TWO 5, TWO 4.5, 4 and 3.5 Star Reviews for Aim High Anthology by T.A. Chase, Stephani Hecht, Morticia Knight, Jenna Byrnes, Sarah Masters, Megan Slayer #MM #Romance @PridePublishing @MeganSlayer @MorticiaKnight

1.2

Title: Aim High Anthology
Author Name & Publisher: T.A. Chase, Stephani Hecht, Morticia Knight, Jenna Byrnes, Sarah Masters, Megan Slayer (Pride Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: September 29, 2015 – 241 pgs

Synopsis

‘Possibilities’ by T.A. Chase

When Dixon and Carson meet during a hurricane, neither imagined that moment would be the beginning of a new relationship.

Dixon White owns Billy’s Diner in Brevard County, Florida—right down the road from Patrick Air Force Base. He serves a lot of the servicemen and their families who live and work on the base and does it in honor of his brother who served as a SEAL until a motorcycle accident ended his life. When Dixon finds himself stuck in a broken down car just as a hurricane hits the area, he’s not sure how’s he going to get home.

Master Chief Sergeant Carson LaSalle is headed to the base when he drives by Billy’s Diner. He sees Dixon’s car there and stops, checking to see if everything is okay. He takes Dixon home, but can’t stop thinking about him.

After the hurricane blows through, both men meet again and the sparks fly. Possibilities open up for them to have a chance at finding love. They just have to be willing to try.

‘Lonely Hearts and Yellow Ribbons’ by Stephani Hecht

Being apart from the one you love is the hardest thing to do, until you get them back to find they’ve changed…

PJ Ross Ervin is part of an elite force of recue men from the Air Force. Only the best of the best make it through the program and get to wear the maroon beret. As such, he is proud of what he does and is happy to serve his country. The one drawback is that it takes him away from his long-time lover, Aden. Thankfully Ross’ deployment is over and he’s coming home.

Aden is excited to see Ross. But he can’t help but notice that his partner is having trouble adjusting back into the civilian world. Plus, there is the looming danger that Ross could be deployed again at any time. Will Ross have to leave to serve his county once more? And if so, can the pair survive the separation yet again?

‘Venetian Skies’ by Morticia Knight

No one wants to lose a love that’s meant to be. Air Force test pilot, Chris Pierce, returns to Italy to discover that second chances are the sweetest.

They had a love that was the real thing, but Chris, an Air Force test pilot, returns to Aviano Air Base in Italy to discover that the only man he’s ever loved is still there. Yet wasn’t that why artist Brandon had dumped him? Because he didn’t want to be tied down to one place or one person?

Brandon made a huge mistake. It wasn’t until Chris transferred out of the local military base that he realizes what they had together was the real thing. Even though he’s never settled in one place for very long, he couldn’t bear to leave the town of Aviano where he and Chris were so happy together.

Chris unexpectedly returns and Brandon is devastated when Chris rejects him out of anger. Can’t Chris see how much Brandon has changed in the two years they’ve been apart?

Second chances are the sweetest and love that’s meant to be doesn’t die. But when a MiG fighter jet gone rogue shoots Chris down, will their second chance be taken away forever?

‘Search and Rescue’ by Jenna Byrnes

Two parajumpers freefall into a stealthy relationship before considering how quickly it might come crashing to an end.

Airman First Class Matthew Billings has almost completed a grueling two year training program on his way to becoming a Pararescueman in the Air Force Special Operations Unit. On a mission to rescue a child lost in the Pecos Wilderness of New Mexico, he meets Master Sergeant Drake Bogart, a man who is as infuriating as he is handsome. When Matt spots the child and Drake gets the credit, sparks fly, in more ways than one. But with graduation just a few days away, is their fledgling relationship over before it even gets started?

‘Live for the Day’ by Sarah Masters

Loving your best friend is easy. Telling him you do…well, that’s the hard part.

Michael and Steven grew up together—just them, no girls allowed. They’d always planned to join the military, but when it came time to sign up, Michael couldn’t do it. For years, Michael has worried every time Steven is out in the desert, risking his life to serve and protect. He dreads the day Steven won’t come home.

Steven has been through a dreadful ordeal on duty, and while in the hospital, he’s had time to think about what’s important in life. He misses Michael—needs to get back home to be with him—and he has something he wishes to say, something he’s held inside as far back as he can remember…

When the two men reunite, revelations are the name of the game. There is no question they’ve always loved each other, but now that they have the chance to express that love, will they?

