Animals have a way of being exactly what their owner needs. In this anthology, we get five stories where animals bring men together. I liked that there were some interesting animals thrown into the mix, and not just cats and dogs. It was a nice anthology. I liked it, but didn’t love it.
Mischief Makers by Ann Anderson
Dustin comes home to find his apartment door open and his two kittens missing. Panicked, because his building has a very strict no pets policy, Dustin searches everywhere for the two little ones. He finally finds them in the arms of a very sexy man, with gorgeous eyes and a deep voice. But the kittens foray into the hall brings the attention of the apartment manager and Dustin has a month to move out. By a serendipitous turn of events, Mr. Sexy, aka Adam, is looking for a roommate and Dustin agrees to move in. Seven months later, their lives are entwined and Dustin is happy, until he discovers that mama cat may be pregnant again. Thinking he’ll have to move out, Dustin is sad. But searching the cat out leads him to Adam’s room. When Dustin accidentally falls asleep on Adam’s bed, it offers both men the opportunity to finally act on the feelings that they’ve been harboring.
This story was cute and sweet. I liked that the two missing cats brought Dustin and Adam together the first time, and that Adam seemed to understand Dustin with barely a word. It was a little bit of a stretch that Adam needed a roommate just when Dustin needed a place to live, and that they knew someone in common to put them together, but the author made it work. A nice story if you’re willing to take the jump.
Princess Cocoa Puff by Jenna Hale
Andrew is two months out of a bad breakup when his friend Sandy shows up with a cat. She insists he’s lonely and the cat is the perfect thing to help with that. But Princess Cocoa Puff is a bit of an escape artist. Puff keeps getting out and trotting down the street to number 301. As much as Andrew likes the cat, he finds her trying. But at least her escapdes have gotten him an introduction to Darren, the sexy man that lives down the street. After Puff has made yet another escape, Andrew knows where to go looking. Darren invites him in, and mutual admiration has them ending up in bed. Andrew knew he liked that cat.
I really liked the premise of this one. The author managed to pack a lot into a short story and give us a good read on Andrew. Darren was a bit more of a mystery, though it’s clear he’s a good guy because he doesn’t mind Puff showing up at his house. The guys are sexy together, and there is just enough going on here to let us know that they could absolutely have their happily ever after. It was probably my favorite of the stories
Puppies Love by Tracey Michael
Leo and Dante are on their way out for a much needed date night when a puppy in the middle of the road snags their attention. Quickly, the men find a box with an abandoned mama dog and her litter of puppies. The kind hearted men take the dogs home and care for them, though they really know they can’t keep the puppies forever. Leo doesn’t let the events ruin his plan, and he asks Dante to marry him. In the middle of the night, the dogs are stolen, and Leo and Dante give chase. When the dognapper’s truck wrecks, Dante fears the worst for his puppies.
This story was sweet. I liked the established couple, and the author did a really good job of letting us see into their lives and how much they love each other. I liked how little tidbits of their lives were thrown in, and how their affection for each other was so clear. I did think there was a little bit too much going on here for the length of the story, and I had some trouble with it, but it was a nice little read.
Elephants Know Best by Lor Rose
Ethan works at the Sanctuary, caring for elephants that have disabilities. The three elephants, his girls, are his family. He’s been working with them since he was a child and his father worked with them, but when his father was killed by poachers, Ethan took over the task. Now Ethan has Corbin, who helps him care for all the elephants. Ethan has been carrying a torch for Corbin, but it doesn’t seem like Corbin is interested. Until one night that changes. But when Ethan wakes alone the next morning, he’s convinced that Corbin only used him. It turns out, though, that Ethan may be very wrong about that.
Oh, I had such high hopes for this one, because I love elephants. And honestly, the elephants were the best part. Their personalities were so well developed that they were excellent secondary characters. But that being said, I found this story a bit lacking. There was too much going on that wasn’t fully developed. The author uses flashbacks to tell us what has happened in the past, but I often felt confused throughout this story and as if I was missing pertinent details. I really enjoyed the animals and the care Ethan showed them, but the romance was lacking for me.
Agent Princess Twinkle Buttons: Matchmaker by Amanda C. Stone
When Guy is getting ready for his run in the park, he spies a man dressed in a pink sparkling shirt and walking a…rodent? He’s intrigued, but keeps his thoughts to himself. Max, however, has noticed the buff dude that runs, and he’s the one to strike up a conversation, using his prairie dog, Princess Twinkle Buttons, as a conversation starter. After weeks of talking in the park, Guy finally asks Max out. Their first date is disastrous, and Guy thinks he’s lost all chance. Max doesn’t see it that way, and they have a few more dates before they finally sleep together and really begin a relationship. When Princess Twinkle Buttons goes missing, Guy is the one that rides to the rescue and finds her. And leads both men to realize they are in love.
This one is really cute. I liked that Guy, a personal trainer, was shyer and more nervous than Max. I liked that Max has worked hard to have confidence in himself. These guys were adorable together. Aside from the prairie dog’s name, which I thought was over the top and it was irritating to me personally, I liked the story as a whole.