Wednesday, 25 February 2015

LIGHTS! CAMERA! CUPID! By L.A. Witt, Amy Lane, S.E. Jakes, Anne Tenino
& Z.A. Maxfield

Pages: 266
Date: February 25, 2015
Details: a Bluewater Bay Valentine’s Collection
Own / Kindle

The blurb:

Cupid is visiting Bluewater Bay, and he’s leaving chaos in his wake.

Nothing’s been the same in this sleepy little logging town since Hollywood came to shoot the hit TV show Wolf’s Landing—especially Valentine’s Day.

In L.A. Witt’s 
Just Another Day, beloved actors Levi Pritchard and Carter Samuels have an announcement for their fans, while in Z.A. Maxfield’s I’ll Be There, actor Spencer Kepler and his boyfriend Nash Holly brave a blizzard and a fan convention to spend their first February the 14th together.

Of course, it’s not just TV stars celebrating the day. In Anne Tenino’s
Helping Hand, an aspiring artist eager to escape Bluewater Bay decides he just might have a reason to stay: lust-inspiring logger Gabriel Savage. In S.E. Jakes’s No Easy Way, a local teacher reconnects with an old lover working security on the film set. And in Amy Lane’s Nascha, a Bluewater Bay elder recalls how his own unconventional family used to celebrate the holiday.

Real life may be nothing like TV, but when Cupid comes to town, there’s plenty of romance and drama to go around.

My thoughts:

This was a wonderful anthology. It’s not very often I read a collection of stories and can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed every single one, but I can today. Even the fact that some of these stories are sequels to novels I haven’t read yet, didn’t lessen my enjoyment. If I had to pick favourites I’d have to name Nascha by Amy Lane and I’ll Be There by Z.A. Maxfield but the other three stories are close seconds.

Below are my, very short, thoughts about each individual story:

This is clearly the continuation of a love story I haven’t read yet, one which I should make a point of reading soon if this short is anything to go by. Mind you, not being familiar with the characters didn’t make me enjoy the story any less. I enjoyed every minute of Carter and Levi’s fight over celebrating Valentine’s Day, their making up and the announcement they made to the world. L.A. Witt always tells a good story very well. This story may be titled ‘Just Another Day’, it is definitely not ‘Just Another Short’.

NASCHA by Amy Lane
Oh my. This was wonderful; totally heartbreaking and uplifting simultaneously. Bad things happening to good people and just when you think it surely is way too late for a happy ending... Amy Lane, I’m in awe.

I liked this story of two men finding each other after spending six years apart. If I had an issue with No Easy Way it is that it could so very easily have been a full novel. The problem isn’t that I missed vital information while reading this story but more that I wanted more detail about the men’s past, present and future. On the other hand, SE Jakes’ writing is smooth and seductive and, as a result, a pleasure to read.

HELPING HAND by Anne Tenino
A wonderful story about a young man who feels like an outsider in Bluewater Bay and his family and can’t wait to escape to college until an unexpected encounter with the man he’s lusted after for years and a surprise revelation by his father make him realise he does, after all belong. Charming and uplifting.

I’LL BE THERE by Z.A. Maxfield
A sweet, funny and thrilling story about Nash’s quest to get to his lover through snowmagaddon, while Spencer has to face his fears without the help of the man he loves and needs. I alternated between smiling as the geeks, led by Nash's brother, tried to find a way through the snow for Nash, and sympathising with Spencer as he came face to face with his biggest fear and regret. In short, this was wonderful. I’ll leave you with a beautiful quote from this story.

You have a way of hearing what people aren’t saying. You listen with your heart.”

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