To quote my friend – and LezReviewBooks boss – Gaby, anthologies are tricky. Finding the right balance, choosing authors whose stories will fit together, cannot be easy. Sometimes it works perfectly, sometimes it doesn’t. More often than not, it falls in the middle. That’s where Summer Loving is, an uneven but overall good mix of not-so-short stories.
The strongest point of this collection – a limited edition, only sold this summer – is in the variety of stories it offers, around a pretty traditional but always fun and exciting theme. Nine authors, nine stories, with a wide range of situations and writing styles. Some stories portray teenagers, others women in their thirties, others older women, either with brand new characters or some we’ve already met. Some authors have chosen to fade to black when it comes to sex while other stories are borderline erotica. All of them take advantage of the lightness and joy associated with summer and either play along or turn the feelings on their head.
A couple of the stories are really excellent, some are more formulaic, some are full of surprises while others are more predictable but there’s a little something for everyone. I know I’ll read Aurora Rey‘s Park Service again at some point because it’s fun and sexy and really good. And my favourite of all stories is #MissedOpportunities by Erin Zak, which I think will stay with me for a while for many reasons, one of which is the masterful way Zak pulls off a second-person narrative.
1- Stranded by Lise Gold
2- Blisters and Beer by Claire Highton-Stevenson
3- Beach House by KC Luck
4- Order Up! by Cara Malone
5- Tropical Heat by T.B. Markinson
6- Always Check The Reviews by Amanda Radley
7- Park Service by Aurora Rey
8- #MissedOpportunities by Erin Zak
9- Insomnia Club by Emma Sterner-Radley