Reviewed by Danielle
Title: It Was Always You Anthology
Authors: Cardeno C, Ella Frank, Riley Hart, Lane Hayes, Christina Lee, Felice Stevens, N.R Walker
What do you do when everything you’ve ever wanted was right there all along?
Join these bestselling M/M authors as they bring you tales of love, lust, and laughter… between friends.
Featuring seven brand new novellas, each answering the question—what happens when the one meant for you was right there all along?
The book will be available for a LIMITED TIME only!
All money and proceeds for this anthology will be donated to the charity One.n.Ten.
Rough Edges by Cardeno C
What a great start of this anthology! I loved this story and the characters in it, Kyle and Brent.
So different and so much stubbornness from Kyle, but Brent has patience…lot of patience!
The Chemistry and the built up on the story is wonderful, quite surprising also and has a wonderful ending.
Like I said the perfect start to this anthology.
Unexpected Turn by Ella Frank
MORE! that is the first word that comes to mind while reading this story. There are some stories that you feel that you don’t want to stop, where there is so much more you want to read about the main characters.
This story by Ella Frank was one of those stories. I so want to read more about the two best friends Tyler and Connor.
These men start off on a road trip to the wedding of Tyler’s sister. They will meet their significant others there for the wedding party. During the trip there are unexpected feelings and emotions coming to light…I mean Connor is straight right? And in a relationship with Miranda. And Tyler is in a relationship with Ryan who hates Connor with a passion.
When emotions and chemistry start flying around in the days before the wedding, Ella Frank treats us to wonderful scenes, hot and steamy eagerness and a more than wonderful ending. I so want to read more…sigh.
Kudos to Miranda! An awesome storyteller!
Dare you to by Riley Hart
Another winner here by a fabulous author. Riley Hart brings us the story of Dare and Austin. Complete opposites but best friends despite that or should I perhaps say because of that? I love the opposites attract angle here and Miss Hart works it marvelously. The adventurous, spontaneous Dare and the helpful, kind and sweet Austin are awesome foils for each other.
It took me a little while to get into both characters but they have a way of getting to you, simply because they find a way towards you. The hesitancy and nervousness weaves around these two men and it is particularly interesting to read/see both views.
The unexpected steamy scene comes as a surprise and that makes it extra interesting as well though as the easy conversation and comfort that follows which makes the relationship feel very real.
Special mention of the LGTB centre that Austin works at and the caring and preparation for “prom night”, Alexander <3
Leaning into Love by Lane Hayes
It is no secret that I am a fan of this author and again she doesn’t disappoint us. The biggest surprise was the news at the end of this story that this is the set up to a new series!! I am so excited about that.
I loved this story so much because of the main characters Eric and Zane. I love the chemistry they share first as friends but slowly becoming more, despite some interference of their group of friends especially Eric’s ex Nick. He is still friends with both of them as they belong to the same friend group and Nick is also Eric’s business partner. I particularly liked the fact that author Lane Hayes throws in some drama there with the ex factor but nothing too dragging or devastating. Yes it is there as a bit of drama should be but it is perfectly woven together.
Again I cannot wait to read the rest of these stories. I hope that besides the friends group we also see a bit more of Eric’s personal assistant Miles, who made a short but memorable appearance.
The Sweetest Goodbye by Christina Lee
I have to admit I was a bit wary going into this one. The reference to an already existing book made me wonder if it would work for me as I haven’t read any previous work from this author (compared to all the other authors in this anthology).
This was the story that kept me leaving the book, despite the lovely connection between main characters Billie & Dylan I just kept feeling I was missing out on something. People kept mentioning the names of family members, a brother that got married, and Billie’s attachment to his first love Leo. It just didn’t work for me.
While I struggled through this story I tried to focus on Billie and Dylan’s relationship and that was wonderful. Their connection, the way they are around each other and how things got more and more out of control is something I really enjoyed.
I am pretty sure that if I would have read the story (s) that are connected this would have been one of the highlights of the anthology. Unfortunately it didn’t do that for me.
Still Billie & Dylan are awesome and the writing was solid and in the end I am curious to read the other stories that there are in this universe.
Please Don’t Go by Felice Stevens
Wow this story was fast! I like the writing of author Felice Stevens and I honestly think that made me a bit milder about this story. The story is lovely honestly, the attraction and background of both main characters Paul and Danny is interesting and in a quick way being told and I can honestly go with the immediate connection and attraction even after 15 years but going straight to I love you forever………….uuhhh ok??
I enjoyed reading this story and I really felt the connection towards both Danny and Paul and also the side character of Danny’s best friend, but I assume because of the length restriction this went from meeting to attraction, a bit of a struggle, to I believe you and then right on to I love you always and that was honestly too much, way too soon.
The epilogue is lovely and more real in my opinion and I honestly believe that this story would have been incredible if it was paced out in the right way and time period
Perfect Catch by N.R Walker
A perfect end to a wonderful anthology! Oh how I enjoyed this final story.
I didn’t want to stop reading as both men are fabulous, heartwarming, loving and special. They will touch your heart in so many ways. Author N.R Walker shows us a perfect example of how a short story can be so complete and perfect.
This story has everything this anthology stands for – friends to lovers, connections, emotions, sexiness and most of all love.
Cal and Troy are friends who have been in love with each other since they were 14 years old, but for different reasons they never got together or found a way to act on it. On a fishing trip carefully set up by friends to be just the two of them there is finally that moment that all is open and out there.
What comes after is sweetness, insecurity, reassurance and hotness. As I mentioned before the perfect ending to a wonderful anthology
If I could give this story more than 5 hearts I would !
Overall this anthology is one of the best I have ever read.
Some of my favorite authors combined calls for firework and awesomeness and they surely bring that to this book!
Every story brings a love connection on top of friendship and each story has it’s own uniqueness.
This anthology is more then worth the read and as it is for charity I would more then encourage everybody to buy this asap 🙂
I hope these authors will pick up a project like this again in the future , I will be first in line !
Ps look at that cover and the names there……..WOW.