Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Four seasons, four stories, one connection – finding love.
Two men who hate Valentine’s Day discover they might have been wrong.
A Paralympic swimmer gets an unusual incentive to win gold.
Love and lust flourish under desert skies, but nature’s cruel.
Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night gets a new twist.
When Charlie Cochrane wants to deliver a collection of stories, I listen and am there because I just love this author’s writing no matter what era her characters are visiting or narrative the story thread is taking. Here in Love in Every Season, the reader is given a true mixture so there is something for everyone. A little bit of Shakespeare mixed with steampunk! Love under the desert skies with a archeological dig in the past. A mere jog back to the 2012 London Olympics and also a story firmly with its foundation in the near present.
While I enjoyed them all, three were more firmly my favorites. And while I really didn’t understand why each story was exactly given the season it was located under. The first was Spring but the men and the story was focused on their anti Valentine (February) sentiments. So for me Spring was a stretch. So I pretty much ignored the season, unless Charlie was talking about fresh new starts which then yes indeed, that worked.
Here are the stories in the order they are presented in the book:
Horns and Halos: Rating: 4 stars out of 5
February 14, 2011. Both Jame and Alex are attending a Workshop on (as best I could figure out) Human Resources, LGBT, Recruiting, and Rights for their respective schools/or school districts in England. Not sure how it works over there being from the US, but as I said I was still trying to figure that part out from their conversations. They end up as workshop partners and the electricity flows while they try to see if each is gay. The chemistry is cute and the story an adorable HFN as is all the tales here. Both are anti Valentine and that gets worked into this and resolved as well.
Sand: Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
The time frame is nebulous as is the exact location but you can certainly lock it down slightly by certain references that Charlie Cochrane is so great at. We’re pre WWI somewhere in a region that used to be part of the Seleucid Empire, loads of sand obviously Poor Charles Cusiter has been sent along as a companion/babysitter to grown manchild and heir Bernard Mottram to whom the female sex has proven an magnetic attraction he cannot stay away from. It’s been the cause of many scandals and his wealthy mother is tired of it. Bernard (and Charles as his guard dog against the fairer sex) has traveled to an archaeology dig in Dahmalia run by Dr. Andrew Parks and his male assistant Yaseen, a place void of women. Something Bernard’s mother made sure of prior to sending her son there.
Of course, there are slight complications. While Bernard is dispirited about the lack of women, Charlies fears he has to hide his immediate attraction to Andrew, Charlies’ homosexuality and the manner in which it is handled here is distinct to that era and “certain types” of gentlemen aboard. It shows in the language the author uses and the references within the story. That would include mentions of Mrs. Jellyby, a character in the novel Bleak House (1852–53) by Charles Dickens and Daphne Du Maurier who wrote in the early 1900’s.
The relationship proceeds slowly and only a dramatic event lets the men drop their guards fully. It ends as only it could, a HFN, with a slight bittersweet knowledge from them (and from us) that they will stay there for only as long as the British are still welcome. Something we know will be ending soon. So yes, I guess you could say it is the Autumn of the Empire here. That’s my application for Autumn here.
Tumble Turn: 5 stars out of 5
Yes, this is my favorite story. It starts out with the childhood friendship of Matty White and Ben Edwards, who has S9 CP, that would be Cerebral Palsy. The first chapter is titled Nomination July 2005. That’s when London is nominated as a possible location for the Olympics in 2012. The boys desperately want London to win (and of course we know it does). Ben wants to participate in the Olympics, no matter what anyone says…including the bitter somewhat unpleasant Mrs.White, Matty’s divorced mother. As the story moves forward, the boys age, move apart physically into college and apart in friendship. All the while Ben trains as a Paralympic Swimmer, moving closer to achieving his goals. No Matty is not the romantic interest here sorry. But there is one. For a while I thought he was too. Nope. But Matty is the connection.
But the romance that does play out is sweet, heartwarming, authentic, and real. So too is Ben swimming towards his long held goals.
Everything about this story just connected with me. Ben’s family, the boyfriend, and the Olympics. Loved it.
Summer was easy to apply to this story. Summer Olympics. Why of course!
What You Will (A Shakespeare and Steampunk fusion): Rating 3 stars out of 5
Charlie Cochrane’s version of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night given a steampunk twist with airships versus sailing ships that wreck. A m/m romance with Captain Antonio and the airship-wrecked Roderigo who is also looking for his twin sister (and all the usual twists you find within the story), excerpt that Olivia had to go off and find another love. Somehow I never connected with any of the characters and the romance here. I did with the original version, mind you. But here, something, perhaps, the language itself is lacking. Neat idea though.. Just didn’t work for me.
Cover art is a bit innocuous for a Charlie Cochrane story. Bland but I’m not sure what you could do for such a wide variety of stories. But I would never have chosen this..
Sales Links: Amazon Precorder
Kindle Edition, 158 pages
Expected publication: July 22nd 2019 by The Right Chair Press