Courtesy of CK2S Kwips and Kritiques
Carly Lewis has had enough of romance. The last thing she needs to be doing is planning a romantic Valentine's Dance for the parents at Erie Elementary. She has plenty to worry about between her recent divorce, becoming an "accidental arsonist" when she sets her storage shed, and her next door neighbor's shed as well, on fire. Then there are the usual struggles with children feeling torn between their divorced parents. As if that wasn't enough, there is the sexy officer of the law she has to work with for community service.
Charles "Chuck" Jefferson is a dedicated police lieutenant who takes his responsibility as official spokesperson for the Erie PD very seriously. He's committed to the job and the last thing he needs is to be working closely with a felonious single mother to two children! Yet, no matter how much he knows he should stay away from Carly, he is drawn deeper into her life until all he wants is to prove to her he is the hero of her heart. Can he convince her they belong together Once Upon a Valentine's?
Holly Jacobs concludes her American Dads trilogy with a real winner in Once Upon a Valentine's. I loved Samantha and Michelle, but I think I'd have to say Carly was my favorite. She has spent most of her adult life setting her own needs aside to the benefit of others, until after her divorce, she realizes she has no idea who she is as a woman. She is bound and determined to depend entirely on herself and never be in a position that she needs to lean on someone else when her own needs overwhelm her. It is through Carly's friendship with Samantha and Michelle that she finally comes to see that it's perfectly all right to ask for help once in a while and that there are people who are just wanting so badly to be there for someone who needs them.
Chuck has his own issues as well. His life is his work, extreme hours, holidays, emergencies, and all. His experiences have taught him that women tend to find dating a cop to be too much reality and they always go running when they realize this. So he is reluctant to start a new relationship with anyone, let alone a woman whose own schedule rivals his for craziness. Yet Carly's vulnerability she tries so desperately to hide only calls to him all the more until they are so deeply entrenched in each other's lives he can't imagine anything different from being with Carly. Chuck and Carly need each other, even though it took them a while to realize it.
Holly Jacob's trilogy about PTA moms speaks to the heart with its tenderness, heart, and of course humor. After all, who wouldn't find the cause and effect surrounding Carly's arson charges amusing when Holly weaves her comedic magic? I loved this trilogy and I see at least two more stories brewing for potential future stories. I hope Holly gets to write them and more importantly, that we get to read them, in the not too distant future.
© Kelley A. Hartsell, January 2009. All rights reserved.