“Don’t Shoot the Messenger” by Sean Kennedy

Dave’s job delivering singing telegrams can be irritating, especially on Valentine’s Day.  The worst part, however, is when Dave has to do the “truth telegrams,” like someone breaking up with a man named Mitchell Annen—while dressed in a bear suit.  Will this be the worst Valentine’s Day ever?

“Don’t Shoot the Messenger” is a very cute story of finding love in an unexpected way.  Dave is a nice, funny guy and I was rooting for him to get his man.  The ending is sweet and gives the promise of a happy future.  If you need a pick-me-up, “Don’t Shoot the Messenger” definitely fits the bill!   


“The Second Time is the Charm” by Maria Albert

Florist Sean Wycliff is always busy during the holidays, especially Valentine’s Day.  He’s grateful for the work, because it takes his mind off his empty personal life and the mess of his last relationship.  Then, after a terrible misunderstanding, he ends up being escorted home by a sexy police officer, Jefferson Jeffries.  Can Sean get over his fear of relationships and learn to feel safe again?

“The Second Time is the Charm” had a nice storyline but I had trouble getting into it.  There were so many secondary characters I had trouble keeping everyone straight.  I also felt like I was coming into a movie in the middle, because many things were alluded to as if they’d happened in previous books, but were never really explained.  Sean was a nice character, and his fear was completely understandable, yet he got over it and fell into new love way too quickly. 


“Better Late Than Never” by Ashlyn Kane

Tattooed party-boy Patrick volunteers to deliver a package for a friend, and ends up meeting cute, shy college student Julian Piet.  Julian is intrigued despite their total lack of common interests and his own lack of time, but he doubts he’ll ever see Patrick again.  Could two opposites attract after all?

“Better Late Than Never” features likable characters and a sweet storyline.  Patrick and Julian turn out to have more in common than they expect, and watching them realize that is fun.  I enjoyed the story, and the hopeful ending.    


“Indulge on Valentine’s Day” by S. Blaise

Glyn loves chocolate more than anything else, which is why he works at a chocolate shop.  He also likes watching his boss, the sexy owner’s son, but believes nothing could possibly come of his crush…

“Indulge on Valentine’s Day” combines two of my favorite things: romance and chocolate.  It’s a quick, fun story with appealing characters and a satisfying ending. 


“Hot Dr. Reindeer Antlers Kisses It Better” by Bethany Brown

Carpenter Seth loves being in a relationship with Noah, and he loves Noah’s son too.  He wants to make everything perfect for their first Valentine’s Day dinner, but an encounter with an ex and a mishap with a knife conspire to wreck his plans.  Is his first Valentine’s Day with Noah ruined?  

Apparently “Hot Dr. Reindeer Antlers Kisses It Better” is the sequel to another story.  After reading this one, I want to read that one too, to see how Seth and Noah met.  Seth is sweet in a shy, needy sort of way, and even though I occasionally wanted to tell him to toughen up, I couldn’t help rooting for him.  Noah’s a great match for him. 


“Milestones” by Chrissy Munder

Devon and Jeff have been together for a long time, but lately work has kept them apart.  They don’t seem to have time for each other at all, and Devon hates that.  Can they repair their relationship before it’s too late?

“Milestones” is a tale of love almost lost, and found again.  Reading about how things had been between Dave and Jeff in the beginning and how they’d deteriorated seemed realistic and sad, and I hoped they could fix things.  “Milestones” isn’t a really hot story, but it’s sweet and left me with a good feeling.


“Under Protest” by G.S. Wiley

Writer Bobby lives in a rundown apartment with an assortment of protesters and revolutionaries, including his boyfriend, Mike.  At a protest, Mike goes way too far, and Mike, Bobby, and many others are arrested.  Then Bobby realizes one of the policemen is his old high school flame, Jim…

“Under Protest” is an interesting historical tale.  The Sixties protest atmosphere came through well.  I enjoyed reading about Bobby and Jim’s relationship in the past more than the present, but overall “Under Protest” provided a cool touch of history for the anthology.


“A Year-Long Valentine” by Jaxx Steele

Nightclub singer Stephan is good, but not terribly well-known.  Then the new owner of the club sends Stephan on a tour as headliner at some of his other clubs.  What Stephan doesn’t realize is that the owner, Julio de la Cruz, wants him as more than a headliner.

I couldn’t get into “A Year-Long Valentine” at all.  Julio’s manipulation of Stephan didn’t seem romantic to me at all.  I couldn’t get a handle on the characters or why they would fall for each other.  If you like stories in which one character doesn’t know who the other really is, you may like “A Year-Long Valentine.”


“Meant to Be” by Zahra Owens

Kai and Toby have been keeping their long-distance relationship going for a long time, connecting whenever they can for short trysts.  They both love their jobs, and Toby can’t have a home base with his.  What will happen when long-distance isn’t enough anymore?

I really enjoyed “Meant to Be.”  Kai and Toby were both likable, free-spirit types, and reading about how they got together was interesting.  The ending left me smiling.    


“The Wild Side” by Janey Chapel

Ryan isn’t too happy when his friend Cheyenne asks him to fill in at work with her at a restaurant for Valentine’s Day, but he agrees to go.  At the restaurant, he gets offers to have a bit of fun with a coworker.  Normally he’d take the guy up on it, but he’s attracted to quiet waiter Nick, who seems to want nothing to do with him.

“The Wild Side” is a tale of a party guy and a guy who’s sworn off sex for a long time, and it was a lot of fun to read.  I couldn’t help liking Ryan, and I just wanted to hug Nick.  I like opposites-attract stories, and “The Wild Side” is a good one.


“Coming Home” by Nicki Bennett & Ariel Tachna

Trucker Tate rescued Mason on a snowy road one night, and sparks flew.  Now they’re in a long-distance relationship, but Mason longs for more.  Will Tate give it to him?

“Coming Home” is a story about the difficulties of being apart when you’re in love, and the lengths two men will go to in order to be together.  I liked the way both Mason and Tate were willing to compromise, and their solution was perfect.

Overall, Reflections of Love is a sweet, enjoyable anthology about men finding love or keeping love on Valentine’s Day.  If you’re a die-hard romantic, like I am, you’ll be sure to find something to like here.  While not all the stories are true keepers, there are enough gems here to more than justify picking up Reflections of Love.


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