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The Last Valentine

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  1,202 Ratings  ·  170 Reviews
Television reporter Susan Allison is looking for the perfect story about true love, yet she doubts where such a thing really exists, Neil Thomas, Jr. wants to share his parents' bittersweet love story with the world. On February 14, 1944, Caroline Thomas said good-bye to her beloved husband, a Navy pilot sent to the Pacific. For fifty year, she waited for him--until a mira ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 15th 1999 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published January 1st 1996)
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Buggy
Feb 18, 2011 Buggy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Buggy by: Betty White
Opening Line: "It had been exactly fifty years since she'd seen him."

This was just the perfect Valentine’s Day read. In the style of (The Notebook), a heartbreaker with flashbacks to the second World War, religious undertones and a love story that knows no bounds.

Betty White starred in the Hallmark movie version of this which is how I first became aware of the story. I liked the book even better though, even if it did jump around a lot with different time periods and up to 10 POV's including so
...more
Cherry
Mar 24, 2008 Cherry rated it liked it
If you enjoy romance without the "R" rated stuff then you will appreciate this awesome love story. I so appreciate a author who doesn’t need lewdness to sell romance, but can do it tenderly. If you are a romantic you can't help but love this story. I would completely trust Michael Pratt when I was in the mood to read romance.
Sarah Sammis
Oct 09, 2008 Sarah Sammis rated it it was ok
Twoo wuv, the bread and butter of romance and inspirational fictional. Where would we be without that first moment of two strangers realizing they are soul mates. Now add put in a war to keep the lovers apart from their happily ever after and you either get a tragedy or you get schmaltz. The Last Valentine by James Michael Pratt is the latter.

February 14, 1944 Caroline Thomas says goodbye to her husband as he ships off the Pacific. They last embrace at Union Station in Los Angeles and he promise
...more
Cherylann
May 01, 2011 Cherylann rated it did not like it
Well, most of my friends (the three active ones I have) would have been surprised to even see this book appear on my list. I feel inclined to explain myself:

My creative writing professor/mentor had given me a constructive criticism about my writing, well more about me as a person. “Cherylann, you have one problem: You are allergic to sentimentality.”

What I wanted to say was, “So?” but if this lack of emotion was negatively affecting my writing, I couldn’t afford to just ignore it. As much as I’
...more
Katherine (Katerina K.)
"I love you isn't good enough- Not for you Caroline."



A beautifully written story that has a lot to teach you!

Full of important messages, poems, quotes...

Loving, strong and true characters that you'll fall in love with from the first page!!




I love both the book and the movie!!

“Once in a while, our thoughts drift and fade, back into the recessed hiding places where our memories are stored. At times we recall them- the memories of our loves, our youths, our life experiences. These dreams appear to u
...more
Lauren
Jan 31, 2011 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was kind of like "The Notebook" it was such a sweet short story. There was a hallmark movie based off this book starring Betty White as Caroline Thomas (older) and Jennifer Love Hewitt as Susan. The movie as per usual took some allowances and changed some of the stuff from the book but it was really good. I liked the book a lot, this is the first book I have ever read by this particular author. He's kind of like a Nicholas Sparks and James Patterson (Suzanne's Diary For Nicholas) and maybe ev ...more
Lindy
Feb 25, 2017 Lindy rated it really liked it
A very sweet story with lots of romance and a bit of history and action too. I need to watch the movie now.
Jacki Combs
May 10, 2011 Jacki Combs rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa
I'm a cheesy kind of girl, but this book was a bit too cheesy, even for me. ;) Still, it was a nice, quick read, with a good message about love. 3.5 stars.

I'm looking forward to watching the movie now.

