Book Reviews

Hidden Hearts (Bad Valentine 3) by Clare London at Jocular Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Blue-Collar Workers / Romance / Holiday / Humor/Comedy
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 03-February-2019

Book Blurb

Accident-prone Ethan has a dating history that reads like a disaster movie script. Strong and silent Kel can’t seem to master the necessary small-talk on a proper date. When they both get signed up anonymously for a Valentines’s night event—"for those with an adventurous spirit but an open diary”—they never imagined they’d be matched. They never imagined the romantic sparks would fly. To be honest, they never imagined they’d survive the week.

A catalogue of disasters dogs the footsteps of their blossoming romance, including a coffee date with food allergies as an added extra, an intimate dinner that strays too close for comfort to chopped chillies, and a sensual massage with hot wax candles that threatens to alert the local fire brigade. 

But if they can hold tight to their sweet, surprising, yet single-minded attraction – they might just survive this Valentine’s Day with something very special to look forward to.

Author's Note: This is a totally standalone romantic comedy in the BAD VALENTINE series. These are lighthearted Valentine's Day shorts by four different authors, each story written with the same opening line: "Nothing good ever came of a Valentine." Check the series page for details of the other stories by Jordan Castillo Price, Dev Bentham and Jesi Lea Ryan.

Book Review

“In a world where we’re encouraged to be someone we’re not – it’s incredibly important to find someone who loves you for who you are. And that starts with getting real with who you are.” ~ Debra Fileta

Ethan, of ‘Bad Valentine’ by Clare London, is talked into going to a meet and greet on Valentine’s Day by his friend and roommate, Pibs. Pibs is tired of seeing him mope around; he wants Ethan to go out, but Ethan has a million reasons why that’s not a good idea. Every date he has had ended in disaster because Ethan is an “accident just waiting to happen”. Through no fault of his own, Ethan simply has terrible luck. Things just happen to him, like dropping a knife on the floor and the tip almost cutting off his toe, accidentally drinking hazelnut coffee when he is allergic to nuts and swells up like a balloon. When Ethan enters the restaurant, he is a bundle of nerves.

He locates the table at which he is to meet his date. He takes one look at Kel, the man he is to meet, and his knees go weak. Kel is big and brawny, with muscles and tattoos everywhere, one of Ethan’s fantasies come to life. Kel has to admit that Ethan is not the type of guy he is usually attracted to either. In fact, looking at Ethan’s tall, slim body, he is afraid he’d break him! Even though it appears that they have nothing in common, they do find qualities that they admire in the other, ones that they have not found in anyone else. Their date is timed at an hour, then they can either stay or move on. When the hour is up, Ethan stands up to leave, but Kel interrupts him, asking him to stay.

Clare’s exquisite humor never fails to warm my heart and plays a large part in the story. As clumsy as Ethan is, he’s a good guy who would make someone a good partner, but it would have to be some who loved him flaws and all. Surprisingly, Kel’s social skills are up to par; so many people dismiss him as undesirable. But with each other, they can just be themselves. Thanks, Clare, for the endearing, funny, and touching love story, reminding me that there is someone for everyone.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 68 pages/ 17500 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 01-February-2019
Price $0.99 ebook
Buy Link