Author: Addison Albright
Publisher: JMS Books
Length: 200 Pages
At a Glance: As a lover of short stories, I really enjoyed this collection from a writer who knows how to do them well.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: Whatever your romance reading preference — gay virgin, opposites attract, friends to lovers, or simply fun how-they-met stories — this collection contains a variety of sweet, contemporary, short gay romances, sure to make you smile.
Rewritten and re-edited, these stories were previously published singly and are available now in one collection!
Contains the stories:
* Cow Pie Bingo
* King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate
* Born to Be Wild
* The Straggler
* Now and Forever
* Moving On
* Moving Along
* Dropping Quarters
* Photo Shoot
* Okay, Then
Review: I really enjoy a good short story. I always seem to have short windows of time to read that lend themselves to these stories. I was really happy to see this collection from a writer whose work I’ve enjoyed over the years. This is a strong collection that covers all kinds of people and circumstances.
Cow Pie Bingo – This is a very cute story of a guy who has gotten divorced and realized that he is attracted to men. He hasn’t acted on it, though, and when his coworker talks him into helping out at a charity event, with a kissing booth, he can’t come up with a good enough reason to get out of it. So, he decides to just get through it. Then he ends up kissing a guy, and when he sees him later at another fundraising booth, he can’t pass up the chance to interact with him again. He enjoyed the flirting, and he’d like to see what happens next. He’s feeling good and it turns out to be his lucky day! ~ 4 stars
King Kong vs. the Skinny Pirate – This is an adorable story of opposites who both learn that maybe they shouldn’t judge a book by the cover. They meet at a bar and without any other prospects, they sort of “settle”. But, it turns out that there is more than meets the eye to these two. I really liked these fellas, and their chemistry is hard to deny. ~ 4 stars
Born to be Wild – On a college campus, a fraternity decides to prank some of its members, but it seems like maybe it’s a double-cross, and the Prankster is the one who ends up being surprised—in the best possible way. This one was a little too short and bare bones for my taste, but still a cute story and the MCs were both adorable. ~ 3 stars
The Straggler – Blake is out for a round of golf on the weekend, just waiting to be added to a threesome that needs a fourth. He’s shocked to discover that the group he’s assigned to includes one of the head honchos at his firm. His impression is that Frank Miller is a real hardass. He had NO idea that Frank was gay until this little golf outing. His friends Clive and Sammy round out the foursome, and they are relentless in teasing Frank about Blake, but Frank does something to put the whole work thing out of Blake’s mind.
The golf outing leads to a cookout at Frank’s, and Clive and Sammy seem to be taking their jobs as matchmakers quite seriously. They have been friends with Frank for a long time and only want to see him happy. Blake is unsure what he should do; he’s terribly attracted to Frank, but he loves his job and doesn’t want to risk that either. He’s also not sure where he stands with Frank, or what Frank really wants. They are just going to have to decide what they are willing to risk and what the reward might be. I really liked watching these two guys work towards being honest with each other and with themselves. One of my favorites in this collection. ~ 4 stars
Now and Forever – This is a very sweet story of two men who want to get married before Marriage Equality became the law of the land. They have different ideas about what they’d like that wedding to look like—big vs. small, elegant and formal vs. intimate and casual. Darryl and Warren work to make the day perfect for them both. ~ 3 stars
Moving On – This moving story has a paranormal element. Brandt has lost the love of his life. But his friends are encouraging him to move on. After all, it’s what Graeme would have wanted. And although Brandt really likes Mark, he still struggles with guilt over being disloyal to Graeme. But Mark is a wonderful and understanding man who doesn’t push Brandt. It takes some time, but Brandt may just be ready to move on with his life. Beautifully written. ~ 4 stars
Moving Along – This is the continuation of Mark and Brandt’s story. A lovely holiday follow up that finds Mark and Brandt enjoying Christmas together. It’s nice to see them again and share their happy ending. ~ 3.5 stars
Dropping Quarters – Luke and Cato run into each other at an adult video arcade, and while each thinks the other looks familiar, can’t quite place him. When they see each other again at a sporting event, it seems like they kind of hit it off and enjoy each other’s senses of humor. While Luke thinks Cato is blowing him off, they meet up again and think they might have something. This is a short, cute and a little bit hot story. ~ 3.5 stars
Nevermore – Ted Rhoads is a divorced teacher with two kids who lives his life in the closet. On weekends, he goes out as “Raven” to a club not in his hometown. His favorite hookup is a guy names Cesar. Imagine his surprise when he runs into Cesar and his daughter in a very public place, while with his kids. Cesar likes Ted as much as “Raven”, and encourages Ted to be true to himself. This story was a little too easy with the pat answers and no problems, but it’s still a nice short story. ~ 3 stars
Photo Shoot – I love friends-to-lovers stories, and this is an adorable story of two college age guys who have developed feelings for each other, but neither has had the courage to act on them. They are both afraid of fucking up their friendship, so they keep their feeling to themselves. Finally, Trent figures out a way to try to tell Eddie how he really feels. It’s kind of a throw away story, but cute enough. ~ 3 stars
Okay, Then – This story is linked to some other books by Addison Albright—the Vows series starring Sam and Henry. In this short, we get to see how Sam and Henry went from being work colleagues to boyfriends while on a summer research stint in the tropics. This proves to be very crucial to the rest of the series. I definitely recommend the entire series, as this is really just a taste of these two. ~ 3.5 stars
You can buy Snapshots here: