Tag Archives: Anthology

4 Stars for Order Up: A Menu of Lesbian Romance & Erotica (Anthology) edited by R. G. Emanuelle & Andi Marquette #FF #lesfic #anthology

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Title:
Author Name & Publisher:
Publication Date & Length:

Synopsis

Join Chef R.G. Emanuelle and sous chef Andi Marquette as they return to the kitchen to cook up another menu in their continuing quest to explore the sensuous qualities of food and illustrate how the act of preparing and eating it can engage much more than simply taste and smell. Food can become many things, from a gateway to greater intimacy to the creation or rediscovery of a connection. To help them in their quest, Andi and R.G. rounded up another group of cooks who created an array of dishes and meals, which they present to you here in a menu that ranges from sweet and romantic to sultry and seductive, from a relationship’s first tentative taste to the many layers of one that has simmered long and slow.
Each story also ends with a recipe. Some require cooking implements while others are whimsical accompaniments that don’t require cooking at all—at least not in the traditional sense. After all, food serves as more than sustenance—it’s a trigger for love, laughter, sex, pleasure, and carnal and sensory satisfaction. Whatever your palate prefers, you’re sure to find something tasty here.
The menu includes dishes by Andi Marquette, Brey Willows, Cheri Crystal, Cheyenne Blue, CK Combs, Emma Weimann, Jaye Markham, Jove Belle, Lea Daley, Liz McMullen , Marie Sterling, N.R. Dunham, Pascal Scott, R.G. Emanuelle, and Rebekah Weatherspoon.

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Review

FourStars

Anthologies hold such highs and lows for me. I’m always excited to crack one open to see what tasty bits fall out. I love discovering an author either new or new-to-me who I can obsess over while looking for more written by them. And I absolutely love reading stories from authors I already stalk – um, I mean, follow. It’s like spending a little time with a beloved friend; you just know you’re going to enjoy it. I have to admit, reading the blurb about this book conjured images of food and sex – which I actually avoid – it’s messy, after all. But the idea of it is sensual and erotic. That isn’t exactly what I got in this volume. That isn’t to say that the stories weren’t good – I don’t think I read a story in the bunch that I didn’t like. But the flavor was heavily spiced with romance, not erotica. And I’m not sure that’s even a fair or accurate opinion. After all, it means different things to different people. But just like in a Thai restaurant where you order with a number letting them know how hot you want things, what may be a 3 to one person could be a 5 to another. I think I would have been much more content if the word ‘erotic’ hadn’t been in the tag line. That being said, the stories were full of romance and love and hope; they were all enjoyable and overall, I really liked the anthology.

AmyP

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TWO 5 Star Reviews for Girls on Campus by Janelle Reston and Robyn Nyx #FF #Anthology

CoverTitle: Girls on Campus
Author Name & Publisher: Janelle Reston and Robyn Nyx (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: May 17, 2016 – 240 pgs

Synopsis

College: four years when anything goes and rules are made to be broken. A time for freedom, experimentation, and guiltless pleasures. Come join the co-eds for a homecoming bash, crash a girls-only party, and enjoy study hall where the topic is Eros. From roommates with benefits to sexy sorority initiations, hot professors demanding extra credit after class and summer vacation threesomes, this collection is required reading for anyone looking to earn an A in sex-ed.

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Review

FiveStars

Girls on Campus is unbelievably hot and the perfect book to keep on your bedside table.  Some of the stories are so good that I’m sure I’ll want to go back and re-read them again and again.  Radclyffe’s ‘Pledge Night’ was a brilliant start to the book and will leave you breathless and to follow it with ‘In the Stacks’ by Aurora Rey was a great choice.  These ladies really know how to get the pulse racing.  I also really loved ‘Final Exam by Meghan O’Brien, which had first timer Jess finding out what sex is all about from butch friend Mike.  Both were really lovely characters and I’d really like to find out more about them in a longer story.  ‘A Gift from McGovern’ by Lea Daley was a really sweet story about how things have changed for lesbians since her characters met in 1972.  I loved it and this would definitely make a terrific novel if the author is interested in taking it further.  ‘The First Move by Rose P Lethe was a librarian fantasy and utterly filthy – a really hot read.  The final story ‘Practice makes Perfect’ by Sandy Lowe was sublime erotica and the ideal way to end this anthology.  Sylvie is upset that her boyfriend says she’s a bad kisser so her room-mate Bennett offers to help her learn.  She helps her learn a whole lot more and there is a beautiful emotional connection there too.  It was very sexy and tender at the same time.  This was an excellent anthology and makes me realise why I love just about anything that comes from Bold Strokes Books.  Their writers are top-notch and it really shows in this book.
Kitty Kat
FiveStars

