REVIEW by ALEXANDER
TITLE: Lights! Camera! Cupid!
SERIES: Bluewater Bay
AUTHORS: SE Jakes, Amy Lane, Z.A. Maxfield, Anne Tenino, L.A. Witt
PUBLISHER: Riptide Publishing
LENGTH: 6 hours, 22 minutes
NARRATORS: Dorian Bane & Nick J Russo
Cupid is visiting Bluewater Bay, and he’s leaving chaos in his wake.
Nothing’s been the same in this sleepy little logging town since Hollywood came to shoot the hit TV show Wolf’s Landing – especially Valentine’s Day.
In L.A. Witt’s “Just Another Day”, beloved actors Levi Pritchard and Carter Samuels have an announcement for their fans.
While in Z.A. Maxfield’s “I’ll Be There”, actor Spencer Kepler and his boyfriend Nash Holly brave a blizzard and a fan convention to spend their first February the 14th together.
Of course, it’s not just TV stars celebrating the day. In Anne Tenino’s “Helping Hand”, an aspiring artist eager to escape Bluewater Bay decides he just might have a reason to stay: lust-inspiring logger Gabriel Savage.
In SE Jakes’s “No Easy Way”, a local teacher reconnects with an old lover working security on the film set.
And in Amy Lane’s “Nascha”, a Bluewater Bay elder recalls how his own unconventional family used to celebrate the holiday.
Real life may be nothing like TV, but when Cupid comes to town, there’s plenty of romance and drama to go around.
I must admit that I had a very hard time coming up with the review format for this anthology. Five short stories by five authors is not new to me, but because they all take place in and around the Bluewater Bay world, it made me want to try something new.
So here I go!
If you were to ask me who wrote which story in Lights Camera Cupid, I would seriously not be able to tell you. The feeling and writing style of each story was so similar and familiar that easy identification eluded me. I must admit that not all of the stories are sunshine and puppies though, and in fact a couple of the stories gave me pause. I’m only going to touch on a few of the stories and then chat about the narration.
It was fun to revisit Levi and Carter in Just Another Day, where they go through the same Valentine’s Day stresses that so many couple do, and come out the other side better and stronger with a serious dose of awwwwww.
I am still not sure how I feel about Helping Hand, since it was not what I would have expected from a Valentine’s Day anthology…I seriously can’t say more without giving it away, but the love is undeniable, the actions stemming from that love, heartbreaking.
No Easy Way was a sweet, simple story of lovers reunited, a bit formulaic, but not in a bad way. In these kinds of collections, I tend to see all the stories following the same plot, which is fun and easy to read, and with the variety of stories found in these five, this one was a bit like a breath of lightly conflicted fun.
The authors chose to use two narrators, Bane and Russo, who have narrated various books in the series so far. I like how they fit their respective stories, and I say that because some of the stories introduced me to new characters. This shows that the authors took some time to determine the best fit. Both Bane and Russo were on their game, and I didn’t come across any technical or editing issues in any of the stories.
The beauty of this collection is that you don’t really have to have read the books first, and it could be a great intro the the world of Bluewater Bay. No matter how you look at it, this collection is a win.