Marrying For a Mom

Cupid Jones Gets Married
by Deanna Talcott
(Silh. Romance #1646, $3.99, PG) ISBN 0-373-19646-6
Cupid Jones Gets Married tries very hard to be a lighthearted fantasy romance. It just didn’t work for me, but may for some.

Cupid Jones, as her name implies, IS a matchmaker. She listens to her instincts and she introduces people who fall in love at first sight. She is also the postmistress at the Valentine, Kansas, post office, was born on the 14th of February and has a heart shaped birthmark that is sensitive to touch.

When a young woman comes into the post office, talking about not being able to have children but wanting them desperately, Cupid decides she would be perfect for a young widower with 3 children. Introductions are made and true love it is. Unfortunately, this young woman came to the post office to meet her pen pal, a man she had agreed to marry.

When Burke Riley comes in to claim his intended bride, she is head over heels in love with someone else. Cupid feels a little guilty, and promises Burke she can find him another bride. She brushes aside her own feelings of attraction and sets out to do just that. When she is unsuccessful finding someone close by, Burke suggests they head to Vegas, where he has reserved a room, a chapel and a honeymoon.

Cupid heads off with him, assuming she will find someone in the city and can leave him to his honeymoon. But things never turn out as planned, when SHE marries him. (I am not revealing anything here; this is noted on the back cover.) Can they find true love?

Burke is not a lovable man. He is a rancher, who has been fairly isolated for a while. Now at 35, he wants to marry and have children. His father rarely showed him affection and his mother left them when he was a child. He gets presents from her periodically, but nothing that could accurately be described as love. Burke is certain he cannot feel that emotion and doesn’t really want to try. He is convinced the best he can do is friendship.

Cupid, as you might guess, believes in love. In fact, this little matchmaking power she has is passed down through the generations to women in her family. Her mother, Venus Pandora and her sister, Lysandra, both have the gift. Cupid is certain that true love will strike. In fact, when she discovers that she loves Burke, she convinces herself that he just needs a little help exploring his feelings to pronounce his love for her.

Cupid is at times, silly, inane, has her head in a fantasyland and then is remarkably sensible. But even with this depth of emotions and range of character, I had a difficult time connecting. I always felt she had a secret she was about to reveal and yet, she never did.

Burke is the traditional poor soul whose parents treated him so shabby that he is emotionally deprived for life. Couldn’t see it, couldn’t buy it, and didn’t care to. Neither character engaged me in this story. And the plot seemed to plod along…it took half the book to get to Vegas, and only during the final quarter were they were actually married. This little bit of time spent together after the hasty wedding made the ending seem rushed and a little obvious.

The saving grace to this book is the sparkle of humor. Many times, the interactions between Burke and Cupid were written in a tongue-in-cheek manner that made the scene work. For instance, when Burke convinces Cupid to have dinner with him, she is enchanted and ends up at the restaurant without knowing exactly how. These humorous interactions are endearing. But that feeling just doesn’t last. There were an equal number of scenes where the interactions seemed forced and contrived, such as when Burke convinces Cupid to go to Vegas with him.

Cupid Jones Gets Married is a contemporary look at love at first sight. Sadly, the story hinted at magic but fell a little flat for me.

--Shirley Lyons

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