This was an awesome book of short erotic stories. I loved that I got to read so many stories from so many of my favorite authors, but also got introduced to a few new ones to follow as well. The only common theme was that the stories were based on college campuses, and the stories run the gamut. They were hot, and sweet, and romantic, and hot! Definitely worth it.

AmyP

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5 stars for Theory of Love Anthology by Kayla Bashe, Alain Bell, M.D. Grimm, Asta Idonea, D. C. Juris, Dale Cameron Lowry, Lila Mathews, Charles Payseur, Jessica Payseur, Maia Strong, Lynn Townsend, K.S. Trenten #MM #FF @GoIndiMarketing

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Title: Theory of Love
Author Name & Publisher:

Kayla Bashe, Alain Bell, M.D. Grimm, Asta Idonea, D. C. Juris, Dale Cameron Lowry, Lila Mathews, Charles Payseur, Jessica Payseur, Maia Strong, Lynn Townsend, K.S. Trenten.

(Torquere Press)
Publication Date & Length: May 18, 2016 — 80,000 words

Synopsis

In Theory of Love, we wave our geek flag high! Tales from deep space, sci-fi realities, technology, academia, and cosplay are brought together in this collection. In Dale Cameron Lowry’s Far From Home, long-distance spouses fan the flames of passion while fighting to save humanity. Meat Space by Lynn Townsend, brings virtual space and the real world crashing into a new reality. Asta Idonea’s Captive shows us that love can form in any manner of situations. Beta Tester by Charles Payseur immerses the reader—and the characters—in a virtual reality that brings a friendship to a whole new level. K.S. Trenten’s A Symposium in Space, love is a different meal to every guest. Unexpected Dilemmas by Jessica Payseur long-distance lovers face hijacking and natural disaster to be together. Kayla Bashe’s Medic to the Hivemind a stranded student is saved by a mysterious voice with secrets. Being Jake by Lila Mathews shows readers that smart is sexy. In D.C. Juris’ Torn Apart, love provides the will to survive. Shattered Space by Alain Bell shows how love can grow from destruction. Maia Strong’s All ‘Ships May Sail connects cosplay, fandoms, and something more. Trash and Treasures by M.D. Grimm gives us a deal made in interstellar space that could be more than either party bargained for.

In theory, love is easy.

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Review

FiveStars

Theory of Love is an excellent science fiction anthology from Toquere Press. It features broken-down spaceships, near-future video games, and Jupiter’s moon Europa. There’s a couple of traces of hard science fiction, too, but this is mostly a sexual anthology.

I was quite pleased to see F/F in balance with the M/M stories, rather than just a token story. The cast is diverse and does include aliens and alien sex.

Highlights:

Meat Space (M/M), Lynn Townsend, is the sensual and tactile of adventure of someone raised within a video game and then “unplugged.” Her unique use of language brings the game and reality to life.

Beta Tester (M/M), Charles Payseur, is another video-game-induced story. I could read a whole anthology of those.

Captive (M/M), Asta Idonea, makes empires rise and fall with an encounter between an Earth military man and the leader of an opposing alien race. Again, evocative, yet serious, it gets to the core of today’s humanity like any good science fiction should.

Medic to the Hive Mind (F/F), Kayla Bashe, offers a butch heroine to drool over amidst action, adventure, and hard choices.

Shattered Space (F/F), Alain Bell, is my personal favorite. It’s just med-porn, reminiscent of any modern science fiction television show. Maybe it was the familiarity brought it to life, but Bell’s wrought tension, sympathy, and care make it great.

Torn Apart (M/M), DC Juris, is difficult to explain, but adorable. As is Trash and Treasures (M/M), M.D. Grimm.

Unexpected Dilemmas (F/F), Jessica Payseur, is a cozy way to wrap things up. The personal drama of a long-distance relationship dances through natural disasters and space travails.

Some stories are duds, at least for my tastes, but that’s to be expected. Overwhelmingly, Theory of Love is fantastic and filled with future worlds I’d love to see more of.

