A MelanieM Review: Heart2Heart Anthology, Vol. 3

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out ot 5 (because just one of these stories earns it that let alone so many)

Once upon a time, a group of authors wondered… What if the Heart2Heart app — the dating app with a glitch that matched up the oddest, most perfect couples, and sponsored the charity date raffles that helped dozens of people find love — offered a classifieds section, too?

Need a handyman who knows how to wear a tool belt? Have a closet of drag costumes that needs a new home? How about finally tracking down that guy who made the perfect drink, or who’s just the right height to reach the top shelf?

Join some of your favorite authors of gay romance as they bring you sixteen brand-new stories inspired by reader suggestions!

Once again, all proceeds from this collection will go to the authors’ favorite LGBTQ charities, to ensure that love in all its forms will be celebrated and protected every single day of the year!

This collection will be available for only 90 days before it’s gone forever.

It’s rare that I come across an anthology that I actually gush about because the stories are just that good but Volume 3 of the Charity Anthology Heart2Heart is absolutely amazing!  From the overall concept to the authors involved to the stories inside, this is a 5 star ride all the way.  I’d say E Ticket but how many remember what those are any more?

The fabulousness starts right at the beginning with a split story that explains the concept behind the stories of this Collection.   That’s right a story, The Closet (Parts 1 and 2) by Eden Finley, both open and close this incredible collection.  The story both calls forth the birth of the ads format and sees in retrospect what those ads have caused to happen.  It’s lovely, poignant, and oh so touching.  And throughout all the other stories, the fact that this one was missing it’s ending hovered in the background waiting gracefully for it’s time to come.

Want to know just what a treasure awaits you? Here they are without ratings because, honestly, they all shine so brightly and with such variety, that you will be rereading them over and over again.  I can say that only 2 missed the mark with me and slid to a 4 and I think that was just my reading preferences.

  • The Closet by Eden Finley Part 1: 

A young man and a friend go to empty his deceased uncle’s home, one he hadn’t seen in years only to find someone who had loved him and knew him far better than anyone else.   As I said , this story “bookends” the collection.  It splits upon a revelation and the idea of putting ads in a dating app that the friend runs called yes Heart2Heart.  I won’t spoils the amazing delights this story holds but it sets the bar and gets your heart ready for what’s to come.

  • The Book by Aimee Nicole Walker:

Bookstore owner seeking identity of adorkable customer...” i

This how the ad starts.  Oh these ads. So many had me laughing out loud, including this one.  The story was fun, charming, sexy, and yes, romantic. Loved it!.  If you know this author, then you are aware of how quickly she can build a universe, fill it with great characters, and a relationship that you know will last.  She does it here. Line up the hearts!

  • The Date by Annabeth Albert

Wanted: Companion for exquisite five course gourmet Valentine’s Day dinner at a top-secret Portland restaurant, no sex or romance required…

I should just leave this at “nuf said”.  Because if you are again familiar with her stories, you are in for a treat.  In fact, I wanted this to be double the length as I didn’t want to leave this could behind.  I loved the food (yes, yes, there is food), amazing characters to grab your heart, and the perfect setting.    I want this couple for a lifetime, including their marriage! Listening, Ms Albert?

  • The Yarn Wrangler by Charlie Cochet:

Help Wanted: Yarn Wrangler.  Have you ever thought to yourself,  : I wonder what a house full of yarn looks like? Have you ever dreamed of getting paid to box up a whole bunch of yarn?…”

Yes, bring on the guffaws!  They are warranted!  While the start is oddly not humorous it quickly tumbles into lovely gentle laughter and love.

That’s how Simon meets Liam in a house full of yarn collected by his grandmother.  Plus there’s a cat with a yarn batting average any pitcher would be jealous of.  Oh but there’s an expensive boyfriend and….well, this a gem to be unraveled slowly.  And smiled and yes, giggled at.  Happy endings all around.

  • Dork Lord by Damon Suede: Missed Connections: Lion eyes, I love to watch you swim.

Tarquin, a swimmer finds his match where he least expects it.Hot, sexy, typical Damon Suede story.

  • Top Shelf by Hailey Turner: 

Can You Be My (Tall) Knight in Shining Armor? is how this ad starts. A very cute tale about a short guy in need of some tall help in his new apartment in DC.

  • The Family Reunion by K.M Neuhold:

Needed:fake boyfriend to get my parents off my back.

This is the story of Lawrence, the premed student needing a break and Roman the son needing a boyfriend for a reunion with his family in Boca.  Neuhold nicely turns around the character of Roman who isn’t all that likable to begin with into soHelp meone we can connect with in the end.  Lovely story.  And a believable ending.

  • The Last Drop by Layla Reyne

Dear Mr. Manhattan, We met nine months ago at a bar in New Orleans… starts the long ad

I just found this author with her book Dine With Me.  My only issue with this story is no recipes!  I needed the recipes for the drinks and meals served like crazy!  You will drool through this story.  Over the men and their relationship too..   Greg Valteau, chef and owner, and Tony Monaco, bartender extraordinaire.  Everything about this is sensual, hot, and amazing.

