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TWO 5 and ONE 4 Star Reviews for Sweet Hearts: Romantic Novellas by Melissa Brayden, Rachel Spangler & Karis Walsh #F/F #ShortStories @MelissaBrayden @RachelSpangler @KarisWalsh


Title: Sweet Hearts: Romantic Novellas
Author Name & Publisher: Melissa Brayden, Rachel Spangler & Karis Walsh (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: December 15th 2015- 240 pages


Do you ever wonder Whatever happened to…? Find out when you reconnect with your favorite characters from Melissa Brayden’s Heart Block, Rachel Spangler’s LoveLife, and Karis Walsh’s Worth the Risk.

In Firework by Melissa Brayden: Lucy Danaher was born into a life of privilege, and has always enjoyed the view from the top. But after clashing with reporter and rights activist Kristin James, she wonders if there’s more to the world than she once thought.

In Getting Serious by Rachel Spangler: Lisa Knapp has never been the romantic lead. She’s better suited to comic relief, but when another guest at her best friend’s wedding doesn’t go for the easy laugh, Lisa has to face the prospect of getting serious.

In Risk Factor by Karis Walsh: Myra Owens runs a therapeutic riding program for returning soldiers. She won’t risk getting hurt by becoming personally involved with her riders until Ainslee Harriot challenges her to take a chance on love.

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This is a compilation of three short stories. The theme running through them appears to be not only romance but the use of humour in attaining that romance.
The first book, Firework, used humour as an instrument for the two main characters to learn more about each other. At times this book had me laughing out loud, particularly the escapade regarding  the arrest. A really entertaining and enjoyable read.
Book two, Getting Serious, seemed to use humour as an instrument to control their feelings for each other, to mask their real emotions. This was quick rapid fire humour that kept the interest of the reader at all times. I loved the ending, really nicely portrayed and satisfying, again the humour being a focal point of this delightful romantic tale.
Risk Factor is the final book of the trio. Another satisfying and exciting short novel. This one was set in an unusual setting, and covered an emotive and at times emotional subject. The characters although strong were very different woman, and  both had individual weaknesses. The author used these differences to creative an interesting and touching story line. Again there was humour but this was  more sensitive and underlying.
It’s not often that you get a compilation of short stories that are all so interesting, enjoyable and a real pleasure to read but this trio managed to accomplish all of this, a book I can thoroughly recommend.
This anthology has two of my favorite lesbian authors in it, and from reading the third, I may have to start stalking, er, reading the third author as well. I’ve always liked stories that take supporting characters from a favorite novel and given them their own stories and their own HEAs. And that’s what this anthology is. It is pure pleasure to sit down and read a little story that gives someone their own little deserved slice of heaven. Probably the only thing I didn’t like about this book, is that I enjoyed the stories so much that I wanted more, and that means the stories were too short. This, however, is a common complaint when reading a short story that I like – I don’t want to let the story end so soon. Each of these stories made me smile for the characters who finally find that special someone who fits with them, and fills in the spaces between. And all three were interesting and diverse, and completely different from the original story they appeared in. Well, I’m assuming with the third story, although that novel is now on my list of necessary books to read. This anthology was a perfect way to reconnect not only with characters we’ve already fallen in love with, but with new characters who come in and steal our hearts just as easily as their friends did. A definite must read.
Amy P
This collection of stories follows characters from previous books the authors have written. The first, Firework, by Melissa Brayden was my favorite of the three. It was a great story and I would like to have read a whole novel about these characters. Lucy and Kristen are at loggerheads over a story Kristen is writing, which will make Lucy’s company look bad. Even so they are hugely attracted to each other and find it hard to resist taking things further. The steamy scenes are hot as one would expect from Melissa Brayden and very well written.
The second story by Rachel Spangler, ‘Getting Serious’, is also really good. Lisa and Marty meet at a wedding of mutual friends and hit it off immediately but there is a problem – Marty is a life coach and Lisa thinks that is all a bit of hooey. Lisa is also very guarded and has some problems opening up. Nevertheless they still manage to get close. The sex scenes are wonderfully written and full of tenderness. I really enjoyed the story and it has made me want to read her previous book where some of the characters came from.
The third story although pretty good and satisfying was not really so gripping. ‘Risk Factor’ by Karis Walsh centered around an equestrian center and an attempt to rehabilitate war veterans. I’m not a horsey person so didn’t find all of the horse stuff very interesting but maybe if you are then you’ll find it fascinating. Myra, who lost her brother as a result of war, tries to help three vets, one of them the beautiful Ainslee. The story of how she tries to help Ainslee and their growing attraction was fine but could probably have done with a longer book to fully explore all of the issues.
All in all a good compilation to while away a few hours.
Kitty Kat


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