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I’ve never reviewed an anthology before, so this might be a bit of a challenge. This one includes four short stories by four equally fabulous authors. I’ll give you a summary of each story, then my review.
“The Journey Home” by Lisa Bilbrey
The Sharks’ star quarterback, Travis McCoy has it all, until an injury ends his season early. When he receives an invitation to attend the big homecoming game from his alma mater, Travis decides it’s time to face his past. The journey home sends Travis down a path that he never expects. Will he be able to come to grips when everything around him is spiraling out of control?
Tissue Alert, this story is a definite tearjerker. Travis is at a crossroads in his life and has some hard decisions to make. One decision, to come home for his old high school’s homecoming game, changes everything.
Bilbrey is able to take us on the journey right along side of Travis. I don’t want to spoil anything, but Travis gets a surprise when he runs into his childhood sweetheart, Penelope. I laughed and cried as they fumbled their way through a situation that would have most running for the hills. The pace was excellent and the story wrapped up nicely in less than a hundred pages. The sign of a good short story is giving the reader the full picture and not leave them wanting for more. Bilbrey accomplished just that.
“Love Something Fierce” by S. A. Jones
Claire Beausejour is a single mother working two jobs, and putting up with the daily antics of her three roommates, as she tries to better the life she leads for herself and her daughter, Hope. That is until she meets Dawson Williams, best friend to Hope’s father. Despite the circumstances, a friendship begins to develop between Claire and Dawson, leading to events neither could have ever expected.
Imagine this situation: Woman starts crushing on her ex/baby daddy’s new roommate when said ex/baby daddy wants to get back together. That is where “Love Something Fierce” begins.
Claire works her ass off in the small Texas town to care for her two year old daughter, Hope, while her ex, Gabriel, is not even a part-time dad. One late night, Claire picks up Hope from the rare night with her dad and meets Dawson, the new roomie. There is an instant attraction between the two of them, but after Gabriel’s pleas to reconcile, Claire decides to give him a second chance. They don’t last long.
The story flies from there. Jones gets the ball rolling by quickly developing a friendship between Claire and Dawson. Without spoiling the rest of the story, I can only tell you that Jones does an amazing job bringing the two together. One instance in point is a kick-ass Halloween party that I would love to go to if it were put on in my neck of the woods.
Overall, great pacing and interesting characters make this an awesome little love story.
S. A.'s Links
“10 Days to Love” by Michele Richard
Richie Graham and Danielle ‘Dani’ MacDonald have been best friends for four years. Now that the time has come to leave Old Orchard Beach for college, the countdown begins to say goodbye. The race to close down her family’s motel for the season and for their hearts begins. With ten days left, will they see what’s always been right in front of them? Or is there too much left unsaid?
Dani and Richie have had four years to get to know each other. With only ten days left until they part ways for college, each is determined to tell the other their true feelings of more than friendship.
Miscommunication is the theme of Dani and Richie’s clandestine relationship. She thinks he doesn’t want her. He’s jealous of a friend who gets to close. The list goes on and on because these two are so perfect for each other they can’t possibly believe that it will work out. Honestly, I wanted to strangle both of them at different points, but author Michele Richard came through with an interesting twist to over come each misconception.
Other than the slight frustration of wanting to strangle fictional characters, (you know you’ve wanted to do it too) it was a very entertaining story with strong main and supporting characters.
“My Apple Tree” by Elizabeth M. Lawrence
David Cleary and Katie O’Connell had the perfect love. When they are separated by tragedy, David is devastated and refuses to move on — until he meets Emily “Mel” Wallace. Gun-shy Mel understands how a heart can break in the aftermath of violence. Although neither of them want to love again, the attraction between them is difficult to resist. David wants to keep Mel safe, but first he will need to risk his heart.
I made the mistake of not having my tissues handy when I began to read this. A mistake I quickly corrected.
Lawrence starts out by creating a beautiful love story of Katie, David, and their apple tree. Katie, only months younger than David, grew up with him as his neighbor and life long best friend. David is convinced at just five years old that he will marry Katie and continues to reiterate it to his mother over the years. After the two graduate high school, David asks Katie to be his wife under their apple tree and she accepts.
Tragedy takes Katie away from David and grief takes a tight grip on his heart and soul for years.
Lawrence then introduces Emily, Mel for short, to the story. With a few issues of her own, Mel is able to connect to David no one has been able to in years. I love how realistic Lawrence writes David, his struggle to overcome the loss of Katie and his true devotion to work through his grief to be with Mel.
This is a short story, but one that will stay with me for a long while. Love stories like this one don’t come along everyday. It’s beautifully written and pulled me in from the very first paragraph. Bravo!
Just a little disclosure. I received this book for review from Jitterbug PR and from the authors for being part of their blog tour and for my honest review. I was not paid or compensated in any way. Nor was I required to write a positive review, these are my own opinions. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC’S Guidelines.
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Thanks for reading my review and I hope that you all enjoy "Harvest Treats" as much as I did.