Thursday, October 8, 2015

Several authors - Premiere: Romance Writers of America anthology

From Romance Writers of America® comes a never-before-published collection of tales that showcases the breadth and complexity of the world's most popular genre of fiction!
New York Times bestselling authors Cindy Gerard and Allison Brennan bring the thrills in their tales of romantic suspense.
New York Times bestselling authors Sabrina Jeffries and Courtney Milan take you on a trip back in time with lush stories of historical romance.
New York Times bestselling authors Vicki Lewis Thompson and Joan Johnston show the wonder of contemporary romance, while New York Times bestselling authors Monica Murphy and Laura Kaye's New Adult romances delve into the evolving Millennial perspective.
And editor and #1 New York Times bestselling author Sylvia Day's tale of angels and sizzling desire takes readers to the edge with paranormal romance.
From the first love of Young Adult romance to tales of second chances, LGBT romance to the realms of the supernatural, contemporary to historical, suspense to inspirational, the genre of romance has a story for every reader and this blockbuster inaugural collection from Romance Writers of America showcases it all!

Comment: This is one of the most recent books I've read. I got the anthology a few months ago and thought it would be a good summer read but as always it ended being pushed and only a few days ago I picked it at last.
The anthology has the idea of "wrong number", meaning all stories somehow had to include the idea of a wrong number being key to whatever situation described in the plot. As always, some author seemed to have done it very well, others not so much.
The stories are 18 and some were new authors to me. I'm including the links to their sites below, in my comments.
The ones I've read are in one of my other lists.
The problem with short stories is precisely the limitation we have because of page count; in some stories I think it was obvious the author would need more space to develop the characters, the plot...some ideas would make great full length books, in my opinion.
The thing is, any reader has different opinions. I liked 3 stories best, others were average and 2 I think weren't up to my taste. Everything is relative, it depends on someone's mood, the target audience, our genre preferences, etc... it doesn't mean those authors did a bad job but in the same limited amount of time, some authors convinced me and others didn't.
This is a good way to know more authors and some here I will look at their back lists, but many will be forgettable for me.
As a whole I'd say this is an average read because my favorites and least favorites aren't in the majority.
I've graded each story individually and then divided them and I got a sort of average number.
I won't write much about each one, but will leave my overall impression.
RAVISHED BY THE GEEK by Vicki Lewis Thompson, Contemporary 6/10
This is about a man getting a wrong email because of a #2 at the end of his email account but then he has the chance to fulfill the fantasies of the woman he has a crush on. I liked it but the pages dedicated to describe the sex would have been better used to develop their feelings.
UNDER A WICKED MOON by Lila Bell, PNR 3/10
Two former orphans who shared a foster house meet again, she uses magic on him (wrong number of ingredients in the spell), he feels she's his mate. It passed me by and I didn't find much interest in it even though I like shape shifter stories because their connection wasn't very likable, I didn't feel interested in them as a couple.  
A RIGHT HONORABLE GENTLEMAN by Courtney Milan, Historical 8/10
One of may favorites about a 39 year old governess who's leaving her post because the boy she's been educating is going to Eton and how his father, someone important finally decides to pursue her (at a wrong number address) and make them both happy. I was happy too because ms Milan writes wonderfully and her story seemed bigger and better.
STATION 12 by Amber Lin, Contemporary 5/10
A woman tries to leave her ex things in his cubicle at the fire station but gets the wrong station and meets another man. There's a connection between them but she only looks for him after she feels he might be special and brave while seeing him in the news helping someone from a fire. It was cute but too easy for me. More pages would have helped, considering what she was going through emotionally.
WRONG NUMBER, RIGHT GIRL by Monica Murphy, New Adult 4/10
Ehh...player guy is facing a purpose crises or something, tries to seduce someone, the girl gives him her cousin's number, the cousin and him start to chat, they meet...they get along. Not interested in him, in her, or in their relationship. Typical NA plot but easily put aside by me.
A LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS by Regina Scott, Inspirational 5/10
A woman meets her crush again after he comes back from the military post where he's been, they meet again, reconnect, realize they can love each other. Sweet but nothing special, I felt it fit the idea but not much more than that. Forgot the number reference to be honest.
COMING HOME by Joan Johnston, Contemporary 8/10
