We did something a little different with the stranded collection from Wayward Ink. We split it up and reviewed it among the team. Brandilyn, Caroline, PizzyGirl, and Teresa each reviewed 1/4 of this collection. I hope you enjoy this review!
Author: Wayward Ink Publishing
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
Cover Artist: Jay’s Cover Designs
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
(of a boat, sailor, or sea creature) left aground on a shore.
“a stranded whale”
left without the means to move from somewhere.
“he offers a lift to a stranded commuter”
The boys in this collection of short stories have most definitely been left STRANDED!
They’ve been shipwrecked and abandoned.
Marooned and cast away.
And left helpless and high and dry.
But you should never underestimate the tenacity of the human heart…
Craving Stains by Alina Popescu
Say Cheese by Michael P. Thomas
Standby by Kim Fielding
The Raider by Asta Idonea
The Buckle by Rob Colton
Ari by Nephylim
Opposites Attract by Lily G. Blunt
Out of Order by Eric Gober
Dating for Deafies by Nikka Michaels
One Snowy Night by Louise Lyons
The Climb by kirifox
Did You Leave Any For Me by Sarah Hayes
Sweetness and Strength by J.N. Olsen
Wayward Ink Publishing was recently a guest of Prism Book Alliance. Be Sure to check out their guest post here.
The Team’s View:
Craving Stains by Alina Popescu (Brandilyn)
Rating: somewhere between 3 & 4.5 Stars
Craving Stains is the first story in the Stranded collection. It sets up the rest of the book. It is also a mind fuck. A week later and I still don’t know what to think of this story. Wynn broke my heart. His mother was such a piece of work. I don’t completely understand the world in which he lived, which is a limitation of the short story format. However, I think it would be interesting to explore this world in a full-length story.
Say Cheese by Michael P. Thomas (Caroline)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
This story is about Shep and Felix and told in flashbacks between how they met, memorable points in their lives and what is currently happening to them. When they met they were both on a pretty even keel but Felix has big plans for his future which involve making it big as an actor.
His dreams are realised but Shep is happy doing what he is doing. He is also happy and very much in love with Felix but he does worry that Felix may find bigger and better, as he has done with his career. Felix is currently waiting for Shep to get home and has a huge surprise planned that will once and for all show Shep just how serious he is.
It appears everything is against them as Shep jumps from one disaster to another and the simple task of flying home turns into an epic tale. As he sits around waiting for his flight he muses on past events from their relationship. His fears are very real but then so is the love Felix feels for him and something as small as not being able to get on his flight is going to keep these two men apart.
Standby by Kim Fielding (PizzyGirl)
Rating: 5 stars
Review: This was a very cute and romantic story with the promise of a wonderful HEA. For such a short story it packed a lot of characterization and development into a heartwarming tale. I felt hopeful and smiled my whole way through. I love the subtle way the paranormal element was introduced and I would love to read more about these men and their journey to HEA.
The Raider by Asta Idonea (Teresa)
Rating: 2.75 Stars
The Raider is a very short story about a Viking being rescued by a young Englishman. We see it from Thorstein’s perspective and though the time line spans a year, there is very little detail of this time. It was hard to feel connected to the characters as we really know nothing of Godwin other than he is a sheep farmer and Christian. I did appreciate that it took a while for the two to get to know one another and liked that they didn’t just fall into bed together. I just would have liked to know them too.
The Buckle by Rob Colton (Brandilyn)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Sweet Twink meets Bear story. It is the beginning of something, but not insta-love. I have to respect the story for not trying to be more than it is. The one sex scene is hot, and the story makes me want more from the main characters. I am not entirely sure about the meeting between the main characters, but it was good enough to get them in bed together, which was, after all, the goal.
Ari by Nephylim (Caroline)
Rating: 4 Stars
There was such feeling in this story. A small glimpse into the life of Benji as he embraces the life he believes is his. His recovery from his mothers death, his rejection from his father who can only see what was and not what is and the absolute love and support of a younger brother. Then there is Ari, gender fluid, vivacious and struggling with his place in the world.
Opposites Attract by Lily G. Blunt (PizzyGirl)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Review: The blurb pretty much says it all. The two MCs are very different in both personality and interests in activities. Both are so concerned they will lose the other because they are so different, when all they want is to be with each other. This story focuses on what is going on in their heads and how each character recognizes that they need to communicate more. After being stranded, they are forced to talk through their fears so that they can keep their HEA. This was a very slow but loving story with a sweet ending.
Out of Order by Eric Gober (Teresa)
Rating: 4 Stars
Set during the earthquake of 1987 in San Francisco, two old friends find each other stranded in the city and reconnect. Also during this time, the AIDs epidemic was in full swing and we see how a few dealt with it. I liked both characters and the storytelling was good. A lot of information was conveyed without overwhelming the reader. Although this is not a time period that I enjoy, I would love to read more from this author.
Dating for Deafies by Nikka Michaels (Brandilyn)
Rating: 4 stars
My love of Nikka Michaels storytelling ability was one of the reasons I wanted to read this collection, so I am proud to be able to review this contribution to Stranded. Nikka can tell a story. Even in the limited format of a short story, she can make you fall in love with her characters. She can make you care. Dating for Deafies is not different.
One Snowy Night by Louise Lyons (Caroline)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Short and sweet. Keith is a singer whose name is just starting to get known and noticed. He is desperate for the love of a good man but every date he goes on the men are more interested in his singing and fame than they are in him.
After another disastrous date that he cuts short he crashes his car in the snow and is left stranded in the middle of nowhere with no way of raising the alarm. Luckily for him Mike comes along in his white van, his knight in shining armour, and rescues him from his freezing car. I loved Keith’s inner dialogue that seemed to be run permanently in this HFN ending.
The Climb by kirifox (PizzyGirl)
Rating: 5 stars
Review: I liked it. This one kept me on my toes. What was a dream? What was real? What was in the past? What was in the present? The author did a good job of capturing my interests and holding it the entire tale. I needed to know what was going on. I could feel the emotions coming from Jessie. I needed him to understand what happened in his dream, and I needed him to find his HEA. You have to suspend reality a bit for this one, but once you do, it will be a great read. I would read more about these men.
Did You Leave Any For Me by Sarah Hayes (Teresa)
Rating: 4.75 Stars
Sometimes, getting locked in a room with your ex is a good thing. This story was wonderful. The snark of the pair at the beginning and the way it subtly started to change. The humor of the hotel trying to get the door open made this light, and the ending was hopeful.
Sweetness and Strength by J.N. Olsen (Brandilyn)
Rating: 4 Stars
Sweetness and Strength is well named. I loved that the main character took control of his future. I loved that he didn’t dwell on being “stranded.” I liked the flirting between the two MCs and their interactions once they were “officially” on a date. Even more, I am interested to know what happens next for these two.
Rating: of 5 Stars
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,
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