The individual stories can be purchased at $2.49, making a compilation of so many a great deal.

Five Stars

I was provided this book in exchange for an honest review by Inked Rainbow Reads. I was not compensated, coerced, or flattered into an opinion.

~C. E. Case

Excerpt

From Trash and Treasure by M.D. Grimm

Some of the coldness left Ronan’s eyes. He seemed confused again. Why did Tucker seem to confuse Ronan so much?

Then it happened. Ronan nodded. “Deal.”

Tucker barely stopped himself from gaping again. It worked? He was going to have sex? He was going to have sex! He didn’t let himself think about how long it had been since his last partner. It would only depress him. He knew what to do… mostly.

Tucker tossed the ball underhand to Ronan, who caught it with a startled expression.

“What?” Tucker said. “It’s not like you can go anywhere. Your ship’s caput and even if you tried to hack into my navigation system, you wouldn’t get far. My ma designed it and she was the best there was. Just letting you know in case you had a thought of bashing me over the head and commandeering my ride.”

Ronan looked insulted. “I would never do such a thing. I am not a thief or vagabond.”

“Then what are you?”

Ronan’s mouth pulled into a thin line. Tucker shrugged. “Fine. Keep your secrets. Come on, follow me. Let’s both take a well-needed shower.” A blush suddenly crept up his face. “I mean, a shower separately. Let’s take a shower—oh, never mind. Just come on.”

He turned his back on Ronan and called himself an idiot. He dearly hoped he wasn’t making a huge mistake. But he wouldn’t go back on it now. He really, really wanted to have sex.

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TWO 5 star and ONE 4.5 star Reviews for Girls with Guns by Michele Grubb, Carsen Taite, and Ali Vali #FF #Romance #Lesfic

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Title: Girls with Guns
Author Name & Publisher: Michelle Grubb, Carsen Taite, and Ali Vali (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: April 12, 2106 — 240 Pages

Synopsis

Three stories by three talented crime writers—Carsen Taite, Ali Vali, and Michelle Grubb—each packing her own special brand of heat.

In Hammersmith by Michelle Grubb: Officer Belinda Riley knew the signs of a suicide bomber, but this time she was blind to the obvious. This time she didn’t want to believe what was right in front of her eyes.

In Bow and Arrow by Carsen Taite: Bounty hunter Luca Bennett has always lived on the edge of the law, but now she’s living with a cop and doing her darnedest to stay out of trouble. When an old enemy resurfaces, will the shady ways of Luca’s past come back to haunt her?

In Hell Fire by Ali Vali: Dr. Abigail Eaton stumbles into a massacre, but once someone tries to kill her it seems like no accident. While hunting for the perpetrators of a sex trafficking empire, Agent Riley Abbott saves Abigail from a professional hit and discovers the young mother might be the key to more than just her case. Riley takes Abigail and her family to what she thinks is safer ground, and runs right into the arms of reputed mob boss Cain Casey.

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Review

FiveStars

Taken as a whole this is an extremely varied, exciting and at times romantic read. The authors offer the reader insight into Law Enforcement, Terrorism and do this in an imaginative and believable way. The link is Guns, but this is the only similarity, each woman has a totally different concept and outlook on how to use her gun.
For an anthology I was pleasantly surprised not only by the consistently high standard of writing by all three author’s but also by their inventiveness and presentation of each scenario.
I didn’t like one of the references made in jest in the first story as I found it a little stereotypical, but this was the only thing. In the second novel the veracity of the plot had me doubting it, but the ending was magnificent, humorous and totally unexpected, it had me laughing out loud. The final instalment of this trilogy was for me outstanding.
A very worthy read that I can thoroughly recommend, different, audacious at times thought provoking but never dull.
~Chris
FiveStars
Bow and Arrow by Carsen Taite was a really good read, the story of bounty hunter Luca and her attempt to catch an old foe. After ending up on jury duty she finds the case on trial begins to overlap with her quest to bring an corrupt ex-cop to justice. Her new live-in romance with Jess also gets put to the test. I found the mystery well written and full of suspense, with enough twists and turns to keep me interested. I didn’t find Luca the most sympathetic of characters but I think that was her strength. She is supposed to be the determined, hard-nosed bounty hunter and needed to have that slight detachment . Her lover Jess was the softer, more obviously loving of the two. I think they made a good partnership. I want to go and read some more of Carsen Taite’s work now .

