Title: Letters from Cupid
Author: Ari McKay
Release Date: 02-14-2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 94
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
After breaking up with his partner, English professor Dr. Derek Chandler feels like a failure who will never win at romance. His aloof colleague, Dr. Macon Pinney, disagrees and pens an anonymous note of encouragement to Derek, which he signs “Cupid.” Thus begins an exchange of correspondence, a courtship through words where the two men find out they have a great deal in common. Meanwhile, Derek reaches out to Macon, not knowing Macon is his anonymous pen pal. Derek reveals through his letters that someone close by has piqued his interest. Could he mean Macon—or has Macon missed his opportunity and lost Derek to another man?
Perhaps the time has come for Cupid to put in an appearance, and when better to do so than Valentine’s Day?
While these two were cavity inducing to read, I wasn’t too impressed. It’s a typical Valentines short with its cheesiness so much can be forgiven. Still I’ll be critical in what bothered me about this book.
This is a story about a professor (Derek) who’s never had that spark with anyone in his life, and another professor (Macon) who is in actuality a teenaged girl. They’re both obvious nerds and their love for literary figures was a great touch. The way they communicated, although I would roll my eyes so hard I’d dislodge something, it fit with them. The thing was, though, I couldn’t get to a point where I really cared enough about these guys that I was invested in how this would end up playing out (which is really obvious from the get go).
The premise is adorable. Writing anonymous notes to a guy you think must be having a hard time to cheer up their day. To slowly get to know them without anything really standing in the way. It’s great.
Except the pacing was really off. Macon came up with the idea of writing a letter as Cupid way too quickly. The way he reacted to Derek’s conversation was a bit too outraged for someone who didn’t already kind of like Derek. His denouncement of Mark sounded really stalker-ish. There was little character development on Macon’s part.
The circumstances were all so convenient. For example, Jason’s online dating. It was conveniently placed so that Derek talks to him right after having doubts about continuing his correspondence with Cupid. It’s like that moment in soaps where protagonist 1 is leaving in one elevator and the doors are closing, while the doors of the elevator next to it are opening showing protagonist 2.
I know that the story was short enough as it is, so the author really had to make use of the words she had. So this is to be expected, but the pacing was already off so this really didn’t help the case.
I felt like the writing was also a bit too liberal with the use of a thesaurus, as well as the use of exclamation marks. I know that they’re supposed to be professors, so talking pretentiously comes with the territory. But I couldn’t help but be unable to get into the story because of how ridiculous I was finding the dialogue.
The back and forth between points of view wasn’t consistent, with first there being alternating chapters for whenever the point of view changed, and then mid-chapter changes. And then one point of view persisting much longer compared to how it was up to that point.
The whole cupid reveal was also quite anti-climactic and adding in Mark in at the end completely unnecessary.
While there was quite a lot I didn’t like, or thought could have done better… This story was still cute, and I’m pretty sure others would enjoy it more than I did.