Title: If the Fates Allow
Author: Annie Harper (editor), Killian B. Brewer, Pene Henson, Erin Finnegan, Lilah Suzanne, Lynn Charles
Publisher: Interlude Press
Lenght: 212 pages
This is a wonderful holiday anthology with some great pieces and some weaker ones. Overall impression is very sweet, but the first story really drags it down. I really loved that the book was a mix of m/m and f/f stories.
Gracious Living Magazine Says It Has to Be a Live Tree by Killian B. Brewer
I honestly could barely make it through this story and only the fact that it’s short made me power through it. I couldn’t stand the Do-Nothings (I grew up around a large quantity of women like this and I’d rather jump into an active volcano than to deal with them again) and their completely unnecessary fatshaming jokes were grating. The whole plot made me uncomfortable, and as it descended into a frantic mess of expectations versus reality, I was very glad for it to be over.
True North by Pene Henson
This was a wonderful story that I enjoyed a lot. Shay was a very nice character and her dynamic with Milla was very sweet and even better was her friendship with her best friend Devon (who was hinted at to be asexual, which always makes me happy) and her relationship with her family. I was somewhat annoyed byt the unnecessary confusion over Devon supposedly being Shay’s girlfriend, but I powered through that annoyance and got a very nice story.
Last Call at the Casa Blanca Bar & Grille by Erin Finnegan
Unfortunately, I couldn’t get into this story much. I’m always quite interested in stories dealing with grief, but Jack as a character just didn’t grip me at all. His flashbacks about his lost partner felt intrusive in the way they were inserted into the story and I ended up skipping most of them. I really enjoyed the twist, although it took me a while to realise what just happened, because I wasn’t expecting anything magical.
Halfway Home by Lilah Suzanne
I loved this story so much. As someone who dealt with feeling absolutely nothing at all, I felt connected to Avery. Her and Grace’s relationship was sweet and I found Avery’s panicked blubbering whenever Grace was near absolutely adorable. I also loved Rudy the gremlin dog. I wouldn’t mind this story to be longer.
Shelved by Lynn Charles
As always with anthologies, the last story was my favourite. I loved the premise of the story and all the characters involved. I love how Wes and Karina practically adopted each other. I loved how it showed the importance of libraries, especially for minorities in small communities. The relationship Karina had with her uncle (and later with Wes) was wonderful to see, especially given what her father was like. Karina’s matchmaking was hilarious and I loved to see how much she cared. There were parts that should’ve been fleshed out and I genuinely would love for this story to be worked into a longer story. I’d be all over that.