Saturday, March 19, 2016

Snowed In (Anthology)

Title: Snowed In (anthology)
Author: multiple
Purchase at Amazon 
Purchase at All Romance eBooks
Cover Artist: Kris Norris
Genre: contemporary, anthology
Length: 44k, eight stories
Formats Mobi, epub, pdf

Snowed In is a wintery blend of frost, snow, and romance from eight of Torquere Press’ M/M authors.

Winter storms are dangerous, and in Celibate Cold by Lynn Townsend, Topher finds himself stranded in one when his car slides into a ditch. Alone and scared, he tries to walk home in the blizzard but ends up at Chase’s house, desperately in need of help.

Can an accident on Luke and Tom’s annual hike lead to them becoming more than good friends? Find out in Jessica Chase’s Falling for Love!

In This Winter’s Night by Kassandra Lea, Barry is devastated when he realizes he spends more time talking to his horses than his boyfriend—but that’s about change.

These snow angels have a devilish side! Huey and Tommy think their neighbor Marshall would be a naughty, fun addition to their snow day in Snow Angels by Leigh Ellwood.

In Snow Job by Logan Zachary, winter doesn’t always come with a chill—sometimes it’s smokin’ hot! For Lance and Leo, snowbound and icicles are about to take on whole new meanings.

Beau and Leon are two strangers on a chairlift. When Leon—the “experienced” skier—laughs at himself, Beau looks at him in a whole new light in Taking the Fall Line by Tray Ellis.

In Snowy Reunion by Emjay Haze, Steven wonders if he even has a boyfriend since Jonathan walked out after their last argument. But Jonathan surprises Steven during a ski trip and it just might save their relationship.

Seeking the elusive Yeti is Joel’s passion, but he finds more than he bargained for in Adventures of a Yeti Hunter by L.J. Hamlin.

I like anthologies: I get a tasting menu of styles and voices. Most of these authors are new to me.

*Celibate Cold (Lynn Townsend) was a nice choice for leading off the anthology. The story had a real reason for putting the strangers together, they had chemistry, and the whole was a nice hot adventure with a hopeful future. I last saw this author’s work in a short that showed a lot of imagination and this one was even better.

Falling For Love (Jessica Chase) was friends to lovers, when the two MCs were finally both in a position to make something of the attraction. However, a physical issue and how it was handled completely destroyed the credibility of the scene. I’m pretty sure the author doesn’t have first hand experience of broken bones.

This Winter’s Night (Kassandra Lea) started strong, with one lover feeling neglected by the workaholic upstairs. Then the lover joined the scene, and while he demonstrated he cared and valued their relationship, his dialog did not sound like anything that would actually come out of someone’s mouth.

*Snow Angels (Leigh Ellwood) was just fun. Unless you don’t like m/m/m but I do, and this was handled nicely. Snow angels and hot chocolate, and an established couple with a taste for their hunky neighbor. Smile.

*Snow Job (Logan Zachary) has a stranded motorist taking shelter at a diner, and being taken home for an evening that includes an interesting encounter with an unusual toy. Points for characterization and imagination.

Taking the Fall Line (Tray Ellis) While starting off a couple by throwing one of them into an extended encounter with the other’s family is certainly different, I just wasn’t buying the whole thing.

Snowy Reunion (Emjay Haze) Nice concept, execution over the top. I don’t believe Jonathan could have actually done the things he did to get back to Steven.

Adventures of a Yeti Hunter (L.J. Hamlin) Cute concept that got turned into a public service announcement for acceptance of all sexualities. Not everyone will care for the first person present tense, though it worked okay when the MC got off his soapbox. Loved the ending.

As with all anthologies, appeal will vary. The authors had a short word count to tell the story, so they had to put a lot in a small space.The anthology was assembled with some nice flow from story to story, which doesn’t always happen, that’s a plus. A few of the stories were quite good, a few okay, a couple that needed to have a stern “Really now?” at the editorial stage.

Rather than rate each story individually, you’ve read this far, you already know which is which, I’m going to mark my favorites with a * and rate the anthology as a whole at 3 marbles.

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