“There are as many forms of love as there are moments in time.” – Jane Austen
Authors: Absolute Write Anthology
Publisher: Lori Witt
Pages/Word Count: 163 Pages
Rating: 4.25 Stars
Blurb: Welcome to the Underground!
The erotica authors of the Absolute Write are taking you underground—sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively. Karenna Colcroft’s haunting story gives sex in public an unexpected twist, and Erin Lark makes waiting out a storm into something special—and hot!— before Kate Lowell draws you deep into a cave for a steamy encounter. Lauren Gallagher sends you back to the 1930s for some gambling, bootlegging, and a little forbidden ménage, while Maryn Blackburn brings two enemies together in the wintery depths of World War II.
If you’re in the mood for something extra spicy, you’ll love how C.P. Foster opens up a very new world for a curious barmaid. And stick around because Cleo Peitsche and Jack L. Pyke keep the kink coming.
Come join us—but fair warning. Once you go underground, you may never want to come back…
All proceeds from this anthology benefit the Absolute Write online community.
Review: Since The Novel Approach is a M/M review site, the stories reviewed from this anthology are only those that are M/M. There are eight stories in the anthology, the following reviews are for four of the short stories.
Cigarettes and Chocolate by Maryn Blackburn – Three Stars
Lori is seeing her father in the retirement home on her obligatory weekly visit. Her childhood was not good, her parents’ marriage even worse. Her dad was a traveling salesman who turned down one promotion after another so he could stay on the road most of the time. This left Lori home with a mother who chose to drown her pain and loneliness in alcohol.
During this visit, Lori tries to give her dad, Gene, a clean handkerchief to replace the dirty, worn one he always has with him. He refuses and angrily clutches at his rag, and a nearby aide assures Lori that they wash the rag each night and put it on the heater to dry by morning, so it is stained, but clean. Lori’s father tells the aide to tell Lori the story behind the rag.
During World War II, a nineteen year old American GI named Gene is the only surviving member of his unit. While hiding in the basement of a bombed out house, he is found by Erich, the only German survivor of the same attack. The two share Gene’s cigarettes and Erich’s chocolate and five days exploring the secrets they have both had to hide in order to survive.
I enjoyed seeing the two men find comfort and solace in the middle of a hellish situation. The fact that enemies have so much in common is a lesson we all need to learn and remember.
Moonshine for Three by Lauren Gallagher – Five Stars
While not strictly a M/M title, Lauren Gallagher writes M/M fiction under the name LA Witt, so I decided to read this ménage story, as I love her work. It seems that Paul, now a police officer in Long Beach, California, and Robert, a gambling boat operator and moonshine runner, were in love a few years back. This is not that time, though. It is 1938, the height of prohibition.
Paul boards a gambling boat rumored to be running moonshine, and headed up by Robert. He has no real jurisdiction this far out in the water, but he needs to see if it is really Robert. Paul seeks a woman who can reportedly lead him to Robert. Then he finds out that not only can she lead Paul to Robert, but that her relationship with Robert is more than Paul had previously been told.
If you are looking for a short, really steamy M/M/F ménage, this is a great choice. I hadn’t read one in years but this one made me remember why I used to love them. At first we don’t know if Paul is on the boat in order to gather information and report back to his superiors, or if he’s there to warn Robert that he’s a wanted man. I was very satisfied with the ending. Did I mention that it’s really hot?
Love Underground by Kate Lowell – Five Stars
This was the shortest story of those that I read in the anthology. It was also one that strayed from the unspoken outline used in most short erotica stories. Meet, Sex, Insta-love. Instead we find a couple who remind me of a certain Sunshiny blogger and his hot librarian husband.
Jaime and Henry have been together for three years. The aforementioned blogger and his husband are soon celebrating their third anniversary. Henry is kind of a book-loving nerd. He doesn’t wear glasses, though, which is where these two couples part ways. It’s Henry’s birthday and Jaime has a surprise planned for him. It’s not a party or a night at a quiet B & B. No, Jaime is taking Henry spelunking. That’s cave exploring! Henry, being a touch claustrophobic, cannot for the life of him imagine why his lover wants him to go into those closed off, tight spaces underground for HIS OWN birthday!
The surprise is emotionally and esthetically beautiful. The powerful, deep desire that Henry and Jaime still feel for each other also reminds me of a certain blogger and his husband. I love when couples, het or gay or any combination thereof, who have been together for a long time still feel that overwhelming passion for each other. I didn’t think it existed aside from in the pages of a story, but I have learned that it really can. This is a great, emotionally satisfying, and steamy short story. Even if you are claustrophobic, you should read it!
Original Sin by Jack L. Pyke – Four Stars
Connor has screwed up in a major way at work. In his position as quality control inspector, he missed a big mistake that has cost his boss a lot of money. So when his boss, Jim, asks him to house sit for the weekend, what could he say but “Yes, Sir!”? Jim drives Connor to the house in his most prized possession, his Rolls Royce. The house is very remote, beautiful and built into the side of a cliff.
When Connor feels a little antsy that evening being there alone, he decides to take his boss’s most precious toy to a local bar to see a friend. At least he knows enough to not drink! He sees a man in the bar whom he decides to call “Jupiter” because he is huge and everyone seems to revolve around him like Jupiter’s moons.
When Connor leaves the bar, he can’t find the car. It is gone. Stolen. He decides to get a ride back to Jim’s house, and in the morning report the car was stolen from the house overnight so Jim never finds out that Connor took the car out. His plans go very wrong when the car shows up in the middle of the night and along with it, Jupiter.
I’m not sure I understood the end of this story. I really liked it, though. It was sexy and a little suspenseful. If you read it and think you understand the end, please leave a comment so we can see if we agree.
Overall: I was a little leery of reading this book for review. I have no idea why I agreed to do it. I am very glad I did, though. The stories I read were all good. I can’t speak to the four I didn’t read, but based on the ones I did, I can strongly advise you to read this book.