Update 3/25/11:
I just watched the movie, which was a real tear jerker. I'm glad I read the book before seeing the movie. While I liked the book, I definitely thought the movie was better. There were some major differences between the two, and I liked certain elements of both. Good story.
Mirasol Quisto
Jan 13, 2013 Mirasol Quisto rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
I already saw the movie before I read the book. And what can I say, both made me teary-eyed :P

Though the story is quite similar to "The Notebook", I like it because they have part where they mentioned Philippines and they have Filipino guerrillas cast involved which made me think of reading more about the Pacific War during World War II. Kinda bias about my comment but I really like the story of the book. :)



Arii
Jun 11, 2014 Arii rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As far as fictional love stories go, this one left me in tears. While you don't really get to "know" Caroline or the other supporting characters I believe that Neil Sr. carries the story well. I was moved by Neil Sr.'s conclusion, such a great character, it hurt to part with him. I could've done without the second romance, it was rushed and unnecessary but overall it had a satisfying ending.
Corinne
Jun 26, 2012 Corinne rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It is a great World War II Love story. Like it had been said before, "It transports you back in time to the events and helps you immerse yourself into its emotions of the story."
This book has so many great quotes throughout, I had to write them down so I won't ever forget them.
Carolina
Jul 25, 2011 Carolina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Demasiado sentimentalismo en este libro!No es mi gusto y no tiene una secuencia (eso me vuelve loca)... A parte de que no me gustan las historias de Guerras... La canción de este libro sería: "Mi amor se fue a la guerra, que dolor que dolor que pena, mi amor se fue a la guerra y no se cuando vendra..."
Pero aún así no descartaría ver la movie =)
Patricia
Aug 04, 2011 Patricia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
a book in slow motion...
Tammie
Feb 12, 2011 Tammie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the movie on Hallmark Hall of Fame. Of course I cried! So when I seen the book I knew I had to read it. I cried reading the book, also. A great story.
Hailey B
May 09, 2017 Hailey B rated it it was amazing
1944, what would you do in times like this you don't know but there is just the most perfect story in the history of story's. in the present Susan Allison is looking for the perfect love story and she almost feels like giving up or should she keep trying.
Neil Thomas Jr want's to share his parents love story, knowing that it just might be the best, Neil Thomas has to leave his home and his wife.... 50 years in the future she receives her last valentine from her Neil and it is known to be the be
...more
Hazel Behrens
Mar 20, 2017 Hazel Behrens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was told Hallmark movie with Betty White is better, so that is why 4 stars instead of 5. Very sentimental, yet the love expressed is stronger than the last Valentine given to a pilot heading into a war zone. The tale added respect for actions that took place in the Philippines to my images of WWII.
Jessica
Feb 21, 2017 Jessica rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jessica by: goodreads
I good love story. It did make me cry a bit.
sarah
May 09, 2017 sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it

It was an awesome book can't wait until my boyfriend is home and we can watch the movie together to see if it gives this great book Justice
Whatsername
Jan 26, 2013 Whatsername rated it really liked it
Ho letto questo libro ben 10 anni fa e mi è rimasto nel cuore. Ero sposata da poco ed aspettavo il mio primo figlio...ricordo che mentre leggevo questa stupenda storia d'amore tra il marinaio Neil e la giovane Caroline, ho sentito il cuore stringersi dentro al petto ed il solo pensiero di vedere il mio amore partire lontano, verso una guerra dove le possibilità di ritornare erano poche, mi struggeva...
Lo scrittore aveva saputo cogliere il dolore di Caroline, lo aveva trascritto ed era riuscito
...more
Beth
Mar 17, 2009 Beth rated it it was ok
I came across this book really randomly while browsing through our library’s online catalog It looked promising: historical fiction with romance thrown in (or maybe a romance with history thrown in?). I thought I’d try it out.

