OVERALL: 3.75 stars — As with all anthologies, there’s going to be ones that connect, and ones that don’t (because as readers, we all gravitate towards different things). This one was fairly solid though. There were 2 that I almost DNF’d, but pushed through and was happy I did (even if I still didn’t enjoy them as much). Most were great stories. There were a few that really shone though! And by authors I’d never read before, which is always exciting. My top 3 were Say It First by Nikki Sloane, Toothpaste Kisses by Xio Axelrod, and Kiss Me by Lynda Aicher. Foreword by Laurelin Paige (This Year’s Love by David Gray) A great introduction to what songs can mean, how they can tell a story, and how they can tell a different one to each person. Loved the story she told of this song, and what it meant to her during a difficult time. Guys my Age by Saffron Kent (Guys my Age by Hey Violet) 3.5 stars — Solid romance. I will admit that occasionally the age difference made me cringe a bit…especially considering Fallon’s only 18 in this book (and boy did she act like it at times). I also found the depression addition to be weird and out of place…I’m assuming it’s there mostly as a nod to a book about her parents. Say it First by Nikki Sloane (Say It First by Sam Smith) 5 stars — Cute from start to finish. I was worried when it started off with FB/text messages, but I was quickly invested in Jamie and Anna’s developing friendship and crushes. And then it got hella steamy! YAS! LOVED both Jamie and Anna, the whole story made me happy. Broken Hallelujah by Sierra Simone (Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley) 2.5 stars — Almost DNF’d, but was curious. The writing style just isn’t a match for me (no idea how to explain why), and while I was super excited to see it was an F/F (because I need to read more of those), I’m not as big into darker romances. I just didn’t end up liking or connecting with Jacey or Devon. Say Yes by Elle Kennedy (Always on my Mind by Willie Nelson) 4 stars — OK, this one was predictable as all get out, but I still enjoyed myself. I seriously called each twist and turn as they came though. And while I had a harder time connecting with Emilia and her damage, Dirk was adorable in his persistence. All I Want by Mara White (All I Wanna Do is Make Love to You by Heart) 3 stars — This should have been a DNF…or a hate. If you listen to the song, you’ll understand that this one was going to deal with some infidelity, which is a button issue for me. And while I never really warmed to Marilyn (and seriously, there felt like there was some sex shaming in the beginning), I was pleasantly surprised with how this one played out given a rocky start. But Decker was pretty easy to love. Toothpaste Kisses by Xio Axelrod (Toothpaste Kisses by The Maccabees) 5 stars — Oh, well that was just a bunch of awesome. I loved the characters, I loved the romance, the writing style was a perfect match for me… I was so satisfied! For a short story, I really felt I got to know both Malcolm and Pellam, and feel what they were going through, and the connection that they felt to one another. I will definitely be looking for more from this author! Wild Pitch by Rebecca Shea (Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran) 3 stars — Honestly? This one was a bit boring for me. I just didn’t connect with either character, I didn’t connect with their conflict, it all resolved rather quickly and unbelievably… It was like there wasn’t really a plot, just a convenient situation for sex. *shrugs* Your Everything by KL Kreig (I Just Want to be Your Everything by Andy Gibb) 3 stars — This is another case where the writing style just didn’t match me. In this case I was taken out of the book because I had to concentrate on reading…which is not to say it was written badly, just a bit more “pretty”. I tend to like natural. I was also bummed this was a prequel, b/c I only got a HFN. Both characters were pretty solid, though I got to know Killian much more than Maverick.
*Review for Hallelujah by Sierra Simone* "It didn’t matter she couldn’t see or hear, because heroes don’t need those things. All she needed was breath in her lungs and God in her veins, and she would prevail . She did prevail." I absolutely LOVED this fast paced read. It was new territory for me and we'll I found I loved it. Sierra Simone has a way off capturing raw, intense, and pure love and Hallelujah was no exception. I devoured the pages to this novella I just could not get enough. I loved the heavy dose of angst. It made this story all the more raw and dirty. I also loved this was a military romance. Something about them always pulls me in. Plus this one has a unique but no less explosive twist. I was sad to see the story end but I adored the ending so much. *SWOONS* "It pleased her to have me humbled. Stripped of clothes and dignity. Desperate. And who would have guessed? It pleased me too." Jacey and Devon was one of the most explosive couples I have ever read. Their whole relationship was pure lust, and raw love. The emotions this couple brings out is seriously powerful. I was hooked on their story. They were polar opposites, yet the perfect fit. Jacey was more quiet, reserved, submissive. Where as Devon has this more intense, straight foward dominance. Together they pulled at my heart, while leaving me breathless with swoons. "Together, our bodies make a kind of praise, a hymn and a worship. A hallelujah that echoes through the night." *5 STARS* Are well earned for this unique, consuming read. I really adored this novella. I can not recommend reading it enough. I definitely feel I'm going to need to check more of the installments in this anthology out. Sierra Simine has me sold.
A great collection of novellas. I’ve read a few of these stories now and enjoyed each one. They vary from sweet and sexy, to brash and dominant. Everything you could want from a book, is between these pages. I’m slowly making my way through these novellas. Grab it while you can. Here are my reviews so far. Review for: Say It First by Nikki Sloane Nikki is one of my to-go authors. I see her name on a new book and I know I’m in for a treat. This was short and fairly sweet, for Nikki. Anna and Jamie were old school friends how come together when the school was having a ten year reunion. They never attended but did start texting. Fourteen months later, they’re close, but have never been in the same room as each other. Jamie plans to change all that when he suggests they take a week’s vacation together. Sun, sand and an intense attraction soon have them doing more than either ever dreamed of. This novella was fantastic. It made me want to read the ‘Blindfold Club’ books again but more than that, I think these two need a fully fledged book. Added to that wish what about the movie that Anna starred in? Wouldn’t it be great if it came to fruition for real??? Review for: Broken Hallelujah by Sierra Simone I’m holding my hand in the air, here. My cherry has been picked!! Broken Hallelujah is the first F/F that I’ve read. And to say it took me by surprise is a bit of an understatement. I’ve read FF with men in the menage, but never alone, so I didn’t really know what to expect. Of course with it being Ms Simone it was HOT!! Scorching, but very emotional too. A Dom and sub that are both women, this was pretty kinky for me, but I really enjoyed it as the emotions were spot on and the characters played off each other perfectly. Would I purposely read more in this genre? I’m not sure. I wouldn’t avoid it though so… we’ll see. Review for: Think I'm in Love by Leslie McAdam Mixtape: A Love Song Anthology, certainly gave me some entertaining stories in a variety I don’t normally read. After my first F/F, Think I’m In Love brought me my first M/M story. This was a follow on from Sombre by Leslie Mcadam and even though it is a stand alone novella you’ll enjoy it more if you read that book first before tackling this novella. You’ll love it more if you do. This story was fast and tempestuous. Shane and Randy are friends. Randy is in love with his best friend, but Shane is clueless to his feelings. When Shane proposes to his girlfriend, Kim before she leaves for Spain for a semester, Randy, has little choice but to fight for what he wants. And what he wants is Shane. All to himself. Will he get his dream come true??