Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Authors
After a very successful collaboration together on their first anthology – A Very Austen Christmas, I was so delighted to see that these authors have set forth again to deliver another holiday-themed collection of stories! And what is even better is that they added two more authors to their ranks! In A Very Austen Valentine six authors share tales filled with hilarious matchmaking schemes, adorable meet cutes, and tender moments of affection.
There are six stories in this collection ranging from 54 to 121 pages in length. I hope you find this breakdown helpful!
I DREAM OF YOU – Robin Helm
- Type of Story: Pride and Prejudice Sequel
- The Premise: After a few months of marriage, Mr. Darcy is keeping himself a little too busy with managing work around Pemberley and not spending enough quality time with Elizabeth…
- My Thoughts: I love that Elizabeth took matters into her own hands – her ideas for nudging Darcy into realizing his neglect were very clever! I loved the little ways she initiated more time together, and also the dreams Elizabeth had about their courtship (their penchant for placing bets was too adorable!) I did wonder though why Mr. Darcy was so heavily preoccupied with building a dowager house, it felt as if maybe something else was bothering him or on his mind…
SIR WALTER TAKES A WIFE – Laura Hile
- Type of Story: Pride and Prejudice/Persuasion Mash-Up
- The Premise: After all his daughters are married Sir Walter finds himself not only needing some more funds (what else is new?!) but maybe some companionship as well…
- My Thoughts: Ha! I can so believe the events of this story! It is hilarious and so true to their characters! Brilliantly constructed and full of internal thoughts that just make you laugh out loud! I love seeing Sir Walter’s plans go so decidedly awry and yet the way he works his charm and masterful manipulations is fascinating to behold. In addition, I adored seeing Mr. Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam in the role of protective nephews! One of my faves!
My FOREVER VALENTINE – Wendi Sotis
- Type of Story: Pride and Prejudice Variation
- The Premise: Even though Elizabeth still has many reasons to dislike Mr. Darcy, she is perplexed to find herself enjoying his company when she unexpectedly encounters him in Kent…
- My Thoughts: It was lovely to see Elizabeth warm to Darcy a little bit while they were in Kent, and I just loved seeing Darcy’s family conspire to help him in wooing Elizabeth! Two additional things I loved about the premise of this story were a determined Mr. Bingley who followed his own heart and a new romance for Anne de Bourgh!
Pretence and Prejudice – Barbara Cornthwaite
- Type of Story: Pride and Prejudice Variation
- The Premise: Darcy and Elizabeth meet in the wilds of Essex and both practice some deception because of some mistaken assumptions they make about each other…
- My Thoughts: What interesting circumstances bring Darcy and Elizabeth into each other’s company! Darcy’s persona is so adorable and I appreciated his new awareness and understanding about himself. I loved all the moments Darcy and Elizabeth spent together, his gallant rescues, and what happened when they both knew they were free to follow their hearts! One of my faves!
My Valentine – Mandy Cook
- Type of Story: Pride and Prejudice Sequel about a Secondary Character
- The Premise: Miss Charlotte Darcy, who almost perished from a serious illness at the age of four, is about to make her come out into society, but truthfully she has no inclination to marry…
- My Thoughts: Be prepared for Little Lottie to win your heart! And her faithful champion – Mr. Henry Brandon! I loved that this novella took place over the span of twenty years and focused on the Darcy’s precocious and fiercely independent daughter, Charlotte. And I also loved that it surprised me twice…I didn’t see the clever telltale signs! Even though some scenes were a little confusing to get into and the ending was perhaps a little abrupt, it was still one of my faves!
The Lovers’ Ruse – Susan Kaye
- Type of Story: Persuasion Variation
- The Premise: What if Anne didn’t yield to persuasion…
- My Thoughts: I loved Anne’s boldness in this story. She is forthright in her conversations with Commander Wentworth, and I so admire her for bravely going against the advice of her father and Lady Russell! I greatly enjoyed Edward Wentworth’s part in this story, especially his candid commentary on his neighbors and selfless assistance! However, I did feel like Wentworth’s feelings came on rather rapidly and his proposal was a lot less romantic than his letter. Nonetheless, I loved this story for the courtship and unexplored possibility it illustrates!
Cheerful, romantic, and sweet – A Very Austen Valentine is just the thing to warm your heart on these cold February nights! Six novella-length stories wonderfully complete with endearing characters, intriguing premises, thoughtful developments, and decidedly happy endings! I’m thrilled to see that there are more anthologies planned for the future! I cannot wait!