Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Dreams & Desires 2 by various authors

TITLE: Dreams & Desires 2
AUTHOR: C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp, Jenna Bayley-Burke, Amanda Brice, Shannon Canard, Sela Carsen, Rachelle Chase, M.E. Ellis, Jenny Gardiner, Gemma Halliday, Candace Havens, Zinnia Hope, Babe King, Susan Lyons, Sarah Salway, Rhonda Stapleton, Bebe Thomas, Emily Veinglory, Lois Winston, Shaunna Wolf
PUBLISHER: Freya’s Bower
LENGTH: Anthology (roughly 65k)
GENRE: Romance
COST: $5.95

A collection of nineteen stories, some romance, some chick lit, some just simple women’s tales, brought together to raise money for battered women’s shelters.

Because of the sheer number of stories in this anthology – 19 of them! – I’m foregoing my usual method of showing the breakdown of scores and just giving an overall total. I kept a running tally on each individual story and then added them all up, but honestly, to give you the breakdown on 19 stories would be too long and boring, and to show you each of the category total breakdowns will tell you nothing. They’ll look like averages with pretty much the same comment – some of these stories are really good, and some are just truly awful.

The ones I like? Three of them truly stood out for me. Adams’ and Clamp’s story, Regrets, is a nice little paranormal tale about a woman getting stuck in a small nowhere town. The ending is a little predictable, but there’s an emotionally satisfying conclusion to this that most of the stories lack. The First Date by Candace Havens is a very real, romantic short about a widow getting back into the swing of things with her hunky Scottish neighbor. For something on the gay side of the fence, Emily Veinglory’s Maze Bright takes another of her offbeat characters and makes him utterly human without losing focus on the romance.

A couple others that bear mentioning – Mark of a Bond Girl by Gemma Halliday is fun and sparkly, while Free by Bebe Thomas is the shortest and most heartbreaking of the bunch. Less than 500 words, it packs an emotional wallop that stories much, much longer never attain.

While my score for this might not reflect just how much I really enjoyed the above-mentioned stories, the fact that all proceeds on sales for this anthology go to battered women’s shelters should weigh in its favor. I don’t regret buying this in the slightest. I discovered a few new authors for me, learned that several that showed promise are paying off, and found out a few who just aren’t my style. Add in the charity angle, and really, you can’t go wrong.



Emily Veinglory said...

I haven't got my copy yet. Glad you liked my 'bit' :)

Gabrina said...

That's very cool that they're using their sales as a donation! I hope they sell tons to help a fantastic cause!