Once Upon a Valentine's
Harlequin American, Feb 2009, $4.99
Police Lieutenant Chuck Jefferson arrests Carly Lewis for burning her couch after her spouse the lawyer cheated on it with his secretary as well as the neighbor’s shed. The ADA and her lawyer agree on a plea bargain, but the judge rejects a year of probation as he feels arson is too serious to ignore even if it was a one time aberration; but jail time seems inappropriate too. Instead he assigns the single mom to assist Officer Chuck who gives talks at schools warning of the danger of reckless handling of fire.
As Carly and Chuck work together, they begin to fall in love. However, she has doubts having been burned by cheating Dean and besides she is busy with raising her children, attending nursing school, and as part of her PTA duties sponsoring the Erie Elementary Valentine's dance; that is besides the fire lecture circuit. Chuck refuses to accept her choices of keeping things casual or not all bcauses he knows he is in love.
The key to this enjoyable holiday celebration of the PTA of Erie, Pennsylvania (see ONCE UPON A THANKSGIVING and ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS) is like the predecessors the strong cast. The lead pair is a delightful pairing of workaholics; the children shockingly behave like children; and the return of the stars of the previous contemporaries make for a terrific romance. Holly Jacobs writes another entertaining Erie PTA romance.