on November 9, 2011
Review by Jen: I was asked by one of our past reviewers, Marissa Dobson, to review this book since she has a short story in this Valentine anthology. Since I enjoy anthologies and it's the perfect time to read a Valentine story, I accepted the request.
The anthology consists of twelve short stories, all taking place on Valentine's Day. Each of the stories was quite unique. The first story, the only historical one, could be the about the origins of the holiday. Then we jump to modern times and experience a wide range of themes. I found myself smiling and also reaching for the box of Kleenex.
Each story is about 10 pages long, so don't expect any great character development and a complicated plot. The stories are all about love and not sex. I did enjoy the stories, and thinking back, there really wasn't any one that stood out as sub-par. Once or twice I felt the tale was just too unrealistic, but with limited space to create your love story some allowances are made.
All in all, I enjoyed this quick holiday read and would recommend it. It's a great introduction to many new-to-me authors.
on November 7, 2011
Reviewed at Another Look Book Reviews
The beauty of Romance books is that it can be Valentine's Day all year `round. That's why when I purchased Be Mine, Valentine way back in February, I wasn't in a hurry to read it.
What a delightful anthology full of talented writers. You can honestly read these stories anytime because there is lots o' love to go around. So don't be shy, if you love fluffy romance and to read short little stories that make you warm and fuzzy all over, you don't have to wait for Valentine's Day next year to enjoy.
Valentina: The Untold Legend by Jennifer Johnson- This first story is an old time historical and a wonderful new twist on the name Valentines. True love has no bounds and miracles can happen.
The Red Dress by Amy Leblanc - I think this was one of my favourites. It was a short story but it felt longer. Great love connection from a thoughtful man. You wanted to fall in love with the male character.
The Gift by Cat Shaffer - Oh what a wonderful story of long time love. A moving romance that demonstrates that time cannot diminish the vows you make when you marry.
The Letter by Suzanne Barrett - An awesome tale that proves that love comes from within. You fall in love with the person, not the appearance of a person.
Love Takes the Cake by Krista Ames - A great little story about forgiveness and understanding the mistakes that one makes in life. Take a look at yourself and see if you are taking anyone for granted. You may regret it if you don't start appreciating them.
The Legend of the True Love Angel by Bobbye Terry - A sweet spin on a make believe old Irish tale. Even when the circumstances for love look bleak, an angel can visit you and steer you in the right direction.
Forever in My Heart by Nancy Naigle - Awe man, this one brought a tear to my eye. When someone's Valentine is taken away from the far too soon.
Be Mine by Margaret Ethridge - My favourite of the anthology. Light hearted and humourous. Even when the perfect planning of a Valentine's weekend is organized, you can predict the unexpected.
Secret Valentine by Marissa Dobson - Who wouldn't want a pick me up like this after a horrible break up with the wrong man. There are great men out there and have been all your life. Just open you eyes. He's right in front of you.
Bittersweet by Tracy March- Another amazing heart warming story that proves you're never too young to be a gentleman. Totally warm and fuzzy moment that just makes you want to go hug someone.
A Mother's Heart by Janet Eaves - When life feels like it can't get any lower, with patience, time and hard work the recovery can be amazing and blessed. A wonderful story around adoption.
His Other Valentine by Elizabeth Chalkley - If you have been married a little while and married life is just weighing in on you, here is a perfect little remedy that you just might keep for the future reference.
on February 11, 2011
Be Mine, Valentine, a table full of delicious love goodies, has a wonderful assortment of love treats--young, old, saucy, sad, and sweet. Like all sweet treats, one should not over indulge, but who can stop from having just one more? I, of course, over indulged and read the WHOLE book in one evening. Good!
Valentina, The Untold Legend by Jennifer Johnson purports that cupid with his arrows came into existence from this time. This is a special love story that is set in the distant past when Christians tread on dangerous paths as they practiced their beliefs. Priest Ternay and his wife Valentina believe in true love and risk their lives to bring happiness to others. The miracle that comes out of a man willing to give his life to save his wife's life gives the story a special depth.
