Welcome to the start of a new feature here at Love Bytes: Anthology Week!
The reviewers of Love Bytes pick an anthology to read during the week, dividing the stories of the anthology and review a story each.
The reviews will be posted Monday to Saturday and the week will end with a guest post or interview on Sunday
(There might even be a chance of a giveaway there)
To start this new feature of we have chosen Campus Cravings
Welcome to Cathia University, where school is in session! Nine of today’s hottest gay romance authors have crafted brand-new interrelated novellas celebrating everything wonderful about college, including sophisticated professors, sexy teaching assistants, ambitious grad students, and spirited undergraduates, all looking for the same thing: an A+ in true love.
Book 3 :
Reviewed by Vicki
SERIES: Campus Cravings Anthology
AUTHOR: Annabeth Albert
PUBLISHER: C-Squared Publishing
Metrics and tournament brackets—who knew they were sexy? When competing dorm advisors Edwin and Ollie bet on a basketball tournament, neither expects he’s risking his heart.
As the challenge becomes a hot bedroom battle to avoid real feelings, the two “frenemies” must change their definitions of losing to win a shot at lasting love.
I’ll start by saying I can be a little indifferent to this type of coming of age college story. I’ve read some really good ones, and some that were fun but shallow. I didn’t go away to college and I don’t really get the whole dorm thing. I didn’t know much about this anthology before I offered to read and review a story, but I figured it was short and it would be fine…
I am happy to say I LOVED this story! It has the parts I tend to not be enthused about, two college men, new to sex (one’s a virgin), living in a dorm, and sports. But it totally worked! Ollie and Edwin are fantastic characters, and I enjoyed their story immensely. It’s longer than I expected considering it’s part of an anthology, and Ollie and Edwin have known each other for several years when it starts. It’s not insta-love like short stories tend to be, there is actually some history between them and I can see them together years from now. There was passion, slow to simmer and hidden behind their fear of ruining a friendship, but when they get there it burns hot! Ollie is so sweet and patient with Edwin, and Edwin is a scared little rabbit needing to relax and get laid.
The plot was fun, centered around college life in a dorm, Edwin and Ollie are the RA’s for their dorm, Ollie being the fun parent, Edwin being the serious parent. The basketball team for their college makes it fairly far in to the final four playoffs, Ollie convinces Edwin to participate in the bracket betting going on by offering him some nice incentives if he wins. Of course Edwin the math nerd gets right in to this plan and creates an algorithm to determine who will go farthest. There is lots of cuteness between them as the betting and winning progresses, some drama and misunderstandings since they are boys, some fun with the dorm residents and the game watching parties, and some very nice sex scenes as they get themselves sorted out. Oh, and a fabulous ending!
Annabeth Albert is a new-to-me author and I thought her writing was great. I loved the characters, she played up the nerdiness of Edwin just right, without making him too Sheldon-like, and kept Ollie sexual without being slutty. The plot was interesting even though it was small in scale out of necessity since it’s a short story. She didn’t try and cram too much in, nor keep it too small and shallow. There was just the right amount of sex that was very sweet as both characters are relatively inexperienced, and was appropriate for the plot. Enough, but not too much. I haven’t read the other stories in this anthology yet, but now I want too, just to see if they are as good as this one!