We read and review for the love and joy of books.
Genre: M/M Anthology
This anthology has stories tied together on the basis of musicals. From Grease to the Phantom of the Opera, the ten stories range from cute and sweet to a little sad. As always with anthologies, I had clear favorites but I enjoyed all the stories here. Some highlights:
What’s Up Pussycat? By Louise Lyons.Rated 3.5 hearts.
This story starts out so sad – six months ago at exactly two o’clock on a Sunday morning Finley lost his beloved, Andrew, in an accident. Since then every Sunday at two in the morning, Finley goes to Andrew’s grave and grieves, hard. Andrew was a dancer, performing on stage as Mistoffelees in Cats. Finley’s parents aren’t close (having disapproved of having a gay son) and he has few friends. Just his grief. He decides to try out for a role in Cats, something to make Andrew proud.
When Finley gets the part, he has to deal with an obnoxious cast mate, Karl. He makes new friends, however, and he’s really putting his all into it. I liked the way the story ran from here, since it really showed you can’t judge people by some actions, you have to get to know them. Also, that second chances sometimes make all the difference. This is more of a story of moving on with the possibility of new beginnings.
Over the Rainbow by Lily G. Blunt – Rated 3 hearts. While I really liked the idea of the school putting on a production of the Wizard of Oz, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why they were insistent that Dorian play the female role! The story of Dorian and his mentor, Mark, was up and down and Dorian’s feeling of overload with his work as a teacher got an “amen”! (Yes, I am a teacher.) Mark gave some serious mixed signals here and sometimes I wanted to shake him. And Tim too, just because.
Angel in the Wings by AstaIdonea. Rated 5 hearts. I loved it. Perhaps because Marcus, with his bum leg, is reminiscent of the Phantom, in that people see the leg instead of seeing the man. When he is caught trying on the Phantom’s mask, he fears for his job. Everyone knows Christopher, the actor in the Phantom role, is a smug git who has a different woman for every occasion. Things are always what they seem, however, and this story captivated me.
My South Pacific by Taylin Clavelli.Rated 4 hearts. This story gets 4 just for the way Callum handles his cheating boyfriend and the fact that he loves his queen triggerfish. Excellent! Callum is a marine biologist and going to make a clean break, heading to Hawaii to work at the university there. Having a handsome professor, Alika, is not part of his plan. But the best laid plans fall through and all that…
Enjoy the Show by Lisa A Adams. Rated 3.5 hearts. This story focuses on Oklahoma, where Dylan is supposed to meet his first online date. When said date is a no show and Dylan instead starts lusting after the star of the show, it’s sort of comedic, considering what happens.
The One That I want by RJ Jones.Rated 4 hearts. This is one I couldn’t decide whether I really liked it or was really irritated by one of the main characters. Paul and Jason work in the same building and see each other by the elevators. When Paul finally makes a move, Jason doesn’t know what to do about it – this guy is way out of his league! But date they do, except there are some red flags Paul keeps throwing. Definitely hiding something and something’s going on. So while I loved Jason and his pee-in-your-shoes cat, Dave, I was less enamored with Paul. The reason for his secret made sense but he let it go on way too long, which showed a distrust of Jason and made me think Paul was too good a liar. But the epilogue was amazing and just what Jason deserved.
A Touch of Glamour by Alina Popescu.Rated 3.5 hearts. Tudor is a saint to put up with Radu as long as he did, the homophobic jerk! This story really not an HEA or even HFN, more of an interlude.