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The troop is all grown up, but that doesn’t mean they’ve stopped using the badges they earned.

Follow the irresistible men of the River Scouts as they journey through the twisted path that fate has set them on.

Each River Scout has a story to tell.

A truth they can’t hide.

But will they come out unscathed?

There’s only one way to find out...

SCOUTS is a limited time forbidden romance anthology containing new stories from a collection of your favorite authors.

1022 pages, Kindle Edition

First published October 6, 2021

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About the author

Abigail Davies

111 books1,315 followers
Angst • Drama • Romance

Abigail Davies is the author of over twenty novels. She writes cross-trope and loves to delve into the imaginary worlds she creates. Check out her series below:

Unseen Underground
(Mafia Romance)
Luca Beretta
Lorenzo Beretta
Mateo Caputo
Christian Gallo
Dante Beretta
Romeo Pagani

Easton Family Saga
(Duets - Angst Romance)
Free Fall
Down Fall

Defy Fate
Obey Fate

Torn Bond
Tied Bond

Fast Burn
Deep Burn

Enforce Her - Available for free on my Newsletter!

MAC Security Series
(Security Romance)
Fractured Lies
Flying Free
The Distance Between Us
Catching Teardrops

Confessions Series
(Romantic Comedy)
Confessions of a Klutz
Confessions of a Chatterbox
Confessions of a Frat Girl

Darker Pen name: A. A. Davies

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5 stars
139 (31%)
4 stars
141 (32%)
3 stars
115 (26%)
2 stars
26 (5%)
1 star
15 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 151 reviews
Profile Image for Lacey (laceybooklovers).
2,074 reviews10.5k followers
October 5, 2021
Welp, ASH CITY by Penelope Douglas was amazing and I need about 300 more pages of it. The hero is a little bit psycho but he has eyes for nothing but the heroine. My catnip!!!

My rating is just for this novella!
Profile Image for Heather.
941 reviews271 followers
February 9, 2023
**I'm don't think I've put any spoilers but just in case I slipped here's your warning. I've also read them out of order but numbered them as I went along. 😊**

Seriously, isn't the guy on the cover HOT AF?!?!? 🔥 I mean, who is he??

The boys from the Silver Scorpions & Black Bears Troops are all grown up! Who grew up to be good and who turned into the bad guys (the ones we love). I love some dark romance and these authors deliver them perfectly.

1. Cutthroat by Natasha Preston - 4*
Silver Scorpions
~Snow Sports Badge~ 🏂
What happens when the girl you want continues to tease you by making out with other guys? You kill them, of course! I really liked Zeke. He was attempting to do right by Nora...mostly.

15. Tamed by Measha Stone - 5*
Black Bears
~Veterinary Medicine~ 👱💉
Normally, I wouldn't think "training a puppy" would be sexy. However, when David starts teaching Gabby about her new life, while adding a touch of affection, I was finding myself in need of a cold shower! Loved it!

12. Asphyxiate by Ally Vance - 5*
Black Bears
~First Aid Badge~ 🤕😷🤒
Benny. Holy hell...I feel wrong to be loving you but I do. I loved this one! Benny enjoys a bit of breath play. Unfortunately, even with his first aid skills, he goes too far every time. But Benny knows there will be someone out there for him. I haven't read anything by Ally Vance before but I'm definitely going to try more by her very soon!

6. History X by Ellie Meadows - 4*
Black Bears
~American History Badge~ 🇺🇸
"It was a whole new world between her legs. And my tongue was a goddamn magic carpet ride."
I always enjoy the teacher/student trope so of course I liked this one. Bryant Callahan is a professor that loves history and quite literally wants to find his Marilyn so he can be her JFK. It was a fun read!

9. Sanctum by Claire C Riley - 5*
Silver Scorpions
~Wood Carving Badge~ 🌲🔪
Leo lives alone in the woods where he does what he loves. Then Camille shows up and Leo's been alone for a long time... I loved this story! I actually haven't read anything by this author but I'm definitely going to read more now. This was a whole experience. You knew something wasn't right but I couldn't see where it was going. A slow descent into the darkness and I was all for it.

13. Exposure by Vicki James - 5*
Black Bears
~Photography Badge~ 📸
Oh Drake!!!! Welp, this story topped the previous 12. I loved it so much! Drake needs revenge on the four girls who tied him to a tree and assaulted him years earlier. He was on a mission to get that revenge and I was completely there for that ride! 💜

2. Ash City by Penelope Douglas - 4*
Silver Scorpions
~Fire Safety Badge~ 🔥
As always Penelope Douglas makes the sexiest guys. Dominic was no exception. Castel's ex shows up in the middle of the night with two other guys but she's not sure who is good and who is bad. I love ALL things Penelope Douglas and this was no exception. It felt like a complete story even though its actually a short story. Perfect.

16. Terrene by Yolanda Olsen - 4*
Silver Scorpions
~Backpacking~ 🏞
Harvey can't get over the loss of Libby. All he thinks about is being able to get revenge. His journey to get there felt sinister. I knew it was building up to something good and I couldn't wait. I was going to give it five stars until the end. I thought the ending was too quick and I had tons of questions. I really liked it alot unfortunately, for me, it was missing something.

14. Corruption by Andi Jaxon - 4*
Black Bears
~Horse Riding~ 🏇
MM. When Corbin was 15 and in the scouts he felt completely unwanted except when around Scott his horse riding trainer. Scott knew he was too young even though he caught feelings. Two years later, and now completely legal, Corbin shows up at his door ready to show him how grown up he's become. I liked this one alot! HOT!

10. Carnal Value by Shane Starrett - 4*
Silver Scorpions
~Entrepreneur Badge~ 💰💰
Devlin and Sebastian have started a new business. They are training women to be perfect sex slaves to sell to the most wealthy clients. Now things aren't so easy for them because not every girl dreams of this kind of career. I mean, duh. I wasn't sure what this story was going to be about but I ended up enjoying it alot. There were 3 POV's and I liked them all.

8. Malefactor by Abigail Davies - 5*
Silver Scorpions
~Law Badge~ 📜
I picked this story next bc I haven't seen any reviews or anything about it. Well, I'm telling the readers who've skipped over it... You are missing a great one! Its become one of my top two faves now! Dane is a lawyer who wants to save his love from a very dangerous man. He'll do whatever it takes to do it.

3. Axed by Samantha Towle - 4*
Black Bears
~Forestry Badge~ 🌲🌲🌲
Axel is an ex con who's parole officer is his high school crush and he's not the scrawny little boy he used to be. Things would almost be perfect for him if only the bullies from high school weren't dying around them. SO GOOD!

