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Sight Unseen: A Collection of Five Anonymous Novellas

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  74 ratings  ·  31 reviews
What stories would you tell if you could? Where would your mind take you, if you let it? Five of the top voices in romance dare you to explore the most distant corners of their imaginations as they test the limits of storytelling and break the boundaries of what even they thought possible, teasing and tormenting you shamelessly as they go.

But there’s a twist—the author of
ebook, 386 pages
Published June 6th 2017 by Open Ink Press
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These stories range from incredibly cute to ridiculously intense, with only one meh second to last story.
Originally posted at SmexyBooks-

Sight Unseen is a compilation of five romance novellas; each written by a well-known author. The catch is none of them signed their name to their story. Each author was given the chance to write out of their comfort zone, freeing themselves and the readers from any preconceived notions or expectations. Each story is approximately 8 chapters long and deals with a variety of topics. As a fan of each author, I found myself payi
Jul 15, 2017 rated it liked it

I realized something reading this anthology. In theory, I love the idea of guessing who wrote what. In practice, though, not so much. I just want my Sherry Thomas and Meredith Duran first. The rest can wait. Anyway, it's all good, now I know I'm not the target audience. Overall this is a pretty solid anthology, and coming from me that's high praise, since I'm definitely not a huge fan of anthologies. There was only one story I didn't enjoy at all and had to force myself to finish (Free). Th
Just okay, really. I bought this a little for the concept, but more for the idea of these author "testing the limits" and "breaking the boundaries," which I didn't feel I really got. I suppose that some of the stories are unusual for some of the writers, but a) you don't know who wrote what! and b) they're not that unusual in general.

I read the first two too long ago to really say much at all about them, but I think the second one is Emma Barry. Something about the tone.

The third one, Free, I di
Em Wittmann
I gave the anthology a 'B' overall at All About Romance. I liked it - the stories are diverse and entertaining - but I didn't love it. I have some ideas about who wrote which story. We'll have to wait and see whether I've got it right or not!

My full review for All About Romance is here: Sight Unseen

When I heard about this anthology and the clever conceit behind it – five famous authors have contributed novellas, but only the publisher knows who penned each story – I couldn’t wait to get my hand
Astra Astrid
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sight Unseen: A Collection of Five Anonymous Novellas
"What stories would you tell if you could? Where would your mind take you, if you let it? Five of the top voices in romance dare you to explore the most distant corners of their imaginations as they test the limits of storytelling and break the boundaries of what even they thought possible, teasing and tormenting you shamelessly as they go.
But there’s a twist—the author of each story is a secret at the time of release. They’re each plumbing th
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the second, third, and fifth stories. The fifth one is my favorite, followed closely by the third one. I really liked the first one, but I felt like it was missing something. I didn't like the fourth story so much... I couldn't really tell what the story was trying to accomplish, and I didn't enjoy how unresolved everything was at the end. It's like it was missing the last chapter. Also, I really enjoyed the heroine, but the hero did nothing for me.

I'm pretty damn impressed that I liked
Adele Buck
May 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Sight Unseen is an ambitious, exciting project. Five well-known romance authors with established reputations and readers (who also have established expectations of their work) each write a novella that stretches them outside their comfort zone, or into a new subgenre.

The trick is, that for three months after the anthology's official release, all the novellas' author names are a secret. Think you know a particular author (or all of them) so well that you can pick their work out of a line-up even
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is an experimental anthology; each author is writing in a genre new to her.
For me, two of the stories stand out as clear and lovely. The story flows, the relationships develop, there may not be a firm ending but I was never confused.
One was a little confusing but I would like to know more about the characters.
One was pretty clear, was not beautiful, I would like to know more, but it did resolve cleanly.
One was confusing and unresolved and I did not really care.
The anchor story, the fin
Sheila Melo
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
SIGHT UNSEEN is an anthology of five stories written by different authors.  Three months after the publication, the authors will be revealed.

