Sun-soaked beaches, glittering blue pool surfaces and oceans painted by an orange-hued sunset have one thing in common: they’re the perfect background for falling in love. Who hasn’t felt that first wave of butterflies rise deep in their belly while pool side? Or that first quickening of the pulse when lounging on a lush patch of grass during a music festival? Summer is the perfect time to indulge in that sudden rush of first love or, equally so, the warm grip of long-fostered feelings for another woman.
This collection of fourteen stories runs the gamut of lesbian holiday romance stories. An Australian cookery course, a Belfast coffee shop, and even a romance writers’ conference are some of the backdrops for the summer love that unfolds in this lesbian romance anthology. Tamsin Flowers’s Drive Me Crazy takes place during Glastonbury, while Katya Harris’s sensual tale of passion between long-time lovers is entirely set by the side of the pool. Newcomer Brooke Winters brings us an irresistible tale of a woman running into a Mistress she’s played with in Spain, while Lucy Felthouse’s heroine gets much more heat than she bargained for when she goes volcano-watching on Lanzarote.
With stories by highly rated authors, including Annabeth Leong, Allison Wonderland, Erzabet Bishop and Harper Bliss, this collection is the perfect sensual companion to any holiday.
Harper Bliss is a best-selling lesbian romance author. Among her most-loved books are the highly dramatic French Kissing and the often thought-provoking Pink Bean series. She is the co-founder of My LesFic, a weekly newsletter offering discount deals on lesbian fiction.
Harper lived in Hong Kong for 7 years, travelled the world for a bit, and has now settled in Brussels (Belgium) with her wife and photogenic cat, Dolly Purrton.
Together with her wife, she hosts a weekly podcast called Harper Bliss & Her Mrs.
Although I received a free copy for an honest review, I would gladly have paid for this one. Here's why.
There are a good number of stories, 14 to be exact. Some of my favourite authors are included like Cheyenne Blue, Lucy Felthouse and, of course, Harper Bliss. Erzabet Bishop is also in the mix and, between her and Harper, they both surprised me with the kind of story I really didn't expect to get from them. Both different, both good.
There are several authors whose work I have not had the pleasure of reading before. Tamsin Flowers was one of them. When I started reading "Drive Me Crazy", I could almost smell the weed and the mud. What's a good festival without them? But then the story got quite hot and I forgot all about weed and mud.
Allison Wonderland was another first. I still have mixed feelings about "The Boi Who Cried Woolf". Some of the phrasing was just so damn clever whilst others felt a little forced. Then there were a few that left me unexpectedly snorting with laughter. This story in particular, made me wish that my wife was more into lady literature because I wanted to share it with her.
On the editorial side I found this to be a good collection of stories. It was refreshing to have a few Brits thrown into the mix so that it wasn't all American.
What really put the cherry on the cake for me were the typos. There were none.
Another Great from LadyLit There are few things I love more than a hot anthology put together by LadyLit's own Harper Bliss. This one is extra special as this time her co-editor is her wife Caroline Manchoulas. Summer Love is an spicy anthology of fourteen amazing authors. All of the stories involve women getting away from their real lives for awhile during the summer. Not only are these stories sexy many of them include a chance at love and new beginnings.