4. Fertile Ground by Jennifer Bene - 5*
Silver Scorpions
~Gardening Badge~ 🌻🌹🌷🌻
The darkest book I've EVER read, Mesmer was co written with this author so I knew I was in store for a creepy ass story. All I will say is I was right and my sweet Theo just really, really likes gardening.

7. Caged by Cole Denton - 3*
Silver Scorpions
~Sports Badge~ ⚾
MM. Travis has always been infatuated with his older brothers best friend. I don't really like MM stories that much but this was a nice second chance romance. Forbidden? Yes, Kyle is Travis' coach. Dark? No.

11. Corrupt Us by J.M. Walker - 3*
Black Bears
~Scuba Diving Badge~ 🏊
MM. Bear(Bryson) and Kid(Kitson) meet, by chance, in a bar one night. Bear is older and knows something darker lies within Kid. He just needs to find a way to bring it out of him. Again, I don't really like MM stories that much but I enjoyed this one the most so far. It was definitely the sexiest! {I don't know why this received the scuba diving badge. Aside from a shower there wasn't a drop of water in the story.}

5. Archer's Release by Kamisa Cole - 2*
Black Bears
~Archery Badge~ 🏹
MM. This was about Zion and Victor. As teens they become stepbrothers and Zion uses his archery skills to torture Victor. I personally don't think this story should have been a part of this anthology. It wasn't really dark at all. IMO.

MOST FAVORITE: Tamed OR Asphyxiate

LEAST FAVORITE: Archer's Release
Profile Image for vxhexn reads.
506 reviews127 followers
May 7, 2022
(Updated: 5.5.2022)

💚TERRENE by Yolanda Olson 🏅Backpacking
RATING: 5⭐️ (MF)

✨ this story has been republished and is available in ebook and paperback ✨ https://geni.us/Terrene

💚BLURB💚 I should have been there. I told her not to leave without me, but she didn’t listen. And now she’s gone. No one remembers her—not like I do. I refuse to let her memory die. She was a good girl and fell for the wrong kind of guy. It wasn’t her fault. I think that once I find him, I’ll be able to put the beast inside of me to rest. The one that feels nothing. The one that wants blood and vengeance. I’m sorry, Libby. I promise I’ll find him. Even if it means going into the dark.

💚REVIEW 💚 This is everything I love about a Yolanda Olson story. Mystery. Intrigue. Suspense. And a mind bendingly psychotic character. If you’ve had the pleasure of meeting Guy in Bones you’re going to love Harvey!!

Experiencing the world through Harvey’s eyes made me empathize with his grief and turmoil. The emotions behind his actions kept me hoping for the best outcome. And when Harvey passes the line on some thing I found myself seeing it his way. There wasn’t anything wrong, it just needed to happen. I ended up missing Libby alongside him. I wanted vengeance for her too. Yet it’s the ending of this story that left me wanting to laugh, cry, and possibly throw something 🤣
💚CAGED by Cole Denton 🏅Sports
RATING: 5⭐️ — pages: 33 (MM)

✨ This story is available on the authors website in both ebook and paperback ✨

💚BLURB: Curiosity led me to that field. Want led me to follow. Desire led me to his college. Fear led me to cage my curiosity, want, and desire. I hope he’ll see my longing and release me from my cage.

💚REVIEW💚 What started as an innocent childhood crush evolved into a much deeper, slightly more complicated HEA for two people who should have been brothers-in-law if life had panned out differently.

Travis Carson and his family suffered the devastating loss of a loved one to war. As an Air Force pilot Trevor flew out on a night mission in Afghanistan one night and never came home. Kyle Matthews was Trevor’s everything. And now he’s Travis’ obsession. So when he finds out Kyle is coaching at a local college that’s where he attends, against all protests. And the reunion four plus years in the making between these two is electric. There’s no holding back on the chemistry or the heat.

🚿 group fun in the shower (hazing & mildly golden)
⚾️ fun in a dugout
🖤ASPHYXIATE by Ally Vance 🏅First Aid
RATING: 5⭐️ — pages: 34 — BLURB: none (MF + MM content)

✨ This story has been extended and will feature new content. Go preorder it here

🖤 REVIEW 🖤 Breath Play!! One kink I swear doesn’t come around often enough. I loved traipsing through the wilderness with Benny as he looked for ways to hone his lifesaving skills in his own special way. As a Scorpion Troop River Scout he gained his fondness for first aid; as an adult he’s learned that the power that comes with controlling life or death was the ultimate aphrodisiac. Sadly mistakes happen until you get things right, and oh does he find his perfect match in the end.

There’s MF and MM interactions, this isn’t a romance more of an exploration into personal happiness and fulfillment.
🖤MALEFACTOR by Abigail Davies 🏅Law
RATING: 5⭐️ — pages: 50 — BLURB: none (MF)

🖤REVIEW🖤 and again, I’m so mad this story is over!! Abby does it to me ever short story she drops. I swear I’m a glutton for punishment but holy cow I seriously need a minute to collect myself and get over the man that is Dane Donovan.

Maya Black was fifteen when her father died of cancer. And as a dying wish he had secured her future in the hands of his best friend Dane. Being five years his junior, Dane was hesitant to take in a teenage girl. And on her eighteenth birthday her first act as an adult was to confess her feelings. Imagine both their surprise at that one. So between embarrassment and mortification they part ways and regret it immensely.

Fast forward and Maya has gotten involved with a very shady man who essentially treats her as a sex slave/pet. She’s merely an object not a person. That is until the moment Dane comes back into her life. And when their eyes met I knew everything was getting turned on it’s head. But UGHHHHH 😩 why did we fade to black. I so needed more.

