Goodreads Book Blurb:
Here we go…
A Meet Cute and Other Natural Disasters – Emma Scott 2.5✯
HIKING / MOUNTAINEERING | ROMANCE
A bit too sappy for my taste. Faith is a strange character for Asher to fall for, considering everything we know about him. As a self-professed gold digger, Faith wears sandals on a dangerous hike and hurts herself so that she has to be rescued and airlifted out. Meanwhile, Asher is this down-to-earth guy who lives a simple and beautiful life and falls head-over-heels for this nonsense. Nah. I am not buying it.
Something Like Kismet – Ginger Scott 4✯
FRIENDSHIP | ROMANCE | YOUNG ADULT
Kismet or carpe diem, this was so sweet. The perfect length for this ‘take control of your life and live it‘ story.
Love at First Fight – K.L. Grayson 3.5✯
If a stranger gets into your car, you shouldn’t check out what he’s wearing and smell him; you should get out of the vehicle before you’re carjacked. Moving past this, Mason and Jules admittedly do have good chemistry. It’s a little too close to instalove for my taste, but still a good story.
First Flight – Jessica Sorensen 3.5✯
ANGELS | FRIENDSHIP | HIGH FANTASY | ROMANCE
This just makes me mad because I want more – what kind of college do death angels attend? What do they study? The romance was the least interesting part of this; I just want to know more about this world.
Something Wonderful – LK Farlow 1✯
EROTIC ROMANCE | NEW ADULT FICTION
Someone who ends your friendship without a discussion so he can get laid and then pretends not to know you and treats you like a potential hookup in an extremely creepy way years later does not deserve a second chance. I don’t care how much you miss him/used to have a crush on him. Especially since, as this newly reformed relationship develops, it’s clearly only based on looks. As Dane said, Thea was flat as a board when he stopped being her friend, but since she’s curvy and hot now, he’s more than happy to date her and be in her life again. Everything felt shallow and pretty pathetic.
Opening Up – T.K. Rapp 3✯
FRIENDSHIP | INFIDELITY | ROMANCE
This story ended just when I started getting interested. I know these are short stories, but this one was too short to develop the characters and the events, and everything happened too quickly to be realistic.
The Ex-Dynamic – S.M. Soto 2✯
EROTIC ROMANCE | HOCKEY | INFIDELITY | SIBLINGS
Such a dumb ‘twist’ – it ruined the entire story. I can see something like that lasting for weeks or months, not years. Especially with family, and especially if they’re actually this in love.
Bound – Cathlin Shahriary 3.5✯
FAERIES | HIGH FANTASY
I think this is a short story from an already-existing series/universe, so I did feel a little out of the loop. While it made me want to read the existing book(s), it also included a lot of spoilers, so I’m a little on the fence here.
Saving Ava Grace – Julie Solano & Tracy Justice 1✯
ABUSE | DYSTOPIAN | ROMANCE
Stockholm syndrome to the extreme. Keep the pretty girl on the island, surrounded by criminals, and make yourself her only hope of protection and escape. Then, under the threat of death, pull her away from her family and the only world she’s ever known to take her into your life where you are the only thing standing between her and imprisonment or even execution. She has no free will in this situation – what if Ava Grace decides she doesn’t want to be with Noah at some point in the future? Will she be free to live her own life apart from him, or will he hold the threat of exposure to trap her? I saw nothing but red flags and did not feel comfortable with anything in this story.
The Story – Evan Grace 3✯
INFIDELITY | ROMANCE
So a blind date goes well. That’s your amazing story? Absolutely nothing out of the ordinary happened here, but it’s treated like an incredible love story. I feel like I’m missing something important…
Hail Mary – JB Salsbury 3.5✯
EROTIC ROMANCE | FOOTBALL
More the first few chapters of a book rather than a short story, it feels unfinished. A teaser for another book is not really what you expect while reading an anthology, so while this is a good start to another book, it doesn’t fit in this collection.
Whatever It Takes – Gianna Gabriela 3✯
Enemies to lovers but with not enough context to make it interesting. We learn a lot about Ari and Kayden’s feelings towards each other but nothing about why or what will happen. Finished off with the weirdest cliffhanger ending that doesn’t explain anything.
Magical Show Down – K.F. Breene 2.5✯
CRIME FICTION | DEMONS | FAERIES | LOW FANTASY | SHAPESHIFTERS | VAMPIRES
Way too short to achieve anything. It must be a short story from an already existing world – otherwise, half of it doesn’t make sense and serves no purpose without context. It’s not even enough of a window into the world to want to look into it and read more.