‘Lifetime Hitch’ by Megan Slayer

Sometimes the best laid plans are meant to be thrown way off course.

Hunter planned his life very well. He’s got his position in the Air National Guard, the family he’s always wanted and a life most people would love to have. Except he’s not happy. His friends all know his truths, but them knowing about his sexuality and him admitting it are two different things. Thankfully Ryder—his best friend—has always got his back.

Ryder has loved Hunter since they were in school. He wants to have more than Hunter’s back—he wants everything. Forcing his Guardsman to come out as a gay man wasn’t on his agenda, but Ryder isn’t above a bit of gentle nudging.

Will the things Hunter can’t control be his undoing, or will he accept who he is as well as the love he’s craved all of his life?

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Review

FiveStars

Each story was beautifully written.

Possibilities By TA Chase
5 stars

Beautiful romantic story with wonderful characters.  Carson is in the Air Force and Dixon owns a diner named after his late brother.  They meet during a hurricane and have a beautiful romance after. Short, sweet and to the point. A lovely quick read

Lonely Hearts and Yellow Ribbons by Stephani Hecht
4 stars

This was a great story of Ross and Aden.  Ross was a strong man serving his country in the Air Force Rescue.  He had problems letting go of thoughts of those he could not save but Aden was there for him when he came home.  This was a lovely story on how hard it is for both the servicemen and their loved ones.

‘Venetian Skies’ by Morticia Knight
4 stars

A very nice story of a second chance at love for Brandon and Chris.  When Chris came back to town he ran into Brandon and there were hurt feelings from their break up.
Chris was shot down testing a plane, but their love held strong.

‘Search and Rescue’ by Jenna Byrnes
5 stars

I absolutely loved this story.  Matthew and Drake, they were so hot together.  The chemistry  between the two flew off the pages.  This story seemed complete.  I felt that it was written very well.

‘Live for the Day’ by Sarah Masters
4 stars
This was a very nice story of best friends turned lovers. Steven had a hard time in the service and comes home with nightmares.  Michael is there for him and they become lovers. They are determined to live each day fully and take nothing for granted.

‘Lifetime Hitch’ by Megan Slayer
4 stars

This was good story of Hunter and Ryder.  Hunter not out yet but Ryder helps him realize who he is.  This was lifetime friends becoming lovers.  Nicely written with great characters.

Sherry

FiveStars

I enjoyed them all to varying degrees, but I’ll write about them individually.

Possibilities By TA Chase
4.5 stars

Carson is in the Air Force and Dixon owns a diner named after his late brother, who was also in the military.  When a storm arrives, effectively stranding Dixon, Carson comes to his rescue.  What I enjoyed the most about this story was the point of view.  I think that it helped to see the struggle that each character went through.  Despite it’s short length, I felt that I got to know each character and what drove them to where they were.  It’s a quick read, and left me wanting more.

Lonely Hearts and Yellow Ribbons by Stephani Hecht
4.5 stars

This was probably my least favorite of the stories, but it’s not for a reason I can really put my finger on.  I think that it’s my least favorite because it had so much sadness.  I was thinking that this anthology would be full of love and romance, but in this particular story, you read of loss, struggle and heartache.  But, Hecht did an amazing job bringing it around.  The heartache of watching those you love struggle, the warring that goes on in the minds of those people who’s job it is to rescue and how they have to let go and let their loved ones help them through.

Venetian Skies by Morticia Knight
4 stars
This story was a mixture for me.  I was upset that Brandon had been so callous towards Chris – so careless with his heart.  However, I found it extremely sweet that in order to hold on to what he could, Brandon didn’t leave town.  I also really enjoyed watching them find their way again.  Both held passions during their relationship that somewhat floundered, but when they came back together, found love again, those passions were also there, waiting for them.

Search and Rescue by Jenna Byrnes
5 stars

I think this was one of my favorites in this anthology.  I also really enjoy Byrnes’ stories, so I might be a bit biased.  Matthew and Drake were explosive together and I really was able to feel the emotion and turmoil in their relationship.  I really enjoyed the story-line and felt that it was a fairly complete story – you knew where they were headed.

