Length: Anthology (316 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 12th, 2013)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5 Hearts
Blurb: What happens after “happily ever after”? No matter how long they’ve been together, the couples in this anthology find that keeping a relationship alive takes work. Whether its job conflicts or family issues, the seven-year-itch or just plain stuck-in-a-rut routine, these men face the challenges of keeping the spark alive with humor, creativity, and romance.
Review: Cupcakes for Two by K. Lynn ♥♥♥♥3.5Hearts
Oh wow, I don’t know what I expected, but this was really, really short. No matter, as short as it was it made up with its sweetness, literally.
Matt and Jacob have been friends since they were seven and boyfriends for five years now. Fifteen years they’ve been by each other’s side and now that they’re finishing college, real life awaits. But one thing remains more real than anything does; their love for each other.
On their fifth anniversary, though Matt has a special surprise for Jacob. Let’s say something akin to a trip down memory lane.
Loved it. Yes, I know. Normally I don’t care much for sweetened and mushy stories, but once in a while, I love to indulge that little girl hiding deep inside me with “aww-inspiring” love stories.
At First Sound by G.S. Wiley ♥♥♥3Hearts
A very nice story about to actors in the late 20’s I’m suspecting. One a former actor, Soren, with no hard feelings for his lost career. The other, Booby, feeling trapped in the copy/paste style of his scripts. Both in love, both hiding it from the world for having it wide in the open would only mean the end of it all. At their two-year anniversary, Soren’s surprise manages to make Bobby see what’s really important in his life.
I don’t know, I liked, of course, I always like stories of the past, but there was something about it. There was this feeling, like a building anticipation for something. I kept expecting the shoe to drop you know, but no, this is another sweet little story of two lovely men celebrating their love.
What made me an impression and captivated me was Soren. This character was so very interesting and made me want to know him better. Yes, Bobby has his appeal too, his relationship with his family (his mom) enticed me and made me wish for a closer look, but it was Soren that captured my deep interest. You think we might see a more developed version of this story? I sure hope so.
Dream Lover by Nico Jaye ♥♥♥♥3.5Hearts
Ah, a lawyer and a freelance writer. Can it work? Can a person who has such a demanding work schedule make a life with a person whose lifestyle is so unpredictable? The opposites do attract indeed, yet how long do they keep that flame burning without crashing them down?
Aww damn, what a sweet and hot and sexy and sentimental story this one was. Yup, I gotta say I fantasized some angst for it in my head as shown above in my introduction, but even without it, this story was quite lovely.
Brady (the lawyer) is one hell of a dreamy lover indeed and Chris, well; let’s just say there aren’t many who’d be as understanding as he was.
A lovely story for two contemporary fellas full in love with each other.
Happy Holidays by Anna Butler ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
“Do you know what day this is?” A harmless question right? No matter how you examine it, what angle you approach it, or how much you shake it. It seems quite harmless…
Oh, the humor bleeding in the lines of the text is delicious. You just gotta love Anna’s playfulness. Ah, I’m still laughing with this story. It’s fun-tastic! Meh I just loved these guys.
And guess who my favorite character was here. No guess! Lol, yeah it was Kit.
Kit and John have been partners and lovers for fifteen years. They started small and finally their designing firm is handling more accounts than they can manage. It’s all good though, they manage just fine and their boundaries of where work stops and where their life picks up make for a good settling.
But Kit’s been playing little games lately out of nowhere. Games that always keep john on his toes. After fifteen years together, they still have their time of fun, but what is the meaning of this constantly repeating question day after day after day?
Did I say I loved this little story? No? Damn, oh well, I loooved it! There!
The Responsible One by Eva Clancy ♥♥♥♥3.5Hearts
Snow White on steroids? Damn, what a line. I’m so stealing this. Moving on!
Being in a relationship and having secrets? Hmm, how long do you think that will last, especially when those are sexual secrets? Nothing remains hidden forever, and while it does, it eats you alive from inside out. Sometimes, sometimes it’s just better to let your truths out. You never know what might happen, and people might surprise you.
Yeah, I’m making it sound so much more interesting and intriguing than it really was, not fair of me. But, it was hot! It actually turned kinky; with a lite D/s touch, that surprise-surprise was well written. And you know me, I just love that take control-give control situations. Nothing ever depicts trust the way such scenes do.
So Owen is having a real problem with his lawyer boyfriend. Typical of a lawyer really, they all put work above it all, even love. Letting him down every damn time is really pissing Owen and things need to change. Now!
So after Tom leaves for work yet another Saturday, Owen attacks the house like Snow White on steroids. (Gosh, I loved this line, still chuckling with it) He goes on and cleans everything to let steam off, which surprisingly he does. But when he takes it a step further, checking out Tom’s cloths for things he might want to give to charity so their wardrobe takes a breath, he discovers a hidden plastic bag in one of Tom’s suit bags.
