Apr 20: “
Avenue, Second Hand,” an anthology put together by
Wendy Tyler Ryan. Blurb from Goodreads: There is a shop on the corner of Second Avenue and Main.
It is a shop filled with things. It is a shop filled with this and that, bits
and pieces, odds and sods. You know the kind I mean. Ask anyone how long it’s
been there and they’ll say, it seems like forever. Yes, the exterior needs some
tender loving care and most of the lights in the old sign were burnt out long
ago, but still they come. Some come with hopes of finding the perfect treasure
to place upon their mantel. Others come to rid themselves of things unwanted.
But this is no ordinary shop, and for those who are compelled to cross its threshold,
well... I fear they may never be the same. So come. Come if you dare. Open the
door, wipe your feet on the mat, and have a look around. The proprietor, Mr.
Blank, is looking forward to meeting you. Just ask anyone how long he’s been
there and they’ll say, it seems like forever… This anthology
has a mix of genres. Sweet romance to horror to just plain bizarre. Can't tell
from the titles which is which, either. But I enjoyed reading them all (even
the bizarre--although the romance was my favorite. Duh!). All stories revolve
around the same second hand store (and proprietor), so it has that theme going
for it. If you're looking for some interesting short stories to read, can't go
too wrong here. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads.
Apr 21: “Jingle Bell Rock” by Rie Warren, a sexy, hot, m/m romantic short. Blurb from Goodreads: A bashful bouncer, a Cajun rock boy, and a Christmas Eve kiss that changes everything… Brian “Beef” Carroway thinks he’s gay. No, he knows he is. He’s gruff, buff, and overcompensating for his big size and soft heart. Brian’s the badass bouncer at Mosh rock club where Cajun singer Jack Cotille moonlights for the month of December. With a voice like sin, Jack is walking, talking, sexy temptation in the flesh. He’s also fly-by-night, possibly homeless, and chancing everything on a wing and a prayer. Just about the only thing Brian is sure of is traveling man Jack belts out dirty rock lyrics while promising the kind of pornographic sex he’s only fantasized about. He’s definitely gay for Jack. One Christmas Eve kiss leads to a night of heaven, a morning of hell. The holiday week leaves Brian aching for more than his wanderer singer can give as the New Year’s Eve countdown begins. Wow! I’m not a fan of first person, and definitely not when it’s borderline erotica, but somehow I had no problem with it in this short story/novella. I did have a problem with it being a pdf on my e-reader, but I’ll blame that on my e-reader. Besides the issue with that, I enjoyed the story very much and gave it 5 stars on Goodreads.
I’m currently reading another group of shorts that was given to me on pdfs (which I’m really, really hating). My husband has been kind enough to “format” it to epub, but that didn’t really work all that well. Do you have problems reading pdfs on e-readers? Maybe next time I should just print them out. What do you think?