🖤 best friends daughter
🖤 dads best friend turned guardian
💚SANCTUM by Claire C. Riley 🏅Woodcarving
RATING: ✨rtc✨ — pages: 35 — BLURB: none
🖤HISTORY X by Ellie Meadows 🏅American History
RATING: ✨rtc✨ — pages: 53

🖤BLURB: There was never anyone else like her. Like Marilyn. Beautiful. Charming. Talented. The perfect woman. I tried and failed to love others. But it never worked. Because they couldn’t be her. I wish I was born in a different time. In a different place.So I could love her the way she should have been loved. I never thought I’d get that chance. Until now… Joey. MyJoey. This time, I’ll get it right. History waits for no man, Marilyn needs her JFK.
💚ASH CITY by Penelope Douglas 🏅Fire Safety
RATING: ✨rtc✨ — pages: 45 — BLURB: none
🖤FERTILE GROUND by Jennifer Bene 🏅Gardening
RATING: ✨rtc✨ — pages: 59 — BLURB: none
💚TAMED by Measha Stone 🏅Veterinary Medicine
RATING: ✨rtc✨ — pages: 51 — BLURB: none
🖤CORRUPTION by Andi Jaxon 🏅Horse Riding
RATING: ✨rtc✨ — pages: 37

🖤BLURB: He wasn’t legal the first time I kissed him, but it didn’t stop me from wanting it more than I wanted you next breath. Corbin James was put on this earth to torture me and after two years away, he’s comeback to do just that. Now he’s asking for my help. I should tell him no, but I’ve never been able to deny him anything. It’s just for the week. All I have to do is keep my hands to myself for seven days. I can do that. Right? The kid I once taught how to ride a horse is now taking me for the ride of a lifetime and even though I know I should, I don’t want to. Even if it destroys my life, it’ll be worth it. I hope.
💚AXED by Samantha Towle 🏅Forestry
RATING: ✨rtc✨ — pages: 33 — BLURB: none
🖤CORRUPT US by J.M. Walker 🏅Scuba Diving
RATING: ✨rtc✨ — pages: 59

BLURB: We met at a bar. A one-night stand that was supposed to be just that, turned into more. Fast. We took. We gave. We opened up something within in each other that neither of us had ever experienced before. Both of us had demons that threatened to corrupt us in any way they could. It was our choice on if we let them or not.
💚CUTTHROAT by Natasha Preston 🏅Snow Sports
RATING: ✨rtc✨ — pages: 53 — BLURB: none
🖤EXPOSURE by Vicki James 🏅Photography
RATING: ✨rtc✨ — pages: 48 — BLURB: none
💚ARCHER’S RELEASE by Kamisa Cole 🏅Archery
RATING: ✨rtc✨ — pages: 30

💚BLURB: A bow, an arrow—an erection? Maybe I shouldn’t have been turned on the first time my bully/stepbrother has me naked against a target, tied up and fully at his mercy. But I had been. And after that? It was only he who could make me come without touching me. But tables are about to turn. I’ve been his for so long, it’s time he knows it, too. After all, someone has to take care of the Archerks Release, too, right? That someone? It won’t be anyone but me.
🖤CARNAL VALUE by Shane Starrett 🏅Entrepreneurship
RATING: ✨rtc✨ — pages: 56 — BLURB: none
individual cover reveals for the Scouts anthology

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Profile Image for Lisa.
222 reviews45 followers
October 6, 2021
This book just slapped me in the face 🤦🏻‍♀️. I only read Penelope Douglass Ash City story and It had me hooked imagine my surprise when I get to chapter 4 it ends up being the last chapter nd ending of the story 😭. I should’ve looked more into this before reading I’m highly disappointed.
Profile Image for Manvi.
240 reviews184 followers
November 6, 2021
Only read Penelope Douglas' bit and that was rather disgusting... If you liked it then I'm sorry but it wasn't for me.
Profile Image for BLuvsBooks.
579 reviews102 followers
October 28, 2021
This review is for Ash City by Penelope Douglas.

“we have to destroy to change.”
“To survive,”
This novella is action packed and filled with intriguing characters, danger, spice, and a surprising twist.
What a fantastic quick read by an amazing author.
Penelope writes it- I one click it.

Contemporary dark romance. Triggers.
Profile Image for Vivian .
543 reviews6 followers
October 11, 2021
Review for ASH CITY by Penelope Douglas:

Whether it's a novel that's several hundred pages or a novella that's less than 100 pages, Penelope Douglas can write it! Gah, this novella was the like the glass of wine that you've been thinking about ALL DAMN DAY...you finally get it, drink it too fast and then immediately want more. Even with this only being a novella, Pen was able to give us an intriguing storyline, peppered with some mystery, add in some apparent *ahem* steam *wink*, then throw in a twist here and there, and *BAM* you have a completely addictive read that takes but an hour or two to read. The perfect palate cleanser between novels. Bravo, Penelope, Bravo!

5 stars
Profile Image for Gina .
388 reviews69 followers
October 8, 2021
Objectively three stars

I actually read it last week and just now got around to posting a review

Mainly I enjoyed the the first three stories but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get this arc mainly just for Penelope Douglas short story

Honestly I liked ash city by PD but I expected more/ less at the same time

I felt like there was too much of a story there for only 20 pages long

It didn’t seem believable that there feeling would run that deep if they haven’t seen each other in 14 years

Hun I could understand he was 12 her… not so much

And I’ll be honest the fact that she chose to to not only show that her ex was shitty would have been fine … except she also made his parter who is also a black dude be a shitty person having the hero a “white dude” the only good guy around and giving this entire book doesn’t have one male lead as any other race than white …

Soooo yeah that kinda felt off maybe it was just me

Other than that I did like all the stories in here some more dark than others

But ash city wasn’t all that dark as I thought it was going to be definitely tame compared to the others
Profile Image for Crystal.
1,824 reviews53 followers
Want to read
May 20, 2022
Reviews are listed in the order read, not the order in the book, and will be updated as each story is read.

Ash City, by Penelope Douglas. 4 stars
38%-52%, pages 389-452. Fire Safety Badge. Silver Scorpions. Tropes: Interracial (BWWM), Older Woman, Mobish/Criminal theme, and Second Chance?
Love, love loved this story. There was an apocalyptic feel, and a bit of racist undertones to the past scenes which I didn’t love, but the current day storyline was HAWT. There was a mystery in both their past as well as what was happening present day, and lots of steam. And there was enough information about Castel’s past and family life, to make it seem like a full length story. That, along with the epilogue-ish final chapter by Ash, made it feel like I was reading a complete book, which can be a rarity with anthology stories.

Fertile Ground, by Jennifer Bene. 3 stars
73%-82%, pages 755-840. Gardening Badge. Silver Scorpions. Tropes: Kidnapping, Somnophelia
Having read this author before, I had an inkling of how this story would play out. I was both right and wrong. The suspense had me on the edge of my seat up until the very last page, which I love in a story. There could easily be more to this tale, however there doesn't have to be, and I kind of don't want there to be more.

