As each of the four stories are so very different, I decided to review each short individually.
Heart’s Desire by Julie Reece
This is such a lovely story. There is sadness and heartache, and hope, and yearning, and desire, and love, and the added fantastical element written in a way that gives this an almost fairy tale/dreamlike persona. Very enjoyable. My only complaint would be that the development between Cam and Tessa and the time they spent together could so have turned this into a longer story because I’m sure I’d have loved being on that part of their journey with them. )
The Sweetest Song by Claire Gillian
I struggled a little with the opening of this one. I’m not sure why. I don’t know if it’s because it dove right into the issue the female had to deal with and I was suddenly thrust into a situation where I had to keep up and understand before I’d barely been introduced to the character I was expected to care about. BUT … I read on, and got to the part where Circe met Otis and I was a gonner. I loved Otis. He’s just adorable. The dude alone could have fronted an entire novel and had female readers swooning over him. I really enjoyed watching the development between them because Circe was really such a sweet little thing, also. The only thing that bugged me was the ending a little bit. Not ‘how’ it ended, but the comedy that was suddenly thrust upon us between Poseidon and Aphrodite and how easily this (what I’ve always envisioned to be) fearful god kowtowed to the other god’s demand. The strength of the humour seemed a little out of place in context with the rest of the story and so almost seemed forced, and the compliance from he who should have opposed their ‘love’ a little too neat. But I still enjoyed it a lot.
Pearl if Pau’maa by Kelly Said
This one was a gorgeous surprise. The descriptions took me along nicely for the ride. The characters–both Harmon and Miki–were adorable. Creeb made me giggle a lot, despite his short appearance. And I couldn’t help but be slightly awed by the author’s imagination with this one.
Oh, yes: and I had a goofy smile most of the way through.
The Undergarden by Jocelyn Adams
Okay, first word: WAHN! Man, I feel like blarting after finishing this one. Talk about emotional. Another tale told in an almost surreal and dreamlike fashion, with a couple of adorable characters leading the way. I’m not sure there’s much more to say other than it’s totally adorable and don’t read without tissues at the ready.