Sweet Thursday by Mari Carr
Lily, Killian and Justin were best friends in high school. Lily had secretly longed for both of them, but couldn’t summon up the courage to out her feelings even on their last day together after graduation. Fast forward ten years later. Lily, Killian and Justin find themselves at their high school reunion and this time, Lily isn’t going to allow an opportunity to live out her fantasy pass. She propositions Killian and Justin, knowing from the rumors and her own observations of their predilections.
Killian and Justin snap up her offer but Lily only meant for this fantasy to occur for one night. One night isn’t enough and Killian and Justin convince Lily to spend the weekend. Once the weekend is over, however, Justin doesn’t want it to end. He wants to see if the three of them, who have always been close friends, can integrate a physical component into their relationship. Lily isn’t convinced and while Killian emotionally would like to explore a committed threesome, he feels the idea is only workable in concept. Killian is particularly worried about his family and the reaction of his father to whom he is very close. Lily’s younger brother is appalled at this idea of her being with two men.
This isn’t a very long story and so the emotional conflict isn’t as well explored as I would have liked but I appreciated the exploration of how the fantasy doesn’t always work in real life. B-
As a side note, I think this book is outrageously priced at $5.20 given that it is only 40,000 words so that may impact whether others think it is worth reading.
Maggie’s Mates by Bronwyn Green
The conflict of this story reminded me a lot of Sweet Thursday. Maggie returns to her hometown after five years in New York City. Her ex-boyfriend has followed her to Baraga, a town in the Michigan’s Upper Pennisula. Why he has followed her there is never really explained but Maggie brushes him off by planting a big kiss on Lucas Makwa and then implies that Lucas and his brother, Quinn, and she are together.
After the ex takes off, Lucas and Quinn suggest that Maggie continue in private what she started in public. Maggie’s easy to convince. This is another short story but it’s humming along just fine when all of a sudden Lucas and Quinn turn into werebears to fend off a wolf attack on Maggie and her dog. Yes, werebears.
After the werebear appearance, I could barely read on. Fortunately for me, the story ended shortly after the revelation leading me to wonder what was the point of the werebear. This occurs in Chapter 5 and the story ends in Chapter 7. I ended the story with my mouth agape. I don’t really know how to grade it. Up until the werebears appearance, I was enjoying it. The story took a sharp downward turn though and the introduction of the paranormal element was a complete fail. It was completely tacked on and so while I though the story started out okay, in the end it didn’t work out in any way.
Oh, werebears. D
What She Craves by Anne Rainey
I was intrigued by this book based on the blurb that Rainey left on our “Open Thread for Authors” post. Tory Jeffries is single and it is the holidays. Rather than attend her friend, Con’s, annual holiday party alone she agrees to go with other friend Devon Mason. Devon and Con have always wanted Tory to be the creamy filling in their cookie sandwich but have hesitated to make the moves lest they lose her as a friend. Devon decides that they have waited long enough and plans to make his moves on her during, yes during, the holiday party. The three of them take off in the middle of Con’s party and hie up to his bedroom to have their menage encounter. I mean, really?
What disappointed me the most is the story started out good. I liked the flirtation that went on between Devon and Tory before the party started. I liked the hints of jealousy and possible conflict between the two men that arose when Tory was confused about her feelings toward them and the concept of a committed menage. But most of the story seemed to be told from Devon’s point of view and we understood little of Con’s ideas about this relationship. The emotional connection between the three of them was wafer thin and made for an uninteresting and unmoving romance. The lack of emotional connection makes the sex scenes perfunctory. C-