Review of Word Play – A Story Orgy Anthology

Standard

Rating: 4 stars

Word Play is the first collection by a wonderful group of authors who post serial stories under the collective name Story Orgy.  Lee Brazil, Em Woods, J. R. Boyd, Havan Fellows, and Hank Edwards give us novella length stories of love and relationships from the first throes of passion and discovery to an old loves lost and then renewed.

Harper’s Discovery by Em Woods is the story of Harper Evans journey from betrayed boyfriend to a man happy with a new love and  new life as Pitt’s sub with some remarkable stops along the way.

Wicked Reflections by Hank Edwards is a supernatural mystery story that will keep you on edge even as our hero finds time for romance.

Harlan’s Ryde by Havan Fellows brings us the story of Ryder and Harlan’s last chance at love after Ryder threw it away in a moment of insecurity and self destruction.

Off The Beaten Path by J. R. Boyd shows us best friends Mitch Sterling and Colby Merritt on a jaunt in the country that brings them revelations about their  relationship and their sexuality.

The Park At Sunrise by Lee Brazil is a heart wrenching story of love lost and those left behind.  What happens when a threesome is reduced to two? Can a love survive the loss of a partner?

This is a remarkable collection of stories by a group of authors I have come to admire.  Their Story Orgy Mondays was my first introduction to all of them.  I eagerly awaited for Monday to come around so I could see a new installment on stories I was following from each author as they linked  all their stories together.  Follow one, follow them all.  So imagine my joy when I found out that they were publishing their stories in one volume (now several) so I could have them at my finger tips at a moments notice.  And what a diverse group of stories these are.  A real smorgasbord of love from every angle and a couple of kinks.  And while I enjoyed them all, I will admit to having some favorites.

Harper’s Discovery by Em Woods introduces us to Harper Evans just as he is dumping his cheating boyfriend, a long overdue event as far as Pitt Mullen is concerned.  Pitts has been waiting for Harper to get up his resolve and get rid of someone not worthy of him.  Of course, Pitt is ready to step in and make Harper his own in every way, including being the submissive to his Dom.  As someone not in the lifestyle, I have no idea whether their D/s relationship is accurate but I do know that the men come across as real people trying to find a base upon which to build a mutually satisfactory relationship, one that includes love and respect.  Add to this a side story involving a young man in need of a kidney transplant and you have a story you will love even if D/s is not your typical read.

Wicked Reflections by Hank Edwards was one story that should not be read at bedtime.  He kept me up all night with nightmares reliving scenes from this book.  When Kirk Stanford moves into his new house, the real estate agent had left some things out before selling the house to Kirk, including the fact that the previous owner was murdered upstairs in the master bathroom.  Now ghostly warnings appear written on the steamed surface of the mirror in the bathroom.  And different men start to enter Kirk’s life from Alan, his new neighbor next door, Lance Hawthorne, a detective looking into the death of the previous owner, and Damon Swain, a local librarian helping Kirk research his new residence.  Little by little, scene by scene Hank Edwards starts ramping up the anxiety level of the reader as more facts are revealed about Kirk’s new house, as more warnings are left by the ghost, and everyone becomes a possible suspect.  Like Kirk, you have no idea who to trust, and who will turn out to be the bad guy.  And those last pages? Had me biting my nails and making sure my doors and windows were locked. Edwards keeps all the balls up in the air as he juggles his thriller scenario with hot sexy scenes between Kirk and his new acquaintenances.  Kirk is a bit of a slut which just gives us another dimension to his character.  You will love this story, the plot will make you scream.  Just read it during the daylight hours, ok?

Harlan’s Ryde by Havan Fellows.  OK, I just loved this story.  It has it all.  Humor, great characterizations and two great sequels.  This is the first in the Synchronous Seductions Trilogy.  Read my review of all three here.

Off The Beaten Path by J. R. Boyd is a wonderful story of two friends and business partners realizing that they have come to mean much more to each other than they have admitted to.  One day Colby Merritt and Mitch Sterling take a drive to scope out new projects/jobs for their landscaping business.  Friends for 24 years, a chance dip in a pond on a hot Texas day gives Colby the opportunity to show Mitch how he has always felt about him and what better time than when both are half naked and dripping wet.  Boyd’s vivid descriptions makes us feel that hot Texas heat and the delights of a summer pond.  Then give us two old friends who have buried their attraction to each other in the name of that friendship and the moment explodes with sexual fireworks and revelations of long hidden sexuality.  Did I say hot?  Hot on every level.  A coming out story done with humor and heat, what’s not to love?

