Rating: 4.5 stars
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Life, relationships, and sex are not always perfect. People in general are imperfect. Humans are clumsy, messy, and forgetful. But those things are what makes life fun. This anthology is packed full of imperfections – the accident prone, the overactive imagination, the absent-minded, and so much more – and luckily in these stories loves softens the bumps and bruises.
I absolutely adored this collection of stories. As a confirmed professional klutz, I’m pretty sure this anthology was created with me, or people like me, in mind. The characters are fun and so very lovable. The stories are creative and funny. Reading some I laughed so hard I couldn’t catch my breath, and others I finished reading by thinking “Awww.” Each of them short, and all of the sweet.
There are a many stories that are compiled in this fun and well thought out anthology. I will attempt to do them justice by giving a brief synopsis and a comment or two of what I thought about the story.
Basil’s Luck by Henrietta Clark – Cute, accident-prone librarian meets handsome bank teller in a supermarket where they connect over a broken bottle of wine and an emergency room visit. This adorable story of a meet-cute that is sugary sweet…in a good way. 5 stars
Midnight Caller by Anna Birmingham – Misplaced keys are the start of a series of late night visits between uptight and serious Aaron and his rebellious and impulsive neighbor, Daniel. Sparks fly immediately between the two – starting with annoyance that eventually leads to passion. This new-to-me author presents a cute tale of how these two polar opposites attract. 4.5 stars
Boy Next Door by Ellee Hill – A fear of heights and an adorable case of clumsiness lead to a rescue which in turn leads to a steamy encounter and a panicked dismissal. Kyle realizes his blunder immediately and works to correct his mistake before he misses his chance with Shane permanently. A good story with a handsome prince/damsel in distress vibe, but it is missing some information that would have made the story even better. 3.75 stars
Gremlins in the Works by Kiernan Kelly – Gremlins…Kevin can find no other explanation. The little creatures are wreaking havoc on his and Jamison’s new dream home – a major leak in their bedroom ceiling, suddenly failing appliances, missing clothing, damaged plumbing. It has to be gremlins…right? Highly imaginative and hilarious. Definitely one of my favorite stories, and I still giggle with I think about it. 5 stars
Attack of the Hedgehogs by Kate Pavelle – An accidental shopping cart collision leads to dinner then to a night of Ricky and Samuel getting to know each other intimately. Curiosity and being in the heat of the moment incites and experiment that may have some…um…uncomfortable side effects. A funny tale of a new beginning that puts a new picture in my head now when someone mentions hedgehogs. 4 stars
Gordon’s Cat by Aundrea Singer – When Gordon’s psychotic cat threatens to tear he and Mitch apart before they have a chance to really begin a relationship, Mitch is forced to search for ways to appease the cat in order to continue a relationship with Gordon. This story is one of the top stories of the collection – comical, fun, and absolutely entertaining. 5 stars
Slippery When Wet by K Lynn – A little spontaneity never hurt anybody…right? When David has the romantic notion to join his husband in the shower for a round of steamy, wet, love making, things don’t go exactly as planned. This is my favorite of the group. It’s an oh-my-god-I-laughed-so-hard-I-cried story. 5 stars
Boys, Toys, and Carpet Fitters by Taylin Clavelli – Michael, an awkward man with an obsession for sex toys, finds the man of his dreams in his carpet fitter and old school mate, Andrew. An accident involving a dildo and the shower leads to an embarrassing situation and a possible love connection. An okay story with a little too much rambling monologue and not enough dialogue, although the story did somewhat appeal to my inner geek. 3.5 stars
Good Food Gone Bad by Venona Keyes – Things always seem to go wrong when Scott and Colum plan alone time, but surely a food-sex weekend is safe. Hot pepper burns, broken bones, and numerous stitches prove that Scott and Colum may have been safer just staying home. Hilarious and physically painful – this story had me wincing and laughing until I hurt. 5 stars
Desperate Measures by ET Malinowski – When Parker is asked to host a last minute dinner party for his boss and a client, his initial worry is springing it on his partner, Greg. Missed phone calls, an interrupted blowjob, and a near ruined dessert convince Parker that desperate times call for desperate measures. This is a cute tale of a charming couple and the mishaps they face while under stress. 4 stars
It’s Not What You Think by Teegan Loy – Micah has a problem. He can’t keep his eyes off of his best friend’s straight boyfriend, Cole. Too many drinks, shirts changing colors, and all of Cole’s flirting is confusing Micah. He values his friendship with Jenna but when Cole comes on so strong it’s hard to tell him “no.” A funny and adorable story of a case of mistaken identity. 4.75 stars
Tyler Wang Has a Ball by Kim Fielding – When Tyler Wang agreed to attend the Testicle Festival with his friend he expected Jordan to show up…which he did not. He didn’t expect to receive a bloody nose caused by a handsome stranger, have to eat Rocky Mountain Oysters, or need to rush his new friend to the emergency room, but bad days sometimes have a way of ending on a good note. Fielding presents a delightful tale of an accidental and funny meet-cute. 4.5 stars
Snapshots by Rena Butler – When Alex rescued the beautiful, unconscious, and extremely inebriated man from whatever disease that could be lurking on the club bathroom floor, he wasn’t sure he’d ever see Bryce again. And after a second encounter, a stolen phone, and being thrown over the back of a couch Alex isn’t sure that he wants to see Bryce again. An entertaining story of cat and mouse complete with misunderstandings and speculation. 4.75 stars
Photo Finish by AC Valentine – When Skylar ends up handcuffed to the bed as a surprise for his boyfriend, he’s surprised to be dumped via text by said boyfriend. Skylar’s only option is to call on his best friend and one time fling, Ari, when he discovers the keys are in another room. When Ari receives a text and provocative picture from Skylar he is sure that Skylar has broken up with his boyfriend and is ready to face the attraction between him and Ari. They’ve never talked about their previous drunken sexual escapade, but this time Ari is determined to keep Skylar no matter what. Again, this is one of several favorites of the bunch. I love this sexy, kinky, and sweet story. I especially fell for the characters quickly. 5 stars
Outbursts by Bell Ellis – Socially awkward, Matthew, is sure that he has no chance with the company’s golden boy, Roe, but that doesn’t keep him from making a fool of himself in Roe’s presence. Even after the compliments-turned-insults, Roe still seems to be interested in Matt. But after weeks of casual lunches and flirting with not even a kiss, Matt isn’t so sure that their office romance will make it off the ground. Another favorite – an absolutely hilarious tale of boy meets boy complete with character-related vocabulary words. 5 stars
I am wonderfully pleased with each of these stories and I absolutely love the idea behind this anthology. Each story had me laughing, smiling, and sometimes crying (with mirth). It’s a wonderful collection of stories from some well-known authors as well as some new-to-me authors that I’m looking forward to reading more of in the future. I highly recommend Don’t Try This at Home.
The cover by Paul Richmond is perfect for this anthology, and after reading the entire group of stories, I find myself laughing at the story that the cover creates.