I enjoyed this lovely collection of romantic m/m short stories that has a little something for everyone.
Title: Sweethearts and Seduction (Anthology)
Author: D.K. Jernigan, Editor
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Cover Artist: ThinkSentient Ltd.
Rating: 3.75 of 5 Stars
Who doesn’t love love? From a shyly romantic first date to the settled delight between two long-time partners, these are stories of men falling head over heels in love and riding off into the sunset. What happens between first kisses and strolls off into the sunset? These authors are happy to show us!
Ever since Troy inherited the family roller skating rink, he’s been struggling to keep it successful, both for his own sake and in memory of his parents. But on the eve of a loan that will allow him to revitalize the aging rink, his relationship with his boyfriend, Zane, is struggling. It’s time for him to prove to Zane once and for all that he’s “The Best Thing on Eight Wheels”, and their relationship comes first. Then, Ish, an archaeologist, and Kabal, a cop, live in different times and on different worlds, but a couple of times a year they can steal some small measure of time together, and their love only continues to grow despite the long silences. So it’s with eager joy Ish journeys to meet his lover for “A Time Traveler’s Valentine”, at least until Kabal announces that the nature of their relationship is about to change, forever. Nolan isn’t expecting more than a normal date, so when his boyfriend, Sean, goes all out with an open bar and mysterious plans, he’s intrigued. Turns out it’s “Tattoo Day”—the anniversary of Sean’s tattoo in honor of their relationship—and Sean has big plans to make the day forever memorable.
Jeremy and Bobby have a relationship that is stressed to the max. Working opposite schedules, the two barely have a chance to kiss hello and goodbye as they drop off to sleep or rush out to work. When their days off finally sync up, the two long-time lovers will spend “Nights Burned up in Flame” as they reignite their romance and rediscover each others’ hot spots. Thomas has the hots for fellow dog owner, Anton, but he’s “Dogged” by insecurity, and outing himself to acknowledge his feelings seems like too big a risk. At least until Anton invites him out for coffee, where their bond has a chance to grow. As their dogs Biscuit and Muffin play, Thomas is ready to put himself on the line in the hopes that his friendship with Anton could be so much more. Finally, Phillip, CEO of the company BookTrader, may be openly gay, but he’s also not above donating himself to a bachelor auction in the name of a good cause. But when he puts himself on the auction block, the person who seizes the moment is the last one Phillip expects. When the gavel drops, Phillip is “Sold!” in more ways than one.
This is a fun little collection of short stories that have a common theme of men finding love and happiness with each other, whether in the excitement stage of a new relationship or in the contentment of long-term commitment. The pieces are cleanly written, well paced, and each has its own unique voice and plot that pulled me along effortlessly as I read.
“The Best Thing on Eight Wheels” by D.K. Jernigan & K. Piet – This story about a young skating rink owner trying to propose to his boyfriend is a lovely little snippet with unconventional, likeable characters and an interesting premise. I loved Zane especially, and he and his sex scene with Troy were refreshingly different.
“A Time Traveler’s Valentine” by Blaine D. Arden – Sci fi/Fantasy is not my favorite genre, yet I found this piece offered up an intriguing blend of romance and long-time commitment within the genre. The characters are imaginative, and their relationship is beautifully drawn.
“Tattoo Day” by Raven de Hart – The dialogue made for some amusing moments in this story about a young man being wooed on a mysterious date by his boyfriend. I liked the characters and their relationship, but they lacked that certain spark and development so crucial to connecting with characters in a short piece.
“Nights Burned Up in Flames” by Emily Moreton – For me, this piece stood out from the rest with its light BDSM elements and creative bedroom scene. I loved the two characters of Bobby and Jeremy and the trust and commitment they bring to their long-term relationship. I liked the fact that it feels as though there is more to this couple than what is written on the page. There may be a history that must be inferred, perhaps; something that isn’t completely shared with the reader during this intimate peek into their lives. That element of mystery, the edgy complication that crops up unexpectedly was intriguing, and I want to know more about these two beautiful men. This kind of twist and human imperfection makes this story my favorite of the collection.
“Dogged” by D.K. Jernigan – Regular romps in the dog park may turn into something a bit more, and the chemistry between these two characters is sizzling. High on both the cuteness and heat meter, I enjoyed this story with its focus on taking those first few tentative steps towards a possible relationship.
“Sold!” by Erik Moore – This piece was rather predictable with a cookie-cutter premise. However, I liked the way the author managed to create fleshed-out characters in spite of the story length. Additionally, the bedroom scene was spicy and provocative.
Low in angst and graced with a well-balanced blend of romance, tenderness, and steamy sex, Sweethearts and Seduction is a quick, enjoyable read. A few unexpected twists kept things fresh and compelling, and I appreciated how each story was completely different from the next, a gathering of a wide variety of characters, settings, and situations. I enjoyed the collection as a whole and will definitely be reading snippets again.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
|This post may contain affiliate links.
|Prism Book Alliance® assumes no liability for the ownership of photos or content used in guest posts and interviews. The post author assumes all responsibility and liability for this content.|