I just finished reading Julie Ortolon's Dear Cupid - a wonderful story with endearing characters that really come alive for the reader.
Kate Bradshaw is the divorced mom of an asthmatic seven year old. For the past few years Kate has written an advice column for an online magazine. Kate is cupid. She dispenses positive advice to the lovelorn in a sassy upbeat manner. Creative problem solving has been her trademark and the reason so many have come to her for advice. Divorce has left Kate with a less than positive view of men.
What Kate thinks she needs for her column is a little fun flirtation with the opposite sex. What she really needs, for her column and her life, is to find love.
Enter Michael Cameron stage left. Mike is a computer whiz. His job working on computer generated special effects for movies hasn't left him a lot of time to find love and romance. But now he's ready to settle down and get married. When Kate's path crosses his, he knows she's THE ONE. The question is how to convince her of that?
Mike is a warm, intelligent, sweetheart of a man. His love for Kate translates to support when she must deal with work related problems, a sick child and her wavering faith in herself and her abilities. His determination not to give up on her even when she constantly tries to distance herself from him is what makes this book great--that and Kate's interaction with her son.
Kate's a wonderful, if overprotective mother, and Julie Ortolon did an excellent job of showing that side of her. The reader is able to understand why Kate is the type of mother she is and the reasons behind her concerns for her son.
Julie Ortolon also gave us another bit of romance in the forms of Linda and Jim Davis--a couple Kate's Dear Cupid column helped get together and now Kate's best friends. Our peek into how the conception of their first child affects their marriage was a very cool bonus, and Jim is even more endearing and hunky than Michael.
Julie Ortolon has managed to hit the nail on the head when it comes to creating her male characters: Michael, Jim, and Kate's son, Dylan. Her female characters while pretty well developed and likable, with admirable traits all their own just didn't endear themselves to me like the guys did. However, Dear Cupid is clearly a keeper. I'm looking forward to reading more by this author and seeing her develop her female characters more.