Sanctum, by Claire C Riley. 2.5 stars
25%-30%, pages 268-319. Woodcarving Badge. Silver Scorpions. Tropes: Suspense, Capture
I thought this story was too similar to Fertile Ground for me to really enjoy it, it was just a different setting. If I had not read the two back to back, I probably would have enjoyed it a little more than I did, but it’s not really my kind of story. While I liked the suspense, I do hope that not all the stories are like this.

Malefactor, by Abigail Douglas. 5 stars
63%-68%, pages 646-706. Law Badge. Silver Scorpions. Tropes: Revenge, Age Gap, Best Friends Daughter
This story just edged out Ash City as my favorite one! While I’m not usually a fan of age gaps, and especially when they are best friends of a parent, but it wasn’t too in-your-face here, and the revenge really played a bigger role. This was another story that had enough detail to feel like a complete story, and that is something that I think is rare, but oh so needed, in anthology stories.

Terrene, by Yolanda Olson. 3 stars
45%-49%, pages 454-504. Backpacking Badge. Silver Scorpions. Tropes: Vigilante, Taboo
I feel like this one needed to be longer, more fleshed out. Felt that there were things missing, important things. And I WAY needed more of Libby and Harvey. I’ve read this author before, so thought I knew going in what it would be like and I was pretty much right. It started out as 3 stars, then the little twist with Libby made it jump to 4, but due to the mentioned above things, I think it maybe ended at 3?

Cutthroat, by Natasha Preston. 4 stars
0%-8%, pages 5-79. Snow Sports Badge. Silver Scorpions. Tropes: Forbidden (h is underage and bosses granddaughter, H is J/P
A fun story, I wish it was longer so that we'd have gotten more of the forbidden tension. And also to have seen what happens next. But even without those things, it still felt like a complete story, and I loved it.

Tamed, by Measha Stone. 3.25 stars
8%-15%, pages 82-150. Veterinary Medicine Badge. Black Bears. Tropes: Kidnap/trafficking, pet play/training, second chance?
These tropes are not my thing at all, and reading this story just made me angry. But it did feel like a complete story, and there was a bit of an HEA/HFN vibe by the end, so that is pushing it above most of the other stories that I’ve read so far. But that doesn’t mean that I liked or enjoyed it.

Exposure, by Vicki James. 4.25 stars
31%-38%, pages 321-387. Photography Badge. Black Bears. Tropes: Revenge, second chance
I like that this one was a complete story! And that it had an HEA, since so many of the others that I’ve read so far don’t. I do wish that we could have seen more of the revenge on page, after all that, I needed the details. But besides that, this one is easily in my top for the anthology so far.
Profile Image for Mahbuba| bilkandbooks on IG.
161 reviews15 followers
October 6, 2021
I feel cheeky marking this off as read because I only read Ash City by Penelope Douglas...but anyway I absolutely loved it, for such a short story it was well detailed and didn't seem rushed. The plot twist guys I just 💀 Manifesting that Penelope adds more to it and releases the story as a novella or full length novel.
Profile Image for Júlia.
221 reviews3,524 followers
October 20, 2021
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 🌶🌶🌶/5

TW: This is a dark romance ANTHOLOGY, reader discretion advised.

This review is obviously mainly for Pen's stories because I will buy anything that woman puts out and I will sell my soul to the Devil to make sure she is happy and can support her family with HOW MUCH ENTERTAINMENT this woman gives me. Sometimes I feel like I am underpaying it.

Ash City is everything you'd expect from Penelope. Chaotic, sensual, unpredictable, thriller vibes. Oh my how I adore those thriller vibes. Everything Pen touches turns into gold.

Do not sleep on some of these other authors though, I did read some of the other stories and they were pretty good. If you're in the mood for palate cleansers, or some short erotic tales, Scouts is the shit! I will definitely come back to it from time to time to finish the rest. There's some QUALITY in here, I promise you.

Profile Image for nikki.
789 reviews93 followers
December 10, 2021
I’m not gonna lie…I think I’m with the majority of people who picked this book just to read ASH CITY by Penelope Douglas. I did skim through a couple of the other stories but they really weren’t for me.
ASH CITY, on the other hand - wow! Only 4 chapters long and by the end I was in love with Ash and Castel, and wishing this had been a full length story.
PD is such an incredible writer, and the fact that she had me so invested in a story is finished in 10mins, is just insane.
I hope that one day in the future she will decide to revisit this couple and give us another sneak peek into their life, because I would definitely be here for it.
Profile Image for TheBookPlatypus.
926 reviews162 followers
September 17, 2021
Terrene- Yolanda Olson

Harvey was a River Scout growing up in Salem, Oregon. Which made it easy to track down his prey….
This is a short story about seeking vengeance on someone he thinks that took and murdered Libby, Harvey’s “lover”.
”I���ve lived a nightmare for the past three years that I haven’t been able to wake up from. The only difference is, after tonight I’ll open my eyes again and be in a place where Libby is still alive.”

Oh course this is Yolanda Olson so that twist had me laughing because it’s just.. so Yolanda. 😂
You’ll get murder and you’ll get an unhinged main character.
“I’m sorry, Libby. I promise I’ll find him. Even if it means going into the dark.”
Profile Image for Megan.
719 reviews120 followers
January 8, 2022
MM/MF Dark Romance Anthology
4 MM/ 12 MF

***Warnings*** Some of these stories are DARK. If you have triggers, this probably isn’t for you.

Boy Scout
*a member of an organization for boys ages 11 to 17
*Boy Scouts participate in group activities, learn skills, and are encouraged to have good morals and be good citizens.

All of the stories in this anthology are about Eagle Scouts, the badge they were given and how they applied it to their adult lives. All the scouts are depraved in general but especially when it comes to applying their badge knowledge in the real world. They do NOT have good morals, are NOT good citizens and most of them are certifiably crazy. I LOVED it.

I finished this book in early December yet some of these stories are so fresh in my mind, it’s like I read this yesterday. Some of the romances, while dark, were full of depraved humor like the first story, Cutthroat by Natasha Preston. I was both appalled and couldn’t stop laughing at the absurdity of the main character, Zeke, and his obsession with Nora Vanderbilt.

I liked every story with the exception of ONE. Carnal Value by Shane Starrett had me cringing at what the women go through in this story. It was hard to read because of all the non-con. I skimmed the majority of it.

My favorite reads were:

*Ash City By Penelope Douglas. I’ve wanted to read a book by this author for awhile and this was a fabulous intro to her style of writing. The badge was fire building.
* Fertile Ground By Jennifer Bene. This story was about the main character’s gardening badge and was super twisted. It actually reminded me of a short story I read in the Stalkers Anthology earlier in the year. I wouldn’t call this romance per say yet it was everything I look for in a good dark read.