Yeah, what came next was a mixture of events that ranged from HOT to sweet and lovable and damn it. Just read it, you’ll love it. I sure did!
Home on the Range by Anna Martin ♥♥♥3Hearts
Whoa, whoa boys, stop fighting. Meh, what is it with cowboys and their temper? But as fast as they light, that fast they cool down in this story at least, for we’ve seen some strong-headed cowboys in several books keeping at it for years.
But anyway, here the temper is short lived and something spicy since the after-fight snuggling is pretty good. And who can blame Colt really. Being away for months trying to find investors for his ranch, Colt comes back to find his husband, Gray, has hired someone else to run the ranch. Now from what I gathered, there was some fright of change and a spark of jealousy that caused Colt’s yelling, but damn, you can’t expect an artist like Gray to run a ranch on his own, right?
And while it was lovely reading about cowboys again I had this unexpected feeling when the end hit me full force and out of nowhere. It felt like I flat out smashed in an invisible door. God, my head hurts.
The Cat’s Out of the Bag Rowan McAllister ♥♥♥3Hearts
“I’m average in almost every way: cock, looks, height…” There, that line right there was the one that made me think “yup, I’m gonna love this shorty”. But when the furries came out, I melted.
Ah what a blast this story, how much fun it was. There is Michael, the diva, the drama personified, with the overacting imagination and the overwhelming personality. And man who temper, those waterworks, the sniffling. He really made me want to slap him a few time just for the sake of seeing if that was his kink. J
And then, there was Joel. Sexy Joel with his little secret that got blown to pieces when he got busted from his of six years boyfriend. Joel, Joel didn’t you know lies have a very short span of life.
But all is great, because despite the incredibly dramatic storming out of a relationship act Michael pulled, the next kiss-and-make-out night was pretty hot and kinky what with the tuna casserole and the tiger-print bedspread and god, how can one forget the leopard briefs.
It was so fun I’m still on a playful mode. J
Like an Old Sweater by Elizabella Gold ♥♥♥3Hearts
Temptation, temptation, I wonder why is it so thrilling. Even as Jeff reminds himself of having a boyfriend for seven years, he can’t help but be tempted by wickedly sexy Tim, with his charming grin and strong come-and-get-me vibe. But then again Ethan is the famous author, always having people throwing themselves at him, proposing him and… Surely, Jeff deserves some attention of his own, even as he’s just a librarian.
But no matter how the hectic life of an author takes away their time of the day, no matter the mundane things that come and overshadow their life together, one thing’s a constant. Their love!
So when everything might seem to reach rock bottom, their playfulness rises for the occasion and turns things upside down, changes the mundane to sparklingly sexy, and turns the lovers of seven years to near teenagers and their love games to a fun ride of joy.
As for me, well, I might not have liked the intro into the story, but I definitely jumped aboard as it progressed.
Change of Heart by Rhidian Brenig Jones ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
My, oh my! What happens when after years of “ordinary” a new face comes in the picture? What happens when the cold tendrils of doubt slither down your spine and grip your heart?
Of course, nothing and no one would ever matter if you didn’t feel like you’ve settled a bit too much and took some things for granted. It wouldn’t matter at all I might add f you had evolved in your relationship, grown with it, instead of staying stagnant, rooted in spot.
But there you have it, things have stayed stale for too long and a youthful predator is rounding the corner. What do you do when you don’t know how to do it in first place?
Lovely and quite British. I couldn’t take my eyes from this read. Charlie’s dignity in confronting his lover, the very cool head, and that “iciness” Englishmen are so often accused were simply delicious. I can feel the taste of it still. And of course, the turnabout after the confrontation, I believe this was the best one yet – Wilde is such a honey-trap isn’t he? – even as the idea has been exhausted in this anthology.
But as I said, you simply can’t resist this one.
The Thing I Love Best About Mitch by Dawn Douglas ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
Well damn! I wanted to be playful and funny about this story too, and at first, it seemed like I could really go down that path, but Hell if it didn’t turn me to mush by the end of it.
Tyler; there are many things he loves best about Mitch. He loves best the fact that Mitch’s growling voice when he irritated can make undergrads shake in their boots, yet has no power over him. He loves best the fact that ever since day one they met he knew this was the man for him. He loves best the fact that it took years for this amazing guy to give in to his love, but when that happened he gave it completely. He loves best the fact that as crazy wealthy as Mitch is, you’d never thought it if you took a look at him, or his house, or his car, or his furniture. He loves best the fact that Mitch can turn him inside out without even touching him. But what Tyler loves best about Mitch is…
Well read it already. You’ll love it; the mixture of humor, playfulness, eroticism and heady sexual intensity, and love is pretty fabulous. Hell, as I said, it turned me to mush. Who’d have thought eh?
Looking Back by Rob Rosen ♥♥♥3Hearts
Ah, the uncertain future, the stagnant present, and the truly gone and over with past. Yet can a trip down Memory Lane revitalize the present and shed light to the future?
