Feb 062019
 

Six Sweet Stories of Splendidly Satisfying Romances

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!

CONCLUSION:

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!

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  33 Responses to “A Very Austen Valentine – Robin Helm, Laura Hile, Wendi Sotis, Barbara Cornthwaite, Mandy Cook, and Susan Kaye”

  1.  

    Thank you for this review Meredith. I loved the Christmas book so I’m really looking forward to this one.
    My favourite characters are obviously Darcy and Elizabeth but I also look forward to the story about their daughter. Then of all the other Austen characters I would say Anne is the one I prefer.
    Despite my determination to work through my TBR list I will be treating myself to more books soon and this is one of those on my ‘to buy’ list.

    •  

      I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed A Very Austen Christmas, and I hope you like A Very Austen Valentine just as well. I really enjoyed all the stories, but I felt a special connection with the author of My Valentine. (Don’t tell anyone, but Mandy Cook is my elder daughter. Shhh!)

    •  

      Awesome! I hope you get the chance to enjoy this one soon!! I know you will love the romances and there is plenty of Darcy and Elizabeth for you to enjoy!! <3

  2.  

    Hi, Merry! Thank you for the wonderful review.

    I have a funny story for you. I was writing More to Love, my book which will release next week, when I ran out of time. I had to stop to write this story, and it’s a sequel of More to Love. In other words, More to Love leads into I Dream of You. In More to Love, Darcy promises Mrs. Bennet he will build a dower house to ease her mind as well as Mr. Bennet’s, should Mr. Bennet die before Mrs. Bennet. The dower house would also serve as a sort of guest house, and it would become Elizabeth’s house should he die before her. In my tired, over-taxed mind, my readers would know why he was building it in I Dream of You.

    When another reviewer said the same thing you did, I went back and reread I Dream of You. Then I went to the original ebook and print files and added a few lines to the story to give an explanation as to why the dower house was important. He was fulfilling his promise.

    I also changed the calico tomcat to a calico cat.

    By that time, print copies were already sent out. So, you have one of 20 books ordered before I corrected and resubmitted the file.

    I guess if I ever become famous (chortle, chortle), you will own a valuable rare edition. Don’t count on that for retirement income. (snicker, snicker)

    •  

      Hi Robin! Thanks so much for the wonderful opportunity to read and review this collection! I’m so thrilled to have read these lovely stories! That’s so cool that I Dream of You is a sequel to More to Love! Ah! That makes perfect sense! Thanks for sharing! 😉 LOL!

  3.  

    I really enjoyed all of these stories and agree with your reviews. Lots of talent went into this book and I recommend it highly.

  4.  

    Another great review! Loving all the promo on this anthology. Now to get reading!!!

  5.  

    Thanks so much for such a lovely review, Meredith! I loved all my co-author’s stories as much as you did 🙂

  6.  

    My Forever Valentine sounds the most intriguing.

    denise

  7.  

    Oh, Meredith, I am so glad you enjoyed our novellas. We plan to feature guest authors in each anthology. It’s our way of introducing our writing friends to you, our reading friends.

    •  

      What a brilliant idea!! Loving this series!

      •  

        In truth, this series came about because of the responses of our readers. We were floored by the popularity of A Very Austen Christmas.

        The great thing about these anthologies is that we have the chance to write about secondary Austen characters, who might not carry an entire novel. You know, like Sir Walter Elliot. 😀

  8.  

    I thought this one was great, too. I liked something about all of them. Can’t wait for their next release. 🙂

  9.  

    Wonderful review Meredith and I am looking forward to reading this book next week…just before Valentine’s!

  10.  

    Love the review. I have read so many wonderful reviews about this book.

  11.  

    I enjoyed the review and it convinced me to put it on my wish list. I’m expecting some lovely stories from such a talented group. Best of luck on this release, ladies. I doesn’t look like my vision of Darcy but the cover is beautiful.

    •  

      Hello, Michelle H. Darcy is the main romantic hero in the collection, featured in three stories and appearing in five, but Captain Wentworth and Colonel Brandon’s son, Henry, are also center stage in a couple of them. And then there’s Laura Hile’s hilarious Sir Walter Elliot!

      We chose a model we hoped would appeal to everyone. I admit we made his hair darker several shades to see how he would look, but we decided to go back to his original dirty blond.

      We also liked his smile, as well as hers.

      He doesn’t match my version of Darcy either. Ha!

      I hope you enjoy reading the collection.

      Thank you for commenting.

      Robin Helm

    •  

      Awesome! I hope you get the chance to read and enjoy these stories soon, my friend!

  12.  

    Such a lovely collection! Thanks for the great review, Meredith!

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