I'd love to see this developed because it was good, a FBI agent goes on a double date (with a wrong number dress size) with her cousin, cousin's boyfriend and Luke, an ex con, wrongly accused. They were getting along, they dismissed prejudices and tried to respect the was really great to read and it's another one of my favorite stories here.
THE POET by T.L. Costa, YA 7/10
Surprised by this sweet story about a boy with a crush who sends her a poem by mistake. He tries to stop her from reading, joins a zumba class somehow and ends up knowing she feels the same and was waiting for him to say something. I liked there was no sexual content and everything was cute. Usually not fond of YAs at all, this was one of the best stories, I think.
DEAD WRONG by Cindy Gerard, Romantic Suspense 6/10
A woman was wrongly accused of murdering her husband, she is acquitted and goes home where she meets Jed again, her teenage years sweetheart. They hit it off again, face her ex father in law who believes he killed his son and she and Jed save the day and end up happy ever after. Meh, it had some interestingly emotional issues I wish would have been better used, but overall I wasn't too convinced and the lovers reunited theme rarely wins me over. Forgot number reference.
THE FALLOUT by Harper St. George, NA 5/10
A good idea about a young couple getting back together before the divorce whose deadline would be in a different day than the one scheduled. I didn't enjoy the fact there was more focus in sexually address the issue than to better prepare the emotional setbacks of their lives. This was the story I forgot more about after finishing the anthology.
HARD TO BREATHE by Sylvia Day, PNR 7/10
It was good on its own, two angels, different hierarchies battling their feelings, he's an alpha type, all good except the part where concessions have to be made for them to be together. Why complicate was my thought about something that was on the way to perfection then felt short to me. Forgot the number reference.
ALL I WANT by Erica Ridley, Historical 5/10
I had a hard time thinking about this as an historical somehow. The sweethearts reunited didn't ring true in this story about a good family girl still loving the wrong boy who went to war. They eventually get their HEA because of a game of cards. Not very appealing to my tastes. Forgot the number reference.
COVERING HER SKIN by Laura Kaye, Contemporary/NA? 7/10
This was good overall, a woman wants to get rid of a numbered tattoo by covering it with another, the tattoo artist knew about the treason she suffered, they now feel attracted. I liked the guy, I felt sorry for the girl, but too many clichés to justify this and it felt rushed. Good but a different page count would have helped.
THE LONG WAY HOME by Katy Regnery, NA 5/10
Many liked this one but it felt flat to me, older girl than the guy usually is not my cup of tea, then mixed with older sparks reunited, was only positive for me because of the emotional aspect which had space to be improved. But the rest is forgettable to me. Number reference about the only one seat to be taken at the bus home.
THEIR NIGHT OFF by Allison Brennan, Romantic Suspense 6/10
Too much talk about sex. I get it but it distracted me from the plot, which I never got very interested in anyway. A FBI agent has an eureka moment about a case, her cop boyfriend helps her. I wanted to know more about their relationship but the way it was presented seemed it wasn't as strong as it could have been.
I liked this one, but it also had the problem of not enough pages to tell what could have been a great story. Too much time dedicated to sex when things more subtle could have worked out and left space to improve the personal characterization of the guys. Mail delivered to wrong number address.
AN APRIL FOOL'S FORBIDDEN AFFAIR by Sabrina Jeffries, Historical 5/10
A man is in love with his deceased wife's sister, he fights it but everyone noticed it except her, who also moons about him. By trying to show a lesson to the woman's younger brother, they set up a prank in a wrong address and eventually face the reality of their feelings. Rushed, confusing story filled with clichés and sincerely, not very appealing characters.
WRONG ADDRESS, RIGHT GUY by Diane Kelly, Contemporary 9/10
My favorite!! Guy comes to have a date, neighbor with the address next to the woman takes her place after the other woman leaves for another date, the two of them talk, have a great time, behave like grown ups and we are left with the idea of true happiness in the air. Loved it, I'd like to see it bigger but it was the one that felt more completed and structured and they had never met before. Wonderful read!
A thing I've noticed about the majority of the stories is how easy it is to use the lovers reunited trope and adaptations to it, or the meeting again to make the character's connection feel stronger and more realistic in such a short amount of time. I get it but it was hard to stomach that because I tend not to like those much.
I'll try to look at the authors besides ms Milan that I've liked and see if some other woks by them captivate me.
This anthology was good, interesting common theme but overall, it was average and good to pass the time...
Grade: 6/10

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