“Mauka/Makai” by Shea Meier
Uptight researcher Noah is knocked off
balance when he meets sexy, laid-back surfer Kawika. Can a
random meeting on the beach turn into much more for these
two very different men?
I really liked “Mauka/Makai.” It’s a
simple story, yet profound at the same time. Noah needs to
feel like he belongs somewhere. His struggles to accept his
feelings and himself, and his eventual realization, make for
a fascinating and satisfying journey.
“King Kong vs. the Skinny Pirate” by
Fashionable lawyer Blaine is
disappointed in the slim pickings at a bar, and not terribly
interested in the huge, hairy man on the barstool next to
him. Still, he’s desperate enough to take the man, George,
up on his offer to go home with him. Blaine doesn’t think
he’ll enjoy himself very much, but he’s got a surprise in
store for him…
“King Kong vs. the Skinny Pirate” is a
fun tale about first impressions and the error of judging
based on appearances. Both George and Blaine discover how
wrong they were about the other, and it’s a lot of fun to
learn it along with them.
“Fairy Tale” by Rob Rosen
High in a castle in the clouds, Prince
Nathan waits for his fiftieth birthday when he will return
home, take a mate, and rule his kingdom. Then a curious
fairy, wanting to see the creature living in the clouds
where only fairies should live, comes into the castle. What
will happen when a fairy and a human meet for the first
True to its name, “Fairy Tale” was
written in the style of a fairy tale. The story is cute,
but I couldn’t really get into it. The characters weren’t
fleshed out, and their love seemed more like lust.
“Lucky” by A. Steele
Carl Ruiz used to be a student at the
prestigious Westenvale College, but after some bad luck and
bad behavior he’s a janitor there. Now he’s invisible to
his former friends. He’s astonished when one of the young
men, the rich and handsome Josh Camden, speaks to him one
day. What could Josh want with him?
“Lucky” has a cool premise, but
everything happened way too fast for my taste. Carl was a
sympathetic character and I rooted for him, but Josh came
across as a spoiled kid acting out against his father.
“Forever” by William Holden
Alex is a vampire, and he hates it. He
hates his life, and the killing he must do to sustain it.
He lives only for revenge until he meets Tony. Will he
succumb to Tony’s desire to become a vampire and stay with
“Forever” is a very depressing story.
It’s well-written, but the wrenching ending marred it for
me. I think it would do better in a different anthology,
where readers wouldn’t be expecting a happy ending.
“Common Ground” by Cassidy Ryan & Tyler
Popular computer geek Bryce Kennedy
wants to work for the FBI, but in order to pass the entrance
exams he has to get into shape. He enlists shy jock Shay
Gibson to help him. Will something more come of their
I liked the way “Common Ground”
reversed the usual stereotypes by making the geek popular
and the jock shy and unsure. Both characters were sweet and
likeable, and I wanted to see them get together. The ending
is sweet and satisfying.
“The Taming of the Bull” by Taylor
Science teacher Patrick Powers has no
patience for the occult, and he thinks astrologer Gabriel
Starlight ripped his mother off. Patrick decides to protest
at the man’s store to show others that astrology is
nonsense, but gets a quite different result.
“The Taming of the Bull” is a hot, fun
story. I liked the use of new age terms during the sex
scene, and it was nice to see the two men come to a
compromise in the end.
“The Hideaway” by David Wesley
Zach Bennett isn’t really happy being
back in his hometown running his father’s bar, but after his
dad’s long illness and death he decides to stick it out.
His unhappiness is made even worse by the unexpected arrival
of Jake Matthews, an Alcohol and Beverage Commission
inspector. The man makes him uneasy in more ways than one.
When Jake returns to discuss the results, will it be good
news for Zach or more bad news?
“The Hideaway” had an interesting
premise, but everything happened too quickly to be entirely
believable. The love scene, especially the dialogue, didn’t
ring true for me either.
“Against the Current” by Heidi Champa
Unlike his friend and traveling
companion in Australia, Greg, Ted is a horrible surfer. No
matter how hard he tries, he fails to catch a wave, or do
anything other than embarrass himself. Then he meets sexy
surfer Dan, who wants to teach him to surf…
“Against the Current” features a very
likeable narrator who’s aware of his own shortcomings—maybe
even too aware of them. Laid-back surfer Dan is a dream
guy: sexy, sweet, and patient. I liked “Against the
Current,” but the ending wasn’t what I hoped.
“Fire and Water” by V. Greene
Sir Campion is sent by the king to slay
a dragon. Will he succeed, or will he get more than he
“Fire and Water” tells what would
happen if a knight and a dragon decided not to fight after
all. It’s a cute story with kinky dragon sex. If you don’t
like human / nonhuman relationships, better skip this one.
Otherwise, it’s a fun story.
Like Magnets We Attract is a widely varied
anthology based off the opposites attract theme. There are
a few keepers here and some that I didn’t enjoy so much, but
overall it’s an interesting anthology with lots of different
takes on the theme.