Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Review & HUGE Giveaway - Love Is ... Anthology

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Love is... A charity anthology of 40 short stories of love & romance

All proceeds to benefit Reach Out and Read


Title:  Love Is ...
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Pages: 352
Goodreads Rating: 4.00/5 Stars
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
My Content Rating: 18+ (Stories vary, but all contain mature content, and some contain explicit sex)
Story List

...forty stories of first loves, friends to lovers, and the heat of the moment. Join forty authors, including multiple New York Times and USA Today bestsellers, as they take you on a romantic ride through time and space.

From the dazzling ballrooms of Regency historical romance to contemporary love from sweet n' dreamy to kinky n' steamy, to the wide open frontier of science fiction romance and magical worlds of far away fantasy realms, sample the best that romance has to offer! Every short story is the perfect candy-sized nugget to read over a cup of coffee or before falling asleep at night.

Love Is ... is a perfectly tantalizing anthology of adult romance short stories.  There were three different genres represented in the anthology - 20 contemporary stories, 15 stories that were labeled "Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal'" and 5 historical romances.

I haven't read every single short story yet, but I read at least a few in each category and really enjoyed all of them! One thing that I appreciated was that each story had a "Heat Rating" from 1-5, letting you know what to expect - the ratings ranged from no actual love scenes to multiple graphic sex scenes and explicit language (with the vast majority of the stories falling between the 1-3 range). Also, at the beginning of each story, there is a short synopsis with an even more detailed description on the heat rating, so there were no surprises.

Like I said, I enjoyed all of the stories that I read, but my favorite was "The Pirate and the Earth Witch" by Jennifer Blackstream. I wasn't too surprised by this because I love Blackstream's Blood Prince series - twisted fairy tale retellings with bite (you can find my reviews HERE) - so I was delighted to see that she was included in this anthology. Her story was a fun fantasy that involved magic and a swoonworthy pirate - can't go wrong there!

The only thing that I didn't love about the anthology is that there were a few stories that are part of a series or companions to a series. I guess this is to be expected, but I generally avoided those (at least for now) because I personally can't stand reading a series out of order (even if it is just a short story companion!). I'm OCD that way. I did read one story that the author is planning to continue in future installments (I'm not sure if they will be full length books or more short stories) and I'll be watching for the next one!
      These stories are perfect quick read before bed or when you don't have time to invest in a full-length novel.  If you enjoy a steamy romance now and then, I'd definitely check this series out! Overall, I give this anthology 4/5 stars.

      ***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the publsiher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own***


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      about author
      The Love is... anthology features 40 authors from the Romance Divas writing community. Some contributors are NYT and USA Today bestsellers. Others have their first published story in this collection. All share a love of romance, a strong spirit of collaboration and a keen interest in promoting reading at all ages. We are proud to support the literacy charity, Reach Out and Read, with the proceeds of this anthology.