Hammersmith by Michelle Grubb was my favourite of the three stories. Bel is a MI5 security officer on the London Underground and spends her days trying to spot suspicious commuters. She keeps her
Job a secret from girlfriend Esther, who is a bit of an enigma herself. She is not keen on committing but when they have the most intense sexual connection one night Bel thinks they may have a chance. Tension is ramped up at an amazing rate as Bel travels through the underground network in search of a suspected suicide bomber. There are so many surprises and elements to this story I can’t believe Michelle Grubb managed to fit it into one story . The chase through the underground was so well described I almost felt I was there. A brilliant read.

Hell Fire by Ali Valli was a fast paced thrilling read. Abigail witnesses a shooting and then becomes a target herself. Finlay, an undercover FBI agent becomes her protector and saviour, as she tries to get Abigail and her three children to safety . Ties to the Russian mob and a sex trafficking ring become apparent but what do they have to do with Abigail and her family? Finlay and Abigail become closer as the story develops but frustratingly for both life seems to keep getting in the way. I really enjoyed their relationship and how further revelations brought them to a place where they could see a future together. This thriller was jam packed with twists I didn’t see coming and kept me enthralled .

Kitty Kat
FourandHalfStars

I was really pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this anthology. Each of the three stories dealt with law and order, as well as the criminally inclined, but each also exposed a softer side to characters who could’ve been hardened by what they’ve seen and experienced. It also showcased each author’s style, and while different, the three stories seemed very complementary to me.

The first story was Bow and Arrow by Carsen Taite. I don’t think I’ve read anything by her before, although I keep hovering over that “buy” button. I’m not sure I actually liked Luca. Although she genuinely seemed to love Jess, she struggles to allow herself to be vulnerable, even seeing the admission of feelings to be somehow weak. Her feeling that being in a relationship, even one she likes and doesn’t want to give up, somehow makes her soft, leads her to make choices that could cause her trouble in that relationship down the road. I did, however, love her declaration for Valentine’s Day at the end. This will probably get me to actually click that button the next time I’m looking for a good read.

Next is Hammersmith by Michelle Grubb. Bel and Esther have a very amorphous relationship, and it’s one that makes me question whether Bel really knew Esther much at all. That totally plays into what happens at Bel’s job one day, looking for threats to public safety on the London Underground. Grubb definitely had me wondering the whole story, and I definitely didn’t see the twist coming, so kudos to Ms. Grubb for a wonderfully suspenseful tale.

Last is Ali Vali’s Hell Fire. A lot seems to happen in a very short time for Abigail and her kids, and the only safe port in this storm seems to be Finley, who’s stepped forward to keep the small family safe and alive. In her quest to find out who has targeted Abigail, Finley gets closer and closer to the brave woman and her children, but Finley has a past of her own, a past that her law enforcement employers might have a problem with. Can Finley use that part of her life to help Abigail? And if so, at what cost? Definitely an interesting read, and it reminds me that I need to go finish Cain Casey’s series.

So, strong female characters, who know how to use a gun and who know that justice and law sometimes don’t go together, make this three story anthology a great read for anyone who loves crime stories. Definitely a good addition to anybody’s library.

~AmyP

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3 Stars for Threesome: Him, Him, and Me (Anthology) #M/M #Anthology

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Title: Threesome: Him, Him, and Me
Author Name & Publisher: (Anthology) Lethe Press
Publication Date & Length: March 1st 2016

Synopsis

Few sexual fantasies are as potent or lasting as “the threesome” – as an adolescent, the first time you saw a hot couple walking hand in hand and you wanted to follow them back home and into their bed, as an adult when you discover that your partner has been fantasizing also about the bartender at your favorite club.

1+1+1 = sensual delight!

Editor Matthew Bright, no stranger to threesomes himself, has invited twelve authors to write stories that range from the sweet and romantic to erotic and playful and even a bit depraved.

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Review

ThreeStar

I should have learned my lesson by now with anthologies… just not for me – I didn’t really enjoy any of these stories.  They felt rushed, slapped together and none of them hit any buttons for me.  There was very little chemistry and only sometimes lust – but it was not strong or developed.  I can understand not having enough space to truly develop stories, but this would have been better off being written in the sense of just doing scenes from larger books – it would have been hotter and better in the sex department.

