heart2heart volume 7 paranormal coverBuy Links:  Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Short-story Anthology


Heart2Heart is an annual charity anthology featuring a variety of authors. This year, the anthology has been divided this year into two collections, Contemporary and Paranormal. We are featuring stories from the Paranormal volume today and reviewed the Contemporary volume yesterday. The anthology theme focuses on Cupid helping people find their perfect match. For the Paranormal volume, the matchmaker is the actual arrow-shooting Cupid of legend (and in the Contemporary volume, it is CUPID, the Compatible-Unit Partnering Intelligence Databot).

Jay and Kris are teaming up for the Paranormal reviews and each reading some of the stories. Since we won’t be reviewing the entire volume, we are providing ratings for the individual stories we read. The full list of participating authors in this Paranormal set includes: Macy Blake, Grae Bryan, Kiki Clark, Eliot Grayson, Tavia Lark, Mika Nix, Pandora Pine, Taylor Rylan, Lark Taylor, and Alice Winters. The collection is edited by Leslie Copeland.


Love Me Love My Dogs by Macy Blake (Kris)
Rating: 4 stars

Wolf Shifter George’s focus is solely on his large pack of rescue dogs and the homemade food and treats that keep his rescue afloat. People confusing him with a famous singer with the same name has brought in thousands of dollars, which has helped his rescue, but the unhappy side effect of constantly dealing with that singer’s fans is tough for the grumpy loner shifter. When his best friend signs George up for a valentine’s Day event with the Heart2Heart app, George is flabbergasted, but meets his date anyway.

Braxton is a dragon shifter who is excited to meet their date, though because of the blind date option, they know little to nothing about George. They’re nervous too, not quite sure how understanding George will be in regards to their gender. But the instant Braxton meets George, the sparks fly. Though George seems pretty tongue tied, the two quickly realize they are mates. And when an escape from the rabid fans leads them to George’s home and his pack of dogs, Braxton is even more charmed. Watching Braxton interact with his pack settles George even more. Fate has put them together, and they know they’re going to live their happily ever after.

This short story takes place in Blake’s extensive Chosen One universe, but it’s not necessary to have read any of the other stories, as it wouldn’t be apparent except for the appearance of a couple of known side characters. George has plenty of reasons to be grumpy, not in the least because he’s not very social. But on top of that, he’s dealing with a tons of fans that are convinced he’s somehow related to the famous singer. I liked that the moment George and Braxton meet, George can’t get more than a few words out, taken by Braxton’s beauty. Braxton, for their part, is quick with the sass and humor that plays well against George’s demeanor.

For such a short story, there’s a sweet connection between the two. And for that alone, I enjoyed the story. But I also wasn’t quite sure why so much focus was put on the secondary plot line of the connection to the singer, as it seemed a bit unnecessary. I would have liked to see more between the two MCs. It’s still a cute story that gives the warm fuzzies though.


Sweet Treats by Grae Bryan (Kris)
Rating: 4.5 stars

Perri is a half-pixie who loves doing good things for other people. He has a penchant for sweets and a crush on Mr. Glasses, who he’s seen around, but never met. Yet another chance encounter almost nets Perri a name, but they get interrupted before they can get that far. But Perri knows that Mr. Glasses is kind and helpful, and though he wants to get to know him, Perri signs up for a the Heart2Heart app anyway. Because if he can’t have Mr. Glasses, he would like someone to love.

Tobias is staid and predictable, and he knows there’s no way the pretty pixie with periwinkle hair would look at him twice. But when he meets his blind date from the app, he’s pleased to see it’s Perri. Of course, Tobias’ insecurities return full force and he says the wrong thing. But neither Perri nor Tobias are willing to give up, and they try again. Their Valentine’s Day date is the perfect chance to start over and try for their happily ever after.

This is a sweet, lovely short story that hits the right notes for me. The seemingly unrequited crush from both sides and the way both MCs are slightly flawed, but such good-hearted men, really sets up for a nice story. It’s no surprise they are paired together by the app. What I liked most about these MCs is that they are very relatable and feel real. They don’t always say the right thing, and miscommunication happens. But it’s in a believable way that is quickly rectified with conversation. All in all, it’s a really cute story that had me smiling at the end.


Looking 4 Furever by Kiki Clark (Jay)
Rating: 3.75 stars

Rance has been crushing on the hot lynx shifter who has been coming into the coffee shop where he works for three months. The men have exchanged some casual conversation, but Rance can’t even tell if Dean is interested in him. Knowing he needs to just move on already if he isn’t going to work up the nerve to share his interest, Rance decides to sign up for Heart2Heart’s Cupid matching service. It turns out Rance and his match totally hit if off in their chats and find a great connection. Now, all that’s left is for the men to meet in person and discover their perfect match.

