Sigh, I’ve been trying lately to read a significant portion of the short stories on my shelves.* I keep saying I’m not a huge fan of them. But somehow I always download more. Usually, it’s because I don’t check the page length of something and don’t realize it’s a short, but not always. And today is one of those day.
There was a huge M/M giveaway over at Prolific Works; 116 stories and books!
The organizers even made a check list for readers, and I just went hog wild downloading books. Do I need more books? No. Did I do it anyway because I have no self control? Yes. So much yes.
And here’s where the sigh comes in. Several of them are what I would call short stories. I was on the ball this time and checked pages lengths (for those books that had them available). So, I did this to myself knowingly. It’s just that a lot of them were from authors I know I enjoy, were prequels to interesting looking series, and/or were part of series that have been featured on Sadie’s Spotlight. (I do try and support those when I see them.)
And since I happen to have been reading and reviewing short stories in clusters anyhow, I figured I’d just go ahead and set these aside to read all together as one more ‘short story clear out.’ This one can be the ‘Your Book Boyfriend’s Boyfriend Short Story Clear Out.’ Yeah, that’s too clunky, but I trust you get the point.
I downloaded 13 stories that I know are under 100 pages. There are a further 5 (not included in the photo) that I couldn’t find page lengths for, even after searching. Some of them may turn out to be under 100 pages and, if so, I’ll add them after the fact. But as of now, here are the stories I downloaded and intend to read:
Revenant, by Michelle Frost
The Metal and Magic series, that Revenant is a prequel of, was featured over on Sadie’s Spotlight. So, I was glad to be able to pick up this freebie and test it out. I thought that it was a little rushed, but easily readable. I liked the characters and world. I’ll happily check out the rest of the series.
Exposed, by Jamie Luther
I liked the reversal of expected roles here and the characterization of Torran and Penn. This seems like it will be an interesting series. As a personal quibble, I hate the whole “Boy” thing. I think my associations with it just aren’t the sexy kind and I find it always pulls me out of a sexy scene. But that’s just me and my preferences.
Fireman’s Carry, by Eli Easton
I enjoyed this short/intro to the Hot Cannolis series. I liked both characters and the drama was engaging. It was enough that I’d be interested in following the series when it comes out.
Just George, by Mary Calmes
It’s been several years since I read any Mary Calmes, but I used to quip that her books were like crack—almost always formulaic and often containing problematic aspects, but hitting so many emotional buttons I liked them anyway. I didn’t find much objectionable in Just George, but in classic Calmes style, the story pressed all my “Awww” buttons and I enjoyed it.
Blood Omen, by Sheena Jolie
There was too much world-building for such a short piece, especially since it tended to be info-dumped. (I sense a lot of it was simply brought over from something long, one assumes the rest of the series.) But I liked the characters and it does seem an interesting world. I’d give the series a shot.
Gravity, by Kiki Burrelli
Meh, not bad. But, while I liked the idea behind the story, I thought the whole thing felt rushed and a bit too much of a mish-mash.
Light My Way Home, by Morgan Brice
I’ve not read the Treasure Trail series (though it was featured over on Sadie’s Spotlight), but I was able to follow this story just fine. I liked both of the characters and the world. I did think it was a little heavy on the tell vs. show and it felt a little rushed in the making-the-alternative-relationship-work department. But I enjoyed it enough to give the rest of the series a try.
To Kiss a Frog, by Elizabeth Silver
I quite enjoyed this; thought it was super cute. It also feels complete, which often isn’t the case with series prequels. I look forward to the rest of the series when it comes out.
Until His Beginning Ends, by Kiki Clark
This was a sweet story. I enjoyed the characters, the writing, and the world it introduces. I’ll be interested in following the series.
How to Date a Dragon, by Louisa Masters
Meh, it was fine. The writing was readable, etc. But, despite being a .5/prequel I was pretty confused. It definitely didn’t feel like it should be read as an introduction to the world. Plus, I just thought Hagen was annoying. I get that that was kinda his whole shtick, but I didn’t enjoy him.
Mr Fairfax, Mr West and the Meet Cute, by Anyta Sunday
I really struggled with this story in the beginning. Not because of bad writing or anything. I am one of those people who suffers strongly from second-hand embarrassment. So, reading about a guy who got himself into an embarrassing bind and then had to do increasingly embarrassing things to keep from having to admit it was difficult for me. Honestly, I almost DNFed it. But luckily it balanced out and I enjoyed the last half of it a lot. The two characters are both very sweet.
Until His Soul Awakens, by E.M. Lindsey
I quite enjoyed this in a quiet sort of way. It’s a bit of a slow burn for such a short piece. But it made the payoff that much sweeter.
Dirty Magic, by Richard Amos
Meh. I liked the idea of the world. But the writing is kind of a rambling, stream-of-consciousness mess and the solution for saving the day was come across far too easily.
Of the five downloads that I mentioned not having page lengths for, I think these four are short stories. So, I’m going to read them and add the reviews as I finish.
A House of Blood and Gold, by Raven Abernathy
This story turned out to be 131 pages long, according to my Kindle. Which I deemed long enough for it’s own post. You can find it here.
Twice Bitten, by Eliot Grayson
I enjoyed the heck out of this, which surprised me. I did not particularly enjoy The Alpha’s Warlock, with some of the same characters as in this novella. But here I liked both of the heroes, appreciated their individual struggles, thought the sex was hot, and the story felt complete, despite it being so short.
Aleric, by Taylor Rylan
Meh, I’d say it was OK, at best. The dialogue was just so stiff. It certainly didn’t tempt me to continue the series.
An Emporium of Hearts, by Hailey Turner
I thought this was very sweet. The world makes it pretty obvious the story is part of something bigger, but the little bit of story here feels complete enough to enjoy.
*As a personal shorthand I call anything under 100 pages a short story. I know there are variations, depending on length. I even wrote a post about it once. But for the puroses of this blog anything with less than 100 pages I call a short story.