My Valentine's prologue begins with a woman of 21 insulted after being compromised by a younger man of 16 in the year 1805. Then the story jumps to 1821 after her husband James' death Beatrice has three daughters (15, 12, 9) to raise. Beatrice's first priority parallels that of any mother of that society's time and that is to have her daughters marry well, but when she can, she slips away to her cabin on the other side of the manor's garden and indulges her artistic side on a pottery wheel.
One day while making her pots she's interrupted by a noise outside and discovers a man, Ren, with a badly injured leg and cuts all over his face.
Since the morning after his 16th birthday party when he wakes with blood on him, his self-reproach directs him into a tailspin that lasts for years to the point of being hunted by the Brotherhood and half dead on Beatrice's doorstep.
She tends to his care and soon they indulge in mutual fondling. Mattie, her daughter has asked for a tutor and Ren who attended Oxford applied for the position. He's in her household and his true identity becomes known, she's appalled at his behavior, she turns him into the Brotherhood and they harm both of them.
Part 2 jumps to modern day NYC, yes, that's New York City, where Maya and Darnell have been friends for years. Each loves the other but is afraid to act on it. Maya and Darnell have this feeling deep down that something else is going on when they have some weird dreams and feelings. When Maya and Darnell finally get together they voice the similar dreams they've been having which mirror what happened to Ren and Beatrice.
Annie Dean tried to combine two completely time periods into one story and came awfully close to pulling it off. There is so little similarity between the two stories that it's hard to make a conscious connection between the two. Sure, there are some obvious, throw it in your face do again, like his pet name for her, but it's not quite enough to pull it off.
I liked the writing with lively characters even though they were terribly na‹ve. How was it that Ren didn't make the connection between him and Beatrice - if not from the beginning but prior to coming face to face with his own daughter? The homey settings even those "in NYC" appear inviting.
The overall storyline is interesting. I'd suggest a little more glue to hold the two parts together for my giving it a rating of 5.
Related Title: The Average Girl's Guide to Getting Laid
Note: My Valentine is Darnell and Maya's story, two characters from The Average Girl's Guide to Getting Laid. These stories may be read independently of each other.
Genre: Contemporary/Historical Paranormal/Reincarnation
Length: Novel Plus
They've loved and lost each other through many lifetimes. Maybe this time's the one they'll get it right.
Then... Once upon a time, a lady named Beatrice loved a dissolute lord who gave her a child and never knew. They shared a brief, magical affair that ended at swordpoint. And on Valentine's Day, after watching the man she adored and then betrayed breathe his last, she died for love.
Now... Darnell Valentine used to be a geek. His life is pretty good these days, other than the odd d‚j… vu and the occasional sense he's been there and done that. He has just one significant problem -- he's been in love with Maya Hanoush forever. And she won't give him the time of day.
But he has a funny feeling time is running out, so this year, he'll claim Maya as his own. He somehow sees the way things should be, instead of as they are. Can a beta go alpha and teach his woman she can trust him with her very soul this time around? Only if they put the past behind them for good.
Maya Hanoush has no trouble getting men, but she can't keep them. For reasons she doesn't even understand, she keeps Darnell at arm's length. Though they've been friends since childhood, she always feared taking the next step with him. Lately, she's been having crazy dreams and flashes of things she shouldn't remember, things that never happened. She might just be losing her mind. But if she doesn't put the pieces together in time, she'll lose him. Forever. Again.
Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Light bondage, masturbation, mild domination, oral sex, violence.