Review: Daily Dose 4

Every summer Dreamspinner Press releases their Daily Dose, a set of 30 stories with a common theme. They are released a day at a time during the month of June for those who buy the set, or individually on June 1st. This year’s Daily Dose is called Mended and centers around a hurt/comfort theme. Over the course of the month, we will be reviewing some of the novellas individually, as well as doing some roundups of several short stories at once. You can find all our reviews of the 2014 Daily Dose here.

 

Best Worst EverTitle: Best Worst Ever by L.D. Blakeley
Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance
Length: Short Story

Taking a few much needed, but unexpected, days off, Carey rushes off to console his best friend Sky. Sky has been dumped again, leaving him with a non-refundable cabin retreat over New Year’s. It’s just a few days before the holidays and this will either be the best decision Carey’s ever made or will lead him to the worst heartbreak ever.

Carey and Sky have been best friends for over a decade. Meeting in college, Sky didn’t care that Carey was gay, and Carey didn’t care that Sky was straight. Carey has always been in love with Sky and on some level has compared all of his past boyfriends to Sky. Carey is currently single. Too many drinks, a school age game, and a power outage in a cabin surrounded by snow, may be just enough to take their relationship out of the friend zone, or cause heartbreak and devastation.

For two guys that were the best of friends, their interpersonal communication was a bit lax at times. Overall, a well written read with a scene hot enough to melt the snow and fun, witty banter from two guys that know almost everything about each other.


The Way Things Turn OutTitle: The Way Things Turn Out by MA Ford
Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance
Length: Short Story

You know how you just click with someone at times? Well, for teammates Alan and Nathan it was the exact opposite. But, after Nathan suffers a serious crash, sports car driver Alan accompanies him to the hospital. Waiting for Nathan to regain consciousness, Alan is unable to locate any next of kin for Nathan. Nathan was a recent addition to the team and he and Alan have not been on the best of terms. While waiting for news on Nathan’s condition, Alan thinks back over their rocky relationship.

When Nathan wakes up, he continues to keep secrets and is afraid to ask for help. While several secrets are at play, one of them may be Nathan’s long held attraction to Alan.

For most of the story we are ensconced inside Alan’s mind. He offers a witty narrative of his background and then the path of his relationship with Nathan. He is a good guy who stays at the hospital with Nathan despite them being at odds with each other. The descriptions in Alan’s head are well written and when he says he enjoys the sound of the cork coming out of the wine bottle and the sound of the glorious glug glug glug, well, he’s my kind of guy. It’s the narrative of Alan’s mind that makes the story and will hold your attention all the way through.


Sweat and SmokeTitle: Sweat and Smoke by Therese Woodson
Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance
Length: Short Story

When firefighter Cole arrives at the scene of a burning building, he finds his best friend, Finn, a paramedic, has run into the building to save a child. When Finn emerges gasping for air, Cole lashes out at Finn for being reckless. Their emotions spark and long held passions ignite.

A well done short, with long time besties, one hot, passionate night, and promises in the light of day.


Deep WaterTitle: Deep Water by Coral Moore
Rating: 4 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance
Length: Short Story

After nearly drowning as a child, Mario has overcome his fear of water with the help of his best friend Gladys. Now they both swim constantly, anticipating tryouts for the school swim team. When Mario meets Jordan, an outspoken writer for the school paper, Mario is attracted to him and considers coming out.

When violence intended for Jordan leaves Mario unable to make tryouts and secure a scholarship, Mario takes his frustrations out on Jordan. Mario then regrets pushing Jordan away, but in order to apologize he has to conquer his fear and pass the scene of the attack.

This story progresses really quickly, including the guys having dinner, Mario admitting he is gay, Mario being attacked, and solving the conflicts with both the attack and Mario’s missed swim tryouts.  It’s quite a lot to have accomplished in just a few days time.

 

A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.

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