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MinnChica

MinnChica from The Book Pushers

I'm MinnChica, from The Book Pushers. I love reading all things romance. Come chat books with me!
Two Tickets to Paradise - Anne Regan (Editor) Review originally posted here: http://thebookpushers.com/2012/04/24/review-two-tickets-to-paradise-anthology/

I love and hate anthologies. They open my eyes to new authors, new stories and new situations that might push my comfort zone. With this anthology, I was hoping to find some new m/m authors that I could glom onto and find some great reads. While there were some good stories in this anthology, there were some not-so great stories either.

Haunted by Jana Denardo
In Denardo’s story, a couple go on a working vacation together. One a photographer and the other an author of ghost phenomena. This story was super cute. Trestan and Connor were super secure in their relationship, and excited to be on vacation together, getting the chance to experience some hauntings first hand. They have quite a few sexy times and I enjoyed all their moments together. B+

Off the Tracks by Chelle Dugan
This story really threw me for a loop. Owen was set to go on vacation to celebrate his best friends divorce. He trips and falls, knocking his head and landing back into the past. There he meets James and begins to fall for them. One night he falls asleep and wakes up back in present time, but to a life he always dreamed of, with James. I’m not a huge fan of time-travel, but when you throw in a weird dream/alternate reality thing, I just couldn’t connect with the story. C-

Krung Thep, City of Angels by Zee Kensington
A young Marco is making his first international trip, backpacking through Thailand. When he gets lost one day, Chris, a frequent traveler, comes to his rescue and the two spend a few marvelous days together. I am not a huge fan of couples that come to such a quick HEA, and while they didn’t make any declarations, it felt as if they moved super quickly in their relationship. I did like the way Zensington described Thailand, that aspect of this story made it an enjoyable read for me. B-

Sunlight on Water by Susan Laine
Ari is on vacation in Florida and meets the sexy Ryan. They have some steamy moments together, and when Ari tells Ryan his family won this extravagant vacation, Ryan takes off. Despite Ryan admitting he is a hustler, Ari wants to make a relationship work. This story didn’t really work for me. I never got a feeling of either character, and didn’t like their perfectly wrapped up HEA. D

Fall Forward by Jamie Lowe
Chase and Harrett are going on their first vacation as a couple, and arguing about what is and is not acceptable to display their relationship in the small town they are going to. When they set their worries of others aside and just enjoy each other, sexy times commence. This story was super short, but cute too. B-

A Good Night’s Sleep by Anna Martin
In all the stories of the couples that first meet, I think this might be one of my favorites. There isn’t a laid out HEA, instead a cute little HFN where Alex and Matt decided to travel together after a sexy night together on the train. Yes, there was train sex. It was good! B+

All You Need by Dar Mavison
Trent and Rory are taking a much-needed trip into NYC on a limited budget and a rocky place in their relationship. They argue and snap at each other, but are eventually able to work out the kinks in their relationship and get back to a happy place. This story was ok, but for some reason didn’t stand out as great as some of the other rekindling romances from this book. C

All at Sea by JL Merrow
Josh is on a family vacation, and runs into Rupe while renting a boat. The two connect as friends, and quickly take their relationship to the next level. They lean on each other and have a somewhat believable HEA, given they met in this short story (possibly due to the mini-epilogue in which it explains they broke-up and got back together throughout their lives.) Will definitely find more Merrow to read! B

Something Different by Sean Michael
This might have been my favorite second chance story in this anthology. Adam and Tucson were once lovers, and broke up long ago. When they both end up in Vegas on vacation, they pick up their romance and realize they were better together than apart. I really liked this story, it was super cute and sexy and well done. I will definitely be looking into more of Michael’s work. A-

Perpendicularity by Mal Peters
Kyle is an Olympic snowboarding champion in France for a tournament. What was supposed to be a romantic weekend turned into a solo trip. But one look at Kyle’s personal chef and he thinks he might be able to make time for a little romance. He and Dylan have a great friendship that leads to more and was super cute. I liked it. B+

The Jeep Guy by Eric Renner
I had a horrible time getting into this story. I couldn’t get through it at all and ended up DNFing it after a few pages.

Know Nobody by G.R. Richards
This short was more erotica than romance for me. Gerald wants to get away, and heads to Niagara Falls to “hook up.” He has an erotic evening with three twinks he picked up in a bar. But when his long-time best friend Sylvain shows up, he realizes what has long been in front of his face and the two begin a relationship. I didn’t really like this one very much. Not enough romance for me. D

Reconnecting by Claire Russett
I adored this story. It was probably one of my favorites. Sam is at a work conference and dreads running into the love of his life – John. John knows what he lost when he left Sam, and is determined to win the man back. Anyway he possibly can. There is sexy moments and angst and a wonderful reconnection story. I likey. A

Mending and Moving On by Cecilia Ryan
Bryan and Liam meet on the plane, and again once they land in Spain. Their relationship develops quickly and progresses to something serious in a VERY short time. I had a hard time reconciling them moving so quickly, especially since Liam was willing to give up his nomad lifestyle for a happily ever after. C

New Lease by B.G. Thomas
This story intrigued me at first, and then went downhill, unfortunately. Wade and Kent are both dealing with the loss of their partners, but Kent is handling it better than Wade. I felt as if Wade was victim to an abusive relationship, and didn’t like that he was constantly thinking about killing himself. I had a hard time relating to either hero and their decisions. D

All in all this anthology was what I expected. There were some great stories, and some not-so-great ones. I personally am glad I read it though, because it gave me the chance to find some new to me authors that I am excited to check out!