I really did like the history told in this book. The “male lead” (you can have that in a play; can you say “male lead” for a book? You know what I mean), the new husband and soon-to-be father, is off at war and his plane is shot down. Unable to make contact with American tr
...more
Sylvikb
Mar 02, 2015 Sylvikb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WARNING: Do not read in public. This fictional love story surrounded by the semi-reality of World War II is the most beautiful story I was able to discover. With all this hype surrounding 50 Shades of Grey and the infamous love triangle in the Hunger Games series, it was nice to read a love story that made me melt into love in a way that I never imagined. A love that I can’t even fantom to exist in reality today. A love worth waiting 50 years for and a promise that makes you believe that true lo ...more
Angie
Feb 11, 2014 Angie rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
Synopsis: "Television reporter Susan Allison is looking for the perfect story about true love, yet she doubts where such a thing really exists, Neil Thomas, Jr. wants to share his parents' bittersweet love story with the world. On February 14, 1944, Caroline Thomas said good-bye to her beloved husband, a Navy pilot sent to the Pacific. For fifty year, she waited for him--until a miracle happened, and she received his last valentine. In the present day, when Susan and Neil meet, can the story of ...more
Sheila
Oct 17, 2016 Sheila rated it liked it
The Last Valentine is the story of Caroline Jensen and Neil Thomas, who met in school and were
parted to meet again after Pearl Harbor. Neil is a pilot instructor who sees Caroline at the Union
Station in Los Angeles. They marry on Valentines Day and when a year later Neil is shipped to fight
in the Pacific, the pregnant Caroline gives him a valentine making him promise to return it to her.
On a mission over the Philippines Neil's plane is shot down. At home the only official word it that
Neil is
...more
Jane Thomson
This book was featured at the front of my library as a good read for the Valentine's season. I was intrigued by the whole concept and couldn't wait to see how the author developed this World War II love story. I found the plot quite contrived, even though some of the details were fascinating. The whole examination of what leads a person to sign up for war and then become totally disillusioned was well done. The reader learned clearly what PTSD looks like from the inside. Some of the imagery, lik ...more
Megan Glass
May 28, 2015 Megan Glass rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: friends
Recommended to Megan Glass by: school library
I love reading this book but it's sad that it came to a end. there was some sadness in the book and some romance I recall. it was a classic for me and still is. I remember her husband going off to war and Valentines being sent to her. it was sweet. what her and her husband had was true love. she waited for so many years for him, she still had hope. it's sad he never came home and I have a feeling he had died in war. I wish he got to come home for his wife and watch his son grow up but sad thing ...more
Heidi
Oct 19, 2014 Heidi rated it it was amazing
I have watched the movie version a couple of times starring Betty White and Jennifer Love Hewitt. I had to read the book. It was just as good as the movie, and was glad that the movie stayed pretty much true to the story line.
It is a historical fiction love story set in the WW2 era. A young bride says goodbye to her husband as he is sent off to war on their first wedding anniversary. He promises to return to her.
At first I was confused because it switched from first person to third person a
...more
Tiffany
I'm a huge fan of Nicholas Sparks and was looking forward to a great book much like The Notebook but while it was a cute story and yes tears did come out at the end, I couldn't fully get into the story. Maybe it had to do with the fact that I saw the movie before reading the book but I felt that the story line of the movie was not only more realistic but also easier to read. Overall, I enjoyed the book and another nicely written story of eternal love.
Kathi
Jun 21, 2014 Kathi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good story, and a tear-jerker, but the jumping back and forth between timelines and characters was a bit disruptive for me. I only gave 4 stars instead of 5 because I felt a very important part of the story was missing: Caroline's. For 50 years she kept the faith and waited, but no mention is given of how she did this. The son/narrator would really only know the story from his mother's point of view, since he never met his father, but none of her daily struggles or emotions as a single moth ...more
Christy
Feb 10, 2011 Christy rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. I was drawn to the WWII part of the story. I really love history but what I love more is knowing that it wasn't all war. It may have been a bit cheesy for some but I think it fit well with the time period. I really felt the emotions these characters felt. It did take me a few chapters to get into the book and if I were to rate the 1st part it would have been 2 stars. But once I got into it more, I couldn't put it down. I would have actually gave this a 3.5 star rating b ...more
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Too Sappy? 2 4 May 30, 2015 05:30PM  
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“Love is found when you don't have to give it. It is the emotion of generosity and kindness that is compelled by no one. It is performed on the battlefield, in our daily tasks, in the marketplace, the factories, at school, in the offices, and in the halls and corridors of government.... But only when one truly gives of himself and without compulsion.” 13 likes
“True love is like a metal tested in a fire. Fires of adversity surround us daily. Are we to love only when it is merely convenient? Like gold or silver, which very hot fire must heat to purge them of impurities, love must be thrust into the fire from time to time to make it purer, stronger and more resilient. And in the same way, live shines its brightest right out of the flames.” 11 likes
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