This anthology of short stories benefits the breast cancer research organization Save the Ta-tas. Its sister anthology, Heat Wave
, cranks up the steam, but these short stories are more like a warm ocean breeze.
The first story is The Summer Prince
by Carol Oates. Her lyrical writing sets the scene of the Beltaine celebration in a small Irish town years ago. Niamh is a 15 year-old sneaking around a party meant only for those 16 and older. A handsome stranger, a friend's unexpected cruelty, and the folklore of the Fae evoke a mysterious and satisfying YA romance in this story.
Next is my story Swim Recruit
. Here's the summary:
Not long after Abby Donahue’s family falls apart, she escapes on an airplane to Chicago for a recruiting trip. A talented high-school swimmer, Abby hopes to score both a college scholarship and
some distance from her parents' recent divorce. But is this university for her?
Her first encounter with freshman swimmer Reese McGowan makes her nervous. He’s a tall backstroker with a mess of blond hair, glittering aquamarine eyes, and a suspension from the team for badmouthing the school to another recruit. As Abby unravels the mystery underlying Reese’s disdain, she begins to unlock her own hidden emotions about her father. Together Abby and Reese battle bullies on the team and inner demons, learning that flipper feet and fighting for family can actually be a good thing.
How lucky I felt when I realized Susan Kaye Quinn's short story Full Speed Ahead
follows the wonderful characters from her novel Life, Liberty, and Pursuit
. I loved her sweet YA romance novel and was happy to learn more about secondary characters Clayton and Tea. Clayton's in the Navy, and boy do I love a man in uniform.
"I let him kiss me, because in his summer dress whites--all crisply pressed twill, gold metal buttons, and hat in hand--he just about knocked me out with the handsome". Oo la la!
The ending of Susan's story was surprising and wonderful.
Next is Hannah Downing's The Second Sunrise
. The story starts in Cabo where Hayley is vacationing with her brother and his friends. One of those friends, Chris, meets up with Hayley for a beach rendezvous, delivering a scorching kiss as the sun rises. Unfortunately, after that one kiss the sun quickly sets on their romance, and Hayley has no idea why. Three years later they're back in Cabo. Will Chris finally get his head out of his butt? ;) This story took me back to my college spring break days with all the partying and fond insults of a group of friends.
The fifth story is Sway
by Nicki Elson. I loved Nicki's novel Three Daves
and she shows off her versatility in this anthology with a different and unique romance between an elderly woman (Rose) in a nursing home and a mysterious man who croons outside her window. Rose's meddling older sisters are hilarious, but I most enjoyed the identity of the secret singer. Fantastical and funny!
Killian McRae's Interpersonal Communication
is a fantastic story featuring a divorcee named Katie who starts working for a hottie professor. The emergence of a secret admirer for Katie had me intrigued. I loved the text messages between her and "ShyGuy66" including Katie's revelation that her nickname in school was the horrific "Inflate-a-Katie". She texts: "My people are of the north and they like cheese". Ha ha! Killian has such a keen sense of humor and I flew threw this playful story about a woman finding her voice.
I think Omnific Publishing might have saved the best for last with Sarah Glover's Whatever it Takes
. I've never read Sarah's writing before but I can't wait to get my hands on her upcoming novel. In this story a young widow named Jen is headed to an island off Maine with her neighbor/friend Graham. Awaiting her there is the dashing famous writer Adrian Bonair. Jen's friends have set her up with the pompous writer (he reminded me a little of Professor Emerson from Gabriel's Inferno
with about one-tenth of Gabriel's charm). Adrian is clearly
not right for Jen, whereas Graham seems like the perfect match. Will Jen end up with snooty writer-boy? Or will she realize Graham's the one for her? Stay tuned.
A really great variety of stories for a good cause. I definitely encourage you to check them out!