I also liked all the MM ones especially Archer’s Release by Kamisa Cole and Andi Jaxson’s Corruption because they were full with kink related to the badges they obtained. Archery & Horses.

This was a great dark read. I loved it.

Profile Image for Ann (Literary Lust).
1,239 reviews19 followers
April 6, 2022
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this anthology. There have been some incredible short stories which have been an absolute pleasure to read. In fact, I would recommend the majority of them to you to enjoy.

There are a few contributing authors that I was already familiar with but many were new to me, and I am delighted that I can add a number of them to my future reading lists.

Most of the stories I have rated either 4 or 5 stars but sadly a few have scored lower. Therefore, it seems only fair to award the Scouts anthology 4 stars overall.

My review of each story as I read them -

Cutthroat by Natasha Preston - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I absolutely loved this short story. I read it in one sitting!

Zeke and Nora make a perfect couple. They have a fabulous connection and sexual tension between them is palpable. This short story packs some heat which I loved, and I thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns throughout. I was unable to anticipate how the story would conclude and was hooked from beginning to end.

Cutthroat is the first story featured in this anthology, and it has set the bar at a very high standard for the stories that follow!

Exposure by Vicki James - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I’m no stranger to Vicki James’ words and I can recall stating in a review of another short story of hers, that it was one of the best anthology pieces I’d ever read. Exposure is no different. I can at times find a short story to be lacking something, and I appreciate it must be difficult to write a complete story when the word count is restricted, but Vicki has penned another incredible novella that includes everything I want from my read.

Exposure is exciting. It has twists in the story that I didn’t see coming. I loved the main characters Drake and Mischa, and I understood the reasons behind their actions. The anticipation I felt whist waiting for this story to conclude was fabulous! As mentioned, I couldn’t anticipate how the story would unfold – which I loved.

Another 5-star read from this author who never fails to impress me. I loved Exposure and I’m certain you will too.

Ash City by Penelope Douglas - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

My first Penelope Douglas read and it won’t be the last. This is one of the things I love about anthologies, they allow me to sample a 'new to me' author’s work. I would have loved more of this story, although the scene that was penned did feel complete and I was happy to discover what happened with Ash and Castel after the event.

Ash City was a great short story with a fabulous twist that I didn’t see coming!

Axed by Samantha Towle - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I really enjoyed this story. I would have loved more of it in all honesty and I hope that the author expands and releases it herself once she has the rights back.

I loved Axel and Eden. I enjoyed their interactions throughout. I was gutted to learn Axel’s history and the reason why he came to be back in touch with Eden. Life can be so unfair! I would love to know more about Eden.

My only niggle, and those of you who follow my reviews know this is a bugbear of mine, is that there were multiple repeats of one detail, which even though I believe was inserted to stress a point still irked me 🤷‍♀️

A great short story by this author who I have been reading for years. I’m certain you’ll love it and be begging for more Axel and Eden too.

Sanctum by Claire C Riley - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

I absolutely loved the anticipation that I felt when reading this story. Not quite knowing what was going to unfold had me sitting on the edge of my seat by the end of the novella, and the ending I found was rather unexpected. I had so many different scenario’s running through my mind and I do enjoy when a story takes me down a path I hadn’t considered.

Ms. Riley’s story was enjoyable, engaging and quite dark. I’d love to learn more of Leo’s backstory. He’s certainly an intriguing character.

Asphyxiate by Ally Vance - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I enjoyed this short story. It grabbed my attention and held it throughout.

A do have a few niggles, such as there were too many repeated references to the Scouts for my liking. Anyone who follows my reviews knows that repeats irk me. I also have a few questions regarding Benny’s time with Oriana which a full-length novel may have addressed.

Overall, I enjoyed Asphyxiate, and I look forward to reading more work penned by this author.

Fertile Ground by Jennifer Bene - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I absolutely loved this short story. My only wish is that there was more of it! I hope we get a full-length novel one day as I want and need to know what happens next for Annabelle and Theo.

I loved how the author connected this story to the scouting movement. I was hooked from start to finish and read this novella in one sitting. I am struggling to understand my feelings for Theo and I love this. I am certain you'll recognise this feeling once you get to know him too.

This anthology piece is a must-read!

Tamed by Measha Stone - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This short story is very different to what I expected and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Now I’m wondering if I need some therapy because I feel I shouldn’t have loved it so much 🤷‍♀️

What can I say except David and Gabby are perfect for each other. Who am I to question their sexual preferences? I don’t think I’ve read anything like this previously but I found it rather hot 🔥

This is my first read by this author and it definitely won’t be the last.

History X by Ellie Meadows - ⭐⭐

I love to read a professor/teacher and student romance and I liked History X. I enjoyed getting to know Joey and Bryant and also the build up to their forbidden act but then the story ended on a twist that I had anticipated, and like many readers I love surprises. Although I do appreciate that some novellas are written as a prelude to a full-length novel but I do tend to prefer my short stories completed – especially in an anthology. That’s just me 🤷‍♀️

Terrene by Yolanda Olson - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I enjoyed reading Terrene. The story instantly grabbed my attention and held it throughout, although I was a little disappointed with the closing scene. I do wonder if the author plans to add to the novella and release it at a later date?

This a dark and taboo romance story. My first read by this author and it won’t be the last. I’d like to try one of Yolanda Olson’s full length novels next time.

Corruption by Andi Jaxon - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I enjoyed this short story. Maybe if it has been a little longer in length, I would have had the opportunity to connect with the leading characters more. There was a definite bond between Corbin and Scott - not only sexually but due to Scott being the first person who really cares about Corbin. Their feelings can eventually be acted upon which provides some very heated scenes.

Carnal Value by Shane Starrett - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I really enjoyed Carnal Value. This short story is as Hot as Hades from the go!

I enjoyed the storyline. I do feel that trigger warnings are necessary due to some darker content, so please take note. Carnal Values is told using multi POVs which works perfectly for this narrative. My only wish is to discover what Casey plans to do next! Maybe the author plans to expand and release the story in due course… fingers crossed!

Another great addition to this anthology.

Malefactor by Abigail Davies -⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I absolutely loved reading this anthology story. In fact, I cannot fault it!

The storyline had me gripped from start to finish. Mya and Dane narrate this story brilliantly- going from present time to the past in order to explain their situations more clearly and give the reader a greater understanding of their histories. The twist in the story had me feeling concerned and wondering why this was happening but it all made sense in the end.