  • The Dog Walker by Lily Morton

SOS Call From Cornwall! Me: Broken right arm with a general lack of ability to do anything for myself for a few weeks….” is how this ad starts off.

No getting around this.  The Dog Walker is one of my favorites.  Something about this understated, gorgeously written story got under my skin immediately.  From the language to the layered relationship and the gentle revelations exposed over time.  It’s continued to haunt me.  I want more.  I can’t sing its praised enough.

Surprisingly it starts off with sex between Sim and Ziggy, a bold act for a nuanced relationship. Won’t say anymore.  Buy this collection for this story alone.

  • The Treehouse by Lucy Lennox:

“Help Wanted: Building  a treehouse for my kids this weekend and need a extra pair of hands…..”

This is why I read anthologies.  To wonder why I don’t read more stories by Lucy Lennox and smack my head.  This is a wonderful bright contemporary love story.  Great characters like Harvey the Angora Rabbit farmer just returned from NZ and Bryn with two kids trying to build them a treehouse, plus a matchmaking sister in a small town.  I adore this story.  You will too.

  • The Restoration by Mary Calmes

“Help Wanted: Laborers to assist with basement restoration. ….”

Of course, this is Mary Calmes so we are talking about the restoration of more than just a basement.  It’s a broken marriage in need of repair.   Alasdair McKenna aka Sandy is separated from his military husband who is always away on assignment and needs his flooded basement restored.  It’s been six months since he’s seen Kyler but it seems that Kyler is still looking after him…..

This is very Mary Calmes in the relationship between the men, one very protective, scary in a military way.  Sandy with his circle of friends who support them both.  The story works so well because the author knows her men and their dynamics.  It all works and works just as it should.  HEA!

  • The Vase by May Archer

FOR SALE: Antique Vase Authentic Limited edition hand-painted vase  from  local artist…”

I really left the best parts of that ad out, as I have for most of these ads.  Nauticolli indeed.  May Archer has another winner here with this story.  I easily wanted ti expanded, and a sequel too.  I has so much heart and I love the main characters and their relationship, short as it is.  Their future is so bright and I want to know what happens next.  Surely we need a followup story?  Pretty please.  We need to know how Malachi will get on with Landon’s cats don’t we?  Just read this story!

  • The Helping Hand by Nora Phoenix

Wanted: Someone with serious  furniture assembly skills and a buttload of patience who speaks IKEA…

Anyone who has ever had to assemble anything let alone something from IKEA, well you will relate to this story and the characters.  A gentle bear of a science fiction writer who needs help assembling his new furniture and the nature photographer who will show him patience for his furniture and in loving him as well.  Another gentle story, sweet, and endearing.

  • The Dream Machine by Piper Scott writing as Emma Alcott

For Sale of the Low, Low Price of Free….

 

I will admit that this story seems the odd one out of the bunch, not a contemporary romance but one with a science fiction or whatever twist.  Just want a story I connected with but I could have been that it felt jarring among the others.  In another collection, it might have gotten a different reaction.

  • The Wedding Date by Susan Hawke

Date Needed! If you like weddings, awkward events where your date’s ex is the man of the hour, open bars, and crappy cake, I’m your man!…

Back to the lovely contemporary romance and with a unexpected twist.  Especially as it starts off with Hunter who fosters kittens with special needs.  Absolutely endearing, and the kittens are described in depth and will grab at your heart along with Hunter.Quinn answers the ad and the story is on.  Another true charmer in a collection’s worth.

  • The Wrong Guy by Sloane Kennedy

We bonded over a screw… of the nuts and bolts variety.

Travis and Jackson have been friends for a while and yet some things remain to be discovered between them.    It takes an ad to bring it all out in the open.  I liked this story.  Felt raw and real in places, emotional and painful, especially when assumptions you’ve made about someone turn out to be false.

  • The Closet Part 2 by Eden Finley

I debated putting the ad in that started it all.  In the end, I hit delete.  That’s as much a part of this story as walking into that closet.  And reading this ending.  It’s everything.

This is a one of a kind collection of stories.  It’s one you must read, and not just because its for chairty.  But because these stories resonate.  They are full of laughter, love, sex, sensuality, food, and romance.  Even yarn and kittens!

Don’t let it pass you by. It’s only here for 90 days.  Grab it up now.  I highly recommend it.

Cover art by AngstyG is perfect for the collection and tone.  love it. Makes you feel it just looking at it.

Sales Links:     

All Proceeds Go To Charity:

Amazon US

Everywhere Else

Book Details:

Buy for $4.99 or try Kindle Unlimited to read over a million titles
Kindle Edition, 761 pages
Published October 1st 2019
ASINB07XP6D2M5
Edition Language English

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