Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Only One Bed Romance Anthology, Volume #1: An ARC Review

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Only One Bed Romance Anthology, Vol#1
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There's only one problem...there's only one bed.

Only One Bed Of A Pick Up Truck - Lucy Eden

Julian Harris is a world famous photographer who wins awards and travels the globe photographing world famous celebrities, history-making events, and things I can only dream of. He's also my older brother's best friend and the boy, excuse me, man, I've had a crush on my entire life. A series of unfortunate events leaves us stranded on the side of a mountain road in Upstate New York, and something about the way he looks at me makes me wonder if Jules sees me as something more than the awkward teenage girl he used to call 'Dee Dee'. 

Only One Flower Bed - Rebel Carter 

Seven years ago Grant Sinclair left his small town of Plenty, Georgia to chase his dreams of a degree, traveling the world, and owning his own business. But when Grant left home to chase after all that good, he left behind something more than good. He left behind the first man he ever loved. Remi Wilson. Now he's back and Grant won't give up on Remi. Even if the other man is hell bent on being as bitter as unsweet tea. 

The Bed Hierarchy - Lauren Connolly 

One innocent night can change the course of a life. Theo discovered this first hand when Olive Buchanan came into his world for less than 24 hours. Six years later, he still can't get over the memory of her. That's the only reason he's agreed to attend the Buchanan family's annual vacation; to prove that his best friend's little sister is not the perfect woman his mind has made her out to be. He has one week to put aside this secret obsession and move on. A task that is suddenly difficult when he finds himself getting closer to her every night...

Uplift - Renee Dahlia 

Anvita Khatri thought she knew everything about manipulating emotions. As a T.V. producer her career succeeded based on knowing how to make an audience laugh and cry. Her new project, Uplift, has her matching struggling small business owners with mentors and teaching them the skills they need. Shazza Barnett didn't expect to be widowed at twenty three, or struggling to keep her late husband's small roofing business afloat. She sees an ad for a new show that could just change her life. But it's the producer, Anvita who's overwhelming her with feelings. Feelings she hasn't had in a long time. 

In The Cards - Sarah E. Lily 

Emme is about to embark on the creative project of her dreams. But first she'll need help from Kendall, the local river guide and Emme's long time crush. What will a day on the river and a night by the fire have in store for these two women? 

Romantic Intent - A.Z. Louise 

When Mat tries to take time out to think after getting fired from her job, she ends up at a campsite with a trunkful of supplies she doesn't know how to use. A mischievous puppy and a ruined tent end up in a grudging partnership with Ryan, an experienced camper who wants nothing more than to lend a hand. But Mat isn't the best at accepting help, and she has enough on her plate without the attraction that begins to build between them. As a storm begins to brew overhead, Mat has to come to terms with much more than temptation. 

What You Need - Torrance Sené

Ness has one thing on her mind-advancing her career in real estate- but a snowstorm, one bed, and a passionate attraction to her co-worker threaten to bring joy back into her workaholic life. 

Holding On - Ali Williams 

An anxious woman and a man with a protective streak discover that sometimes taking a chance is the only thing you need to find someone to hold onto
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One Bed of a PickUp Truck by Lucy Eden
Friends turn into lovers when an accident forces them to confront long-buried feelings between them.

Verdict: Sweet with a bit of humor that ends gratifyingly. 

Only One Flower Bed by Rebel Carter
Old lovers let go of past hurts when a storm traps them in a greenhouse, and they're forced to confront their feelings.

Verdict: Angst filled, and passionate with a soft ending. 

The Bed Hierarchy by Lauren Connolly
A man is secretly in love with his brother’s best friend—but has feared an attempt at romance with her until a vacation with his best friend’s family finds him in one bed with the woman he's been pining after. 

Verdict: Laugh out loud funny, charming, and a delight—The Bed Hierarchy is a treat. (My favorite of the stories.)

Uplift Renee Dahlia

A show producer is working on a new show, and the first person on her show's pilot is a woman she finds more intriguing than she planned for. When the PA only books one hotel room; the producer forgoes bunking with her staff and instead takes a Ute ride/sleep with the beautiful widow she will do the show with. 

Verdict: This story doesn't read well. It felt disjointed and disconnected. It felt like I was tripping up trying to keep up with the romance, the dialogue, and the emotions of the characters. Not a smooth ride, unfortunately, not my favorite. 

In the Cards Sarah E. Lily
Photographer, Emme, is venturing into a new creative project, and local river guide, Kendall, is there to help her achieve it—but when only one tent is available while they’re out to take photos, long-buried crushes surface. 

Verdict: Cute, but quick. The author wastes little time grouping our pair together, which I would call instalove-y, if not because it was a short story. The connection still felt a bit rushed, but In the Cards was a cute, sort of magical story. 

Romantic Intent A.Z. Louise
Newly unemployed, grumpy Matilda is going camping, and she doesn’t have a clue what’s she’s doing. It makes matters worse when a random dog pees on her tent, making it inhabitable, even for the weekend. Not one for leaving a damsel in distress, Ryan (the dog owner) offers Mat his tent. She grudgingly accepts, and what results is a weekend escapade that results in a session of good-loving.

Verdict: Eh. I couldn’t get over how nasty of a person Matilda was. She was unforgiving, unflinching, and just gross towards Ryan, who tried his very hardest to be kind towards her. She was rude, so vulgar. When they wound up in their “one-bed” situation, I didn’t care enough to care. A shame. It had potential, but she needed to be a little less villainous. 

What You Need Torrance Sene
Real estate agent, Ness is trying to advance her real estate career, by scoping out a cabin. Along with her is Bree, bodyguard, and employee to Ness. However, when the cabin they’re scoping out only has one bed, and Ness is harboring a crush, interesting things happened. 

Verdict: Kinky, but quick to read. The overall idea was intriguing, but I wasn’t too crazy about it.

Holding On Ali Williams
First dates shouldn't be intense, but when a storm brings forth nasty memories, an anxious woman finds herself in the bed and in the arms of the man who brings her the most comfort. 

Verdict: Passionate, and very sweet. It felt like a section of a much larger story. Smooth transitions between the date, and the “one-bed” scenario, made this story feel more complete than the others—a sexy bite of a story with beautiful prose.

Final Verdict: I didn’t love all the stories, but I had some favorites. That's the deal with anthologies, it seems. I’d venture to say I’m pretty satisfied. 

Favorite Stories: One Bed of a Pickup Truck, Holding On, & The Bed Hierarchy.


2 comments:

  1. That's always my complaint about anthologies. I know I'm not going to love every story and it's frustrating. Some of these do sound really delightful though especially Lucy, Lauren, and Rebel's stories. I guess they are a good way to figure out if an author could be for you?

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  2. Like Nick said, anthologies can be difficult. At least this one started off strong!

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