Series: The Heart2Heart Charity Collection: Vol. Three
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 761 Pages
At a Glance: I was incredibly impressed with this anthology and had so much fun reading it. The overall vibe was light, fun, and sweet. Would absolutely recommend!
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: Once upon a time, a group of authors wondered… What if the Heart2Heart app — the dating app with a glitch that matched up the oddest, most perfect couples, and sponsored the charity date raffles that helped dozens of people find love — offered a classifieds section, too?
Need a handyman who knows how to wear a tool belt? Have a closet of drag costumes that needs a new home? How about finally tracking down that guy who made the perfect drink, or who’s just the right height to reach the top shelf?
Join some of your favorite authors of gay romance as they bring you sixteen brand-new stories inspired by reader suggestions!
Once again, all proceeds from this collection will go to the authors’ favorite LGBTQ charities, to ensure that love in all its forms will be celebrated and protected every single day of the year!
Review: Confession time! Heart2Heart: A Charity Anthology, Volume 3 is the first of the Heart2Heart anthologies I’ve read. I know…lame. In my defense, though, I do own the other two volumes, so my money did go toward the participating authors’ favorite LGBTQ charities, this is just the first time I was smart enough to actually read it! Based on the quality of what I read here, however, I will absolutely be going back to check out the first two collections. So much talent, so many great stories, and such a great cause.
In this volume, the authors were asked to wonder what if Heart2Heart—the popular, if often glitchy, LGBTQ dating app—also offered classified ads? What kinds of help wanted, or personal ads might one find, and what kinds of situations would arise? Well, the sixteen authors featured this time around came up with some pretty fantastic stories. Aside from all the cool unique and diverse story offerings, one thing I also love about reading anthologies is getting to discover new-to-me authors. Of the sixteen authors in this group, I had only read six. So, it was super cool for me to get to sample the work of ten authors I’d never read before.
Since there are sixteen stories, I’m not going to go into any kind of length individually discussing each one. Instead, I’ll briefly touch on all or most of them, and highlight a bit more the ones I was especially crazy about. And, while I did love the stories by the writers whose work I know well, a couple of my absolute favorite were from authors I’d never read! So, once again, let’s hear it for that fantastic side effect of reading anthologies!
Eden Finley starts things off with The Closet, in which a young man discovers a secret about his estranged uncle. I loved so much Kable’s discovery of how much his uncle adored him, and how much he learned about himself in the process of going through his uncle’s things. Next is Aimee Nicole Walker’s The Book, which gives us a relationship-averse bookstore owner and a self-help book junkie who come together in a really sweet way, and then The Date, Annabeth Albert’s adorable story about a newbie food critic who is looking for a date for a gourmet Valentine’s Day dinner, and finds himself a smart, hunky Marine who loves to eat but is also looking for something more. And, rounding out the first quarter of the book is Charlie Cochet’s The Yarn Wrangler, in which Simon and Liam wrangle yarn, as well as a demon cat named Kitty Poppins.
Next up are Damon Suede, Hailey Turner, K.M. Neuhold, and Layla Reyne. The first three were good—college guys, fake boyfriends, and a hookup turned surprise co-workers—but, my favorite of these four was hands down Layla Reyne’s The Last Drop. Fans of her newest release, Dine with Me, which I looooooooved, will be so stoked to know that this is Greg’s story. We met Greg as Miller’s best friend in Dine with Me, and this is the story of how Greg and Tony met, and how Dram, Greg’s restaurant in New Orleans, came to be. This story was so good, so sexy, so full of heart. I LOVED it.
The next group of four included my other favorites in the anthology. Lily Morton’s The Dog Walker is so incredibly sweet and tells Simeon and Ziggy’s story the way only she can tell it. The Treehouse from Lucy Lennox was a cute, original story about a single dad who puts an ad out looking for help building a treehouse for his girls and ends up hiring his best friend’s brother. Throw in the added twist that they have a prior connection no one knows about, and you’ve got a fun little story. Mary Calmes’s The Renovation is also lots of fun in classic Mary Calmes style. Poor Alisdair doesn’t know what hit him when his almost-ex, Kyler, shows back up on his doorstep after a six-month separation. And finally we have May Archer with The Vase, which is utterly fabulous and hilarious. I think The Vase is in a three-way tie with The Last Drop and The Dog Walker for my fave of the whole bunch. I adored Landon and Mal and the story was just fantastic.
Rounding out the collection are Nora Phoenix, Piper Scott (writing as Emma Alcott), Susan Hawke, Sloane Kennedy, and then Eden Finley with the second half of The Closet. I was especially impressed with Susan Hawke’s The Wedding Date, and Sloane Kennedy’s The Wrong Guy. Both were memorable and unique in their own way. In The Wedding Date Hunter’s sister hires Quinn to be Hunter’s date to his ex’s wedding—so you can imagine the awkwardness there. Quinn is funny and carefree, whereas Hunter is more reserved and is basically a homebody due to all the kittens he fosters. But, they find they’re a pretty good match. And, I found Kennedy’s story to be extremely heartfelt and sweet, and I could imagine it being maybe the start to a longer story for Travis and Jackson.
I was incredibly impressed with this anthology and had so much fun reading it. The overall vibe was light, fun, and sweet. A perfect weekend read, or something to pick up and read a story or two at a time when you’re looking for something short. Would absolutely recommend!
You can buy Heart2Heart: Volume Three here:
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