Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Operation: Cupid by Allyson Lindt

Kaylee lost her true love on Valentine’s Day, so to say she’s not a fan of the holiday is the understatement of the decade. When being bombarded by hearts and flowers pushes her to the brink of tears, she wishes for her lost love back. A stranger, who reminds her of the past in every way, offers her comfort—but he summons painful memories, leaving her torn.

Devin enjoys his job as a cupid, helping lonely souls move on from lost loves and heartbreak and seeing their joy return. His life was taken too soon and being a cupid allows him a second chance. When he’s assigned to Kaylee, he’s inexplicably drawn to her, but she triggers unfamiliar memories and emotions. He finds himself breaking all the rules of his job to make her happy, but he still can’t offer her the one thing she wants: her lost love.

As Kaylee and Devin grow closer, the demons of their past still haunt them. If they can’t reconcile what could’ve been, they’ll both lose out on their second chance at happily ever after. Can true love survive all obstacles?

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A sweet story about a second chance at love that comes about in a most unexpected way. Certainly neither Kaylee or Devin could have foreseen that they would get the opportunity they are given here, and really, who would? How exactly it comes about is kept rather mysterious, leaving many unanswered questions, but that is likely for the best. It allows the story to remain focused on the two main characters as it should in a story of this length.

Right from the beginning of the story your heart breaks for Kaylee. Even though it's been two years, she still mourns for her lost love, though presumably it's only on Valentine's Day that she's as thoroughly grief-stricken as we see her here. The rest of the year she's able to hold herself together fairly well and has mostly gotten on with her life. Except for the fact she apparently hasn't ever started dating again, nor does it seem like she has any real interest in doing so. This makes it a bit surprising that she opens up to Devin and is as willing to go off and spend the day with him as she does.

Devin seems like the sort of man any woman would want to have around. Caring and compassionate without being patronizing or trying to take over and manage the situation too much. He simply provides a sympathetic ear for Kaylee to tell her troubles to and offers up distractions to help brighten her day and take her mind off of things but doesn't try to pretend that any of it can truly alleviate her grief or make things better for her in more than a temporary way.

I felt the story overall was well paced with Kaylee opening up then pulling back again pretty much as you would expect for someone in her position. She wonders herself at how easily she seems to trust Devin and recognizes that going off alone with a man she just met isn't necessarily the wisest thing to do. Yet she mostly shrugs her concerns off, at least for awhile, because he doesn't do anything to really give her cause for concern and her gut is telling her he's OK. There are reasons for this of course; reasons that center primarily on who Devin really is, and while his true identity does become obvious fairly early on I won't spoil that surprise here. Even though the ultimate reveal of it doesn't come as a surprise at all (to the reader anyway) it is still interesting watching how it all plays out and how they both react when the truth is made known. What struck me most, and what kept the rating high on this story for me is that their reactions are completely believable and in keeping with their personalities. There's no deus ex machina that makes everything OK just because the story needs a happy ending because really none is needed for them to find their way to an HEA on their own.

Overall I think this story will appeal to a wide audience, both contemporary and paranormal fans alike. In many ways it reads mostly like a contemporary, but the paranormal touches are ever present and the story would be impossible without them. I'd recommend this to anyone that's in the mood for a fairly short, essentially light romance that manages to combine just the right amounts of heartbreaking grief and tragedy with heartwarming discoveries and second chances. 4 solid stars to an excellent short piece.

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