Live for the Day by Sarah Masters
4 stars
This was a strange story for me.  Michael has pined for his best friend for so long.  Then you have Steven, who has pined for his friend Michael.  I felt each emotion that both characters went through.  You could really feel that they felt so deeply for each other, but didn’t quite know how to cross that threshold.  When the truth is finally revealed, it was definitely full of chemistry, but what I found greatest about that was the history behind their love.

Lifetime Hitch by Megan Slayer
4 stars

Hunter and Ryder were not so different, but the path that their lives took was not a linear one.  Despite having a family, Hunter is not really ready for what happens when he arrives home from being deployed.  His best friend and confidant shows, but his family doesn’t.  I had a hard time liking Shel – she felt kind of weak and disloyal.  However, since the story was mainly about Ryder and Hunter, I quickly got over that.  I really loved how this story was more about family – more about being who you truly are and not being afraid.

AvidReader

FourandHalfStars

I absolutely love anthology’s my biggest problem with them is you get into the story and then it ends. That was very true for me with Possibilities by T.A. Chase. Hopefully there will be a sequel. First let me say that I have never found and anthology that I enjoyed all the stories. This was not the case the Aim High. I completely enjoys all the stories and give this anthology and big 4.5 stars. This might have to do with that they were military stories. I do love to see a happy ending for all our military men and that was certainly the case here even though some were kind of bittersweet, such as Lonely Hearts and Yellow Ribbons by Stephani Hecht.

Would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys military stories.

Lynn

FourandHalfStarsPossibilities by T.A. Chase – 4 stars

This was a sweet story that moved quickly. Dixon was so easy going and almost naive in the way he went about his life. Every glass half full and not really noticing anyone special until they made him notice them. Even after having so much loss in his life.
Carson I felt like we didn’t really get to know much about other than he had an upcoming deployment and a couple of dogs.
However it was a cute story that was well written.
Lonely Hearts and Yellow Ribbons by Stephani Hecht – DNF
Sadly, this story was too hard to me because of how accurate the PTSD elements were described.
Venetian Skies by Morticia Knight – 5 stars
This felt like such a complete story it was surprising to me that it was short. There is action, mystery and suspense to go along with the romance and sweetness of lost love. Another excellent story by Morticia Knight.
Search and Rescue by Jenna Byrnes – 5 stars
This was one of my favorites in this set. The rescue aspect was nice and getting to see them in action was exciting. The twists and turns were hard to predict and were lovely. Not to mention the bit of angst mixed in.
Live for the Day by Sarah Masters – 4 stars
This was another sweet story. Two friends who’ve always had feelings for each other and finally decide to act upon them. I liked the story and the characters, but I had a hard time from how swiftly things moved from a first kiss EVER to more.
Lifetime Hitch by Megan Slayer – 3 Stars
Sadly I have to say this was my least favorite story although it was quite complex I just didn’t connect to either of the main characters. There was a bit of wishy/washy about what to do that felt inauthentic to me.
 
Overall 4.5 Stars
~Renee

FourStars

Possibilities by T.A. Chase- Rating: 5 Stars
This was a sweet story of two men who just belong together and you can see it when you start reading this, how well they fit together. Dixon lost his brother who was a Navy Seal, who was also his only family.  Carson is a PJ who gives him a ride home after Dixons car dies at the Diner he owns and from the moment they meet you can feel the sparks between these two.  Such a sweet story. I really loved this one!
Lonely Hearts and Yellow Ribbons by Stephani Hecht- Rating: 4 Stars
This is story about a Aden who is at home while Ross his boyfriend was thousands of miles away being a PJ for the Air Force.  This is story about how two lovers are after Ross comes home with everything he has seen and how he deals with it.  Also how much they love each and have to go through anther deployment.  I really liked this story!
Venetian Skies by Morticia Knight- Rating: 3 Stars
For some reason this story just did not grab me.  This story is about Chris who is in the Air Force.  Two years before Brandon did not want to leave with Chris when he was stationed somewhere else.  There was some hard feelings in this book but once they realized how much they still loved each other everything was back the way it should have been.
Search and Rescue by Jenna Byrnes- Rating: 4 Stars
This story was hot!!! Matt and Drake fit so well together in this.   Drake was Matt’s Master Sergeant and Matt was still in school for PJ’s so there was that extra added element of the two of them being caught.  Drake tries pushing Matt away when he finds out Matt is being stationed somewhere else.  But he comes up with a plan when he realizes he does not want to lose him.  I really liked this story!
Live For The Day by Sarah Masters- Rating:  4 Stars
This is a friends to lovers story.  Steven is in the Air Force when he was shot down and hurt he comes back home.  When he see Michael at the diner he finally admits his true feelings for him and Michael admits his feelings for Steven.  Steven has a hard time with what happened to him and a lot to still work through.  I really liked this story, it was so sweet!
Lifetime Hitch by Megan Slayer- Rating: 4 Stars
This is another friends to lovers story.  Hunter is in the Air National Guard and is firmly in the closet.  He has children with his girlfriend Shelly but when he comes home he finds out she has meet someone else.  He finally admits his feelings to Ryder.  This story was hot but also very sweet!  I loved the epilogue of this story.  I really liked this story!
All together I really loved most of these stories!  I would definitely recommend this book!
Kara

