Anthology – Sweethearts and Seduction

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Author:  D.K. Jernigan , K. Piet, Blaine D. Arden,  Raven de Hart, Emily Moreton, Erik Moore
Reviewed by: Lucy
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Genre: M/M Anthology
ISBN 13:   9781627570923

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Summary:  Who doesn’t love love? From a shyly romantic first date to the settled delight between two long-time partners, these are stories of men falling head over heels in love and riding off into the sunset. What happens between first kisses and strolls off into the sunset? These authors are happy to show us!

Ever since Troy inherited the family roller skating rink, he’s been struggling to keep it successful, both for his own sake and in memory of his parents. But on the eve of a loan that will allow him to revitalize the aging rink, his relationship with his boyfriend, Zane, is struggling. It’s time for him to prove to Zane once and for all that he’s The Best Thing on Eight Wheels, and their relationship comes first. Then, Ish, an archaeologist, and Kabal, a cop, live in different times and on different worlds, but a couple of times a year they can steal some small measure of time together, and their love only continues to grow despite the long silences. So it’s with eager joy Ish journeys to meet his lover for A Time Traveler’s Valentine, at least until Kabal announces that the nature of their relationship is about to change, forever. Nolan isn’t expecting more than a normal date, so when his boyfriend, Sean, goes all out with an open bar and mysterious plans, he’s intrigued. Turns out it’s Tattoo Day—the anniversary of Sean’s tattoo in honor of their relationship—and Sean has big plans to make the day forever memorable.

Jeremy and Bobby have a relationship that is stressed to the max. Working opposite schedules, the two barely have a chance to kiss hello and goodbye as they drop off to sleep or rush out to work. When their days off finally sync up, the two long-time lovers will spend Nights Burned Up in Flame as they reignite their romance and rediscover each others’ hot spots. Thomas has the hots for fellow dog owner, Anton, but he’s Dogged by insecurity, and outing himself to acknowledge his feelings seems like too big a risk. At least until Anton invites him out for coffee, where their bond has a chance to grow. As their dogs Biscuit and Muffin play, Thomas is ready to put himself on the line in the hopes that his friendship with Anton could be so much more. Finally, Phillip, CEO of the company BookTrader, may be openly gay, but he’s also not above donating himself to a bachelor auction in the name of a good cause. But when he puts himself on the auction block, the person who seizes the moment is the last one Phillip expects. When the gavel drops, Phillip isSold! in more ways than one

Review:   As always with an anthology, there are some I like better than others.  These are pretty even for me because they are connected by the theme of sweetness, something I love to read about.

The Best Thing on Eight Wheels Rated 4   The roller rink has been in Troy’s family for generations and it’s been a struggle to keep it afloat.  It has always come first for Troy, sometimes (often) even before his love, Zane.  It’s difficult to remember what is important when history and obligations are weighing you down.  Troy knows something has to be done to show Zane who comes first.  Especially when a huge part of Zane’s first step to accepting himself occurred at the rink years ago, with the borrowing of a pair of scissors from a cute boy.   Troy does make things clear and it’s romantic and sweet.  I liked this one.

A Time Traveler’s Valentine Rated 3.5  Kabal is a time traveling cop and his boyfriend, Ish, is an archeologist.  They can only meet up a few times a year in different times.   This time is a little bit different and Ish doesn’t know how to handle the news he hears.  These are not young men, Ish is 44 and Kabal nearing 50 and that was refreshing.  I liked that only Ish sees Kabal how he really is.  I wish there had been more descriptions of Ish – it is mentioned he has four arms!

Tattoo Day Rated 4 Sean has his boyfriend, Nolan,  meet him at the bar and even gives instructions that he will pay for Nolan’s drinks.  Since Sean is a notorious cheapskate, “Sean never paid when he could help it”, Nolan knows something is going on.  Sean has a plan and it is adorable.  I loved the idea of the box, that was so clever.

Nights Burned Up In Flame Rated 3  This was the weakest of the bunch for me.  Jeremy and Bobby work opposite hours often and don’t  get to see each other than in passing.  When they finally have the time, it starts as a D/s scene but I didn’t really understand what was going on.  Was Bobby hurt in the past? Traumatized?  He seemed to sink really fast and then it’s a sweet moment but I was confused by what came before. .

Dogged Rated 4  This was so cute, with two grown men chasing after dogs, shouting “Muffin!” and “Biscuit!”.  Made me smile and the “Nana” lady with the homosexual grandson was so cute.  This story is fluffy at its finest.

Sold!  Rated 4.5  Undoubtedly my favorite of the anthology. Phillip is a successful CEO who has been roped into participating in a bachelor auction by his very efficient assistant, Dennis.  He considers it “the worst parts of slavery and prostitution crammed together and covered with a thin chocolate shell of respectability”.   But he’s a good guy, so he’s doing it, with gritted teeth and a smile through it.  Just like his first time.

I am embarrassed to admit that I got the Chuck Woolery reference.

The auction doesn’t start off well, with a one of the bachelors taking exception to a gay man participating.  I absolutely loved Phillip’s response to him, two fingers indeed.  Go, Phillip!

You see where the story is going fairly early and that’s okay, it’s worth it.  Cheesy, filthy lines “Full of yourself, aren’t you?  I’d rather be full of you” caused me all kinds of happy.  I loved this story and need to find more by this author.

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