The Eve Langlais story is actually fairly decent. I like the hero, Stavros. He’s sweet and protective and funny. And while I hate reading about what Becka went through (and I hate that she was so reluctant to just take the help Stavros was offering), I thought she was a pretty decent heroine, too. All in all, Bearing His Touch was easily my favorite of the three stories.
I loved the premise of the Milly Taiden story, Fake Mated to the Wolf. I mean, a computer program and dating agency designed to help shifters find their mates? How fun! It’s just too bad that I didn’t care for the hero or the heroine. The hero’s name bugged me to no end. Hawke Hawke. I thought it was a typo at first, but no, that was really his name. I also hated how the heroine (whose name I can’t remember because I didn’t like her enough to care) was pretty rude to Hawke at all times. (There’s a fine line between sassy/independent and bitchy, and this chick marched right over it a time or two) And why Hawke wouldn’t just come out and tell her that she was his mate was beyond me. Why keep it a secret? So by the time the heroine referred to herself as a “wanton hussy”, I was over the whole thing. Has anyone seriously used that phrase since 1944? I think not. Overall, the whole thing was just blah, despite having a very interesting premise.
I’m sorry to say that I totally skimmed the Kate Baxter story. After the heroine, Ellie, had a hissy fit over a cinnamon roll, I can’t say that I was too interested in learning much more about her. (*shrugs*)
And finally, while I understand that these are three bestselling authors, I think $9.99 is a bit expensive for what essentially amounts to a few short stories. There’s not much of anything in the way of character development or real romance in any of these stories. (Not because of poor writing, mind you, just because of the length of the stories. There’s only so much an author can accomplish in a short story, you know?) That makes it hard for me to imagine paying almost $10 for this book.
Long-story-short: I think this is an overpriced anthology of instalove stories, and the only one I really enjoyed was the first. I wouldn’t recommend this one to anyone, unless you’re just a diehard fan of one of these authors and feel an obsessive need to own everything they’ve published. In that case, more power to you.
Full disclosure: I received an ARC from NetGalley free of charge.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
Stigma city, I’m afraid. It’s contributing mightily.
Other reading suggestions
For fated mate stories that work well, try LE Wilson’s Deathless Night series. And for PNR on the lighter, funnier side, try Isabel Jordan’s Harper Hall series.
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