Book Review: Love Wins Anthology

Reviewed by Morgan 

32964696Title: Love Wins
Authors: Lucie Archer, Kris T. Bethke, Deja Black, M.A. Church, Jana Denardo, Nicole Dennis, Julie Lynn Hayes, Jude Dunn, Xenia Melzer, Grace R. Duncan, L.A. Merrill, Ravon Silvius, Renee Stevens, Alicia Nordwell, Troy Storm, Tray Ellis, David C. Dawson
Genre: MM Anthology
Length: 330 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 12, 2016
Available at:  Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb:  With time comes healing, but Orlando and the LGBT community are still recovering from last June’s tragedy. To show our ongoing support for those affected by the Orlando shooting, our authors, editors, artists, and staff have volunteered their talents to create this second benefit anthology. All proceeds will be donated to LGBT organizations in central Florida. Join us as we reaffirm that no matter the obstacle, love always wins

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Abstract Heart By Lucie Archer

Blurb: Nick spends nearly every lunch break at the modern art museum, hoping to catch a glimpse of docent Kris. Kris has noticed the cute guy hanging around the exhibits too but never manages to approach him. It will take a matchmaking security guard to bring these two introverts together.

Review: Very short and sweet story about two very shy guys finding the guts to take a chance on love. Just as our guys finally get up the nerve to meet, the story ends  It was sweet, but I wished it had been either a little longer or they had spent less time talking about things with their friends and more time at least on their date.

Impression: I liked it

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Cats and Christmas Trees: Trouble Waiting to Happen By M.A. Church
A Fur, Fangs, and Felines story

Blurb: What’s a half human to do when Christmas rolls around? Kirk tries ignores it, but his shifter mates Tal and Dolf, being sneaky kitties, persist in finding out what’s troubling him so they can make it better.

Review: I love this series so much! This is the triad from the first book and they are SO adorable here. This is a little Christmas story and it’s full of shifted fun and a bit of smexy and a bit of heart melty feels. Loved it!

Impression: It was amazing!

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A Chance for Hope By Deja Black

Blurb: In the aftermath of tragedy, freelance writer Brad Truscott is drawn to ease Paul Bachman’s grief. But will Paul ever be ready to take another chance on happiness?

Review: I found this story to be a little odd. On the one hand it was very emotional, well written and touching – especially considering the book is for the Orlando shooting and Paul is a survivor whose husband died in the shooting.

I loved that Brad wanted to help and that Paul let him in, but it felt very uncomfortable having Paul find love so quickly after losing a husband of 14 years.

Impression: It was good

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Changing Things By Nicole Dennis

Blurb: Despite his allergies, Ryan puts up with the two rescue cats his boyfriend, Seth, adores. But when an especially severe asthma attack sends Ryan to the hospital, Seth realizes something has to give—either his relationship with Ryan or his guardianship of Fili and Kili.

Author’s Note: This short story takes place after the events in Treasure Trail.

Review: I am unfamiliar with the story referenced here, but it was still understandable. As the blurb states a boyfriend must decide between his cats and his lover. It was a little scary when Ryan is struggling to breathe and I really felt for them in making such a hard decision. Luckily, the decision they arrive at seems the fairest compromise.

Impression: I liked it

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Especially in Orlando By Troy Storm

Blurb: When bighearted mover Dalton is hired to haul away a hot young guy’s belongings after a breakup, he can’t help returning to see how the good-looking older man is dealing with the transition. George is happy to take Dalton up on his offer of solace. But then George’s ex, Peter—aka Mr. Prissy Pout—has second thoughts, and while George isn’t interested in taking him back, he and Dalton are willing to share their experience—and more.

Review: didn’t care for this much at all. It’s a bit too “porny” and not romantic enough for my tastes/ If you like a four-way you might enjoy this.

Impression: It wasn’t for me

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Free to Love By Kris T. Bethke

Blurb: Henry is tired of hiding their relationship, but Shane is afraid to risk losing his job and his parents by coming out as gay. When his worst fears prove true, Shane finds that life outside his parents’ repressive control is so much better than anything he could have imagined.

Review: Amazingly sweet “coming out” story about a closeted man and his boyfriend coming to grips with what’s important in life. Really nice short story!

Loved it!

Impression: It was amazing!

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Happily Ever After, After All By L.A. Merrill

Blurb: Once upon a time, Princess Aubergine dreamed of a fairy-tale wedding to the girl of her dreams. Things haven’t exactly worked out that way. Locked in a tower for ten years, Aubergine managed to scare off all the princes coming to rescue her. Now it’s up to her to do the rescuing—until a band of students from the local Ladies’ Academy happen upon her tower and devise a daring escape plan.

Review: On the one hand, I loved the play on words, the witty dialog, the quirky shifting of an old fairy tale into an f/f romantic tale. It was fun and unique and different and woman-power-centered. On the other hand I didn’t get the ending and was kinda sad at the way our princess’ story ended.

Overall, I give it high marks for creativity but it wasn’t really my favorite kind of story in the end.

