Saturday, October 12, 2013

Review: Summer Lovin' (Anthology)

Summer Lovin' Title: Summer Lovin' by J.L. Merrow, Chrissy Munder, Clare London, Josephine Myles, Lou Harper
Genre: M/M Romance, Contemporary
Published August 14th 2013 by Pink Squirrel Press
Length: 247 pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Summer is here, and the loving is easy! Slake your thirst for romance with Summer Lovin'—an anthology for lazy days and summer sunshine.

Go skinny-dipping in a disused quarry. Hang out with the boys in the band. Meet a bad boy made good, and one with a shy smile that hides a dark secret. Or maybe get your heart pillaged by a Viking re-enactor.

With gentle humour, hot sauce and a hefty scoop of romance, enjoy a quintet of sultry stories of men loving men from Clare London, Chrissy Munder, JL Merrow, Josephine Myles, and Lou Harper.

The mercury's not the only thing that's rising!

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This anthology is a compilation of several amazing works in the M/M romance genre. Each short story features a summer theme and will give you a taste of all the flavors of summer romance.

Summer Hire by Chrissy Munder
3.5 Stars

Jim is a computer programmer without a job and Aaron needs another helping hand at the garage for his boat retail business. Despite their initial attraction, they are held back by their boss-employee relationship. This is a cute, short, and complete story. The epilogue nicely ties up loose ends and ensures a wonderful, realistic, happy end for the couple and will simultaneously leave you with a smile.

Lost and Found on Lindisfarne by JL Merrow
5 Stars

I love the interesting character voice telling the story. And it's about Vikings! The story definitely has a sense of humor and things generally stay upbeat throughout. I love the family dynamics between Chris and his clever daughter, Kelis. They are vacationing on a Viking island and meets Ian, the Viking. Ian is looking for a bride and chances upon Kelis...who's twelve years old. The set up is clever and hilarious.

Salt 'n' Vinegar by Clare London
4.5 Stars

This is a romance in a fish and chips shop by the sea. Joe, a college graduate part-timing at the shop, meets a striking, mysterious but reserved local. I love that sex is not just depicted as the physical, but as part of the relationship. The romance grows with slow revealings of Steven's character, but then a story twist pops up and brings a healthy dose of angst. The HFN ending temporary settles the hunger for a HEA for the couple and makes me long for a sequel or an epilogue.

Werewolves of Venice Beach by Lou Harper
3 Stars

This story definitely starts out with a bang (with nudity). I liked the angst-fulled relationship between Slade and Bryan. Slade acts like a stranger in the day and an intimate lover at night. Bryan is confused and wants an exclusive, all-out boyfriends relationship. Maybe Slade's behavior has something to do with his band of werewolves?

I love the dogs and the feelings of endearment they bring to a scene. The dogs also have a correlation with the werewolves,which Bryan noticed. I love the twist with the werewolves plot point. Though on the flip side, it does cut in on Slade's commitment issues. The final revelation to the "werewolves" doesn't conclude or resolve Slade's commitment and trust issues but draws attention away from it.

Overall, it's a wonderful werewolf story with hot men that'll satisfy you while leaving you wanting for more.

By Quarry Lake by Josephine Myles
4.5 Stars

Tommy and Rob meet again at a secret lake years after Tommy runs away when Rob confessed to him and revealed his sexuality. Now Tommy struggles to tell Rob of his feelings. Meanwhile, Rob faces hardship from his family and working farm hours. At their secret hideaway and under the water, societal constraints melt away, giving Tommy courage to try something new with Rob and hopefully, have Rob return his love.

There are lots of swimming and getting to know each other again. The story is well written and captures the passion and shyness of trying to rekindle a past love. I love the setting and the budding romantic interest that are set in the wilderness and the transition into society, their world, their families. That shows how the characters react in other situations and makes them more real. Everything put together made this a great coming out story.

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