I hate to say it, but even though I got through this, I didn’t really like it.

AvidReader

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4.5 and 4 Stars for Brit Boys: With Toys Anthology #MM #Anthology by Ashe Barker, M. K. Elliot, Lucy Felthouse, K. D. Grace, Lily Harlem, Ashley Lister, Sarah Masters, and Tabitha Rayne

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Title: Brit Boys: With Toys
Author Name & Publisher: Ashe Barker, M.K. Elliott, Lucy Felthouse, Lily Harlem, Ashley Lister, Sarah Masters, Tabitha Rayne, K.D. Grace
Publication Date & Length:

Synopsis

From coast to coast and city to country Brit boys enjoy playing with each other and their toys. Not any old toys, though; guitars, rope, plugs and Moleskine journals all prove to be enormous fun. Throw in a shop that’s wall to wall with kinky ideas, a journalist on the lookout for the next big thing, and Dominants who insist on obedience and there’s sure to be something to cater for everyone’s taste.

Whether it’s a quickie or a slow indulgence, Brit boys know how to hit the spot and they aim to please every time. So take a ride, fly high, come enjoy these sexy boys and their toys.

Brit Boys: With Toys is an anthology of M/M stories written by British authors, featuring British characters in British locations. If this steamy set of stories has whet your appetite for more don’t miss Brit Boys: On Boys.

Hard Riders By Ashe Barker

If there’s one thing Liam loves more than a scorching hot lust-on-wheels superbike, it’s the gorgeous sexy guy who owns such a dream machine. When Jackson finds him all but drooling over his tyres and offers him a ride Liam takes no persuading at all. Soon they discover that their mutual fascination with boys’ toys is not limited to the two-wheeled variety, so it’s just as well that Jackson owns his own sex shop and Liam’s job leaves plenty of scope for dressing up.

But real life is much more than just a few kinky games, and has an unfortunate habit of getting in the way.

All Roped Up By M K Elliott

When Alex Fraser interviews Conner ‘Big-Mac’ McCaughey, the champion of London’s bare-knuckle boxing scene, he has more than just the fighter in his sights. Hoping to expose the fight club’s illegal dealings, Alex will stop at nothing to get the story, including doing whatever Conner asks.

The moment Conner sees Alex Fraser, all he can think about is what the young reporter will look like bound. Shibari—the ancient art of rope bondage—is the fighter’s passion, and he can’t think of anyone else he’d like to practise on more.

But Alex’s quest to expose the truth could land them both in serious danger…

Doctor’s Orders By Lucy Felthouse

Hospital porter Aaron Miller isn’t expecting a very exciting birthday. He and his doctor boyfriend, Blake Colville, are working opposite shifts, leaving Aaron to go home to an empty house and the prospect of another shift the following day. Just as he’s leaving work, however, an unexpected sexy encounter in a supply cupboard leaves him feeling in a much more celebratory mood. And an impending dirty weekend away with Blake just puts the icing on the non-existent cake. But who needs cake when you’re dating a dominant doctor?

Toys for Boys By K D Grace

Alpha Nerd, Will Charles teams up with Caridoc ‘Doc’ Jones in a coast to coast walk across England reviewing outdoor gift suggestions for the Christmas edition of Toys for Boys—an online magazine dedicated to the latest gadgets to tickle a man’s fancy. Will is recording their adventures with the latest smart phone technology. Doc is reviewing the latest outdoor gear. The two quickly discover the great outdoors provides even better toys for boys, toys best shared al fresco, toys that, in spite of Will’s great camera work, will never be reviewed in Toys for Boys.

Mile High Kink Club By Lily Harlem

Rhodri’s looking for love, but not ordinary love. He needs a man who’ll bend to his will, submit to his desires and obey his every command–including chastity.

So when Gay Hook Ups finds his perfect partner it’s well worth a trip to London. What he doesn’t bet on is his fragile-looking match being a sharp and successful entrepreneur. So when things between them soar, will he unlock the passion, free his desire and will they reach the dizzying heights of ecstasy together? It all depends on whether Darius is prepared to be caged in order to be set free.

