4 Stars, Becky Black, Dreamspinner Press, Fairy Tale/Mythology/Folk Lore, Reviewed by Taz, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Review: Immutable by Becky Black

Title: Immutable

Author: Becky Black

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 62 Pages

At a Glance: I read Immutable with an eye for what the author was trying to teach, and that lesson seems to fall somewhere between the importance of honesty and the perils of selfishness.

Reviewed By: Taz

Blurb: Every night, in the tiny cottage he shares with his dying mother, lonely young shepherd Callum dreams of having a lover by his side. A man to share his bed and his life. One day, as he gathers driftwood on the beach, he finds Breen, a beautiful, naked stranger. Breen makes love to him, leaving Callum certain he’s only a fantasy. But the stunning Breen is there again the next day—fulfilling Callum’s every wish. Then Callum’s hopes are shattered when he learns of Breen’s true nature. Panic and desperation drive Callum to commit a terrible betrayal to try to keep Breen from leaving him.

A Bittersweet Dreams title: It’s an unfortunate truth: love doesn’t always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.

Dividers

Review: Immutable has a fairy tale/folklore feel to it. Set on an island with old fashioned views, where everyone knows everyone, our main character, Callum, is unable to live his life fully and completely. He cares for his ailing mother until she dies, but in his time of darkness, he finds happiness in Breen, a stranger he found by the sea, who seems more than human.

I’m really glad the publisher provided a disclaimer that the story was bittersweet because it does not have a HEA or HFN. Since I was prepared for this, I wasn’t frustrated when the relationship between the two protagonists began to falter and ultimately failed. Instead, I read with an eye for what the author was trying to teach, and that lesson seems to fall somewhere between the importance of honesty and the perils of selfishness. As the story progressed, Callum was outright deceitful in an attempt to hold onto Breen. This made him rather unlikable, but since I knew the story was bittersweet, I was able to look past his selfish choices.

Breen too was less than forthcoming about who he was, but as the story unfolded, we learned that his behavior was part of his nature. As a mystical creature of the sea, he would one day leave and not return. When Callum discovered this, he took steps to prevent that from happening, which, in turn, created animosity and disappointment between the two of them. Only at the end did he realize the error of his choices.

Even though Callum did not end up with his love, he didn’t crumple to pieces and face an eternity of empty despair. The author leaves us with the idea that our central character, Callum, will go into the world a wiser person and, with some luck, will find the happiness he’d not found before. But we are also left with a sense of disappointment in him for having manipulated another person in order to suit his own needs. Even out of insecurity and longing for companionship, true love does not manifest itself in the form of trapping or compelling others to do things.

For me, this was a flaw in the story. Once Callum behaved selfishly, disregarding the needs of the man he loved, it became difficult for me to continue liking him and caring about the relationship. I was glad Breen left in the end, and hope Callum will remember the importance of honesty and the importance of giving rather than taking when in a relationship.

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All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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5 Stars, Annabelle Jacobs, Anthology, Becky Black, Bette Browne, Chris Quinton, Genre Romance, Jay Northcote, Jules Jones, MA Ford, Megan Reddaway, Penny Hudson, Reviewed by Lana, Rhidian Brenig Jones, Rob Rosen, S.A. Garcia, Sam Evans, Sarah Madison, Theo Fenraven

It’s “Not Quite Shakespeare” But It Is Quite Lovely

Title: Not Quite Shakespeare

Author: Anthology

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 350 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Take a ride to Northern Scotland on the famous train, the Jacobite, and rediscover desire. Get lost in the Peace Maze in Northern Ireland during a downpour and let a handsome young redhead come to the rescue. Take a tour of historical Blackpool on the English coast and set the stage for the perfect romance. From England to the outer isles, the UK holds treasure troves of romance, history, intrigue, and—naturally—quirky British humor. Not Quite Shakespeare samples it all in fifteen stories. Continue reading

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Anne Brooke, Becky Black, Charlie Cochrane, Clare London, Elin Gregory, Elyan Smith, Emily Moreton, JL Merrow, JMS Books LLC, Jordan Castillo Price, Josephine Myles, Lillian Francis, Rebecca Cohen, Robbie Whyte, Sandra Lindsey, Tam Ames, Zahra Owens

Lashings of Sauce by UK MAT

“Variety’s the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavor.” – William Cowper – The Task and Other Poems

• Post Mortem by Jordan Castillo Price
• Dressing Down by Clare London
• Et Tu, Fishies? by JL Merrow
• Zones by Elyan Smith
• Sollicito by Charlie Cochrane
• A Few Days Away by Elin Gregory
• Vidi Velo Vici by Robbie Whyte
• Shelter From Storms by Sandra Lindsey
• Faulty Genes by Rebecca Cohen
• Lost in London by Tam Ames
• My Husband by Zahra Owens
• Waiting for a Spark by Lillian Francis
• Social Whirl by Emily Moreton
• School for Doms by Anne Brooke
• Dragon Dance by Josephine Myles
• Reclaiming Territory by Becky Black

Lashings of Sauce is an anthology that is truly a celebration of LGBT fiction and all its diversity, with sixteen equally fantastic short stories that run the gamut from lighthearted to erotic to poignant, as each author places his or her own personal and memorable stamp on this collection, giving me something to love about every story, whether it was the characters who made me laugh or those who touched my heart as they struggled to find an identity in a world where pronouns and Self are sometimes at conflict with one another.

Some of these authors are new to me, some are reliable favorites, but whichever the case they all delivered in a big way. It would take forever for me to list, story by story, what drew me into the lives of each of these characters, but suffice to say there’s something for everyone, whether you’re a fan of historical, paranormal, or contemporary fiction, and regardless of how you identify.

There are stories of new love, lost love, and renewal; stories of temptation and unrequited love; stories of healing and hope; stories that made me laugh out loud, smile, sigh, brought a lump to my throat, and a few of them were just flat-out, unapologetically sexy. Whatever the case, whatever the conflict, whatever the course, each of the characters found the way to the beginning of their happy ending. These are stories of loving unconditionally and finding the perfect someone who makes you feel perfect in yourself, discovering a common bond that makes you feel an uncommon joy.

I read this book, expecting with each story that I couldn’t possibly love the next as much as the previous. This is one time I can say I’m so glad I was wrong.

Buy Lashings of Sauce HERE.

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