Thursday, 31 July 2014

Anthology: Hot Summer Nights

I received a copy of Hot Summer Nights in exchange for my review.
Hot Summer Nights is an anthology of nine stories by various authors all set on the Island of Dasia, a tropical island paradise. 

Stories included: 
Beauty and the Brain by Alicia Michaels 
The Laws of Attraction by Carly Fall
The Art of Losing Inhibition by Casse NaRome
His Island Paradise by C J Baty 
Life After Death by Elise Marion 
Layover by Kacey Hammell
Woman In the Mist by Natalie G Owens
Guide Me Gently by Peggy Martinez 
City of Sin by R K Ryals
Before I start my review properly (which is of the anthology in general rather than story by story) I feel that I should mention that I did read all nine of the stories in the anthology (and enjoyed them all for various reasons). Also I have read books by two of the authors before (Michaels and Fall) and have one of the other author's books scheduled (Martinez). 

Hot Summer Nights has a bit of everything in it. Sex content wise the stories range from New Adult to Erotica, though I didn't think there were any that were more erotic than content heavy, which was good I thought. Each of the stories certainly had its own flavour to it, and I didn't feel that any of the characters were flat or repeated. And repeated characters could be a risk considering that they were different authors. 

Character wise you had a sample of everything from college students (Beauty and the Brain) to estranged married couples (Life After Death) to flight crew (Layover) which added variety to the story as well as different attitudes towards love and sex. Some of the characters were there for work, and some for holidays with friends, again that added variety and meant that the characters interacted differently with people around them. 

Mentioning variety there was a m/m story (His Island Paradise) and a f/f story (The Art of Losing Inhibitions). I knew that they were a part of the anthology before I agreed to read, and they are clearly labeled (as are the rest of the stories so you can know what to expect), and as I haven't read anything of the sort before I thought I should give them a go. I'm glad I did, the story lines were good and ultimately I thought that they were no different than a m/f romance (well except that the mechanics of the sex was different). I also thought that NaRome (author of The Art of Losing Inhibitions) gave an interesting look into how it feels to come out (I had a close friend come out earlier in the year and she has struggled in some cases). 

Though most of the stories were contemporary romance, there were two that had paranormal elements (Woman in the Mist and City of Sin), again these two stories were clearly labelled and I enjoyed both of them, particularly City of Sin and I am planning on finding out more about the series that is a part of! But I wasn't too sure about their place in the anthology, to me they seemed separate to the rest of the stories about Dasia, which I imagined going on concurrently, and so they didn't quite fit in with that. But that is my head being odd and I did enjoy both of the stories. 

There are several of the short stories that made me want to check out more by that author, namely Layover and City of Sin (I would also include Beauty and the Brain but considering I have already read the first book in the series that is a spin off for, V-Card, I can't really go check it out again! Though I can get super excited for book 2, Brat, which explores the 'results' of Beauty and the Brain.) 

I really enjoyed Hot Summer Nights, I don't read that many anthologies, but maybe I should!

Hot Summer Nights Volume One
Genres: New Adult/Adult, Contemporary Romance, Paranormal, Time Travel
Release Date: July 30, 2014
Welcome to the exotic paradise of Dasia Island. In the Elysium Resort, nestled among the lush beauty of the rainforest, adventure and romance await. In these nine short stories by bestselling and award winning authors, passion ignites between people from all walks of life, with stories ranging from New Adult to Erotic Romance, and even a bit of Paranormal and Time Travel thrown in—after all the island itself has a mystical history, with mysteries and legends to explore. Lose yourself in the magic of the island … you’ll never want to go home again!

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