Well, I seem to have my groove back. I've been reading like a maniac. :-) Kind of a decent day here today, with a hint of spring in the air but I'm not holding my breath.
Reminder for everyone that moves their clocks forward this weekend (for those who do).
Blue Sky Lodge by Chris Owen, Sean Michael, Julia Talbot and BA Tortuga (220 pages)
This is an anthology of 14 short stories set around a gay-friendly ski resort, the Blue Sky Lodge. They are all quite short and range from employee couples getting together to stories about guest/employee hook-ups, and couples who are there for vacation. There were so many I won't get into them but there were some interesting themes. A double amputee musician who hooks up with a young snow board instructor, a blind man who comes with his long-time lover who's trying to pull him out of the depression she's suffered following the tragic accident that blinded him, a bit of a D/s employee couple who have an open relationship. They were the only couple who featured in two stories, once with others and once with each other, a temporary threesome and couples needing to reconnect and figure out their relationship. I found those stories had a lot more depth when it was the couples who came to try and use a luxury vacation to get their life back on track or to reconnect. Some stories are very graphically sexual, others less so. The writing all has a similar quality to it, as usual BA Tortuga's stories tend to feature more rough-hewn cowboys and for fans of the series, the Jarheads make a trip to the resort in the last story. There is also one story set at the resort in the summer, but most are focused on skiing and snow. I kind of liked the idea of all the stories being in the same setting and kind of mingled, made me want to go to such a resort as it sounded wonderful (not the skiing so much, but hot tubs and big rooms, massages and delicious food).
Too Soon for Love by Kimberly Gardner (320 pages)
The book starts with Michael at his lover's funeral. You soon discover that Michael is blind and despite his lover's family's good intentions he just needs to escape. The nurse's aid the family had hired to help (the lover had a stroke) comes to the rescue and offers to drive Michael home. It seems Alan has been crushing on Michael for awhile and realizes his timing sucks, but offers to be a friend and read Michael's mail as Michael is tired of depending on his lover's family who treat him like an invalid and want him to move in with them. While helping Michael, Alan discovers evidence that the lover was cheating on Michael and is torn about whether to tell Michael figuring it will just hurt him. They do have sex but Michael says too soon and lo and behold the other man shows up. Seems he had a threesome with the couple on vacation and comes in the guise of a friend, now Alan is torn even more about telling Michael when it all blows up and goes to hell. I really liked Michael and I thought his handling of his life alone was really well done. He's very capable but things like dealing with the mail or getting into town (live way out in the burbs) suddenly leap up and smack him in the face. I stayed up way too late reading this because I wanted to know if Alan would spill the beans about Robby and the dead man and then how it would all work out. The only thing I found a bit "preachy" if you will, was a gay couple at the nursing home Alan worked at who dealt with the family coming in and spiriting away the ill man across the country because his lover of 20 years had no legal rights. Except for showing how horrible that is and unfair, there was really no relevance to the rest of the story. Otherwise I quite enjoyed this. It could have been quite maudlin, but I didn't find it too much so, there were a few things that happened to lighten the mood.
Remember Me by Lynn Lorenz (95 pages)
Chad is a Dr. in emergency in New Orleans a year after Katrina. A young man comes in badly beaten when Chad realizes it's his first love from summer camp. He had promised Jeff he'd keep in touch but fear of coming out and his family's pressures meant he never did. Jeff nearly dies and Chad feels responsible for him and all the old feelings come back. He steps in and clears out Jeff's apartment, takes custody of his cat and tells hospital staff they are partners so he can get medical information. When Jeff wakes up a few months later he's pissed that Chad would take over his life and he's still upset about him never calling. However he soon starts to realize that Chad did a good thing and his cat would have been sent to the pound and he would have flunked out of school rather than being withdrawn. I really liked how Chad worked through things as he spent time with Jeff during his coma for those two months, realizing that his behaviour with guys was because he'd never gotten over Jeff. I also liked that when Jeff woke up he was at first upset but then realized that Chad had done a good thing helping him and decided he wasn't going to let another chance at happiness slip through this fingers. It was a fairly quick read but I enjoyed the two guys and you hoped they'd get a second chance at happiness. It would have been nice to see them further down the road, but it's a nice hopeful HEA ending.