My Sexy Valentine anthology edited by Sascha Illyvich
Release Date: January 27th, 2011
Publisher: Sizzler Editions
Source: Received eBook from Michael Mandrake, one of the contributing authors, for review
Review: This book has four stories based on Valentine’s Day. The concept is great since Valentine’s Day is the epitome of love.
The first story, Bachelorette by Em Petrova, is about a woman who gets dumped by her fiancé before her Valentine’s Day wedding. Her father sends her to Paris to try to get her life together but instead she decides to drink all the champagne that was bought for the wedding, with the hundreds of message candy hearts she ordered. Not wanting to do much of anything, her father hires her childhood friend Olivier to watch over her and tend to anything she wants. Problem is Olivier has been in love with her since they were kids and he is bound to take their friendship to the next level. He decides to invite her to an annual Valentine’s Day party he and his friends throw, the twist to this party is he and his four friends have a list of specific ladies they will go visit and entertain them sexually but this year she will be the only one on the list.
I enjoyed reading this story because it made you feel the pain Kiki was going thru and the struggle Olivier endured to get her to love him. You could see the attraction Kiki has to him but she just plays up to getting her heart broken and alcohol. At one point she does get angry and says she wants nothing to do with him, which really broke my heart for him. There are some twists to the story, which made for some steamy scenes which I won’t spoil for you. You know anything with one woman and five men will make for a very interesting read. Just as an alert, there is some m/m action.
The second story, Only When I Lose Myself by Michael Mandrake, is about a man living with a very serious disorder called Aspergers, which is a form of ADD, and shows the struggle of trying to have an ordinary life. Matthew Gianapolis works as a janitor in sports/concert arena, Adrian Vanderguard is the next biggest star being compared to Michael Jackson so when he comes to the arena for his last concert of his tour. Adrian is openly bisexual and vows that within six months on Valentine’s Day he will finally be able to call someone his own and as soon as he sees Matthew he knows he found the person for him, little did he know Matthew was going to make that extremely difficult. Living with Aspergers also makes Matthew an introvert and it’s very hard to have any type of social life or love life. Adrian hires him to be his personal assistant with the hopes of getting Matthew to date him. Adrian is intrigued because Matthew treats him like any ordinary person and not a mega superstar. There is conflict and the story goes on to show how they try to solve these issues.
I felt like something was a little lacking with this story, some areas and points could have been explained more. It is a short read but felt that it ended abruptly, would have like to known a little more about what happened to certain characters. I did like the fact that the author showed how people react to certain situations, in this case it was Matthew’s issues with Aspergers and how even though Adrian said he understood he still had a hard time believing this was the real reason he acted the way he did at times. Other than some missing points, it made for a really interesting read.
The third story, My Valentine Prince by Ike Rose, is about a man named James Harahan living in the late 70’s coming to terms that he is a gay man. After having his first “adult” gay experience, he decides he cannot live a lie anymore and decides to live in the city.
He meets a seaman named Max and they quickly hit it off. When Max has to go back out to see they decided to stay pen pals with James experiencing everything and anything he can until the day he can see Max again. He eventually meets someone else named Paul, they date, fall in love and get engaged. When James ends up in the hospital, everything becomes clear for everyone and they all see what they truly love.
I could not put this story down, kept wanting to see what was going to happen next with all the characters. The author portrays the characters well and showed how living in the 1970’s for a gay man was like. It felt like I was reading a true story rather than fiction, seeing how some times life makes you do things even though it really isn’t what you want or what’s in your heart. This is one story I could reread many times.
The fourth story, Cupid’s Arrow by Daisy Harris, is about a supernatural being named Cupid Zaleski who falls in love with a human named Cassidy Palmer. Cupid has a quota to make before the end of Valentine’s Day, to make people fall in love by shooting them with darts with his modified dart gun. He didn’t plan on ramming his truck to the back of Cassidy’s Bug and when he decides to shoot her with his gun he didn’t expect the reaction he got, she seemed not to be affected at all by it. This turn of events fascinates him even more and decides to pursue why that is. Include his mother named Aphrodite and the eccentric “GOD”, he realizes quickly the infatuation with Cassidy needs to get resolved soon before his time expires forever.
I have read Daisy Harris stories before and they are marvelous, the way she takes certain worlds and puts her own twists to them. I just recently read she does not intentionally set out to be funny which I find surprising because she is hilarious. This book had me laughing out loud which is always good, I love good humor mixed in with my romance.
The way she describes the chemistry between Cupid and Cassidy is phenomenal, made you think what you would sacrifice for love. I truly loved this story; it was a perfect end to a good anthology.