LOST THAT FEELING:  Alma is being held in prison where she is told she is a thief and a murderer.  Having cast a spell on herself, Alma has lost her memories from the last seven  years.  When she is rescued by a man named Driss, he tells her he is a friend and that she is actually a hero helping to overthrow an oppressive leader. Alma, however, doesn't know
Christa Schönmann Abbühl
I do have trouble buying eBooks for full prize, as I don't feel I actually own them. They do not have the same "worth" for me, however illogical or even unjust that may be, as a "real" book in ink and paper that I can put up on a shelf and lend to my friends and so on. I do buy eBooks, but mostly when they are on sale.

I bought this anthology for the full price (it is not a very expensive one, but still above what I usually spend) because of the Smart Bitches podcast. I liked the idea behind the
Sep 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Ok so the reveal has started (one story per day starting yesterday!) but I still want to do the guessing for myself and I'll add the reveals in spoiler tags after I check them.

I've read four of the authors before - everyone except Rock. I'm a huge fan of both Barry and Satie. By Duran, I've only read Duke of Shadows, which I really liked, and by Thomas I've only read a novella that I didn't much care for. SO, here goes:

Lost that Feeling: Perfectly alright, I just didn't... get that feeling. Sorr
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Don’t remember the individual stories, though I recall it being good and me being irritated that I couldn’t match the authors to the stories I liked. I’m all for authors exploring but shorts is how I discover new to me writers. So this game of mystery nonsense was not for me.
Jul 16, 2017 added it
Shelves: dnf, e-book
I'm not sure how to rate this book, here's why:

The first story is good although I started to get bored in the middle. The ending was thought provoking and I really liked that. I was reminded of Star Wars but with an ending. Couldn't figure the time period, could have been past/contemporary/future.

The second story was better. I had a firmer feeling of the environment maybe because I grew up in San Francisco. I haven't been there in decades but the lingo was right and therefore stirred memories. C
I thought it would be a safe pre-order because I like three of the authors - didn't even realize the gimmick until I opened to the first page. But I suspect they purposely chose different genres or wrote against type just to keep folks guessing, which is a fun idea in theory, but didn't work for me in practice.
Aug 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, anthology, 2017
I enjoyed this anthology and 10/10 would read another! However, there were stories that really stood out for me and others that just didn't work quite as neatly.

Standouts were:

1. Free - and I'm sort of seeing that whole scruffy SoA appeal now, plus I loved the geek gets the girl romance.
2. The Heart Is A Universe - okay, unabashedly, this is my favorite story in the anthology, the world building began quietly but built gradually up in a very lovely way and I adore the ending.
3. I feel I'm goi
Maria Rose
Sight Unseen is an ambitious project by five authors to write something from the heart but to remain anonymous. There are five novellas on a variety of themes, but the authors of the stories won’t be revealed until three months after the publication date. Personally, I’ve read 3 of the 5 authors before, but this was no help in determining who wrote what. The stories are fiction with romantic elements. I’d hesitate to label them all romances, but they do involve couples and have happy for now end ...more
SIGHT UNSEEN is an anthology of 5 novellas written by authors unknown. I mean, you know who the 5 authors are, but who wrote what? That's the mystery, and it's trying to answer a question: Does author brand/name dictate readership?

Such a fun concept, and it would've been more fun if we totally don't know who the 5 authors are. Because I have a confession: I've only ever read Sherry Thomas and Meredith Duran's books, and when I saw their names, it was like there's an automatic "get it" clanging
Lauren loves llamas
I picked this up mainly because I was curious about the premise, and I had to read an anthology for the Ripped Bodice Summer Read Along. I went in figuring that the stories would be interesting but probably not spectacular, since the authors would be writing outside their usual genre. However, I was pleasantly surprised.