The Red Dress by Amy LeBlanc has delightful humor along with an amazing, giving love. Mrs. Perkins brings a smile as she gives advice to Sara Morgan about the gift of a beautiful red dress. I loved little Charlie who came from such horrific circumstances. His Uncle Nate is a dream come true and leaves the reader with that feeling that all is well. Sara with all her self-doubts blooms with Nate's special brand of care.
The Gift by Cat Shaffer is a heartbreaker, but it also shows the steadfastness of true love. Al Mason, past eighty years old, remembers the good, happy times as he sits with his wife who has Alzheimer's. His faithfulness is rewarded with a few moments of his wife Ellie knowing who he is and giving him a kiss with her declaration of love before she slips back into her other world. His positive attitude makes the story shine.
The Letter by Suzanne Barrett is a pen pal love story. Mary Maureen Brennan knows she's not likely to ever marry. She cherishes her connection with her pen pal Dan Kennedy in Ireland. His letters help her imagine the wonders of Ireland. Since she is sure they will never meet in person, she reveals mush of her true self, but never mentions the brace on her leg--that announces her imperfection. When he shows up at her Minnesota home and they meet face to face, the reader can feel that soul mate connection with that first "toe-curling kiss".
Love Takes the Cake by Krista Ames slips the reader into the world of two career-oriented, ambitious young adults who botched their relationship big time. While finding their way back to each other, Annie and Josh, face some less than admirable traits about themselves. Getting through the wedding of their best friends Julie and Brain makes Annie a nervous wreck. She recognizes her selfishness and fears just asking forgiveness may not be enough. Josh's "tough love" gives him some anxious moments before love creeps in and overrides all else.
The Legend of the True Love Angel by Bobbye Terry slips an ageless Irish legend into a modern setting where objective knowledge is supposed to reign supreme. Abbie O'Shaughnessy thinks her angel got sidetracked and fears she will end up without her own true love.
Dane Trevor, a psychiatrist, is a colleague of Abbie's with a voice like thick honey and blue eyes that sparkle. He would make a nun drool. But Abbie's angel has given no indication that he would be her true love. When Dane tells Abbie he needs to talk to her, the reader gets to enjoy a breathtaking revelation and a burst of joy that revs up the heart beat.
Forever In My Heart by Nancy Naigle is a day in the life of Derek Hanson as he performs a ritual dear to his heart. All the activity in the little town of Adams Grove diverted my attention away from the main story. For some reason, I felt like I was an outsider watching rather than sharing Derek's experience--an experience that keeps him close to his much-loved Caroline Elaine.
Be Mine by Margaret Ethridge, a story of career-oriented, ambitious people, throbs with a love that demands top billing in their lives. Even though Jack and Ellie know nothing about each other, they know their love will find a way to overcome obstacles and difficulties because having each other feels like the `most right' thing that has ever happened to them.
Bittersweet by Tracey March shows a love that spans the generation gap to ease the loneliness after that one true love has gone on to heaven. Eight-year-old Brady explains to his Granny Lil, there is more than one kind of valentine that you can love. After all, he loves Katie and he love Granny Lil, they are both his valentines, just in a different way. The back story of Lily and Mac added to the present love that Brady and his Granny Lil share shows love at its best.
A Mother's Heart by Janet Eaves is an enchanting story of Jimmi, a kindergarten teacher who finally gets her wish to find the child she gave up for adoption. Little Annie is a combination of Jimmi and her adoptive father Gary Slade. With beauty from her mother and her generous heart and positive attitude from Gary, Annie is a treasure. How Gary and Jimmi relate to each other so they are both a part of Annie's life make heartwarming reading.
Be Mine, Valentine is an affirmation of true love finding a way through troubled and peaceful times. It depicts love as the constant that spans the ages.
Originally posted at The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews
on February 10, 2011
A wonderful compilation of twelve very different stories by twelve amazing authors helps celebrate love. There's something for everyone. Be prepared to smile, laugh, and cry. These stories will touch your heart. What better way to say I LOVE YOU than a gift that can be kept forever? This terrific anthology will take its place on my shelf of favorites.