Rendezvous Dot Com – Lilly Wilde 1✯
Immediately off to a bad start; blaming another woman for her husband cheating with you is so anti-women it’s unbelievable. Someone not sharing about their husband on Instagram is not a good enough reason to be involved in an affair. People are aware divorce exists, right? Also, the number of times people were described by their ethnicity in this very short story was incredibly uncomfortable and unnecessary. I have absolutely no interest in ‘continuing Nia’s story’ – this was more than enough.
Interception – Santana Blair 4✯
FOOTBALL | ROMANCE
A huge relief after the last few stories; this was the perfect length, and no outside context was needed. Entirely predictable but still sweet and fun to read; I definitely enjoyed this one.
The Bribe – Devney Perry 4✯
ANIMALS | FRIENDSHIP | HIKING / MOUNTAINEERING | MYSTERY | ROMANCE
This is the first short story related to another story I’d be interested in reading more. A little bit of mystery with a meet-cute and maybe a bribe? I might look into finding this book and finishing the story…
Leap of Faith – Jaci Wheeler 4.5✯
GHOSTS | MEDICAL FICTION | MENTAL ILLNESS
So different from all the other stories, it has quickly become my favourite. It ends a little saccharine, but the rest of the story deserves it. Elliot’s complete hopelessness and Leo’s need to save him are so compelling that the rest easily falls into place. It’s a nice change from everything that came before, especially because it’s actually a short story that doesn’t need any more than what is included here.
Spy’s Heart – M. Lynn 3.5✯
HIGH FANTASY | ROMANCE | SPY THRILLER
Even though this ties into a series, it works as a standalone; you get enough information for everything to make sense while still being aware that a lot is lurking beneath the surface. I enjoyed this story, but nothing particularly made me want to look into the series. Regardless, the story is fast-paced, with interesting characters and magic, with some twists that make it feel more complex.
8°F – Debra Anastasia 2.5✯
I was enjoying this until Paul referred to Eight’s breasts as fun bags entirely seriously in an intensely dangerous moment. Seriously? Another first chapter of a book that I wouldn’t be interested in reading. Any guy who can’t stop thinking about getting laid while being shot at and running for his life is not a guy I want to read more about. Eight and Deal were interesting, and I could’ve read more about them, though.
Kess – Tijan 3✯
EROTIC ROMANCE | MOTORCYCLES | YOUNG ADULT
Two hot people with uncles in the same gang finally get to hook up after being around each other for a year. Apparently, it’s love. Pretty average and not worth looking into further.
Set Fire to the Sky – A.L. Jackson 2✯
ABUSE | EROTIC ROMANCE | THRILLER
First instalove I’ve read that happened while someone was unconscious. Overly dramatic and oversimplified, this is like a saviour complex firefighter daydream. It wraps up way too quickly and easily, especially considering the premise.
Kick Off – Amy Daws 2.5✯
FAMILY | ROMANCE | SOCCER
I liked the love story but hated the rest of it. Vaughn didn’t deserve Vilma and to treat their children this way because he was grieving is terrible. I don’t want to read more about how he moves on with his life without the person who deserved to live much more than he did.
Call Me Heather – BB Easton 1✯
EROTIC ROMANCE | INFIDELITY | MENTAL ILLNESS
Yeah, this isn’t good. A therapist thinks his patient is a psychopath faking mental illness but keeps seeing her because she’s hot and his wife isn’t sleeping with him. She tries to seduce him, and he lets her go too far without actively engaging, then ends the session and won’t see her anymore. So she creates a scene, threatening to commit suicide publicly unless she can speak to her therapist. He knows she’s lying but shows up anyway. She reveals his wife’s affair and admits she’d feel guilty unless he knew. He realises her feeling guilt means she’s not a psychopath, and so, of course, that means he can sleep with her because she’s ‘just’ a stalker. Like seriously, what the fuck did I just read, and can I give it zero stars?
The Deal – Aleatha Romig 1✯
EROTIC ROMANCE | FAMILY
Yeah, I don’t care how hot someone is; if they show up out of nowhere, know too much about you, and start ordering you around, that’s not attractive. This is a very strange story that’s more off-putting than interesting.
Saint – Colleen Hoover 2✯
BOOKS ABOUT BOOKS | EROTIC ROMANCE | INFIDELITY | THRILLER
Okay, that was creepy. The last few stories in this anthology are majorly twisted (and as someone who loves a dark narrative, it’s not in a good way), and this does not leave it on a high note.
Did anyone edit this book? There are a lot of spelling and grammatical errors. I did a lot of rereading sentences to figure out what they were supposed to say. Many of these short stories feel like rough first drafts, and most of the others are excerpts from existing stories that either make you want to read those books (rare) or make you glad you don’t have to read more. There are a few standouts, but overall I wasn’t impressed with this anthology. I read One More Step as part of my CoHo readathon, but all it’s convinced me to do is to skipTwo More Days.
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