Valerie Flake is an attractive, embittered woman with a sardonic wit and a purposely aloof manner. She has a sharp sense of humor, but underneath her droll exterior Valerie harbors a lot of pain that she doesn't know how to deal with. Valerie was devastated when her husband died tragically, and she has had trouble coping with the loss--partly because she feels indirectly responsible. Since then, Valerie has drifted through life, working days in a dead-end supermarket job (though previously was a talented painter) and trying to relive her loneliness through a succession of one-night stands. Valerie, desperately needing a change of pace, decides to travel to Palm Springs to visit her late husband's parents. But while there, Valerie unexpectedly makes the acquaintance of Tim, a friendly supermarket manager who has also had a rough time in the romance department--and who seems to have every intention of taking their relationship as far as possible. Valerie Flake boldly shows the transformation of a woman who is slowly beginning to let love back into her life.