JMS Books’ Trios are themed collections of three gay romance stories by a trio of authors. Each story is available separately, but readers can get all three for a discounted bundle price.
Legendary Loves Volume 2 contains three paranormal shifter M/M romances just in time for Halloween! Contains the stories:
In My Arms Again by Nell Iris: Oxen is lonely, feeling like he’s waiting for something, and can’t focus. But when a very ill stranger collapses on his doorstep, everything changes. The stranger, Vinge, is a Pegasus unable to transform. Both men feel an instant connection that swiftly grows deeper. The questions surrounding Vinge are many. Why is he so familiar? What will it take for the depth of their connection be revealed?
The Murky Depths by Kassandra Lea: Tired of the daily grind of his job, Keston heads out for a weekend at his family’s cabin in Kona Woods. Turns out he isn’t alone, though, as there are others lurking in the shadows. When a near-death experience brings Ness waltzing into his life, everything Keston thought he knew is turned upside down. Will facing what scares him bring to Keston’s life what it’s missing most?
Weekend at Bigfoot’s by Addison Albright: There’s nothing about perky — twinky? — Oliver Hughes that would make Sensational News’ (Never Fake! We Swear!) reporter Wilson Banks think Bigfoot actually exists. But while pursuing soundbites for a tabloid story about Bigfoot, Wilson witnesses something he wasn’t meant to see. In Wilson’s new reality, is there room for love with someone whose dreams are as big as his … er … feet?
While this is an Anthology Volume, the stories are also sold separately and so are reviewed that way below:
In My Arms Again by Nell Iris
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Trapped in a growing sense of restlessness, Oxen the hunter is lonely. Feeling like he’s waiting for something—or someone—he’s unable to focus on getting ready for winter. But when a handsome and very ill stranger collapses on his doorstep, everything changes.
Vinge is from a Pegasus family but has never been able to transform. As soon as he awakens in Oxen’s care, both men feel an instant connection, which grows deeper as Oxen nurses him back to health. Something profound within each man calls out to the other, but neither knows what it is.
The questions surrounding Vinge and their deepening relationship are many. Why is Vinge so familiar to Oxen when they have clearly never met? Why are they both reluctant to take the first step to a real commitment? And what will it take for the true depth of their connection be revealed?
This novella has sometimes very flowery descriptions in a very old world setting. Owen has been feeling off- restless and unable to hunt – for weeks. As if he is waiting for something. The something comes in the form of a man, Vinge, banging on his cabin door, nearly dead of fever. As Oxen nurses the man to health, he has the immediate sense of connection and doesn’t understand why. They know each other’s names without being told and they understand what the other is thinking without trying.
As Vinge heals he shares more of his story with Oxen – he is a Pegasus who was abused and tortured with the consent of his family because he is unable to transform from human. It was heartrending to know the pain inflicted on him for being different, a happening that occurs every day.
The book is very character driven, with Oxen and Vinge coming together with no issues at all. There is a meet the villagers moment and Oxen’s neighbors, Thorwald and wife, appear briefly.
The explanation for the connection between them was rushed and seemed a little tacked on. I think here the length worked against the fullness of the story. I am a fan of Nell Iris and I will continue to read her work but this one was not a favorite of mine.
The cover, showing Oxen with an overlay of a Pegasus, fit the story very well and conveyed the mood.
Murky Depths by Kassandra Lea
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
While Keston enjoys his occasional video game tournaments with the kid across the hall, he’s grown tired of the daily grind of his job. With a bit of a push from his boss, he heads out for a weekend at his family’s cabin in Kona Woods. A little time away from the hustle and bustle sounds like just the thing he needs.
Turns out he isn’t alone, though, as there are others lurking in the shadows. When a near-death experience brings Ness waltzing into his life, everything Keston thought he knew is turned upside down, and he runs in fear.
But will facing what scares him bring to Keston’s life what it’s missing most?
Keston is just burned out and while he likes his apartment, he’s questioning his job and his life. He likes his job. “Being a manager was great, he thrived on leading others and keeping things orderly.” He has a good apartment with neighbors he gets along with, especially little Molly, his gaming partner, and her mother. He is close with his parents. But something is missing. His family has a remote cabin in Kona Woods and he goes there with the idea of rest, relaxation and maybe considering what to do now.
