“At heart, after all, he was a romantic.” – Amy Rae Durreson
Author: Amy Rae Durreson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 51 Pages
Rating: 5 Stars
Blurb: 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.
Review: Just as she did with Gaudete at Christmastime, Amy Rae Durreson has once again written a short story that left me wanting more while, at the same time, making me feel as though I’d fallen in love with its characters irrevocably and long ago.
With its Beauty and the Beast thematic elements firmly in place, the author spins a sweet and emotionally embracing story of a man whose life is illustrated on his skin—his strength, the sacrifice he made for his country during the war to end all wars, and the ways in which his scars are the shield he uses to hide himself away from the pain of rejection. Jasper’s face and body bear witness to his loneliness, and it’s Valentine’s heart that sees past those scars to the man whose perfect smile, though hard won, eclipses Jasper’s imperfect skin and transforms him into Valentine’s perfect wish.
There’s a surprise story within this story that’s the catalyst for Jasper and Valentine’s destined meeting, and though there was no guarantee Jasper’s inheritance would bring him such good fortune, as Amy Rae Durreson tells it, the small bequest became a great and priceless gift.
Aunt Adeline’s Bequest is a sweet and romantic and heart-tugging story, perfect for the designated date on which love and affairs of the heart are celebrated for the magic that they are. As always, her prose is perfection, the imagery lush, and the characters ones with whom I’d love to spend more time.