as the heroine, in spite of two devout religious males in her life, feels like a female Job with her not-husband being her serpent. Grandpa’s back story and Danny’s clandestine gig add depth to an appealing storyline. Though Be My Valentino comes across somewhat as a middle transitional book, readers will cherish the unsinkable Jessie.