Of course, we all know about best laid plans. When Keston walks to the lake for a relaxing canoe ride, he ends up falling asleep and wakes in the middle of a terrible storm. “And while he’d napped, the gloriously calm fall day decided to play a dirty trick on him.” As he tries to get back to shore, he is absolutely sure he is going to die. “This is where I die. This is how it all ends. No more late nights at my desk with the glow of my lamp to keep me company. No more wheeling and dealing and helping my team. No more getting my butt beat by a ten-year-old. No chance of love.” Despite the impossibility of it, he is saved by Ness, a stranger with a Scottish accent.
This opens Keston’s reality up to something he would never dream of and the connection between he and Ness is powerful. There are family secrets that need to be uncovered and of course dealing with Biggie. But those come after Keston’s incredible freak-out upon this new reality and I appreciated that freak out so much. Faced with facts that turn your world around I thought it was a realistic response. Terror!
While I loved Molly, the ten-year-old neighbor, she definitely didn’t seem like a child to me. Perhaps the fact I am a teacher of primary children, but I rolled my eyes a few times at some of her dialogue. “Don’t take too long,” Molly said, getting up. “We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow.” Despite that, I liked both Molly and Frannie, her mother. The comments about people questioning why Keston is friends with Molly made me sad, as it would be suspect these days. Keston is, however, a “…big brother-father-super cool uncle all wrapped into one…”
There were more than a few editing issues, usually the wrong word. Quit instead of quite, snack for smack, a few added words. They weren’t enough to drag me from the story but definitely noticeable.
Things were a little too easy to forecast for me. As this author is new to me, I will give another book of hers a try, although maybe not a paranormal.
The cover matches the story completely, although it is a total spoiler for the story!
Weekend at Bigfoot’s by Addison Albright
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
It wasn’t supposed to be REAL! Bigfoot doesn’t actually exist. Yetis, shifters, creatures of the night … none of those exist. Right? Right? There’s nothing about perky — some might even say twinky — Oliver Hughes that would make a skeptic like Sensational News’ (Never Fake! We Swear!) reporter Wilson Banks think otherwise. But while pursuing soundbites for a tabloid story about Bigfoot, Wilson witnesses something he wasn’t meant to see. In Wilson’s new reality, is there room for love with someone whose dreams are as big as his … er … feet?
In a word: cute. It was a unique take on shifters, in this case, Bigfoot. Wilson is a reporter for a National Enquirer type newspaper, the Sensational News. Despite this, he has standards on what he reports. He won’t lie or make up “news”. When he is sent to Tallbear to track down a Bigfoot sighting, he is annoyed but ready to give it his best. He won’t do slasher stories, but finds a way to make it interesting. “I’m going to include statements from people who insist they’ve seen Bigfoot, but I think the slant my story might take will be on the dangers of becoming too obsessed with proving it.” Wilson decides to focus his story on these dangers of obsession with Bigfoot when the death of an elderly woman, Ida, caused by a trap put out to snare Bigfoot, comes to his attention.
He meets Oliver, “Oliver Hughes, aka ‘Bigfoot’” and falls instantly in lust with the sparkly, dark-haired twink. Oliver works for the bed and breakfast his sister owns, which happens to be the place Wilson is staying, as well as being a very talented graphic designer. It turns out that Ida was the aunt of Oliver and his sister, Lena.
Wilson really does come across as a fair reporter. He believes that most of the people he interviews about Bigfoot truly believe the stories they tell him. Emma, who saw Bigfoot fifty years ago and has stuck with her story ever since, and even Harold, the man who set the bear trap that killed Ida. He is respectful when he interviews and people open up to him.
Wilson and Oliver begin a weekend fling and Wilson is so enamored with the colorful Oliver, waxing poetic about his eyes. Oliver himself is adorable. “You don’t need to be nervous.” Oliver’s tone was amused. “I’m a sure thing, yet no hard feelings if you’d rather not.” They laugh a lot together.
The “… something he wasn’t meant to see” from the blurb comes at the end of the book and even though you easily guess what is going to happen, it was fun and funny. I liked the book, an easy, fun trip through the tabloids.
The cover, featuring Oliver amid a rainbow background, fit the story very well.
Sales Links to Legendary Loves Vol 2:
The books will all be 20% off at the publisher’s site through October 25.
Legendary Loves, Volume 2
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Z7G17JM/
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07Z7G17JM/
Book Details For Legendary Loves:
Published October 19th 2019 by JMS Books, LLC