Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Thoughts: Perfectly Match

Perfectly Matched

by Heather Webber
Book 4 of Lucy Valentine

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  3.5 Stars

The heat is on...

When Boston psychic Lucy Valentine finds herself involved in a group of eccentric psychics trying to learn more about their abilities, she is convinced a rare spring heat wave has flushed the crazies out of hiding.

Adding to her theory is her newest client in the Lost Loves division of Valentine, Inc., her family’s lucrative matchmaking firm.  He’s an animal communicator who hires Lucy to find his purrfect mate—because his cat told him so.

But craziest of all is The Beantown Burner, a serial arsonist who is targeting private eye Sam Donahue, the brother of Lucy’s boyfriend, Sean.  With the help of her kooky psychic group, Lucy must tap into abilities she didn’t know she had to catch the firebug before the fires turn deadly.  What she never expected to discover is that the motive behind the flames hits a little too close to home...and her heart.

This is probably my least favorite of the Lucy Valentine series, but not for reasons of the story itself.  The mystery parts were pretty decent, and again, we have at least three different ones going on at the same time.  They were predictable, although I felt like the identity of the arsonist was a little left-field.  Some of the mystery were pleasantly twisty, but the ending of this book indeed felt a bit rushed and awkward.  I can't say I was really surprised by the reveal of the culprit even though I felt a bit iffy about the motive.

The book itself was entertaining and easy to read.

What irked me about this book were the way all the characters were acting.  Or rather, I was irked by the way that a select few of the characters were acting.  It was like, on Lucy's worst week ever, everyone was conspiring against her to either be extremely annoying, unnecessarily frustrating, strangely secretive, or inconsiderately hurtful.  I still loved Marisol, Em, and Dovie, because they were their usual, steadfast support pillars in Lucy's life.  As was Raphael for the brief scene he appeared in.

And then there are the animals.  They DO make everything so much more likable, really.  Grendel is characteristically grumpy and loving at the same time.  Thoreau is just a bundle of cute.  And then there's the addition of Ebbie, who just seems like an adorable fur ball with psychic energy.  The one-eyed hamster, Odysseus doesn't make much of an appearance.

And with the exception of Marisol, neither do a lot of our usual characters.  I found Dovie's passive aggressive hinting at how Lucy and Sean need to have a great grandchild for her kind of cute, even if unnecessarily intrusive--but since she's a grandmotherly age, I forgive her, because that's something you expect of someone like Dovie anyway.

But everyone else from Lucy's father, to her Diviner Whiner group, to Preston Bailey, and even Sean were getting on my nerves.  I never saw enough of Sam Donahue, Sean's brother, to know his personality, but his evasiveness wasn't as annoying, for some reason.

Even though Lucy's father only appears for a brief moment at the beginning of the book, I felt like he was being unnecessarily mean.  While there was some logic behind his reasoning for evicting Sean, I just never remembered him to be a man who was childishly spiteful, just because Lucy wouldn't let him have his way.  And even after Lucy makes him see logic in why they needed to shut down their building for a while.  Then again, maybe I never got enough insight into his personality in previous books.

The Diviner Whiner group--dubbed as such by Preston because they are a bunch of psychics who keep complaining about everything during their sessions--were just frustrating.  They are purposefully mean-spirited to Lucy because they deem her unworthy of being a part of their little psychic class, no matter that Lucy is definitely psychic, even if in her own way.  I appreciated that Orlinda stood up for Lucy by telling them to back off; I wished Lucy had stood up for herself, as well, though.  Lucy seemed to have shrunken in her personality in this book, somehow, and I kept expecting her to snap back at the other three whenever they made personally insulting jibes at her.

But she didn't, and that bugged me.

Sean had been secretive about his past and what's been on his mind since the previous book.  It rolls on over into this fourth book, and while it wasn't a big deal because the two of them overcome that little obstacle eventually, it was still kind of frustrating.  And took up more book space than I thought necessary.

But the most frustrating person of all was Preston.  I had always found her presence annoying throughout the series, yet still tolerable.  She was that irritating younger sibling you had no choice but to endure.  And while I understood how Lucy could have started developing affection for the girl, I couldn't get myself to really like the nosy, busy-body reporter myself.

And in this particular book, she was just extremely, stubbornly, childish for so many reasons that I just wanted to jump into the book myself, slap some sense into her, and then drag her off to the hospital myself, or shove food down her throat.  I couldn't fathom why she was letting herself waste away like that even though so many people were worried about her.  And I also couldn't figure out why everyone was tip-toeing around her when it came to her physical health.

The secret reveal about why Preston was looking so sickly though... I didn't feel like it explained very well why she was also being stubborn and childish about her health.  She also continues to refuse telling anyone why she's acting the way she is, and keeps insisting that she's just fine.  It was like watching a teenager pull dramatic stunts using her own health as leverage just to gain attention.

I thought that, surely, there was something going on between her and Cutter; it was hinted at so many times.  Or I thought that there was some big, twisty reason why she was acting so stubborn.  But then the ending came around and I was honestly sorely disappointed that she had no other reasons for being childishly stubborn and almost killing herself of starvation, than that she was simply being childishly stubborn.  There was no real reason or explanation as to why she was acting the way she was.


Despite all the ranting above, I have to include a disclaimer here that I actually DID enjoy this book.  I mean, I rolled right through it.  The mysteries were serviceable.  The story itself is easy to get into.  The book could use a bit of editing as I found a lot of either typos or grammatical errors that couldn't be ignored.  (I noted that there's a mention that this book was self-published by Webber at a later date.)

But for the most part, Perfectly Matched was an entertaining, easy, and short novel to read.

No comments:

Post a Comment