Open Mike By Ashley Lister

Ken finds Mike reading poetry in a bar. Mike is confident and clever and seems capable of teaching Ken everything he needs to know about poetry. And, when Ken asks for his guidance, Mike gladly offers to share his expertise. Consequently, when Mike offers to share more than his expertise in poetry, Ken discovers there are a lot more things he wants to learn from him.

I Get You By Sarah Masters

Morton is Warren’s boss, and they fancy each other like crazy. Except neither of them has the courage to say so, until Warren blurts out an inkling of his feelings. Morton is stunned by Warren’s offer for them to go away together, but not half as stunned as Warren when Morton accepts. Both of them are pretending to be someone they’re not. And both of them soon realise that being yourself is the best bet.

The Guitar By Tabitha Rayne

When shy, awkward Kel plays guitar, it’s the only time he feels at home in his own skin. On stage he can hide in plain sight behind his band and the music. It turns him on to play and he can’t help rubbing up against his guitar. Kel is enraptured by a guy he sees every night in the audience and is shocked when this gorgeous guy seems to notice him. So full of his own self-loathing, Kel just can’t accept that someone as perfect as Damien wants to be with him. Will his insecurities put their happiness in jeopardy?

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Review

I absolutely love British men and love kinky stories as well. I got both with this book. This book was written by several British authors so we really get the feel of all those emotions and feelings. I’d have to say that my most favorite story is Doctor’s Orders by Lucy Felthouse. I love reading about established couples and when you add kink to it, well what can I say they were just HOT. Although I liked The Guitar By Tabitha Rayne it was probably my least favorite due to the fact that I just can’t believe that anyone would be as screwed up as Kel was.  Overall this was an amazing book and would definitely look into more books by these authors.

Lynn

Overall, this was a good collection of short stories.  I had a few new authors and a few authors whom I love their style, so it was a great mixture of expected and delightful outcomes.
Hard Riders and The Guitar were my two favorite in this collection, but Doctor’s Orders was close there too.
I am usually quite skeptical of anthologies, as I have not had the best luck with them, but this was a great collection, unique, not drawn out and there were some great stories included.

FourandHalfStars

Overall, this was a good collection of short stories.  I had a few new authors and a few authors whom I love their style, so it was a great mixture of expected and delightful outcomes.
Hard Riders and The Guitar were my two favorite in this collection, but Doctor’s Orders was close there too.
I am usually quite skeptical of anthologies, as I have not had the best luck with them, but this was a great collection, unique, not drawn out and there were some great stories included.
AvidReader

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5 and 4 Stars for The Sacrifice and Other Stories by Kim Fielding #MM #Romance @KFieldingWrites

1.5

Title: The Sacrifice and Other Stories
Author Name: Kim Fielding
Publication Date & Length: November 27, 2015 – 404 pgs

Synopsis

A sickly man seeks recovery in a seaside cottage.

A temple slave tends a man due to be sacrificed.

A soldier releases a genie.

In seven fantasy short stories and novellas, men find passion with other men in the most unexpected places, and even the gravest circumstances may open the door to hope and love.

This anthology includes two brand-new short stories. In “The Sacrifice,” Rylo is a temple slave tasked with comforting a man who is scheduled to be killed in the morning. In “Chasing Away Cold,” Daku builds an ice sculpture of the god Jarli in order to ensure the end of winter. The collection also includes three novellas and two additional short stories, gathered for the first time in a single volume. “Treasure” introduces Jules, a young man who travels to the quirky seaside town of Urchin Cove to regain his health—and finds an unexpected treasure washed up on the beach. Xolani, a soldier in “Three Wishes,” picks up a small glass bottle and unleashes a surprise. Another soldier, Volos in “Guarded,” will risk everything to save Prince Berhanu. In the sequel, “Mato’s Tale,” an unassuming innkeeper gets a chance for adventure. And in “The Downs,” Enitan is unjustly banished and comes to discover that the demons he must face aren’t the ones he expected.

Join Kim Fielding on journeys through imagined worlds where magic is commonplace and romance lies just around the next bend. All royalties from the sale of this book will be donated to Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontiers.

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Review

FiveStars

The Sacrifice~ Rating: 4 Stars
Rylo is a slave for the temple. Ohron picks Rylo to serve him on the night before he is to be sacrificed. While I did really like the pretense of this story the ending was just so abrupt I was left feeling confused and wanting to know what happened. You do get the sweet between these two men and the steam which was very hot! So I did really like this story.. The ending was just so abrupt and leaves you wondering what happened.

