Now if you've been visiting this blog for a few moths you probably know that I love the Regency Christmas anthologies and that I read a lot of them in December. Since they stopped publishing them and I am in risk of being left without reading material I decided to try another anthology by some of the same authors but with a Valentine's Day theme. The short stories are:
Mary Balogh, "The Substitute Guest."
A young lady is invited to a house party during St Valentine's. It's actually a rendez vous for lovers to meet but when one of the women declines the invitation a vicar's sister is invited in her place and wins the heart of the gentleman selected to court her for the weekend.
It was a nice story the hero was a bit bland, either we needed a stronger hero or a bigger story. B-
Margaret Westhaven, "Saint Valentine's Eve."
A second chance at love story when lovers separated 10 years before meet again. It's set in India which his different and the heroine was a young girl shipped to Calcutta for find a husband (I was curious to know if indeed this was common). A pleasant story but nothing to make it stand out. B-
Carol Proctor, "The London Swell."
Hero travels to the country to court and propose the girl he wants to marry. There he meets an eccentric young girl who mistakes him for someone else and speaks about how she is going to marry the London gentleman that is due to arrive. Not badly written but the heroine was too childish. C+
Sheila Walsh, "Dear Delight."
Another second chance at love. The hero and the heroine were separated 10 years before when her father rejected his suit and he left without telling her why so she things he abandoned her. They meet again at a christening of one of her nephews but there's a woman determined to separate them again. It was nice and the strong point for me was that the author cleared the misunderstanding pretty early. B
Sandra Heath, "February Falsehoods."
And the anthology ends with another second chance at love. This time the heroine has jilted the hero after finding out he had a mistress and her friend and her beau (the hero's friend) try to bring them together again. Not bad but nothing memorable. B-
Grade: B- with the Balogh and the Walsh being the favourites. Although nothing really stands out this is the kind of anthology I save for a rainy day, a comfort read.