Lovescape, an anthology

>> Monday, June 28, 2004

I decided to read the anthology Lovescape based on a question from a friend's sister: "have you read the one with the alien hero?" Who could she have been talking about if not Dara Joy?

The anthology starts with a story by a new-to-me author, Anne Avery, titled A Dance on the Edge.

When interior designer Marlis Jones battles with architect Jack MArtin over email, they discover a love powerful enough to blow their circuits.
It was quite a nice story. The most interesting thing about it is that it's narrated almost entirely through emails. There are just a couple of regular scenes, very short, and the rest is just an email exchange. The gimmick actually works very well because, in effect, it means the protagonists spend the entirety of the very short story (about 65 pages) communicating and communicating. They share their innermost feelings and their dreams and goals, so in the end, though the recognition that they were "in love" did feel a bit abrupt, I believed in that love more than I have in many longer stories. A B-.

The next story was Toss The Bouquet, by Phoebe Conn. I've read only one of this author's books, but it was a futuristic, written as Cinnamon Burke, so this was completely different.

After her boyfriend falls short of the altar, bridal florist Regan Paisley spends her vacation days at the beach alone. Then she meets a seductive Italian cyclist who pedals his way into her bed - and her heart.
Not too bad. A yummy hero, an idiot heroine, but the hero was nice enough for me to enjoy most of the story, even while realizing the guy was a walking, talking stereotype of an Italian. I didn't see what on Earth he saw in Regan, though. A C+.

The third story was Heart Craving, by Sandra Hill, by far my least favourite in the entire book.

Nicholas DiCello is desperate - his wife Paula plans to divorce him. So when a fortune-telling floozy in a flowered dress swears the only way to win back his wife's love is to discover her heart cravings, he listens.
Hill is another author I haven't read much of, only one very forgettable book some years ago. I vaguely remember the humour simply didn't work for me, and this happened again with this story. I actually couldn't even finish it. I simply stopped after 40 or so pages and proceeded to the next story, because this was just unreadable. I found the humour forced and stupid, the hero a jerk and the heroine a weak, shrill little twit. After two scenes where the hero, in spite of the heroine wanting a divorce, practically forces himself on her, and she immediately allows him to, I only wanted to slap the two of them. A D.

My One, by Dara Joy closed the anthology, and it was the best story, IMO.

When Lois Ed pleads with the cosmos to help her through her hard times, she never expects her cry to be answered - by a hunk of an alien with the wildest sense of passion she's ever experienced.
Quite a fun story, this one. Trystan was very, very alpha, but he was so teddy bear sweet I actually liked him. I never did get a sense of who Lois was, though. Trystan I got, but not she. Probably wasn't space for her development, because there was so much sex here.

Really nice sex, too. I enjoyed that Trystan was a virgin in physical terms, having only practised his alien version of sex, one that was solely mental. The scenes where he's so bewildered at the things his body's doing when it's near Lois were a riot. And the humour worked for me just fine, including all that about how Trystan chose the T-Shirt he was wearing. LOL! This one's a B+.

So, a good story, two just ok ones and a wall-banger, which makes this a B- anthology to me.


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