3 out of 4 stars
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Felix Alexander is either a man who knows love, and knows it deeply, or he is a man the heart should fear. His ability to put love into words is nothing short of swoon-worthy, and will melt the heart of anyone who has known love, has lost love, or has been to the depths of suffering only to find the light of love lifting them up again.
The Last Valentine takes murder and politics in a new direction, infusing it with the realities of romance. In the aftermath of the Spanish-American war, Puerto Rican friends Olivia and Isaac take off on a search for the Labyrinth of Love Letters, a safe haven for forbidden lovers that has been lost to legend. Olivia and Isaac fancy themselves Sherlock Holmes out to fulfill the last desire of a mysterious man whose murder will turn their little town of Old Sienna upside down...or right-side up. They get in over their heads as their good intentions find them in a web of lies, love, secrets, betrayals, mystery, and murder. Will the web catch them in its snare, or will the truth finally be unveiled?He seemed to believe that when the wings of birds and butterflies fluttered they somehow changed the winds of fate and led lovers to find each other in the darkness of a chaotic world.
The story is filled with one beautiful, relatable quote after another. The murder mystery isn't much of a mystery as you start getting answers early on; however, the story is a puzzle that only gets solved piece by piece. It's a great plot that is enjoyable to follow along with.
The Last Valentine is told from the points of view of nearly every relevant character, but somehow manages to do it flawlessly, which I tend to find a rarity. The downside to so many points of view is there isn't enough focus individually to develop a connection with any of the characters. The book could benefit from a little more editing as well. There are sentences that are often repetitive, as if the author wasn't certain where or how to put some descriptions, so he left both. (At one point, a character gets intoxicated, and is offered a drink where he is informed that it is a hangover remedy...only a page later to read that the character drinks the concoction which he "later" discovers is a hangover remedy.) There were also a lot of fragmented/incomplete sentences, sentences separated by a period that should have combined the two with a comma, and a handful of typos.
The writing style is dreamy yet realistic, the emotions are relatable, and the plot is fascinating to unfold. However, there is a fair bit of technical editing that should be done, and I'd greatly love to see a longer story that allowed more time for the reader to truly connect with the characters, which is a necessity of any lasting book. I would hands-down read more from Felix Alexander for his superb writing style alone, but due to the recurring errors and lack of connection, I have to rate the book 3 out of 4 stars. Still, it is one I would most definitely recommend to any lovers of love.
The Last Valentine
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