Review: Anthology – If the Fates Allow

Author: Killian B. Brewer, Pene Henson, Erin Finnegan, Lilah Suzanne, Lynn Charles
Reviewer: Lucy
Publisher: Interlude Press
Genre: Mm Holiday

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Summary: During the holidays, anything is possible—a second chance, a promised future, an unexpected romance, a rekindled love, or a healed heart. Authors Killian B. Brewer, Lynn Charles, Erin Finnegan, Pene Henson, and Lilah Suzanne share their stories about the magic of the season.

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Gracious Living Magazine Says It Has to Be a Live Tree
By Killian B. Brewer
Determined to make his first Christmas with his new boyfriend magazine-perfect, Marcus seeks the advice of lovable busy bodies, the Do-Nothings Club. When he learns that his boyfriend, Hank, may have ordered a ring, Marcus’ attempts to transform his home into a winter wonderland get out of hand.

Shelved
By Lynn Charles
When library clerk Karina Ness meets a new patron, lonely business owner, Wesley Lloyd, she puts her own love life on hold and begins a holiday matchmaking mission to connect Wes with her uncle Tony.

Last Call at the Casa Blanca Bar & Grille
By Erin Finnegan
As the one-year anniversary of his lover’s death rolls around on Christmas, Jack Volarde finds himself at their old haunt—a bar called the Casa Blanca, where a new bartender helps him open up about loss, and see brightness in a future that had grown dim.

True North
By Pene Henson
Shay Allen returns to her hometown in Montana for the holidays with her best friend Devon with the intent to return home to L.A. by New Year’s Eve. Instead, the weather traps them in the small town, but the there’s a bright spot: her old crush Milla is still in town.

Halfway Home
By Lilah Suzanne
Avery Puckett has begun to wonder if her life has become joyless. One night, fate intervenes in the form of a scraggly dog shivering and alone in a parking lot. Avery takes him to a nearby shelter called Halfway Home where she meets bright and beautiful Grace, who is determined to save the world one stray at a time.

Review: This is a collection of stories tied together by the theme of the holidays. The stories are all LGBT, some with characters we’ve meet previously in other books, some with brand new characters.
Gracious Living Magazine Says It Must Be a Live Tree This is set in Tammy’s Dinette, the holiday story of Marcus and Hank. Marcus has always worked the holidays and this Thanksgiving is no exception. His mother always worked for the extra money so holidays don’t really mean a lot to him. But we get a visit from the Do-Nothings, who as usual are meddling and spouting secrets. I loved the misunderstanding and Hank’s efforts. “Because I do love you, Marcus… All of you. Happy you. Sad you. Sexy you. Even the nutjob you sitting beside me right now.” And isn’t that what we all want?

True North Shay and Devon play basketball together and Shay is losing her edge. A visit to her hometown in Montana is in order, where people mistake Devon as Shay’s girlfriend while Shay has to deal with her hometown crush, Milla. It was cute and sweet, with Shay trying to be a good daughter and balance some mistakes she made at her last visit. “Your mama wants her gay daughter to feel at home.” Shay has the parents we all should have.

Last Call at the Casa Blanca Bar and Grille – Jack works for the mayor of Los Angeles and he’s busy over the holidays. His family is worried about him and wants him to come home but he’s pretty adamant about staying. Instead, he heads to Casa Blanca, a bar he he has a history with. He meets the new bartender, Javi, and Javi listens to the story of Jack’s great love, Joey. Jack carries so much misplaced guilt about Joey. Joey is gone and Javi thinks maybe, “Have you considered that maybe you need a little nudge; that maybe it’s time to move on?” This is a melancholy story that ends with a bit of hope.

Halfway Home – A cute story of Avery, someone who isn’t able to give all of herself to anyone because they don’t really accept it. It takes a stray dog and a shelter volunteer to bring her out of herself.

Shelved – My absolute favorite of the anthology, mainly because we not only get to see Karina pining away for the “lumberjill” she met at a tree farm, but we see a niece’s best intentions and wishes for her beloved uncle. Karina has the worst father in the world, my how I wanted to slap that man, but Uncle Tony, he gets it. As does Karina’s new friend. Wes. “Your father gets no say in who you are or who you find happiness in. It was so sweet to see Karina try for happiness for her Uncle while trying not to make a Hailey mess. It was funny, sweet and adorable (dad notwithstanding).

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