Saturday, October 28, 2017

Anthology Another Place in Time

This collection of short stories was birthed because a sworn "I don't like historicals" reader fell in love
with what have become some of her favorite books by most of her favorite writers. Surprisingly, they were all historicals. Determined to make others feel the love, these authors were asked to contribute small tastes of how amazing historical storytelling can be.
Along with a foreword written by Alex Beecroft, enjoy these original short stories that make up "Another Place in Time".
Office Romance by Tamara Allen
The post-war economy is at a standstill, much like Foster Wetherly’s life until he’s forced to do battle with irritatingly confident—and competent—fellow ex-doughboy Casey Gladwin for a position in their shrinking department at Manhattan Security Mutual.
Introducing Mr. Winterbourne by Joanna Chambers
Lysander Winterbourne appears to lead a charmed life. Handsome, amiable, and a renowned sportsman, he is the darling of London society. As far as Adam Freeman is concerned though, Lysander is just another spoiled aristocrat.
A wealthy mill owner, Adam has no time for the frivolous world of the ton, but when his younger brother becomes engaged to Althea Winterbourne, he reluctantly agrees to be introduced to society–with the Winterbourne clan’s golden boy as his guide.
Resigning himself to a few days of boredom, Adam is surprised to learn that there is much more to Lysander than his perfect surface. But will Adam have the courage to introduce Lysander Winterbourne to his own secret self?
The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh by KJ Charles
Lord Gabriel Ashleigh is a ruined man. Last night he lost everything at the card tables to his brother’s worst enemy, notorious gambler Francis Webster. Tonight, he’s going back for one more game. Ash thinks he has nothing left to lose. But Francis sets the stakes, and they’re higher than Ash could have imagined…
Two Regency bucks. One game of cards. Everything to play for.
Unfair in Love and War by Kaje Harper
Many men lost brothers overseas in the summer of 1944. Warren Burch was one of them. For months he still clung to his big city life in Philadelphia, but finally he's made the difficult choice to return to his home town. Warren's polio-stricken leg won't let him serve, so the least he can do is be there for his mother, when brother Charlie never again will. Arriving home means a whole new life, constrained by the rhythms and prejudices of a small town. Fortunately, it's made more interesting by the mysterious and attractive young man next door.
Carousel by Jordan L. Hawk
When a child goes missing, is it a simple case of a young runaway, or are more sinister forces at work?
“Carousel” is part of the Whyborne & Griffin series and takes place between the events of Stormhaven and Necropolis. It can be read as a standalone.
Deliverance by Aleksandr Voinov
This is a re-vamped, re-edited, improved version of "Deliverance". It's about William Raven, a templar, who thought he'd escaped his past. (Same character as in "The Lion of Kent".)

Comment: Another anthology I decided to finally tackle. I got interested in it, mainly because two authors whose work I like participated with a story but after reading them all, I must say most were pleasant to read.

All stories feature an m/m relationship in a different moment in time not the contemporary setting. The goal was to provide a story that could help readers that don't usually like or read historicals to have a small glimpse of how interesting these stories could be. Since I already liked historicals a lot, this was not hard task and I'm glad to say I was happy to read them all.

I'll just leave a few comments about each one:
Office Romance by Tamara Allen
This is not the first story by the author I try so I was ready for the writing style and I must say I was pleasantly surprised, I think the story made sense, was well structured and I guess this author in small doses is the perfect fit for my tastes, since her longer books tend to be a bit boring here and there. This was a sweet story and what I liked best was how we got the feeling we were knowing the characters well and their choices and lives made sense in the whole picture. This was a story I liked reading, for sure.
Grade 8/10

Introducing Mr. Winterbourne by Joanna Chambers
This must have been my favorite. I liked how the two main characters met, the expectations they had but which were changing as the day moved along and by the end of it, they were pretty much a team. I liked reading about them and a full length story would have certainly make the relationship feel more solid. Still, the interactions, the sexual tension, it all made sense for me. The end was a bit too quick but the general feeling I have after reading is one of happiness.
Grade: 9/10

The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh by KJ Charles
I already knew these characters from the author's series they are a part of, so I was happy to see how their relationship started. It wasn't as romantic as I imagined but the dynamics certainly felt well done, considering the situation. It was also interesting to see how they made a compromise of being together and respecting each other after the apparent dislike in their mutual past. The emotional content is always an element to look or in the author's books.
Grade: 8/10

Unfair in Love and War by Kaje Harper
This is a story that could be very sweet, the feelings both main characters had to deal were believable and powerful and that part of the story felt very good. My issue was with the way their relationship progressed, I just didn't get the feeling Warren and Stephen were a good match in every level so my enjoyment of their time together wasn't much.
Grade: 6/10 

Carousel by Jordan L. Hawk
A good surprise, I knew about  this series although I haven't read any book before this short story. There's a PNR vibe which I actually liked enough but the glimpses of the character's relationship and what they mean to one another was quite well achieved for a first time reader. I do feel curious about how they met and why they are a good couple, so this is a win since I might look for the first book to see how the story holds in a longer format.
Grade: 8/10 

Deliverance by Aleksandr Voinov
It ended up being the one I liked the least, simply because I think the historical moment portrayed (the Crusades era) isn't one I usually read about so I didn't really connect and the story between two men who were in a relationship that had so little to support it didn't win me over. The main character goes through a huge emotional conflict and I can sympathize but overall he just didn't seem as fair in his decisions so the end felt a bit rushed, considering the rest of the story.
Grade: 5/10

✩These short stories were very successful as part of an anthology aimed to convince people to read historicals. In some, it was great they were short but my favorites of course I'd wish they were more developed so I could spend more time with the characters.
All had their moments and little details and I think authors were very professional in giving us a story to wow us. As always every person sees things differently anyway!
I do recommend this anthology.
Overall Grade: 7/10

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