It Was Always You Anthology (Lili’s Review)

Title: It Was Always You Anthology
Author: Cardeno C, Ella Frank, Riley Hart, Lane Hayes, Christina Lee, Felice Stevens, and NR Walker
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: October 4th 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 6867 Kindle locations
Reviewed by: Lili
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

What do you do when everything you’ve ever wanted was right there all along?

Join these bestselling M/M authors as they bring you tales of love, lust, and laughter… between friends.

Featuring seven brand new novellas, each answering the question—what happens when the one meant for you was right there all along?

The book will be available for a LIMITED TIME only!

All money and proceeds for this anthology will be donated to the charity One.n.Ten.


I’m going to give this an automatic 5 Stars because it’s for charity, but I am going to write concise reviews for each story individually.

Rough Edges by Cardeno C. 4 Stars.

I initially skipped over this one. After I had read some other ones, I
came back and finished it. I needed to get past the first chapter. I have to facepalm myself because this was actually pretty good.


-Enemies to lovers
-Sweet romance
-Low angst
-Brent. He was just awesome and deserved every bit of happiness.
-Kyle. I almost skipped out because of you, but you redeemed yourself.

A Cardeno C Special for sure! Highly Recommend.

Unexpected Turn by Ella Frank. 4.5 Stars

I haven’t had much luck with Ella Frank since Take, but this one I LOVED!


-Great MCs
-Best friends to lovers
-Opposites attract
-Full story in a short number of pages. It didn’t feel like a book that started in the middle.
-I thought it flowed nicely.
-Dual POV
-And an awesome HEA.

I had fun reading it. Recommend it!

Dare You To by Riley Hart. 4.5 Stars

Riley nailed this sweet and emotional best friends to lovers.


-As mentioned above- best friends to lovers
-Opposites attract
-Awesome characters- both self-less and loyal.
-If you love hurt/comfort/healing like me- this ones for you!
-Steamy 😉
-Great ending!

Riley Hart’s been on a roll this year and delivered again! Highly Recommend!

Leaning Into Love by Lane Hayes. 4 Stars.

In Lane Hayes’s contribution, we have long time friends who have always kind of had feelings for each other but never acted on them.


-Friends to lovers
-Likeable characters(- minus the douchebag ex)
-Sweet romance- there was something about the way they were with each other that left me swooning.
-Moderate steam
-I was happy the drama never went over the top
-An excellent introduction to her new series! I hope we get a book for Miles next! WIGGLES eyebrows

Highly Recommend.

The Sweetest Goodbye by Christina Lee. 5 Stars.

Wow. This story reduced me to a blubbering mess.


-Best friends to lovers
-Dual POV
-Small Town Life
-Perfect amount of angst
-Beautifully written

This story was the best of the anthology for me- can’t recommend it enough. If you’re like me, that skips around stories in anthologies my recommendation is: DO NOT SKIP THIS ONE.

Please Don’t Go by Felice Stevens. 2 Stars

I’m sorry I didn’t care for this one. Too much, too fast. I felt the dialogue was laying it on too thick- it felt contrived.

Perfect Catch by NR Walker 4.999 Stars

What an ending to this fabulous anthology!

-Best friends to lovers
-Take a deep breath kind of romance
-The way she set it all up- gurl!
-And a solid HEA

This story was just AWESOME!

Final thoughts:

I wrote the reviews as I read each story. In the beginning, I was going to give this 5 Stars because proceeds are going to charity. Well, this book earned it’s 5 Stars. This is THE BEST anthology I’ve ever read. Hands down. If you have not pre-ordered it already- what are you waiting for? HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

Buy Link Amazon Global Cardeno C. Ella Frank Riley Hart Lane Hayes Christina Lee

 Felice Stevens N.R.Walker GoodReads More Cardeno C. Reviews More Ella Frank Reviews

 More Riley Hart Reviews More Author Reviews More Christina Lee Reviews More Felice Stevens Reviews

 More N.R.Walker Reviews

Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of It Was Always You provided by the authors in exchange of an honest review.


I’m a romance junkie, who loves when books make her cry from heartbreak and happiness.

A few of my favorite tropes:

-Friends to lovers
-Age gap

NetGalley Member since 2015
2016 NetGalley Challenge 80% Professional Reader 2015 Challenge Participant


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