Romance Reviews Today
Bookclub (4 ½ stars)
Romance Reviews Today
"Vermont Valentine is a heartwarming tale
of winning against the odds."
eldest of the Trask brothers, Jacob is the one who stayed on the
family farm helping to harvest maple tree syrup and to comfort their
mother on a daily basis after their father passed away last spring.
Now he's getting ready for his first harvest on his own, and he's
working hard. Unfortunately one day, a lovely research technician
named Celie Favreau arrives in the area -- and promptly informs
Jacob his trees have the dreaded maple borer, which could destroy
Celie has led a nomadic life the past several years.
Her mission is to eradicate the maple borer insect, but her method
of coming in and ordering tree stands cut down has made enemies.
What many don't understand is that she is keeping tabs on an alternative
method. The day she meets Jacob while inspecting one of his trees
is bittersweet. She's attracted to the quiet, but hunky Jacob, but
she is the bearer of bad news -- his trees show signs of the maple
have met each of the Trask brothers in the previous Holiday Hearts
stories, Where There's Smoke and Under The Mistletoe.
Now it's reclusive Jacob who gets his tale told. He was previously
depicted as gruff and with bushy facial hair, but he has a makeover,
although the gruffness is still there. He emerges from his cocoon
to woo a lady who should be his adversary.
Faced with the coming maple sugar harvest, Jacob
feels adrift. Still reeling from the death of his father, he now
has to make decisions in running the farm. He's been content in
the past to live hermit-like, but now he's out front as head of
the family. When Celie shows up on his land, he's intrigued by her,
but once he realizes why she is here -- and the bad news she has
-- he wonders if he dare have a relationship with her. As Jacob
and Celie talk and get to know each other, the sparks fly between
them. What happens when her job is over and she moves on?
Celie grew up in Montreal within a family also bound
by tradition, so she understands Jacob's need for carrying on the
family business. Without really trying, she draws him out of his
shell and discovers their objectives are similar. Hardworking and
never one to let a challenge slow her down, Celie nonetheless must
work hard at doing what needs to be done, but will she end up destroying
Jacob's livelihood? Will her attraction for Jacob get in the way
of what must be done?
in-depth depiction of life on a maple sugar farm in picturesque
Vermont, Kristin Hardy will draw you in with her wonderful storytelling
of two people who are both bound by tradition and who must learn
to face the future. You will find yourself cheering for each to
succeed; you don't want to see the trees come down, but the treacherous
insect must be beaten! Vermont Valentine is a heartwarming
tale of winning against the odds. Not only in the fight against
the maple borer, but of Jacob and Celie's battle against an attraction
they feel has no future.
emotions and crisp dialogue highlight Vermont Valentine,
and Kristin Hardy will leave you wanting more tales told from the
beautiful Vermont area. Are there any more Trask men who need stories
told? With Ms. Hardy's lush storytelling, Vermont Valentine
is a romantic tale with realistic characters and emotional scenes.
You won't want to miss this riveting story.
This fine novel is not just about fabulous characters, but
also about a heart-warming and sensuous story.
Favreau works for APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service)
and is the head of the program set in place to eradicate the scarlet-horned
maple borer, or better known as the worst enemy of the sugar maples.
She has always been the happiest when she is out in the forest among
natures finest, which is one of the reasons this spunky French Canadian
decided on this career. Being the head of the program means she
is the one who decides which trees come down, and has to be the
one to break the news to sugar makers that selected trees or even
their entire sugarbushes might have to be eliminated. It’s
the only way to completely eradicate the maple borer. Some understand
but all hate it, no one more than her. That is why she helped create
an insecticide called Beetlejuice, which will kill the borer without
harming the tree. The problem is that it is not yet approved in
the US. So in the meantime the trees come down, and people’s
hostilities towards her go up. Except for one, Jacob Trask.
Jacob Trask has a reputation around the county of
not being the friendliest guy you would ever meet, sure he would
lend help wherever needed, but stop on main street for a little
conversation? Nope not Jacob. This large intimidating man is more
at home in his forest than around folks. Until he comes across a
delightful pixie of a woman, he catches snooping among his tress.
He has a really bad feeling about what she is up to, but getting
to know this delightful, bubbly woman is sparking his interest like
As Celie races against time to save as many trees
as she can, she also can’t stop her heart from racing each
time she looks at Jacob. She knows her concern for his forest is
more than professional; it’s gotten to be very personal. What
will happen to their budding relationship when her job is done and
she has to move on? Will Jacob stop her? Or keep to his decision
to live alone, and keep his family’s legacy going.
Valentine by Kristin Hardy is the third book in her Holiday
Hearts trilogy, and I think the best! I love Jacob, and I think
every woman who “meets” him will as well. This fine
novel is not just about fabulous characters, but also about a heart-warming
and sensuous story. I strongly encourage everyone to pick up this
first-rate novel, and if you haven’t read the first two in
the series, and want to read about Jacob’s two hunky brother’s
than you must have Under the Mistletoe and Where There’s
Kristin Hardy completes her excellent Holiday Hearts trilogy with
Vermont Valentine (4.5), a quietly compelling, sensual
story about two strong-minded yet deeply vulnerable people who are
unprepared for love.