This is a cute story about two men who are both pining for each other, but can’t work up the nerve to have more than quick coffee shop conversations. We get POVs from both Rance and Dean, so as readers we know how they both feel about each other before they do. There is a nice section in epistolary format where we see some of their chats and it gives a good sense of the men getting to know each other better. However, when the pair meet for their first face-to-face date, they basically see one another, commit to their desire for a lifetime together, and are having sex all in about 3 minutes. Then the final chapter serves as an epilogue that jumps ahead a year. It just felt too rushed, even in this short story format. I didn’t need an HEA immediately after meeting, and I think it would have worked better just to show them meeting in person without the immediate commitment. But overall, this is a sweet story with a light tone and a fun set up.


Hot Date by Eliot Grayson (Kris)
Rating: 4.25 stars

David is suffering from yet another debilitating migraine when he decides to make a last ditch effort to make them stop. He’s tried all medical and non-medical means and nothing has worked. So even though he gave up trying to summon a demon years ago, David gathers spell ingredients and tries again. He doesn’t care if he’s possessed, as long as the pain stops for good. When Xan appears, the app dings, letting David know that his blind date has arrived. But David can’t even think about the dating service he signed up for that promised Cupid himself would match him. He’s too focused on the huge, scary, sexy demon…who does indeed want to posses him, just not in the way he thought. A night of scorching sex and confessions confirms for David that Xan is everything he didn’t even know he wanted.

This story is, for me, a little lacking in the world building. However, David is immediately relatable in a lot of ways. He’s down on his luck, he suffers from a debilitating chronic pain condition, and his ex is a jerk. He just wants to find love and happiness, but he’s willing to settle for no longer hurting. I liked him from the start, and the narrative style made this quick and easy. Xan is a possessive demon who takes the moment he arrives, but he does it in such a way that he’s giving as well. They really are a good match and it’s easy to see they set up for a happily ever after.


Not So Cupid by Mika Nix (Jay)
Rating: 4.25 stars

Ruairi isn’t sure how he ended up agreeing to this blind date. The fact that his brother is Cupid probably has something to do with it. Ruairi is willing to go along with this set up, but he forbids Cupid from using his magic to help things along. However, when he meets his date, Weston, Ruairi finds himself surprisingly drawn to the sweet man. Weston is all happiness and light and optimism compared to Ruairi’s more grumpy and reserved self. But both men feel an immediate connection and their date ends up being unexpectedly magical. Before the night is over, Ruairi and Weston may have found a lasting love.

This story had a fun twist in that Ruairi’s brother is Cupid himself. It makes for some entertaining interaction as the more gruff and jaded Ruairi has to deal with his brother who loves love. Then, he meets Weston, who is a ray of sunshine and all kinds of happy and optimistic. It is a cute set up and works nicely for the story. Weston and Ruairi meet and fall for each other hard and fast over the course of their date. While Cupid may not be intervening in their relationship, there is a supernatural connection that helps make the speed with which these guys move to forever feel like it works. This one is sweet, sexy, nicely mushy, and a lot of fun.


You Can’t Spell Necromancer Without Romance by Alice Winters (Jay)
Rating: 4.25 stars

Between a death threat this week, a dangerously charmed front door, and now a dead body ominously dumped on his lawn, Axton is pretty sure someone is out to get him. He decides to reach out to Sylvan, a local necromancer, to see if Sylvan can raise the dead guy on the lawn and gets some answers as to who is behind it all.

Ever since a local seer predicted he was going to kill thousands, Sylvan has been besieged by people looking to attack him. No one seems to care that Sylvan would never hurt anyone. Fortunately, he is able to raise the dead to help out with just about anything and they been keeping any attackers at bay. When Axton shows up, Sylvan assumes it’s more of the same, but Axton swears he just wants Sylvan’s help. And when Sylvan realizes that Axton is his dating match as well, that makes getting to know him all the more tempting. Now, Sylvan and Axton must work together to figure out who is behind the threats on Axton’s life, and maybe have a chance to squeeze in a date as well.

This one has a fun set up with a sweet fluffy necromancer in Sylvan. Usually, necromancers are depicted as dark and deadly, so this was a fun change up. Sylvan is sweet and lonely and just wants people to want to hang out with him (aside from the dead folks). This one has a lot of Winters’ usual humor and hijinks as the guys team up to find out who is behind the threats. Things come together pretty quickly in the reveal at the end, but overall, I found this one a lot of fun. I’d love the chance to see more of these guys in another book.

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