Review: Heart2Heart: A Charity Anthology by Lily Morton, Eden Finley, et Al-vol 6

Rating: 4.25🌈

I love the Heart2Heart charity collections. They have a great selection of authors and stories to read.

This time there’s 14 in the collection. My favorites have ❤️ next to them. There are 2 I’m not a fan of. One because of the author’s very odd inclusion of a dog character and then it’s treatment in the narrative. The other because every element is a red flag, to my surprise. From the one MC to scenes I could write an entire review on.

But the majority are well written and warm-hearted in spirit.

See the lineup below and individual reviews below that.

———-

To those two little words, “what if.” Questions thrown at singles by the dating Heart2Heart app . These stories are the answers, kinda. Remarkably so.

Complete list of stories:

1. Thank You Heist of Hearts by Alice Winters ❤️

2. Keeping Him in Cornwall by Con Riley ❤️

3. Hate 2 Love U by Daryl Banner

4. Love Down Under by Eden Finley

5. Rock, Paper, Scissors by Kate Hawthorne 😐🤨

6. Dog Days by Kelly Fox ❤️

7. The London Chance by Lane Hayes ❤️

8. My Darcy by Lily Morton ❤️

9. A Drag Made in Heaven by Max Walker

10. Connection by Nicole Dykes

11. Worst. Date. Ever. By Onley James❤️

12. Down the Mountain by Rachel Ember

13. The Anti-Wingman by Saxon James ❤️

14. The Choice by Sloane Kennedy 😱🤦🏼‍♀️🤨

1. Thank You Heist of Hearts by Alice Winters ❤️

The question:

“In case of zombie apocalypse, what skills do you bring to the table?”

Reed and Dylan. Reed the former thief and Dylan, the former cop who arrested him. And a date gone spectacularly wrong. I love this so much. Fabulous dialogue and characters.

2. Keeping Him in Cornwall by Con Riley ❤️

Question:

“How do you feel about Cornish pasties?

Farmer Stef Lukens and Mark, Stef’s younger brother’s best friend.

OMG, Con Riley! How did you quietly wring so many emotions out of my heart with this gem of a story. Sweet, endearing, beautifully crafted and grounded in a farm we feel like we know by the sea in Wales. A must read and one I wish was longer.

3. Hate 2 Love U by Daryl Banner

“If Cerberus needed mouth to mouth resuscitation, which mouth would you give it to?”

Pete Knott, clumsy nerd vs Teague Jensen, jock superstar. Assumptions versus facts eventually turn into a relationship. Sweet.

4. Love Down Under by Eden Finley

“What animal do you identify with most?”

A Sloth. Those things are so pathetic, other animals take pity and leave them alone. Reminds me of how I survived high school.

Dorian, tour guide at Cassowary Rock Sanctuary meets Kero , a recent newcomer to the area and on the tour courtesy of his big brother. The location is a feature and the characters are great.

5. Rock, Paper, Scissors by Kate Hawthorne 😐🤨

Mountains, beaches, or both?”

Xavier with Bagel his late grandmother’s Australian shepherd who wears clothing aka bandanas

And adorable matching shoes to eat a doggy safe bacon donut every Tuesday . Big plot point that goes nowhere. MC seems annoyed with dog that his grandmother loved and left to him. And intends not to to really honor the will.

. Meet cute with bakers brother from the mountains, Bastian. Romance ensues.

Dog used as more as a contrived story prompt than an actual beloved character. This aspect made me dislike the story as the treatment of Bagel took me out of the romance. If a author must have a animal in their story, pls keep in mind that having their MC act indifferently towards it, forget it’s part of the story at times, and discard it altogether is never a good idea.

Not a fan.

6. Dog Days by Kelly Fox ❤️

“Kirk, Picard, Sisko, or Janeway?”

Alfie Fellows, family therapist and vol w/ small breed rescue

Judi Dench the teacup poodle mix

Gideon Northman, aka writer Everett Goodnight

Beautifully written, well crafted characters, with deep elements as well as a romantic aspect that makes this a well rounded story and a memorable one. The dog character is so well done and a great personality and part of the storyline!

