Title: Between the Covers Anthology
Authors: Ann Lister, Elle Keaton, Kris Jacen, Lynn Michaels, SJ York & TL Travis
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: June 24, 2019
Page Count: 242
Reviewed by: Bob-O-Link
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Get lost in a book store and find something hot.
Behind the stacks, tucked into the dark corners, and reading nooks, you’ll find an adventure, and you might just find more. Grab this hot boxset and get into these six tales of passion and possibly love.
Using book stores as a source of inspiration, these six bestselling authors take you on a journey you won’t forget. Your heart will be warmed as you dive in and discover our men from the heart of the book store.
Featuring Stories from:
Two approaches: Anthologies’ stories might well be marked on a curve, so this review only covers
a few of the best and one that needs to go to summer school. [Or, for the more romantic,
let’s consider this review as a sort of literary speed dating.] So, hold on to your hat!
Love – Limited Edition by Elle Keaton: a gay, widowed bookstore owner meets a younger
man who is still lost between where he is and figuring out who he wants to be. Rory, the
latter, while an artist, basically supports himself as a barista. He’s from Seattle, visiting
his folks in his semi-rural home town. Rory seems adorable, but so socially awkward that
Brett, our bookstore owner, wonders “who’d let him out of the house by himself?”. This
is the ideal romance, so simple and beautiful – cute meet; instant attraction; irresistible
chemistry; and totally hot and detailed sex. HEA follows!
Bent Corners by Kris Jacen: Riley, a tattoo artist, has to fill-in for his bookstore owner
uncle, who has had a heart attack. It’s okay, because he’s really family oriented! Into the
bookstore walks Evan. Wow! Their attraction is instantaneous, their resistance is non-
existent, and as night follows day . . . well, more (and graphic) Wow. Once again, a fairly
perfect quicky: attraction, coitus, crisis, resolution, HEA – all nicely written.
A Rhythm You Feel by Ann Lister: Blade is a rock star, trying to outrun rabid fans. He
seeks shelter in Nico’s bookstore. Their chemistry is instantaneous (“equal parts anger
and exhilaration”). The character development is nicely presented, but, just as their story
blooms we are given a notice: “To Be Continued.” This tale sufficiently whets us (Ha!
Ha!) for more, so we need to set up a look see for the next part.
Coffee, Tea or Me by TL Travis: Alas. As at a buffet, one can’t expect every offering in an
anthology to be pleasurable. And, as a reviewer, I do try avoiding cruelty rather than merely
demonstrating the pyrotechnics of my cleverness. But this short offering makes it so
difficult. The plot is thin and the prose borders on outlandishly purple. Next point: I
regretfully accept that, in our era of rap lyrics and crap literature, language is in constant
flux. Future generations will have no more cognizance of our present grammar and
syntax than we now have of Shakespeare’s. But, goodness, what happened to the
occasionally appropriate use of commas and periods? Why the plethora of dangling
participles and sentences in which the subject cannot assuredly be identified with a
Sadly, here is some quoted proof of my pudding –
“His usual morning order for which he never falters from . . .”
“. . . the next customer in line and Lexi prepares their [emphasis mine] requests.”
“Seems whatever is on the screen is far more important than we, the humans paid to do
his bidding, are.”
“For literal [emphasis mine] months this has been going on.”
“Someone with similar interests as I who likes visiting museums.”
“Never had I spoken more than my order aloud either for books or coffee in here until
this very moment.”
“Always I sat quietly, sneaking glances of the man I desired as he worked.”
“To what do I owe the new term of endearment to?”
Perhaps ESL, English as a second language? Who knows! Reading this is too much of a
struggle. Advise to the author, ala the aforesaid Shakespeare: Get thee to an editor!
Anthologies: you get a mixed bag – mostly winners, but some losers. Take your pick.