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Friday, February 11, 2011

Be Mine, Valentine, Anthology

Be Mine, Valentine, Anthology by Jennifer Johnson, Amy Le Blanc, Cat Shaffer, Suzanne Barrett, Kristi Ames, Bobbye Terry, Nancy Naigle, Marissa Dobson, Margaret Ethridge, Tracey March, Janet Eaves, Elizabeth Chalkley
Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Sci-Fi/fantasy, paranormal, holiday
Length: Full Length (144 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Camellia

Short Stories of Love.

Turquoise Morning Press’ Valentine’s Day Anthology 2011.

A dozen short stories of love…just as good as roses. Maybe even better! This short story collection celebrates love—young love and old, mended love, secret love, and love enduring. Twelve talented writers share stories to touch your heart and soul.

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.