I have a love-hate relationship with anthologies and boxed sets: I love the idea of a common thread or theme, with the ability to read authors that I have not yet encountered. But, they are more time-consuming to read and write a review for, and time isn’t always something I have in great supply. Additionally, when stories are at most novella length, the authors need to be laser focused in word choice and plot development.
In Hot Summer Nights, the common thread is Dasia Island resort – setting the scenes for several ‘vacation-minded’ encounters in nearly every combination and heat level of romance possible when you don’t add in the paranormal. Ranging in heat level from sweet to erotic, these nine authors bring us to the tropical setting and hot summer escapades of their characters.
Average – 3 stars – 3 flames
In Beauty and the Brain, Alicia Michaels brings us a new adult story. I disliked Chloe intensely and found that I was quickly bored of her spoiled rich girl. Chase was a bit better, but still not solid enough for me to believe in them or their connection. 3 stars / 3 flames
Carly Fall’s Laws of Attraction again brings a character I couldn’t like, who actually grew and developed in the story, to and ending that, while possible in a daydreaming way, wasn’t particularly plausible but still was very enjoyable. 4 stars / 3 flames
Casse NaRome brings us The Art of Losing Inhibitions and this hot, sexy and fast-paced female-female story was loaded with steam and sex. Basil and Kennedy were interesting characters that grew dramatically during the story, even if it was a major bonkfest. 4 stars / 4 flames
His Island Paradise from C.J. Baty is up next. I admit – I love her writing for the heart she manages to bring to her characters, and the moments of heat never hurt. A male-male romance that brings Garland (his mother had a Christmas obsession) some much needed release and distraction. 4 stars / 3 flames
Life After Death from Elise Marion takes the broken marriage of Victoria and Jameson – both pining for one another, both harboring guilt after the death of their son. Chance encounter or kismet brings the two of them to Dasia Island, where they finally find a way to reconnect and release their guilt. 4 stars / 3 flames
Kacey Hammell brings us a “colleagues to lovers’ story with Layover. Pilot Michael and attendant Gemma are on a mechanical layover at Dasia, with only one room left. Although both have noticed one another, Gemma’s rules about no involvements with colleagues will be tested and tossed to the side in several steamy encounters. 3 stars / 3 flames
Woman in the Mist by Natalie G. Owens is a twisty time-travel story where a woman, missing 49 years pops back into existence. Kai was out walking in the jungle when Poppy reappeared, first thinking he was his long-deceased great uncle. His attention and friendship to Poppy’s mother, now in her mid 90’s have left him a little obsessed, and only Poppy knows just who was responsible for her father’s murder on the night she disappeared. Twisty, unique and solving a mystery all in one. Stars 4 / Flames 3
Peggy Martinez’s installment Guide Me Gently plays on Alyssa’s disquiet with her career path: a well-regarded photographer, she has been on the celebrity beat for ages, and is tiring of it. After an assignment leaves her with some downtime on Dasia, she heads out to find a tour guide to take her away from tourist spots. Ben is off the beaten path and unlike any tour guide you could imagine. When Alyssa doesn’t quit and sparks fly, they both find the freedom in making your own path. Stars 4/Flames 3
Lastly is City of Sin by R.K. Ryals. A follow-up novella to her earlier story, storm-chasing River and journalism student Haven head into the forbidden city before a storm. When their connection pleases the god who condemned the residents to death, the ancient curse is broken, but River and Haven need to scramble to safety ahead of a devastating storm. Stars 3/Flames 3
A little bit of something for everything, this collection is quick to read in one sitting or over a few days.
Title: Hot Summer Nights
Author: Alicia Michaels, C.J. Baty, Carly Fall, Casse NaRome, Elise Marion, Kacey Hammell, Natalie G. Owens, Peggy Martinez, R.K. Ryals
Genre: Anthology - Contemporary Romance, Time Travel / Alternate Universe
Published by: The Indy Author Co LLC
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google
Welcome to the exotic paradise of Dasia Island. In the Elysium Resort, nestled among the lush beauty of the rainforest, adventure and romance await. In these nine short stories by bestselling and award winning authors, passion ignites between people from all walks of life, with stories ranging from New Adult to Erotic Romance, and even a bit of Paranormal and Time Travel thrown in—after all the island itself has a mystical history, with mysteries and legends to explore. Lose yourself in the magic of the island … you’ll never want to go home again!
