Monday, June 30, 2014

4 1/2 stars for Summer Rain

I loved this anthology. I can't say enough about it. Usually with anthologies, there are one or two stories by favorite authors I read, but I thoroughly enjoyed all the stories in Summer Rain.
Summer Rain is an anthology of nine romance novelettes, edited by Sarah Frantz. Each story is introduced with a special note from the author, and I thought that made these stories very special and really enhanced their  enjoyment. So here are a few brief notes from each one.

All proceeds from the volume will be donated to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (, the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the United States. 

Redemption by Ruthie Knox...Redemption is the kind of story I've come to expect from Ruthie Knox -- two ordinary people with problems trying to find their way. Both Jesse and Mike are down on their luck, the kind of bad luck that can break a person. Will they grab on to what they have? Is it enough? Sweet and simple story about opening up and taking chances.

The Heart of It by Molly O'Keefe ... High class escort Elena and sexual abuse survivor Gabe work through some tough issues that illustrate just how deep abuse can scar. I had a hard time getting into the very beginning of this, but once they started talking to each other the story really exploded into something achingly sad and beautiful that had me choked up in a good way by the end.

Sacrifice by Cecilia Tan A very creative supernatural story about a demigod and the virgin sacrifice tithed to him. This sweet story was unique and I liked it alot. Best line: "Close your eyes," he murmured into my ear, though my eyes were already closed. "There will be thunder when I come."

Real Feelings by Charlotte Stein An amazing story of love from Charlotte Stein. There’s so much more to this than just love between a woman and her android. It is about Real Feelings as the title suggests. So lovely and believable. Favorite line: “He used that massive processor in his head not only to map my reactions and interpret my desires, but also to see right to the heart of me.”

Rainy Season by Mary Ann Rivers..Working as a barista, Lisa can see what everyone is missing in their lives but she doesn't see what's missing in hers until she asks out the math teacher that's been coming into the coffee shop for the last 6 months. Will he open her eyes to see what’s been missing in her own life?

The Rain in Spain by Amy Jo Cousins A young married woman struggles with feelings that she’s incompatible with her list-making husband and puts off a serious conversation about it until the end of their trip. After a night of the spontaneity she craves,will they be able to move forward together? Very nice slice-of-life story in a young married couples life.

Fitting In by Audra North “Not conforming to people’s expectations doesn’t mean someone deserves to be shamed.” This might have been my favorite story of the lot. So many messages here, I loved how Leila helped Stas “see” things differently. I loved Stas’s journey in Fitting In. Every word of this hit the target for me. Lovely, lovely story full of heart.

Private Study by Shari Slade Tess is a bit rebellious and has a different way of expressing herself sexually. Her website and her videos have some of her male classmates thinking she’s a slut because of it. After one creep makes inappropriate suggestions, another classmate comes to her defense, not that she needs it. But Jameson just wants to get to know the real Tess -- will she let him?

Storm Warning by Alexandra Haughton When Amy returns home to Texas after her dream job in Los Angeles doesn’t quite work out the way she planned, the first person she runs into is Tom, her former best friend who told her that her dream was stupid. There’s still a lot of anger over that as far as Amy is concerned, but a sudden storm forces Amy and Tom to talk through what happened all those years ago and uncovers deep feelings that can take their relationship out of the friend zone. Sweet second chance story.

About the Authors

In this romance anthology, RITA-Award winning authors come together to tell the tales of the power of love, second chances, and self-sacrifice. Weathering the storm and romance has beautifully come together in nine novelettes. Each story unique, told through the voices of many talented authors. All proceeds from the volume will be donated to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (, the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the United States.

Arc provided by the author(s).

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