ThreeandHalfStarsThis is an interesting collection of short m/m military romance stories.  While I enjoyed the anthology as a whole, I didn’t love any of the stories in this collection, and I think the £6.50 price on Amazon would put me off purchasing it.  

Like any collection, there were a few stories I enjoyed and a few that failed to grab my attention.  I like anthologies as an introduction to new writers.  Here, Sarah Masters is new to me and I will be looking up more of her work.

I usually love military stories, so I’m a little surprised by my own ambivalence.  I’ve given a more detailed review of each story below.  

‘Possibilities’ by T.A. Chase  4 stars

I liked this story.  I really enjoyed Dixon’s back story.  The hurricane was a unique way for the two men to get to know each other.  While the relationship is refreshingly simple here,  the author explores the complications of dating an active duty paratrooper.  I enjoyed the supporting characters.

Lonely Hearts and Yellow Ribbons by Stephani Hecht  4 stars

This is a sweet, difficult story that explores the complex nature of relationships when one partner is serving overseas.  It felt raw and real, but it also felt a little rushed.  I think this might have worked better as a novel on its own.  This wasn’t a romance as much as a relationship story.  A tiny bit of hope softened Aden and Ross’ reality and I enjoyed the relationships Aden built with the military wives.  

Venetian Skies by Morticia Knight 3 stars

This was one of my least favourite story in the book.  I found the initial descriptions a bit clumsy and I kept flipping back to find information I felt I’d missed.  I like the idea of a second chance, but I still don’t understand how Chris could be so forgiving.  I also struggled with the Top-Gun plot thrust into the middle of a very short story.  I was barely keeping the characters straight and Chris was suddenly fighting rogue Russian MIGs?  It didn’t work for me very well.

Search and Rescue by Jenna Byrnes 3 stars

This was another story I didn’t warm to.  I really didn’t like Drake.  I found him arrogant and rude.  His seduction of the young Matthew is a huge abuse of power and he treats the younger man badly for most of the story.  I loved Matthew, and I spent the story wanting to drag him away from his awful sergeant.

Live for the Day by Sarah Masters 4 stars

I really enjoyed this story.  I loved the way the two men had shared everything in their lives – except for a physical, romantic relationship.  The chemistry was palpable in this story and I loved the clumsy, awkward first steps Michael and Steven take towards each other.

Lifetime Hitch by Megan Slayer 3 stars

At the start, I struggled to understand this story.  With a beard for a wife and a crush on his best friend, Hunter is a mess.  Once I understood his relationship with his wife and daughters a bit better, it made more sense.  Hunter and Ryder are sweet together and I love friends to lovers stories.  I just didn’t warm to Hunter.  I always think of military men as honourable and hiding behind a fake family doesn’t feel very honourable to me.  

Sarah

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Excerpt

His perfectly constructed reality was falling apart at his feet. What would be next? Ryder saying he didn’t want to be friends? He hated the irrational feelings in his heart. Ryder meant a lot to him. More than most.

So why wait to act on his feelings? Why not tell Ryder the truth? The damned confusion. Either fuck up the friendship and lose the one person he relied on, or find the love of his life.

“You’re welcome to stay here as long as you want. I’m sure the kids want to see you, but Shel’s decision was earth-shattering.” Ryder strode past Hunter, back to the living room. “So what’s happening these days? Blow anything up?”

God, he loved Ryder’s blunt way of asking questions. “I saw my fill of shit people do to each other—the reasons change, but the destruction never does. Whole villages destroyed and people killed. Fucking sucks.” Hunter plopped onto the couch. “Couple of the guys got to meet their new babies via computer. Danville got married and Compton got leave because his mom passed. I helped train civilians to work air traffic control and learned to swear in almost every Middle Eastern language. You?”