At this point, I must make a statement about the futuristic feel of this book. A computer that merges shared memories and wearing a helmet lets you see it as if a video? Fabulous! Fantastic! Brilliant! Moving on!
It is so very difficult to escape familiarity. We crave it, we long for it, we seek it, but when we get it, what then? Does it start suffocating us? Or is it the fear that familiar things are not exciting anymore. That when we don’t say that L word often enough, the feeling itself will get transparent and fade away with passing years? What does it take to wake up deeply buried under the press of time feeling? Can they, truly awaken?
Well read this lovely little story to get a glimpse of that. For what it’s worth, I liked Mack best.
Quarter Moon Over a Ten-Cent Town by Stephen Osborne ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
Absolutely delightful being introduced in this story by the town’s Gossip, Mrs. Gardner, whose age shall remain unknown, in a voice full of the humor.
“It’s almost as if they’re regular people,” she will say when giving us the intro of Dylan and John’s life together. And good God you want to strangle her so much, yet at the same time, strangely you don’t.
But back to the story of this delicious couple whose sunny days are now being cast in gloom and doom when at one of their parties John finds Dylan kissing his best friend in the middle of the living room, surrounded by the other guest. While of course that was attributed to a truth or dare game, John’s mind began a downslope into the pits of doubt and fear. All the while Dylan is wondering why on earth his lover is slowly slipping away from him.
In his delirium and stupidity, Dylan convinces himself that his lover is more attracted to his own type of men, the macho, butch guys who fight MMO and can hold their own. So of course, he would ask John’s best friend to teach him how to box. Can you see the hilarity yet?
You will not be able to resist that brilliant writing of this little story, as the author’s narrative voice is so much fun, so hilarious. I’m still laughing my head off.
Reboot by S.H. Allan ♥♥♥♥♥4.5Hearts
Who needs enemies when you got such delightful friends? I certainly wouldn’t want to be best pals with Mike.
It is like that, one night out with their friends that a misunderstanding happens. Flynn getting in an argument with Mike and Josh being distracted by his overly intruding work, that he missed parts of the argument and when in need to put his fifty cents he completely screwed up.
One thing led to another and before he knows it, he’s finding his lover withdrawing farther and farther away from him. The inevitable approaches fast and their working schedules seem to add to that chasm between them.
Oh dear me, I nearly thought this story would have a HEA, but to be sure there is one and damn it if it wasn’t gorgeous. Absolutely perfect and filled with emotions that swept you away. Lovely, lovely story indeed.
The Making of a Family by Caitlin Ricci
This story took me back a little. All right, not a little, more like a lot. It started weirdly with a leaving scene. As Arden gets an early plane to return home, he expects to find his lover, Serio, there and happy for him. What he finds instead is Serio trying to leave the house, their life together, with only a note as an explanation.
The reason behind Serio’s attempted escape for me was not enough to evoke such a decision. I didn’t like him, and I found Arden overly understanding. In addition, this story was very mournful, so gloomy, and the length of it wasn’t sufficient to explore the “lost-child” theme. Some emotions simply need more space to properly evolve.
As it was the MC seemed simply thoughtless, rash, and lacking understanding for the man with whom he wanted a family.
Didn’t like it so much.
Remember When by River Clair ♥♥♥♥♥4.5Hearts
Is how you remember meeting the love of your life the same as said love remembers too, or are those memories slightly different and not quite what you thought it were?
When Ben takes Aaron through the places, they first met, had their first kiss, first said “I love you” and a treat for their fifth anniversary, he envisioned it quite differently from how it turned out. It didn’t help that Aaron’s memory was not on the same page with is. So it was natural for him to brood, snap, and think that they were not on the same page in their life too.
But sometimes people surprise us so much that the only thing left to do is cling tight and never ever let go.
Fabulous little story, loved it. There was a time where I thought Aaron couldn’t possibly save this on, but damn. Lovely job on making Aaron so damn adorable and irresistible. This couple is one of my favorites out of this Anthology.
How to Date Your Husband by A.C. Valentine ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
Oh, this was fun. How to spice up your marriage in five dates.
After ten years being with a person, do you think there are things you don’t know about him? If so, you’re in for a treat, because as always people never cease to surprise us.
And that is exactly what Mike learns when he makes up his mind to drag his husband Ryan in this little scheme. The way I saw it, it was fun and funny. Too many things made me smile and laugh out loud. Some events even evoked that “awww” sound from my mouth. I loved both characters and was amazed how different they were ten years previous (mostly Mike), and I went fanning myself when certain hidden kinky fantasies made their appearance. The professor really had his role down to a T and damn it if Mike wasn’t sexy as Hell.
I think this story was a hit as well.
And right here ended this Anthology. Normally I don’t like them so much, but this one crawled its way into me. I quite enjoyed it and if you’re looking for a number of stories that will make your heart beat faster, your emotions to rise and consume you, and have a fabulous time through the duration, don’t hesitate. I think it’s totally worth it.