Beauty and the Brain by Alicia Michaels
Chloe Sanders would rather be anywhere than on vacation with her parents. It’s not like they ever pay any attention to her, and being a witness to their constant fighting and boozing isn’t exactly her idea of fun. Still, when they drag her along on a trip to the Elysium Resort for a week, Chloe is determined to have a good time—knock back some drinks, spend all her spare time shopping or at the spa, and maybe even in the arms of a hot surfer. She certainly doesn’t count on Chase, who’s roughing it in the rainforest with a research group, studying wildlife. He’s an annoying know-it-all, and not shy about letting Chloe know what he thinks of her bratty ways and expensive lifestyle. The two couldn’t be more different, but in the swelter and mystery of the island, opposites just might attract.
The Laws of Attraction by Carly Fall
High-end criminal attorney, Jared Greer, has spent his adult life working for his father’s legal firm and chasing the next big client. The legal world is shades of gray, and he doesn’t think about right and wrong when representing a client—he thinks of the paycheck. His hard work has paid off, and he lives a lavish lifestyle filled with expensive cars, a luxury apartment, and the best of everything. He takes a private jet to Dasia Island for a meeting about possible representation with a CEO of a toy company accused of knowingly producing toys that killed 15 children. As Jared and his assistant, Monica, work through the case documents and share some of what Dasia has to offer, their passion on the magical island makes Jared consider the way he lives his life, especially if he wants Monica in it.
The Art of Losing Inhibition by Casse NaRome
One man's trash is another woman's treasure.
Reeling from the loss of her husband to a carefree socialite, uptight Kennedy retreats to Dasia island for a little bit of R and R. Will she learn to let loose in the arms of Basil, the wild-child trust-fund baby with a silver tongue?
His Island Paradise by C.J. Baty
Gar Lancaster wasn't depressed, no matter what his sister said. He didn't need a trip to a tropical island to meet some guy for a vacation romance. But when Mike Peters kissed him on the balcony under a sea of stars with the pounding waves hitting the shore below them, things changed. Maybe, he didn't need a happily ever after. Maybe happily for right now would be okay. Whatever happened, Gar was pretty sure he was in way over his head.
Life After Death by Elise Marion
When his friends invite him for a guys-only vacation to the exotic Dasia Island, the last thing Jameson Blake expects is to run into Victoria, his ex-wife. The loss of their son in a tragic accident left their marriage in tatters, and together they were never able to move past it. But in the wilds of the rainforest, revelations will rock them both, forcing them to confront their past. In the process, the realization that love has never died between them will rise to the surface. With that knowledge, will Jameson and Victoria be able to overcome the past and strive for a future together?
Layover by Kacey Hammell
Hand's off. That's Gemma Sands' cardinal rule when it comes to dating co-workers. Even though she'd like to get her hands on Michael Harmon. Michael has his own idea about where he'd like to put his hands. But Gemma's steadfast rule means Michael simply admires from afar.
But fate has other ideas when an unexpected layover on Dasia Island pairs the couple in less than ideal conditions. Forced to share tight quarters, and unable to resist their passion, they finally surrender to every touch they need so desperately.
Woman in the Mist by Natalie G. Owens
A free spirit and sole heir of the 5-star Euthykhia Hotel, Garrick Kaili 'Kai' Langston remains on Dasia Island out of loyalty to his family. But this sprawling, recently renovated building, originally built in the thriving period between the two major world wars, harbors some dark secrets. Unsolved mysteries that continue to haunt at least one of its oldest residents...
A man shot to death, his murderer never found...and a young woman disappearing into thin air on the same night in 1965. A curse, or simple foul play? Some say Poppy Drummond's fate was to be swallowed by deadly mists near the ruins of Dasia. Others claim such notions are merely fruit of the meanderings of a crazy mind... But Kai is just about to find out—the truth is never what it seems...when the walls between fantasy and reality come crumbling down.
Guide me Gently by Peggy Martinez
Alyssa Monroe always dreamed of escaping to exotic locales as a photographer. Unfortunately, she’s spent the last four years capturing a truly frightening species with her camera instead. Celebrities. When the opportunity presents itself to visit the exotic Dasia Island, Alyssa is thrilled. Now if she can just deal with the only guide willing to take her deep into a forbidden forest. A sexy, tattooed local who sets her blood on fire and gets her camera finger itching
City of Sin by R.K. Ryals
On the Island of Dasia, there’s a legend about a city of sin, a tragic story that ended in a mist of death. Haven Ambrose is a Journalism major on a mission. River Brayden is a meteorologist with a tropical system to follow. Their love is strong, but is it strong enough to survive a storm that leaves them stranded them with an ancient evil?
A copy of this title was provided via Author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
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