7. The London Chance by Lane Hayes❤️

90s most underrated jam? Most overrated? Most perfect song?”

Chance Robbins, 35, California , sales and marketing, meets Roman Crawford, industrial engineer, a business owner from Toronto, living in London.

Finally meeting after texting thru the Heart2Heart app. Cute, funny, and romantic.

8. My Darcy by Lily Morton ❤️

“What is your most controversial opinion?”

Pure Lily Morton. I laughed, and found myself throughly invested in the romance of Freddie, a tailor who’s also a Jane Austen guide who likes to dress in Regency clothes, and his best friend since childhood, archaeologist Darcy Griffiths. As they guide a small group of widely entertaining tourists through a Jane Austin section of a literary bus tour, it turns into a romantic adventure for themselves too.

9. A Drag Made in Heaven by Max Walker

“If you were a drag queen, what would your name be?”

The characters had little chemistry. I was not pulled into the relationship or story. Even with Malik’s job at the Tampa Aquarium, it was one dimensional and lacked depth.

10. Connection by Nicole Dykes

“Do you believe in soulmates?”

Oliver, tattoo artist 25, meets Eli, traveling photographer 27 in Hawaii. Sweet romance with lovely characters.

11. Worst. Date. Ever. By Onley James❤️

“What’s the worst date you can think of and would you do it with me?

Cade, contract killer and Tris, 23, ADHD. Tris answered Cade’s H2H ad and got the date of a lifetime. A contract killer with a need for a alibi, the worst date ever, an assumed HEA as told by Onley James. Funny, dark, and murderous. ❤️

12. Down the Mountain by Rachel Ember

“What’s your favorite midnight snack?”

Vic Ricci sees his ex , Bennett Walker, alpine Skier Team USA, after 2 years absence from small town Garden, CO. Reunion and romance ensues.3 stars. Little feel for any relationship or chemistry.

13. The Anti-Wingman by Saxon James❤️

“Have you always painted your fingernails with yellow emoji faces on them?”

Effervescent , impulsive Kai needs a anti-wingman to keep him from repeating his relationship mistakes. Wry, cautious Ryland needs a wingman to jumpstart his journey into a relationship. A funny group of text messages starts a path to romance that utterly engaging.

1. The Choice by Sloane Kennedy😱🤦🏼‍♀️🤨

“If you could go back in time and make one different choice, what would that be?”

Hudson Warner, older boss and ranch owner , deeply closeted gay

Mouse aka Andrew , small, bullied employee, hidden identity

Cody, Wyoming

I could write an entire essay about all the issues with this story, it’s main character Hudson, and his relationship with his employee, Andrew. Frankly, the story made me queasy. There’s a huge difference in the stations, there’s a issue of power imbalance from social to monetary to business as Hudson is also Andrew’s boss. Even age as Hudson is considerably older than Mouse. Hudson has complete control over almost every aspect of Andrew’s life and acts without regard to Andrew’s personal finances and considerations (buys him a new car without asking permission, selling Andrew’s old car also without permission), but won’t (as a closeted gay man) keep his other employees from bullying Andrew when that’s exactly the one avenue where as a boss he might be expected to have the right to take responsibility for all his employees actions. Does that happen? No.

There’s also actionable events that occurred during a bar scene where Andrew’s PTSD was engaged as well as he was almost assaulted. It’s really one flag after another. But it’s insta love . SMH.

The most questionable decision here is why close out a romance collection with what has to be one of the worst stories , IMO, ( one of two) here. Usually it’s the strongest that’s selected.

All this does is leave me with a very bad impression and a need to go find something else to read so I can forget I ever came across this.

There’s a group of wonderful holiday stories here that I would recommend and a few I’d give a pass to. That’s the great thing about a collection, the ability to make choices. Or find new authors. Or new stories by authors you love.

Pick up Heart2Heart: A Charity Anthology by Lily Morton, Eden Finley, et Al-vol 6 and decide what to read for yourself.

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com › showHeart2Heart: A Charity Anthology, Volume 6 by Leslie Copeland

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Unless it’s noted, all books reviewed have been purchased by the reviewer

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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