The Park At Sunset by Lee Brazil.  Heartbreaking, just heartbreaking, but in a wonderful way.  This story will resonate with anyone with a lost love in their past.  Thirty two year old Morgan shows up at the bench by the beach and is overwhelmed by memories of a love he had lost.  Joining him is Jason, an artist and his former lover.  Jason sent Mason a painting that has brought them back together after a long separation.  The cause? The death of their lover, Paul.  They were once of happy threesome but the loss of one has meant the loss of all.  Now sitting on a bench on a beach full of memories, they relive their past, examine their present lives in hopes of finding a way back to each other.  Brazil makes their pain palpable, their loss of  Paul and each other gut wrenching as their emotions flow and the memories of what was lost comes back.  These men touch us in every way.  We identify with them and their have our complete empathy.  And when the story comes to an end, you will be smiling through tears at a love reclaimed.

Don’t pass this anthology by.  If you are unfamiliar with these authors, it is a great introduction.  If you love their works, read these stories and remember why.

Cover artist Victoria Miller has created a hot sexy cover for Word Play.  Great design with easily read fonts. Great job.

Available through Breathless Press , Amazon, and All Romance eBooks.

Olympic Games, the Week Ahead in Reviews and The Michelada Cocktail

Standard

So many things going on to talk about today.  First let’s get right to the Olympics.  Closing ceremony is tonight, bringing to an end one of the best Olympics I can remember.  I have been glued to the television watching this incredible spectacle unfold from the beginning, from the high drama of the swimming pools and gymnastic mats to the cross country course of the Equestrian events to the river and glistening rowers then to track and field, and all the sports in between.  So many athletes, so many stories, so many tears of sorrow to match the tears of joy.  How not to feel a part of something bigger, to feel connected to other nations and nationalities when you see people cheering the athletes on regardless of the colors they wear or the countries they represent.  Oscar Pistorius? Who wasn’t cheering that man on?  Some of my favorites? Katie Ledecky, Misty  and Terri, Usain Bolt, Jessica Ennis, Michael Phelps, Gabby and the rest of the US gymnastic womens team,  Misty Franklin….so, so many.

And what will the closing ceremony look like?  Who knows?  After the dancing nurses and their twirling hospital beds, massive shrubbery moving, the Tor, and best torch ever, I am waiting in anticipation to be confounded, baffled, and touched beyond measure.  I know we will all be watching it together.

I am also going into this week with a working generator (dances for joy) so once more I am able to enjoy the rumble of thunder, the darkening skies, the sound of pounding rain for their beauty and music, secure in the knowledge that a storm no longer equals loss of power, food and appliances!  Take that, Pepco.  Now only if I could send you the bill.

Finally, Monday brings my review of Stars & Stripes, the latest in the Cut & Run series from Abigail Roux featuring Ty and Zane.  So many people were trying to download their pre-ordered copies at midnight on the 11th that they crashed the servers over at Riptide Publishing.  Wow.  So was the wait worth it?  Read my review on Monday.  So here is what the week is looking like in books:

Monday:                                Stars & Stripes (Cut & Run #6) by Abigail Roux

Tuesday:                                Synchronous Seductions Trilogy by Haven Fellows

Wednesday:                         Inertia (Impulse #1) by Amelia C. Gormley

Thursday:                             Brook Street: Thief by Ava March (rescheduled from last week)

Friday:                                   Mending the Rift Series by Valentina Heart

Saturday:                               Word Play Anthology by the Story Orgy authors

And finally our summer cocktail of the week. The Michelada, perfect for grilled foods and watching Olympic closing ceremonies!

The Michelada

Ingredients:

1/4 teaspoon piquin pepper
1/4 teaspoon salsa picante
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (12-ounce) can Mexican lager, chilled

Garnish: lime wedge

Directions:

In tall beer glass, stir together pepper sauce, salsa, lime juice, salt, and lager. Garnish with lime and serve immediately.

Happy viewing and have a great week!