This is my first-time reading this author’s work and it certainly won’t be the last!

Caged by Cole Denton - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Anthologies are the perfect way to discover new authors. Writing a short story with a restricted word count isn’t easy so when I read a novella that has a fabulous storyline and characters, and keeps me hooked from beginning to end, then it is very likely I will go on to read more of that author’s work. Cole Denton is now on my reading list because I absolutely loved reading Caged - it ticked all my boxes. This sports romance MM story has some hot scenes, and is a fantastic addition to this anthology.

Corrupt Us by J.M. Walker - ⭐⭐⭐

I thoroughly enjoyed the first part of this short story and then it seemed to become a little cringeworthy. That happened when the ‘L’ word started to be used. For me, Bear and Kid were declaring their love for each other far too quickly, especially as I have struggled to feel the connection between them. I became a little confused with parts of the storyline. The author seemed to add new characters but not use them effectively in order to give me a greater understanding of Kid’s history.

Corrupt Us, with a little rework, could potentially become a 5-star read. For now, I would award this novella 3 stars because I did enjoy the first few chapters.

Archer's Release by Kamisa Cole - ⭐⭐

It’s a shame that the anthology closes with this story. I would have loved for my final read to be one that left me buzzing and rating 5 stars, sadly this isn’t the case.

Archer's Release has potential. I enjoyed the messed up relationship between the step brothers. There are some interesting and dangerous kink scenes. However, I would have liked the story to have flowed more smoothly and have that little extra something to stop the story from feeling ‘bitty’. I appreciate this can be difficult when there is a word count restriction.
Profile Image for Y.D. Mar.
Author 63 books573 followers
Want to read
September 16, 2021
Terrene by Yolanda Olson - 5 stars

I really enjoyed the slow flow of this story. It led to lulling the reader into a false sense of security, so when the truth is revealed it slaps you in the face. But it's the cadence of the story told through Harvey's perspective that makes you want to just give him what he wants.

He made a promise to Libby, and he's going to make good on that promise. Who wouldn't love a man like that?
Profile Image for Snow.
2,215 reviews669 followers
October 20, 2021

there are some pretty deviously dark, morally questionable stories in here...my, my
and at some I was quite surprised too...

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Profile Image for Joanna.
717 reviews11 followers
March 10, 2022
When I pick up books like this, I like to give it a chance to every story. It’s not the first time that I ended up really enjoyed a story from an author I didn’t know and that makes me want to read more from them.
Well… with that said, this was kind of a mess.

I liked the whole scouts medals thing, it was different and in some cases, really fun to make the connection.
Some of the stories were so.. bad.. I mean the plot and the characters were a freaking mess.. and I really tried.

My favorite stories were:
- Black Bears by Vicki James; I really enjoyed the whole plot and the characters. It was dark but I got really excited to know more about the story and see the characters together
- Ash City by Penelope Douglas; she’s one of my favorite authors and I always love the crazy twists she adds to her stories. The characters were also really good together
- Black Bears by Samantha Towle; I enjoyed the story, was curious for more and I really liked the characters and how they were together

So this wasn’t an anthology that I really enjoyed but there were some good stories though.

▬ 𝐭𝐰: violence, bullying, rape, suicide

Profile Image for Plus Size Bibliophile.
758 reviews37 followers
October 16, 2021
I really wish that we could do half stars because this would be 4.5 stars for me. Full disclosure I've never read an entire anthropology. I usually just go to the author I know and like, read their story then move on. However I was too impatient to wait for this book to hit KU and preordered it for $5 so I felt like I owed it to my wallet to read every single story.... A bitch was not disappointed, my reviews will be in order of the stories I liked the most. Pen was the only author I knew coming in but I have developed an extreme interest in many of the featured ones in this series.

5 Star Stories *******************************************

Ash City by Penelope Douglas
This is the entire reason why I bought this book. I love Pen and will sell my left kidney to get my hands on everything she writes. This story was HOT. First props for having a woman of color as the lead. It's always exciting to see that especially when it's by a white author because you know that it was a conscious decision that they researched. Cas and Ash have some amazing dynamic. They were magnets, everything around sizzled. There was action, blood, plot twists, age gap, a bit of taboo, and the ending was just OMFG I needed more. It was hot.

Asphyxiate by Ally Vance
This was so unexpected. Benny is fucked up in the head. He's level of obsession is serial killer. His rational is twisted. I loved him and wanted him to get the win he was looking for. Triggers for this would be breath play. It's not a kink I've ever been curious about... until this story lol.

Tamed by Measha Stone
Have you ever been reading something and you think HOLY FUCKING SHIT what the FUCK did I just read?? That was me, this entire story. All I kept repeating was RUN BITCH RUN. Triggers for this would be, I don't fucking know kidnapping, bdsm, humiliation, and physical harm. I was literally in a state of shock reading this and yet I loved ever fucking minute of it. Maybe I should talk to a therapist??

Exposure by Vicki James
This one had me all in my feelings. Dude was a victim of sexual assault at the hands of some selfish, evil, bitches. This entire story was about him getting revenge and closure. The sick bitch that I am wishes the details of his revenge had been more in depth but I was glad he got an HEA.

Terrene by Yolanda Olson
This read like an episode of Dateline. OMFG the plot twists were plentiful. Nothing about this story was predictable. Harvey needs Jesus. He needs help and Libby, that bitch. Triggers in this story - rape, murder, suicide, torture

4 Star Stories ***************************************

Carnal Value by Shane Starrett
I struggled with this one. It was HOT. But it was all over the place. I enjoy multiple POVs but this one had too many and the ending just was not want I wanted. I wish this was a full on novel so that we could get MORE. I feel like this was not focused too much on the Scouts but more so the female.

Fertile Ground by Jennifer Bene
This was a very sophisticated read. I felt like this could have been on the BBC or a Vincent Price feature. Annabelle is so freaking smart and she handled everything she was presented with in the calmest my logical way possible while freaking the fuck out. Theo gave me Red Dragon vibes. This story could be adapted into a movie feature my boy James McAvoy.

Malefactor by Abigail Davies
This is very vanilla with a dash a violence. I would say it's a true love story and probably one of the few stories where the Scout is a high functioning sociopath. This is Lifetime movie level in regards to darkness. Solid read, I have no complaints.