1. We start out with Cheyenne Blue's Stepping Out. Its a sweet short about a solitary American woman who takes a vacation in Australia at a woman's cooking retreat. I loved all the underlying emotions Ms Blue brought forth. 2. Camille Duvall is a new to me author. Her tale Mother's Tongue of one of a lovely coming of age and reunion. This was very well written. 3. Tasmin Flowers is also new to me. In her Drive Me Crazy a young woman travels to a music festival. Not all goes as planned and she finds a wonderful surprise instead. 4. In the Honey-Sweet Sunshine Kayta Harris tells of a work-a-holic woman and her partner on a vacation to rediscover themselves and each other. They do this in a most delightful way! 5. Jess had booked a vacation with her girlfriend before being dumped. She asks a friend who also bails. In AL Brooks' Third Time Lucky we find out that the 3rd time really is the charm. 6. Lucy Felthouse brings us a tale of a volcano tour and the sexy tour guide in her story A Most Spectacular View. Morgan has some thinking to do but Riya is proving to be VERY convincing, yum! 7. Summer Stock by Emily L. Byrne is a bit different. In this drama the lead is an older woman who is a bit down on herself and has little confidence after a failed relationship. Maybe Rizzo can help her find her footing again. I could so identify with Regan, this was a lovely tale. 8. Ms Brooke Winter's title of Mistress had me intrigued. The first sentence took me by surprise and shock and tingles! A Domme travels to Spain to claim the Sub of her dreams. Oh my gosh it was so perfect, so sweet and beautiful and well, just, thank you! I have to find more of your stories! 9. A Good Read by RJ Layer is just that. Oh the serious awe factor and romance, not traditional but gentle and quaint. Even with no hot and heavy sex scene was really, really good. I actually believe a sex scene would have ruined the story. 10. Erzabet Bishop brings us a wonderful, heartfelt drama in Orchard Rain. Kim has had a row with her lady Maggie over finances. They meet at a wedding that Maggie has planned as part of her job. Their reconciliation is sexy and sweet. I was intensely enchanted with this story. 11. The Boi Who Cried Wolfe was seriously fun with references to people and books but with an authors name like Allison Wonderland I would expect no less. 12. Old College Friends by Annabeth Leong is a lovely romance about the reunion of college friends. It is a real feel good story and wonderful too. 13. KA Smith takes us on a ride to reunite long distance lovers in Free Summer. I loved the gentleness and caring. This is another author I need to read more from. 14. Last but certainly not least, the incomparable Harper Bliss brings us A Matter of Inclination. This This is a beautiful story that revolves around two long time friends discovering each other in a whole new way. I loved this gentle drama partially because of the unusual leads. This is a great book and I am so very glad I had the opportunity to read it!!
As with most anthologies, these stories were hit and miss for me. Thankfully more were hit, than miss. I found one story truly odd, and a couple were told in present tense, a style of narration I struggle with at the best of times.
This was overall a pretty good anthology. As always, some stories were better than others, and one story I flat out hated (it wasn't bad, and was actually very well done, it was also very much not for me). I almost couldn't believe Harper Bliss contributed a story with no sex at all, but she did and it was great. It's an interesting mix and it's available through Kindle Unlimited, which is great given the price.
Summer Love is a bit of a misnomer - it would better be titled Summer Sex although those familiar with Harper Bliss' work would have no surprises at that comment!
Having said that, for the more romantics at heart, there are some nice tales of love thrown in among the pwoar scenes and overall, as the title of the anthology suggests, this would be the perfect book to read on a summer day at the beach (I can equally vouch for the under a blankie, in front of the heater in the middle of winter combo ;) )
Overall your better than average anthology - no stories below a 3 for me and a few tipping a 4. Nice.
I usually like short stories -- the ability to paint a scene in a few words, to not build up too much, to give just enough character description. But this anthology just didn't work for me. I'm not sure if it is the romance aspect -- the usually ridiculously short timelines are even more compressed in most of these stories, or if the stories themselves were not that interesting. There were a few that I enjoyed -- Harper bliss's own was well written, though I don't like it when ostensibly straight characters just decide to experiment with women (Sarah was very believable, Amelia not at all). Many were underdeveloped and, seeing that many of the authors were erotica writers, I wasn't surprised. These stories weren't erotic enough for me to be happy with them on that level, nor had enough meat to the story to stand alone as a romance. There were some well written sex scenes throughout, just not enough for a really good erotica. Overall, not highly recommended
I enjoyed the stories some more than others but was a bit disappointed when I looked for some of the writers and didn't find them on Amazon. And of course it's needless to say that Harper Bliss nailed it with her story. LOVE Her!!!!
Summer Love edited by Harper Bliss and Caroline Manchoulas is a wonderful collection of short stories so delightful and delicious they will undoubtedly tempt, tease, and thrill you as much as they did me.
This anthology has fourteen excellent stories from fourteen amazing authors, just a few of the headliners – Harper Bliss Tamsin Flowers A.L. Brooks Emily L. Byrne Erzabet Bishop K.A. Smith Cheyenne Blue
and standout stories from – Camille Duvall Katya Harris Brooke Winters Lucy Felthouse RJ Layer Allison Wonderland Annabeth Leong.
Most of the authors that are featured in this book were unknown to me and getting acquainted with their stories turned out to be a very enjoyable experience. Each story introduces new characters set in an amazing location, from the exquisite volcanic island of Lanzarote to the Great Dividing Range in the Victorian high country in Australia, or a camping ground on a music festival, and many more. None of the stories disappoint and at the end of most of them I wanted to read more about the featured characters and their future journeys in life. This book could be the perfect companion for your next holiday, or a weekend away, or even for a short interlude during your lunchbreak in the park if you want to relive a bit of summer holiday magic.