A Valentine Rainbow Holiday Story
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
One snowy evening, wounded WWI veteran Jasper Pritchard arrives at Valentine Nugent’s sweet shop with an unusual request. Jasper’s deceased great-aunt has left him a fortune, along with a box of indiscreet letters she wants returned to the writer, and the only clue is a tin sold in Valentine’s shop over twenty years ago. As they search the shop’s records and uncover a love story from long ago, they find far more than the answer to the mystery.
A part of the “A Valentine Rainbow” set of 14 holiday stories.
I love historical stories set post WWI, and this didn’t disappoint. Although it’s a sweet romance, the consequences of the war aren’t glossed over, and I really felt for Jasper and how he was afraid to let Valentine see how damaged he is. I liked how Valentine saw past Jasper’s scars to the man. Both men’s emotions are well written, and realistic. Their intimacy is beautifully written, and a perfect reflection of their setting.
Being gay in this time period isn’t easy, and I loved how Adeline’s bequest isn’t all it appears to be. I enjoy stories which have a sense of past and present about them with the past having consequences for the future, often in a good way.
Although this is a short story, it has a lot of depth in storytelling and characterization. This isn’t the first story I’ve read by this author, and I have yet to find one I didn’t enjoy.
I’d recommend Aunt Adeline’s Bequest to readers who enjoy satisfying historical short stories which are a mix of sweet but also reflect the time period in which they’re set, and how a war affects those who survive it. 5 out of 5 stars.