Monday, January 27, 2014
Review: Love and Other Games (A Very Sexy Short Story Collection) by Ana Blaze, Aria Kane, Kara Leigh Miller, Melinda Dozier
LOVE AND OTHER GAMES is a collection of four sexy new adult stories centered around athletes competing in the Winter Games by Ana Blaze, Melinda Dozier, Aria Kane, and Kara Leigh Miller. ~ Goodreads | Amazon
I have been having the best luck with novellas and anthologies lately so I snapped this one up because it takes place during the Winter Games. Seemed like the perfect time to read it since I was watching some of the events on TV over the weekend.
Unfortunately, these stories are so fast paced that everything is way over the top and unrealistic. Every single one is insta- love/insta-sex/insta-HEA – within a week. I was like…whoa…slow down kids! I mean - they were changing careers and moving across continents to be together. I guess I was just expecting sexy romps, not full blown romances.
That being said, I was able to let my logical side take a siesta and go with a flow for a few of these stories. If you can do that then this is definitely worth picking up to warm up those cold nights!
Trouble with Gold by Melinda Dozier – My favorite of the four. Blazing hot! Winter Games volunteer, Nadia Hoffman, stumbles across US snowboarder Ty Madsen in a somewhat embarrassing situation. Sparks fly and Nadia starts letting go and having fun for the first time in her life, while Ty tries to find a way to keep his lucky charm, Nadia, in his life past the games. I really fell for this couple. The story was a lot of fun and SUPER sexy. Nadia and Ty’s chemistry leapt off the page.
Ice Gold by Kara Leigh Miller – Colton is a brash, confident US Olympic hockey player who hits on official team photographer, Brenna Jessup on the flight over to the games. I really disliked Colton at first. He was so forceful and explicit with his advances towards Brenna that I would have reported him but no – Brenna is offended but Colton is so hot her body betrays her. Bleh – rolls eyes. They also play a few pranks on each other that I felt were way out of line. Colton is nice and very good to Brenna by the end but I could never really erase my first impression of him. I think most people will like this one though, if you like the alpha/confident type of guy.
The Girl behind the Gold by Aria Kane – This story had the most character development and was the sweetest of the bunch. Completely far fetched of course, but I was rooting for Lia and Brandon all the way. This was also the only story that kind of touched on the pressures of being in the Olympics and the need to frame every athlete in a sympathetic light, complete with sad backstory, to obtain those coveted endorsements. I would have loved to read this as a full length novel.
Worth More Than Gold by Ana Blaze – Another really steamy one! Erik is headed to the Olympics but he has no illusions that he’ll actually win the gold. Then he meets Amy Pierce, sister and manager of a US skater. All of a sudden Erik is skiing better than he has in years. Erik and Amy have an awkward start but were really fun to read about. My second favorite story of the group.
There are two things that tie all the stories together….
1.) A lucky torch – a little replica of the Olympic torch that is said to grant the holder a gold medal. It was a nice touch how all of the authors were able to weave this element in.
2.) Copious amounts of condoms. I’ve complained about authors not mentioning condom use before but man there’s no shortage here! Boxes of red, white and blue condoms permeate every story. I’m not complaining – I just thought it was kind of funny how much it's mentioned. Plus I remember reading an article awhile back that said there were 150,000 condoms distributed during the London Games in 2012. Well – I guess that makes sense. Thousands of gorgeous athletes staying in the Olympic village with plenty of energy to burn after their competitions are over. Stay safe! lol