I can’t stop reading these anthologies… The Rogue Series has me hooked.
I’ll do as I often do with anthologies and write a shorty short review for each.
The political becomes intensely personal in these seven new romances, featuring characters who love as passionately as they resist… (my thoughts on each in purple)
The Girl in the Picture by Chelsea M. Cameron
When a picture of Saylor Talbot at a protest goes viral, she’s inundated with interview requests. She meets with journalist Echo Nguyen and sparks fly. They’ll have to keep things above board until their professional relationship is over. But can they hold off until then?
This one was very sweet. I was happily surprised to see that the first story in the anthology was a F/F. Echo and Saylor are “sparks flying all over” but when things started to move towards a relationship, the story abruptly ended. I was expecting some more drama around the article issue.
The Suit and the Doll by Zoey Castile
Sofia Bernal has lost everything. After dropping out of law school, she makes ends meet by working admissions at a strip-club near Wall Street. She’s trying to pull herself together when a tipsy customer changes her life.
Rory Donovan is a small town boy in the big city. Working for a land developer was supposed to help him save his family’s legacy. But when he’s assigned a project that goes against his ethics, he goes into a downward spiral and winds up at a strip-club.
Can a passionate night help two strangers find answers to their troubles?
Sigh… a little too expected, I think. And very much open ended. Felt just a little shy of complete, and I don’t need a closed ending, just a bit more towards solidifying a relationship. Recognition isn’t enough.
Nature’s Heart by KD Fisher
Public-interest attorney Harry Walsh has dedicated his life to promoting environmental justice. He may be young but he refuses to give up in the face of a challenge.
Max Novak is exhausted. He’s sick of the government’s crappy environmental track record and he’s pissed off that a proposed natural gas pipeline could wreak havoc on the land he loves.
Neither man can deny the chemistry between them, even if Harry knows a relationship with a client could prove disastrous for his career. As Harry and Max work to oppose the pipeline, both men worry they’ll be unable to resist their attraction with nearly as much conviction.
Harry and Max are adorable. I absolutely love the premise, the slow burn of their love story, the fickle nature to Max (which proves to be not so fickle).
Fight Fire with Fire by Sionna Fox
Frannie Thorpe is on the verge of getting everything she ever wanted, crowned by an exhibition of the work of a late queer photographer–until her funding is jeopardized by a would-be senator with an eye on slashing public funding for “pornography.”
Ashley Patterson, Sampson’s muse and erstwhile indie music darling, steps in to help close the funding gap. Working together creates sparks, but neither woman is prepared for the fire between them.
This was faaaantastic. I loved the premise and the way gender-neutral pronouns was introduced. I was a bit confused at first, but the second and third time it was used, it just clicked for me. This one really went all out with tackling social issues, and the incorporation of body image was great.
Schooling Her by Robin Lovett
Headmistress Regina Masterson has a problem bigger than the pay gap among her faculty. The new school dean, Phillip Young, is too good at both his job and turning her on. Working together to change a conservative school culture may be easier than resisting the man she hired. If they’re not careful, Phillip may end up headmastering Regina all over her desk on their way to equal pay for equal work.
Equal pay, people. It’s important. That was very sexy and inspiring. Sometimes fighting for what’s right, even using a clever manipulation (which is genuinely true) is okay in my book. The only thing I didn’t feel was appropriate is the title. Should’ve been Schooling Them,
A Safe Place by Rebecca Vaughn
When opera student Jonas takes refuge from bullies in a record store, he gets more than just a place to hide. He discovers Troy, the handsome clerk he’s been crushing on, is none other than the infamous Oak Leaf, whose “Love is Love” street art has been making waves. Troy invites Jonas on an adventurous subversive art installation, where sparks ignite as they question the role of art in the face of oppression.
My favorite of the anthology, for sure. Jonas and Troy are perfect. Their meeting, their night, their morning – the whole damn thing is adorable and fitting. Loved it.
Taking Aim by Jeanette Grey
Teacher Julie Chao never wanted to be an activist. But after a shooting at her school, she can’t stay silent any longer. When a mysterious stranger offers advice on getting her message out, she takes it. But the man is clearly hiding something. They may have chemistry, but how can she trust him once she finds out who he really is?
Sigh… I wish there were more resolutions like in Julie and Eli’s story. Eli’s decision at the end is what we all hope to happen IRL these days. Very important message here, for sure. Beautifully written, too.