Corruption by Andi Jaxon
This gave me The Woodsman Vibes (Kevin Bacon movie, very intense). I wanted to dislike Scott so much but I couldn't. He was seriously struggling and Corbin, the little minx was testing and pushing him. There was a lot of hotness and an HEA I was mostly satisfied with.

3 Star Stories **************************************

Axed by Samantha Towle
Fresh out of prison for second degree murder our boy Axel learns that his high school crush is now his parole officer. I liked Axel, he had a compelling back story and the worst luck. I was not a fan of Eden though. I feel like she ruined the entire story but just existing. Their love story is taboo due to her position of power and there is a dash of mystery/suspense. But all in all it was a vanilla story that could be featured on the Hallmark channel.

Corrupt Us by J.M. Walker
Giving this 3 stars was hard. This story is HOT both Kitson and Bryson are likable, damaged, sexy, and gave me goosebumps. Every interaction between them had me holding my breath. BUT the storyline. I rather have 40 pages of sex scenes then an all over the place storyline. It was just everywhere and messy. There were so many holes, the author introduced characters for no reason. They played with my emotions by suggesting kinks but then didn't follow through. The patch was scuba, and it's like they were 98% done and remembered they needed to try and work in WTF a scuba patch had to do with things.

2 Star Stories **************************************************

Cutthroat by Natasha Preston
Look, this is the first story in the book. It started off ominous and exciting, then it just went flat. I'm a very analytical person so when the author presents you with every logical reason as to why the main characters didn't need to take the actions that they did, then fuck me but I'm gonna be a bit flabbergasted by their dumbassary! Nora was annoying AF and Dude (I can't even remember his name) was just messy.

History X by Ellie Meadows
Bryant was just too predictable for me. The story moved too slow for my liking. There was too much build up for nothing.

Sanctum by Claire C Riley
This could have been 3 stars except the ending tanked that. Dude has issues, lives isolated yet random chicks shows up on his 20 acres of private property and shit just gets weird. He has a dark and dominating side that we only get to see for a very very brief moment. I think what pissed me off is, I was on his side, I wanted him to have an HEA, and then the chick steps out of line with her thinking. It was unbelievable.

Caged by Cole Denton
As a parent, as an analytical person, the idea of someone giving up so much to pursue a crush is insane and the fact that no one questioned it made me want to scream. In a nutshell, Travis tracks down his dead brother's ex so he can what?? Make a move?? Travis just irritated me. Kyle hit me in the feelings. He struggled with his feelings as the brother of his former lover was bringing out a lot of personal conflict. I feel like this story was too short and didn't give enough to the reader to feel satisfied.

Archer's Release by Kamisa Cole
I debated on making this a 1 star. But I just couldn't be that mean. There are only 4 chapters and it took me hours to sit my ass down and finish them. These step brothers are sexually attracted to each other and it's a game of cat and mouse and it's not that good. Victor was just all up in his head with bullshit and Zion just got shit on. The pain/pleasure scenes were hot but that's all I got to say about that.

BOOM!!!! I did it, this is my longest review ever. I enjoyed this series. Every story had a lot of sexual energy and overall I would recommend this series to anyone that's into dark romance and has NO triggers. There are NO trigger warnings so I wouldn't even touch this book if you have any.
223 reviews6 followers
October 5, 2021
I am a big fan of anthologies, especially when I’m in the mood for a quick read. The story I’m reviewing today is Measha Stone’s novella entitled Tamed. As is usual for Ms. Stone, the story was complete in itself, the characters are well presented and believable and the world building creates a visual image of the time and place.

This is the story of David and Gabby. David is a “trainer” in the world of human trafficking, and Gabby is the female about to be given over to her buyer, a buyer who wants his pet to be properly trained before he takes possession of her. It’s a rather dark tale, as is to be expected given the subject matter.

The story is a good one, that hooked me from the first page onward. One of the talents of Measha Stone is to create characters one can bond with and care about. She’s also rather adept at weaving interesting story lines. She succeeded here in these endeavors. I won’t give any spoilers but know that you’ll love how the story ends. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
822 reviews28 followers
December 30, 2021
Individually, these stories are fine. Collectively, I feel like the biggest weakness is the lack of connection between the stories. Yes, they all relate (at times too heavily to be believable) to a particular scout badge. But as a group of messed up boys … there was a missed opportunity to weave these stories together and to make the reader feel like they all were messed up in their own ways because of their shared experience. This was a disappointing miss for me. 🤷🏻‍♀️
90 reviews
September 3, 2021
Review for Terrene by Yolanda Olson:
In Terrene you meet Harvey. Tragedy bestowed its face on him when Libby was murdered and Harvey sets out to find the person responsible for this. With determination and also with knowledge he learned as a Scout, the hunt is on. He does not rest until the one responsible is found and will do whatever it takes to seek his justice. He made a promise that he will not break.

The hunt, the deception, the love, the revenge, the broken heart...I enjoyed the story. The words engulfed me and by the end I wanted to give Harvey a hug.
Profile Image for Summer.
443 reviews3 followers
October 6, 2021
Only read Ash City by Penelope Douglas
Love a psycho/sociopath hero 💃 but why are the only black characters I’ve seen in a Penelope Douglas book Diesel and Roman.......
Profile Image for Vicki.
1,447 reviews34 followers
May 26, 2022
Anthology of short stories of various darkness (from none to pretty extreme for most readers, though I'll admit not much to me). They are all independent from each other, with a very loose correlation of at least one of the characters having been a member of River Scouts in Oregon at some time in their life. Each story has a Scouts "badge" associated with it that is a theme or has at least something to do with the character/story. I will list them below as I read (in the order that they appear in the collection).

Cutthroat by Natasha Preston
Silver Scorpions
River Scouts, Snow Sports
pgs 5-80, 1%-7%
3 Stars
I can't put my finger on why I didn't connect with this one more. It was a good, dark story overall but for some reason I wasn't into it very much. It has a sociopath/Bonnie & Clyde (sort of) vibe to it and I like the setting and the idea for it. It was written well with just a few errors.

Tamed by Measha Stone
Black Bears
River Scouts, Veterinary Medicine
pgs 83-151, 7%-14%
4 Stars
I kind of had the apathy for this one that I did for the preceding story when it first started but I quickly started getting more into it. It has pet play/training, slight humiliation kinks, and a teeny second chance vibe. I ended up really liking it.