Impression: It was good

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The Importance of Pride By Ravon Silvius

Blurb: College history professor Patrick Levine is looking for a subject for a research proposal when he discovers his granduncle’s journal. To his shock, not only was Uncle Marty gay, but he’d been at the Stonewall riot in 1969. Will learning more about his uncle’s history help Patrick face his own fears about coming out?

Review: This is about a person learning about the past and changing his own future and it’s not a romance at all.

Impression: It was okay

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The Insomniac Sommelier By Julie Lynn Hayes

Blurb: Kirk Westmoreland dreams of owning his own restaurant someday, but for now he fights insomnia while working at family-owned Venezia with his control-freak older brother. After work he tries to de-stress at Sweeties, a small diner run by his sister and her wife. When Kirk meets the diner’s new server, Ashley, he ends up going home with him—to the best sleep he’s had in forever. If he can’t keep his life at Sweeties compartmentalized from his life at Venezia, Kirk will have to decide which one he’s willing to give up.

Review: A very “full” short story! Kirk doesn’t fit in at his families restaurant but can’t accept this. When he meets Ashley, their platonic bed-sharing fills a space like no other. When he almost loses this he makes a big life change!
I thought the author managed to make the best use of a few words and gave us a satisfying short story with a bit of sweetness.

Impression:
I really liked it

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Looking for George By David C. Dawson

Blurb: Betty’s innocent crush on actor George Clooney became something more when he saved her from a fall at the hotel she works at in London. When she discovers her Italian holiday trip will take her only a few miles from the actor’s summer villa… well, surely fate means for them to meet again.

Review
Yet again, we’re given another story that just isn’t what I was expecting! In this case it’s about a sweet 60 year old with a crush and how she decides what in life is important.

Impression: It was okay

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Love Over Lotto By Jude Dunn

Blurb: Craig Batson and Tom Rendelle have plenty of joy together but not so much money. Determined to improve their finances, Craig borrows a library book on the secrets of winning the lottery and empties their rainy-day fund to buy dozens of lottery tickets. Tom explodes when he finds out, leaving Craig to wonder if their love can survive.

Review: I didn’t quite get this. In the end – I think I did. But it was a bit confusing. I wasn’t sure who to root for and kept getting confused as to who was the “responsible one”, the teacher or the unemployed guy.

Impression: It was okay, but not good

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More Than His Scars By Jana Denardo
A Kept Tears story

Blurb: Facing the anniversary of the day he lost his arm while serving in the Middle East, Aaron is understandably depressed. It’s up to his lover, Rhys, to plan a special day to help Aaron see how amazing he really is.

Review: In this story about an established couple, the two face the anniversary of the loss of Aaron’s arm. It’s sweet and discusses this subject in a loving manner.

Impression: It was good

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Overcoming Fear By Grace R. Duncan

Blurb: In the year since a global pandemic ravaged their world, Duncan has done everything he can to ease Mark’s fears of losing him. When a minister and his wife seek out Mark for help, Duncan sees an opportunity to show Mark another level of commitment—if Mark will dare to take it.
Review

Post-apocalyptic, Mark and Duncan help strangers seeking medical aid. In return the stranger, Bryan, offers to help Mark and Duncan get married. The question is will Mark be able to overcome his fears.

Review: It’s a sweet, mostly complete story in a few words. Well done and sweet.

Impression: I liked it

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Prevailing Zzz’s By Tray Ellis

Blurb: After eight months together, Greg wants Win to move in with him. But how can Win agree when Greg’s snoring leaves him sleep-deprived and miserable?

Review: I loved this! A real life problem solved by two people in love.

Impression: I really liked it!

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Pushing Back Oblivion By Alicia Nordwell

Blurb: Fighting a rapidly growing brain tumor, Cohen promises his partner, Jaime, that he’ll never give up. Through surgeries and setbacks, at times that promise and Jaime’s voice are all Cohen has to cling to.

Review: Really touching story about fighting for one’s love, in the face of the most challenging circumstances.

Impression: I liked it

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Reluctant Valentine By Xenia Melzer

Blurb: A best-selling thriller novelist, Dean writes romances as a relaxing hobby. But when writer’s block strikes, sexy handyman Morgan shows up to provide all the inspiration he needs.
Review

Review: One of the best stories in this collection! A very funny and sweet and sexy! story about a hermit with scars inside and out and the brash repairman that draws him out of his shell.

Very sweet and fun!

Impression: I loved it!

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Taking a Chance By Renee Stevens

Blurb: Gabe and Toby work for the same company, Gabe in the US and Toby in London. After meeting at a convention, they spend nearly every moment of their time together, but when they both have to return home, their only option is to attempt a long-distance relationship.

Review: Odd little story about taking a risk on love.

Impression: It was good

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Overall this was a very interesting collection of short stories featuring various adversities and ways that love conquers all.

A great charity and a great collection!

Worth the buy!

Overall Impression: I loved it!

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*

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Categories: 4.5 Star Ratings, LGBT, M/F, Morgan's Reviews, Published in 2016 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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