Lost That Feeling - 3 stars. Enjoyable, but it felt like that scene in Toy Story 2 where Mrs. Potato Head packs a bunch of stuff inside Mr. Potato Head, until play dough comes sp
Jun 29, 2017 rated it liked it
So I have read at least one book by each of the listed authors but I haven't a clue who wrote what in this collection. So that being said here goes my unbiased review for each one.
Lost That Feeling: Grade C. This was a disjointed and somewhat sloppy amnesia story. It started pretty strong, but dragged in the middle. The overly crammed story lurched toward a somewhat flat and too abrupt ending.
A Clear View of You: Grade A-. The best story in the lot for me. A tale about a supposed magic dud posin
Trader (RedHotBlueReads)
Anthologies can be tricky reads -- sometimes it's that one story by a favorite author and sometimes it's a favorite theme that draws you in, but it's also an opportunity to explore new authors. Sight Unseen combines all of these concepts into one thought-provoking group of novellas. The twist here is that the authors are not matched with their story. That was a refreshing concept for me.

There's something for everyone in this set of stories. As with many novellas, it can be hard to pack a big st
Mary Kate
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Guys, I loved all of these stories, except one.

They were all full of women power & I ABSOLUTELY loved it!

Every story I wanted the full novel. The first one had such an interesting plot with the girl erasing her memory.

I loved the biker story because the girl was super bad ass & the hero in it was an accountant & was not as bad ass as her. I liked how she rode a motorcycle & he sat behind her. This story really broke through some gender stereotypes.

I also enjoyed how her first boyfriend had a h
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I bought this to support the idea of anonymous novellas and experimentalism in the romance genre, but I think I'm ultimately pretty traditional as my favorite story was the third one, which was most traditionally a romance--the fourth and fifth stretch the boundaries a good bit, and the first and second have more plot than central love story. Also, the anonymous thing didn't really affect how I read things--it's like reading a random free Kindle book by an author I've never heard of. Anyway, her ...more
Jul 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
It's an interesting project but the stories aren't all great.

Lost That Feeling - three stars, but it felt unfinished; the side characters aren't really well explored.

A Clear View of You - my favourite, easily five stars. It feels a little like Connie Willis, in the best way possible.

Free - oh dear God, why. Some phrases were so terrible that they are going to be burnt on my retinas forever. The less said the better.

Chariot of Desire - the best thing about this one was its shortness.

The Heart is
Ok, so both Sherry Thomas and Meredith Duran are on my auto buy list, so I bought this one even though I don't like anthologies. It's not a bad anthology. The novellas went from my least favorite to favorite in that order. The last two were the best, and I have no doubts that those are Duran's and Thomas's. The last one is legit good. I absolutely loved it, and it's why this anthology gets 4 starts. I'm pretty sure the last one is Sherry Thomas's. It feels really similar to her style in the elem ...more
Disappointment. Odd stories.

Typically I do not buy novellas. I usually do not appreciate the stories because I prefer a full novel that has time to develop the story and add depth to the characters. These 5 novellas were just silly...I'm not a fan of fantasy stories and most of these stories were about magic & fantasy. As much as I like Duran and Thomas I would not have purchased any of these stories as full novels whether they had their names as authors or not. Nope. Nada.
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it

This anthology takes five authors and has them write a story in a genre they don’t usually tackle. The twist is that when it was released the authors’ names were not attached to their story. Most of the stories veered into paranormal or science fiction or western. I’m not fond of any of these, yet really enjoyed these stories. The authors all displayed their writing skills with well structured novellas. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it, especially the last story, the Heart is a Universe.
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Five stories, five authors known for their talented ways in telling a tale. Each of the narratives will transport you through different romantic genres, different plots all with a happy ending, all very captivating. But the real twist, finding out which author wrote which story! Readers will get a kick out of guessing!

*ARC provided*
Kathy Cohen
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
Like most collections, these short stories are uneven in quality.Two of the authors are unfamiliar to me, so my guesses as to authorship are uncertain. The two best stories have a little magic in them, one is a peculiar science fiction/fantasy mashup, and two are gritty, modern-day stories.
Jun 26, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed most of the stories very much. Just goes to show what a good writer can do in a short spoof time.
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USA Today-bestselling author Sherry Thomas decided years ago that her goal in life is to write every kind of book she enjoys reading. Thus far she has published romance, fantasy, mystery, young adult, and three books inspired by the martial arts epics she grew up devouring. Her books regularly receive starred reviews and best-of-the-year honors from trade publications, including such outlets as th ...more

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