Asphyxiate by Ally Vance
Black Bears
River Scouts, First Aid
pgs 153-196, 14%-19%
3.5 Stars
Enjoyable dark story about Benny, who has maintained and expanded his First Aid certification since being a Scout, and now is obsessed with being able to bring someone back to life. Has breath play (extreme), some M/M. Was written well and though not my typical cup of tea I did appreciate the writing and character.

History X by Ellie Meadows
Black Bears
River Scouts, American Heritage
pgs 198-267, 19%-25%
3 Stars
I liked the professor/student aspect of this one, and the subtly hinted at creepy darkness of the male lead character, but the story itself comes across very tame and almost boring without those dark allusions.

Sanctum by Claire C. Riley
Silver Scorpions
River Scouts, Woodcarving
pgs 270-320, 25%-30%
3.75 Stars
I liked the insidious darkness in this one, which built as the story of reclusive, artistic woodcarver Leo rolled out, slowly. Camille was injured on his land and he took her back to his self-built home to care for her, and see if she was the one.

Exposure by Vicki James
Black Bears
River Scouts, Photography
pgs 323-390, 30%-38%
3.75 Stars
I liked this one and how it felt like a complete story even for its length. Photographer Drake is back for revenge on four girls who seriously wronged him in the past, including one he used to adore. There is some British phrasing despite them all being born and raised in America and while I don't consider that an error, I always find it distracting. A couple of errors besides that, but not enough to a big deal. This one is really only mildly dark on my scale and I liked that it had an HEA.

Ash City by Penelope Douglas
Silver Scorpions
River Scouts, Fire Safety
pgs 392-456, 38%-44%
4.5 Stars
I really liked this one, with its OWYM (slightly) second chance kind of vibe, with the H having pined for the h for years since they last met. Just a little bit dark, good steam when it came, and an HEA.

Terrene by Yolanda Olson
Silver Scorpions
River Scouts, Backpacking
pgs 458-508, 44%-48%
3.25 Stars
I really liked this dark story, but it felt incomplete and like something was missing. I loved the taboo aspect, and how crazy the lead was, and would like a more fleshed out story for sure. There were also some awkward sentences and incorrect comma usages (or lack of, at least to my mind) that were distracting, so I feel it could use a good edit, but those were minor details over really just wanting more from a really good base story/idea.

Corruption by Andi Jaxon
Black Bears
River Scouts, Horse Riding
pgs 511-566, 49%-54%
4.5 Stars
This has been my favorite in the antho so far. Not really dark at all, but scorching, filthy hot with a little taboo going on between a former Scout and his former Scout leader. Could use one more proofread for just a few errors, but they are not bad enough to detract from the kinky hotness.

Carnal Values by Shane Starrett
Silver Scorpions
River Scouts, Entrepreneurship
pgs 569-647, 54%-63%
3 Stars
This one is written well but I didn't really connect with the characters or story. It's a human trafficking/sexual slavery type of business that one of the Scouts is creating, having mastered the Entrepreneurship badge back in Scouts, and one of his employees/partners in the business wants one of their prime merchandise for himself. We get three POV (both Scouts and the girl) and there is a lot of training and prepping for their life as a submissive. There isn't any romance, the girl takes a pragmatic approach to making the best of her situation, which is an interesting take that I liked.

Malefactor by Abigail Davies
Silver Scorpions
River Scouts, Law
pgs 650-710, 63%-68%
3.75 Stars
I really liked the revenge plot of this one, and the darkness (which came from the non-hero character keeping heroine captive, including non-con, and the hero's revenge on her behalf). I thought the past and present switches were skillfully done/written, which isn't always the case with stories written that way. What this one was missing for me was the connection/romance between the leads - I didn't feel anything between them at all, beyond his desire for revenge/protect her.

Axed by Samantha Towle
Black Bears
River Scouts, Forestry
pgs 713-757, 68%-72%
3.25 Stars
Not really dark to me, but a decent story about a man released from prison and assigned to a female parole officer he loved from afar in high school. I liked that it felt like a complete story and had an HEA.

Fertile Ground by Jennifer Bene
Silver Scorpions
River Scouts, Gardening
pgs 759-844, 72%-82%
4.25 Stars
A really great, dark, gothic story about a woman held captive by a man obsessed with gardening, and how she is trying to act differently than his other victims to hopefully have a different fate. Told in dual POV, this one is written really well.

Caged by Cole Denton
Silver Scorpions
River Scouts, Sports
pgs 846-892, 82%-87%
3.75 Stars
This short read fast even for a short story and I really enjoyed it. It was on the simple side but I needed that after some of the heavier books I've read recently. I liked the forbidden aspect of Kyle being Travis's baseball coach and his brother's former boyfriend/best friend, and it had some dirty scenes and an HEA.

Corrupt Us by J.M. Walker
Black Bears
River Scouts, Scuba Diving
pgs 895-976, 87%-95%
2.5 Stars
This one started as a kind of sweet M/M instalove with lots of sex scenes that I was enjoying, but as it went on it started to feel like it was recycling the same stuff over and over. Then it took a turn and there were all of a sudden a bunch of characters never previously mentioned (perhaps they are in other books from this author but I've never read anything else by them) and I struggled to follow who they were or what the purpose was for that aspect of the story; it seemed to come out of nowhere and be completely unnecessary. Also, this needed another pass of editing/proofreading as there were lots of instances of incorrect sentence structure and comma usage, with a few overt word errors thrown in too.

Archer's Release by Kamisa Cole
Black Bears
River Scouts, Archery
pgs 978-1020, 96%-100%
3.25 Stars
After the prologue of this one I thought it would end up being one of my favorite short stories in the antho. I love the stepbrothers trope and I was into the archery-related kink and the "bully" aspect of one of the leads. However, the flow of the story was off, and it felt disjointed the more I read, leading to a quick resolution of the main conflict that kept them apart.

Average rating for the entire anthology: 3.5625
Profile Image for Lindsay Becs.
Author 33 books514 followers
September 21, 2021
5-Stars: Caged by Cole Denton

I love any and everything written by Mr. Denton. However, when he shows his cute and sweet side, I die a little. My heart swoons and I get heart eyes as bite back my smile while reading.

Caged did all that and so much more! This had all the elements and emotions I love from a great story with lovable characters. Travis and Kyle were that forbidden love that I crave, but from that forbidden fruit came the sweetness that had me getting my fill and leaving me fully satisfied. Caged was a delicious little story!
Profile Image for ari.
355 reviews45 followers
January 3, 2022
Only read it for Penelope’s story and they, of course, did not fail to write an amazing short story. After reading Penelope’s part, just made me remember why they’re one of my favourite authors.
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