Award-winning photographer Mason Montgomery is back in Pine Valley, Kentucky. Hopefully, for good, if his business proposal is accepted. On paper, he’s the perfect buyer for Forget-Me-Not Photography. Too bad the seller, Ol’ Man Rowe, doesn’t see it that way. He’s looking for a family man to take over, and Mason’s bachelor status doesn’t fit the bill.
For shy Lily Anne Dawson, life has not turned out the way she’d hoped. Working at her mother’s bakery and editing for the local newspaper is a far cry from her journalistic dream. She’s a failure. A lonely failure worrying about infertility with no romantic prospects in sight.
That all changes when a decade-old promise to marry on Valentine’s Day pushes the two together at their high school reunion. The impromptu proposal offers a solution to their problems. But marriage requires honesty—and both have secrets. Secrets that could make or break their budding love.
I enjoyed reading The Valentine Proposal by Beth Pugh, set in a small town in Kentucky. Mason had a crush on Lily Anne during high school. She ran the school newspaper, he was the photographer, and they made a crazy promise. If they’re both still single in ten years time, they’d get married on Valentine’s Day.
Fast forward ten years, and Lily Anne is back in town working in her mother’s bakery. She dreams about getting a national syndication journalism job, but instead has moved home after being retrenched from her job at a Lexington newspaper. Mason is a successful photographer who has travelled the world, and his family owns an Inn in town. He wants to buy a local photography business, but the owner rejects Mason’s offer because he’s not married. At their high school reunion, Mason gets down on one knee and proposes, Lily Anne says yes, and suddenly they’re planning a wedding.
The story has some fake relationship elements because both Mason and Lily Anne had reasons to marry that were more for their own convenience than love. Lily Anne’s mother insists they do marriage preparation meetings with their pastor, which challenges Mason and Lily Anne to consider why they’re getting married.
A fun romance develops as they explore whether or not old feelings can be rekindled and evolve into a love that lasts a lifetime. I recommend The Valentine Proposal to contemporary romance readers who like high school reunion romances with a relevant faith element in the story.