Wednesday, February 4, 2015

REVIEW: Love Least Expected

Love Least Expected
Meredith Bond, Aubrey Wynne, Valerie Twombly, Kris Calvert, Katie Stephens, Nessie Strange, Kishan Paul, Isabella Harper and Michaela Miles

Genre: Romance, Holidays, Anthologies
Publisher: Valerie Twombly
Publication date: 2.3.2015
Pages: 406

Recommended by: Read 2 Review
Date read: 1.31.2015

When love drops in unexpected, the strangest things can happen.  Nine short stories from sweet to sultry, full of romance, magic and love from award winning and USA Today recommended authors.

Under the Mango Tree by Meredith Bond
(historical romance)

Lakshmi is a good 18th c. Indian girl who should not be hiding among the branches of the mango tree avoiding her chores.  She truly should not be seen by a man who is not a member of her family - an Englishman, no less.  And she absolutely should not even contemplate speaking with this man.  But Lakshmi has never been one to follow the rules.

Rolf's Quest by Aubrey Wynne
(historical romance)

Time is running out for the royal wizard of Henry II.  Rolf's quest: find genuine love and lift the enchantment that has imprisoned his ancestor, Merlin, for centuries.  Now he must win Melissa's heart without the use of magic.  She desires him, but will she defy her father and refuse her betrothed?  Or will Rolf be doomed to a life of bitterness like his ancestors before him.

Fall into Darkness by Valerie Twombly
(paranormal romance)

Eli, bounty hunter for the Tribunal, is sentenced to earth to find his humanity.  But when temptation is thrown in the angel's path in the form of the soft, curvy Ashley, he is unable to resist.  Fate may bring them together, but desire could bond them for eternity.

Alphabetical Disorder by Katie Stephens
(fantasy romance)

When a trick horseback rider gets caught up in a dangerous prophecy that jeopardizes the circus, she believes she can solve the problem by dating alphabetically.  Now all she has to do is figure out how to manipulate her flawed interpretation so she can be with the man she loves.

Roses Are Wrong, Violets Taboo by Kris Calvert
(southern romance)

When Alexander Chase Tabeau and Rose Westwood meet by chance, neither planned on stumbling into the best night of their life.  But timing is everything and fate has a cruel sense of humor.  With love on the line and nothing to lose, will one night together change their destiny forever?

Love's Not Viral by Nessie Strange
(contemporary romance)

When a crazed Hollywood star puts Aster Sanderson in the media crosshairs, her home becomes a prison.  With her life out of control, the last person she expects to rescue her is her captor's brother, James.  Is their attraction a result of circumstance ... or could it be something more?

Taking the Plunge by Kishan Paul
(contemporary romance)

When Pete, Eve's high school crush, shows up in her life, she pepper sprays him.  Despite her efforts to push him away, Pete finds himself drawn to the red haired beauty.  When logic and emotion don't agree, which path should she follow?

The Trouble with Never by Isabella Harper
(southern romance)

When Summer and Caleb run into each other after a long absence, sparks fly.  Her painful past makes it hard for her to open up, but he's more than willing to help.  He's loved her most of their lives.  Can she learn to love and trust him, or will her fear push him away?

Keep Calm and Eat Chocolate by Michaela Miles
(contemporary romance)

When institution residents Elle and Chris meet, their personalities clash.  During a quiet moment in the garden together, secrets are shared and a bond is formed.  Will their connection be their downfall or lead to the fresh start they deserve?

Yes, I read (past tense) a romance book.  Nine short stories, to be exact.  I know, it is very shocking.  Especially for anyone who knows me.  This is a genre I just can't even convince myself to like, but every February, as we get ready to celebrate Crap Day (haha), I force myself a little out of my comfort zone, and choose a few short stories that catch my attention.

In this situation, one of the authors (Michaela Miles) contacted me, curious as to whether I would want to give their anthology a try.  After reading over each story's synopsis, I noticed that there were a couple in there that caught my eye, and decided to give it a go.

There's actually a little something in here for every romance lover - historical, paranormal, fantasy, southern, and contemporary.  And, to be completely honest, they weren't half bad ... for romance.

Under the Mango Tree: This was a nice little love story.  I liked the characters and the fact that they both went against what was "right" to be together.  And I like the beautiful way Meredith writes.

Rolf's Quest: I am a fan of historical fiction, especially when it has to do with Arthurian legend and British royalty.  I liked this one - in fact, I think it was my favorite.  

Fall Into Darkness: This was an interesting story, but I could have done without the sex (I would consider this erotica).  Unfortunately, it doesn't come to any real conclusion.  But she does plan on concluding the story in a second book (and I think I may have to check it out, just to see what happens).  I liked the character of Eli.

Alphabetical Disorder: An interesting story - one I quite liked - but the end left me with questions and the epilogue was sex with some discussion of the previous events, which didn't seem to go with the way the rest of the story was written.

Fall Into Darkness: This is another story I would consider erotica, but a good storyline.  Only the beginning - another story that doesn't quite end, and we have to read the next one in the series to see what happens, but I am curious to see where this goes.

Love's Not Viral: This story really pissed me off.  The Bradley character made me angry with his behavior, and the fact that the police just ignored her plea for help, instead believing she was some crazy woman on her period, really made me want to scream.  There was a nice twist, though.  Even though I thought the story nicely written, I felt like the thing with James was just a little too easy.

Taking the Plunge: This was a cute story.  I liked the connections that they unknowingly had from their past.  Hearing his thoughts on what saved his life when he was younger was beautiful.

The Trouble with Never: After ending her marriage and going back home with her best friend, she never expected to find what she really wanted had been there all along.  Cute romance.

Keep Calm and Eat Chocolate: This was my second favorite in the book.  I really liked how much the two characters grew individually, and together.  


Valerie said...

Thanks for taking the time to review.

Meghan H said...

You're welcome. It was enjoyable. Thanks for stopping by :)

Isabella Harper said...

Thanks so much for reviewing and having us on your site! :)

Meghan H said...

You're welcome!! :)

Michaela Miles said...

Thank you so much for having us and for the lovely review! :-) xx said...

What a wonderful review from a tough critic! I'm so glad you enjoyed Rolf's Quest. I'm also a huge historical fiction fan. I'm reading Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall right now.

Meghan H said...

You're welcome, Michaela. And thank you for asking me to do it.

Aubrey - If I can say I liked it a lot, people who ARE fans of romance must be loving it!! :) I looked into Wolf Hall - it sounds good. You'll have to let me know what you think of it when you're done.

Kishan Paul said...

Thank you for hosting us and for the reviews!

Meghan H said...

You're welcome, Kishan :)