2014 Summer Collection: Anthology Sweet/Sensual by Markee Anderson, Stephanie Burkhart, Gerald Costlow, Larry Hammersley, Jory Sherman
Publisher: Victory Tales Press
Length: Full Length (193 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet, sensual
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia
Five complete sweet to sensual stories from five multi-talented authors in settings to make any summer occasion more special. Included are:
Meet Me In Seattle by Markee Anderson
Madysen Duke has been coerced to participate in a reality show with her teacher friends. But little does she know, her high school flame is also along for the ride, with intentions much different from hers. Even though she’s out for the money, he’s trying to thwart whatever crime is happening right before their eyes.
Arrow Through The Heart by Stephanie Burkhart
Summer vacation and the Fourth of July brings Ella to New Hampshire while participating in a tennis competition. Logan is an innkeeper’s son who bumps into Ella and invites her for an ice cream. Attraction flares and they enjoy spending time together, but each has their own plans for their life. Then disaster strikes Ella. Can a summer attraction truly become a lasting relationship?
Taking Liberty by Gerald Costlow
Liberty “Libby” Bell is a waitress at a roadside diner, trying to hide from an abusive ex-boyfriend who refuses to leave her alone. She strikes up a romance with Roger, a hunky local fireman, and seems to be getting her life back into gear. Then her ex-boyfriend tracks her down.
Will she be forced to leave Roger and run away again, or see the ex-boyfriend and risk a violent confrontation?
And if that isn’t enough to handle, suddenly there’s a serial killer in their midst.
Marcy’s Struggle by Larry Hammersley
Marcy Mason is in her final year of graduate school, pursuing a PhD in chemistry. She has brains and looks, but struggles in the romance department. She met Ross Franklin in undergraduate school when she was a senior; he was a freshman and second-string quarterback. Her problem – she was hung up on Leroy Doyle at the time.
Leroy is married and moved away, but Ross, now star quarterback, isn’t convinced she’s over Leroy. When Leroy arrives on campus to give a lecture, Marcy must make all the arrangements. After contact with Leroy, Marcy admits to what she’s known all along—she’s over Leroy and wants Ross in her life. Can she convince Ross to look past their different backgrounds and give love a chance?
The Garden by Jory Sherman
Summer brings forth fresh vegetables in the garden and with them, the ultimate fight against insects and wild critters to protect those vegetables. Harvey enjoys his garden, especially the corn – watching it grow, providing food for his beloved wife Ruth. Then, something unusual happens in the garden and his corn begins to disappear.
This collection of short stories is a good way to unwind after a long day of dealing with the real world. The sweet to sensual stories have many facets beside romance. Each story takes the reader to a different emotional place.
“Meet Me In Seattle” by Markee Anderson is much like “The Amazing Race” on TV with many characters. Most of the characters are not well developed, but the reader sees a diverse group that engages the imagination with a sense of mystery and intrigue involved. It seems what is supposed to be a game may have a darker side. The twist at the end grabs one’s attention is such a way the story takes on a whole new meaning.
“Arrow in the Heart” by Stephanie Burkhart is a sweet, straight-forward story with an antagonist that keeps the reader alert. Logan Donovan and Ella Perchekov, the hero and heroine, have very different life styles that could derail a budding romance. How these two cope with danger and their differences keep the reader’s interest.
“Taking Liberty” by Gerald Costlow stirs a mixture of emotions. Clyde Barrows, whether insane or just one of the-walking-dead after he buries his wife, keeps the reader’s senses on high alert.
Libby, the diner waitress, and Roger, the fireman, are the primary characters and their love for each other makes one’s heart feel good. But the appearance of the abusive ex boyfriend brings about some adrenaline-pumping action that keeps one turning pages.
Detective Jorgensen is rarely seen but plays a part that had this reader guessing about how he’ll deal with the information he has. This story is thought-provoking.
“Marcy’s Struggle” by Larry Hammersley takes the reader into the college world where young people struggle to establish a place for themselves in the working world that is fraught with challenges. Not the least of the challenges is sorting out emotional feelings and conflicts that arise when love slips in and demands a place in the planning.
Marcy Mason, a PhD candidate in chemistry, and Ross Franklin, the star quarterback, are miles apart in their interests and where their careers will probably take them upon graduation. Added to that jealousy, others’ expectations of them, and self-doubts keep their lives in upheaval.
The minor characters’ manipulation and influence have Ross and Marcy struggling to find common ground. How they finally deal with all the conflicts and feeling is most satisfying.
“The Garden” by Jory Sherman, though set in the present, seems almost like a wrinkle in time.
Harvey and Ruth escape the hustle and bustle of city life. They move to a ninety acre country place where Osage Indians once lived. Harvey’s has a garden that he loves. What happens in it and how he reacts creates an eerie, intriguing story.
The touch of humor, the mystery and confrontation all add up to make this story a delightful, entertaining read.
2014 Summer Collection: Anthology Sweet/Sensual, while not my usual type of reading, was attention-keeping and a nice break from the usual.