Title: It Was Always You Anthology
Author: Cardeno C., Ella Frank, Riley Hart, Lane Hayes, Christina Lee, Felice Stevens, N.R. Walker
Release Date: October 4, 2016
Page Count: 640
Reviewed by: Vallie
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.
**5 stars** for the amazing cause this anthology was created for.
Thank you to all the authors who contributed to this anthology where all proceeds will be donated to charity One.n.Ten.! You guys rock for doing this!
I love the theme of this anthology. Whether it was a classic best friends to lovers, enemies to lovers, opposites attract, or second chance romance, all stories had an underlying sweetness and yearning for a happily-ever-after. The most amazing thing? There are 7 novellas to go through, so even if one of them is not your cuppa, fret not! Surely there will be another one that will hit the spot.
Cardeno C. –Rough Edges: 3.5 stars
Kyle and Brent are early 30 somethings and part of the same group of friends but could not be more opposite. Kyle has gone through hell to get out of a hick town with no prospects, get educated, and have a respectable job. Brent is a trust-fund baby with no job. Kyle has nothing but contempt for Brent. But little does he know of Brent’s extra-curricular activities, how loving he is, and how much he longs for a relationship. This was a sweet, low-angst story with moderate steam, and a lovely HEA. Kyle was a judgemental prick for a while but quickly saw the error of his ways. I enjoyed this one.
Ella Frank –Unexpected Turn: 2.5 stars
Tyler and Connor are best friends and roommates. Tyler is out and proud while Connor is straight. Both are in relationships. Tyler’s twin is getting married and they both go to the wedding with their respective dates. This did not work for me I’m afraid. There was potential but I did not like that the MCs were in relationships with other people, no matter how shitty or not those relationships were. Also, Connor is all of a sudden hot for his best friend. Out of the blue. Just like that. I wasn’t convinced. But hey, plenty more stories to go through!
Riley Hart –Dare you to: 4.5 stars
Dare and Austin are neighbours and have been friends for 6 years with a standing guys-night every Sunday. Austin is a youth counsellor and Dare is a bar owner. Dare is the thrill-seeker and Austin is the quiet type who everyone calls boring. I loved this one! There were feels and sweetness and dear lord the sex was HOT HOT HOT! The dirty talk was just a teeeeeeny bit cheesy towards the end but overall, my favourite story in the antho.
Lane Hayes –Leaning into Love: 3.5 stars
Eric and Zane: Friends since college, rich, and part of a glamorous group of friends. I liked this one. The drama came from Nick, Eric’s ex (who he’s still friends with) and current business partner. It was more of a “I have this friend who always fucks up” kind of drama though, so not over the top. Moderarate steam and sweet story. Typical Lane too, the writing was great but just a bit more telling than showing for my tastes. Still enjoyed it though.
Christina Lee –The sweetest goodbye: 4 stars
Dylan and Billie are best friends. While Billie is hung up on Leo and waits for him to return form college like loyal Penelope, Dylan is right there and in love with Billie. My heart absolutely broke with Billie’s service dog, Bullseye. Soooo soooo sweet! Loved this and the HEA was amazing.
Felice Stevens –Please don’t go: DNF
Danny and Paul. Man the premise was amazing. Childhood friends who met at summer camp every year but one of them fell off the grid and they have lost touch since they were 15. Now in their 30s, they meet in a professional capacity and reconnect. I just couldn’t with Danny’s assumptions and frankly really rude behaviour. I was very angry reading this so I just stopped. This anthology put me in such a great mood and it wasn’t worth messing my mojo up.
N.R. Walker –Perfect Catch: 4 stars
Troy and Cal are two hot Aussies and have been friends since school. They are both out, their families are ok with it, and have both been secretly in love with one another for ages. But, the timing always sucked. They were never single at the same time, until now. A weekend away to fish, a little rain, and kaboom motherfucker, you have hot tent sex out in the sticks and feels galore! Success!
I highly recommend this anthology to all fans of mm romance. It’s for a good cause folks so go on and buy it. I guarantee you will find stories to love in the bunch.