Treasure~ Rating: 5 Stars
Julian has been sick for most of his life so his parents decide to send him to the beach hoping this will make him feel better. Julian gets there and is enjoying his time meeting the friendly townspeople and some mystically beings when he finds a man washed up on the beach who he nurses back to health. But soon pirates are after him for information he may have and he is not sure if he will even be saved. I have to say I loved what the author did with this story and characters. You get so much action and then there was the steam which was so hot! All together I really loved this story!

Three Wishes~ Rating: 4 Stars
Xolani finds a bottle during the middle of a war he is fighting. He finds out there is a genie in this bottle and he now has three wishes he has been granted. I did really like the wishes he chooses and his character. You just do not see a lot of them together. So all together I really did like this story, I would have just liked to have seen more of these two MC’s together.

Guarded~ Rating: 5 Stars
Volo is a guard who is half Kozari. The prince puts him down constantly for being Kozari and Volo have not had a easy life between losing his family and being kept prisoner a long time ago. Then he is asked to save the prince by the King even though the prince has not treated him well at all. Now this was my favorite story in this book! I love the enemy to lover genre and the way this author wrote this story was awesome. Between the action in this book and the slow build up between these two men to the very hot steam everything in this story was just so good! All together I really loved this story and did not want it to end!

Mato’s Tale~ Rating: 4 Stars
Now Mato’s character we meet in Guarded and he is a innkeeper that helps Volo save the prince. Well he has been invited to their wedding by Corporal Desto. Now the steam in this story was hot and I did like them together I was just not a huge fan of the abrupt ending and how rushed everything felt in this story. So all together I did really like this story it just felt a little too rushed to me.

The Downs~ Rating: 5 Stars
Entian is accused of killing his father even though he did not do it. He is then judged and thrown over a cliff into the downs. Rig finds him and heals him. I have to say I loved these two together. This was a slow build up but once they finally admit to their feelings I thought it was so sweet and so steamy. You could feel how much they cared for each other with how Rig follows Entian even though he has never left the downs and Entian was so protective of Rig. Loved the way this author wrote these characters and this story! All together I really loved this story!

Chasing Away the Cold~ Rating: 5 Stars
This was a story about Daku who was born with a lame foot and could not do what others in his village could do. He tries to save a sacrifice of cold by sacrificing himself. This story was really short so I can’t go to much into it but it was just amazing! I loved what this author did with this story and these characters!

All together I really loved these stories and this book!
I would definitely recommend this book!

Kara

fourstars

The Sacrifice (4 stars)
I enjoyed this short story. It jumped right into the situation, and I appreciated how there wasn’t any time wasted on explaining in-depth their world or their situation. The story had an interesting premise, was nicely erotic, and wrapped up with a hopeful but ambiguous ending.

Treasure (5 stars)
This was my favorite of the stories. I loved Julian and Kit and their slowly unfolding relationship. Julian’s journey toward strength and self-discovery were really well done.

Three Wishes (5 stars)
I enjoyed this fresh take on the Genie theme. Even though I had an inkling where it was going, there were still pleasant surprises along the way and a delightful (and also surprising) end.

Guarded (1 star)
I honestly didn’t enjoy this one at all. I found most of it dull, and I couldn’t make much sense of the politics. I also had no idea what Volos saw in Berhanu, who was a jerk to him for the entire thing. Also, this really needed a warning for the descriptive rape/torture scenes, and I found the questionable consent between Volos and Berhanu off-putting, in particular the idea that this would be “healing” for Berhanu in some way.

Mato’s Tale (3 stars)
This wasn’t a whole lot more interesting than the previous one, but I liked Mato in “Guarded” and was glad he got his own story. It was significantly more sweet.

The Downs (5 stars)
I loved this one, too. Enitan was a terrific character, and once again, it was his journey of self-discovery which made the story so good. As with “Treasure,” I liked the slow-bloom between Enitan and Rig. I also loved the way their two worlds were revealed to us bit by bit. Simply wonderful.

Chasing Away Cold (5 stars)
I loved this one too. I love mythology and tales of ancient gods and goddesses, and this was beautiful start to finish.

Averaging out the ratings, this gets a solid 4 stars. Worth the long read, and several stories can be read multiple times to take in all the subtle things missed on the first pass.

Amy

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