Talking about his deployment depressed him. He wanted to hear about normal things, like who Ryder spent his nights with. Anything but watching his friends get hurt and worse.

“Business is going well. When I’m not fixing the viruses people get on their computers, I work on the tablets and phones they bring me. Most of the devices can’t be saved, but some can. It’s like your radars, one big puzzle to work out. But I don’t have the time crunch you do.” He flopped down beside Hunter. “It’s a living.”

“Dating anyone?” Hunter gripped the bottle tight, not really wanting to hear the answer to his question.

“Nah. Steve wanted an open relationship. I’m the boyfriend type. I’m not happy playing the field.”

A baseball game played on the television but Hunter heard none of it. He shifted in his seat, facing Ryder. “I’m glad.”

“Yeah?” Ryder shook his head and snorted. “Being alone hasn’t been my idea of fun. I like a thick dick in my ass every now and then.”

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AuthorBio

T.A. Chase

There is beauty in every kind of love, so why not live a life without boundaries? Experiencing everything the world offers fascinates me and writing about the things that make each of us unique is how I share those insights. I live in the Midwest with a wonderful partner of thirteen years. When not writing, I’m watching movies, reading and living life to the fullest.

Megan Slayer

When she’s not writing the stories in her head, Megan Slayer can be found luxuriating in her hot tub with her two vampire Cabana boys, Luke and Jeremy. She has the tendency to run a tad too far with her muse, so she has to hide in the head of her alter ego, but the boys don’t seem to mind.
When she’s not obsessing over her whip collection, she can be found picking up her kidlet from school.
She enjoys writing in all genres, but writing about men in love suits her fancy best.

Sarah Masters

Sarah Masters is one of three pen names I write under. Sarah mainly writes m/m. Natalie Dae writes het erotica, while the third, Charley Oweson, writes thriller/horror/suspense books with no sex.

www.emmyellis.com

I enjoy writing all genres, though I haven’t attempted, nor plan to attempt Sci-Fi.

Jenna Byrnes

Jenna Byrnes could use more cabinet space and more hours in a day. She’d fill the kitchen with gadgets her husband purchases off TV and let him cook for her to his heart’s content. She’d breeze through the days adding hours of sleep, and more time for writing the hot, erotic romance she loves to read.

Jenna thinks everyone deserves a happy ending, and loves to provide as many of those as possible to her gay, lesbian and hetero characters. Her favorite quote, from a pro-gay billboard, is “Be careful who you hate. It may be someone you love.”

Morticia Knight

M/M Erotic Romance author Morticia Knight enjoys hot stories of men loving men forever after. They can be men in uniform, Doms and subs, rock stars or bikers – but they’re all searching for the one (or two!) who was meant only for them.

When not indulging in her passion for books, she loves the outdoors, film and music. Once upon a time she was the singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She is currently working on more installments of Sin City Uniforms and The Hampton Road Club, as well as the follow-up to Bryan and Aubrey’s story from Rockin’ the Alternative.

Stephani Hecht

Stephani Hecht is a happily married mother of two. Born and raised in Michigan, she loves all things about the state, from the frigid winters to the Detroit Red Wings hockey team. Go Wings! You can usually find her snuggled up to her laptop, creating her next book or gorging on caffeine at her favorite coffee shop.

When she’s not running around like crazy, trying to get her kids to their various activities, she’s currently working on numerous projects. In the coming months, she has several books coming out with eXtasy Books in both The Lost Shifter Series and Drone Vampire Chronicles, plus a few additional projects that are still in the development stages.

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Jenna Byrnes

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Stephani Hecht

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1 Comment

Filed under 3.5 Stars, 4 Star, 4.5 Stars, 5 Star, AvidReader, Kara, Lynn, M/M, New Release, Renee, Review, Sarah, Sherry

One Response to TWO 5, TWO 4.5, 4 and 3.5 Star Reviews for Aim High Anthology by T.A. Chase, Stephani Hecht, Morticia Knight, Jenna Byrnes, Sarah Masters, Megan Slayer #MM #Romance @PridePublishing @MeganSlayer @MorticiaKnight

  1. Thanks for the kind reviews and nice words. Thanks for hosting us, too.
    Much appreciated.
    ~Megan Slayer

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