Review

Mini Review: Prompted 2: 14 Flash Fiction Stories, Sweet to Spicy by Elva Birch (2021)

I’m going to do something a little different for this review, because these short stories are *short*—flash fiction typically clocks in at 1,500 words. None of these stories has much in the way of plot. They’re more like snippets in time, each showing a single moment in a relationship. 

The benefit, therefore, to reading a collection like this, is in getting a sense of the author’s voice, without the time commitment. The downside is that in stories this short, you will likely not get worldbuilding AND character AND conflict AND romance, so if you want a fully immersive reading experience, flash fiction is not a good bet. 

So what did I learn about Elva Birch here? She writes shifter romances. Her stories have a sense of wit about them, which I expect would translate into her other writing. I mean, the very first one in the collection is about a Dodo shifter, and the shame he feels about turning into such a lame animal (this one was one of my favorites, by the way—even in a small space, I got a great sense of the world, the Dodo hero, and his internal conflict about asking out his co-worker). She explores different kinds of shifters beyond your standard apex predators, and how people’s animal identities might impact their lives. The stories tended to lack tension, which is likely attributable, at least in part, to the form; but given how much I got a sense of the way she plays with shifter tropes, I would say that tension and conflict is either a weak point in her writing or something she chose to downplay in this collection.

I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.

Buy Now: Amazon

Looking for something similar?

Anthologies!

Short Stories are tiny tasty treats of smutty delight!

Paranormal Romances means shifters galore (plus some vampires)

Tell me about Elva Birch’s full length books…

Recommended Read, Review, The Duke Project

Anthology Review: Duke I’d Like to F… (2019)

Heat Factor: Each novella has at least two sex scenes, but I don’t think the stories quite cross the line into erotic romance. Bonus points for lots of explicit consent. 

Character Chemistry: Sizzling. In every story. 

Plot: Woman propositions Duke. Duke agrees to sexytimes. “But we can’t have anything more.” Everyone wants more. 

Overall: Sexy and fun

Continue reading “Anthology Review: Duke I’d Like to F… (2019)”
Review

Anthology Review: Love Gone Viral: Five COVID-19 Related Romances (2020)

Heat Factor: Really ranges from fairly hot to more heartwarming.

Character Chemistry: A wide variety of people clicking in different ways.

Plot: This anthology examines different scenarios where people are able to overcome obstacles, find ways to cope together, connect, and ultimately find love during the pandemic.

Overall: I was pleasantly surprised by this after wondering if I was ready for pandemic lit.

Continue reading “Anthology Review: Love Gone Viral: Five COVID-19 Related Romances (2020)”
Recommended Read, Review

Anthology Review: The Brightest Day: A Juneteenth Historical Romance Anthology (2015)

Heat Factor: Hot, tender, touching, strong, hopeful

Character Chemistry: All four couples have undeniable and complicated chemistry.

Plot: Four stories of love and hope entwined with Juneteenth–each story set in a slightly different time period, each story SO historically and emotionally vivid.

Overall: This is an absolutely phenomenal MUST read — it’s going to hit you right in the “feels” and stay there.

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Review

Anthology Review: How the Dukes Stole Christmas (2018)

Heat Factor: Hot cocoa level heat – not the burn-your-mouth kind, either

Character Chemistry: Three of four stories have insta-love and…it works okay

Plot: Connecting thread is terrible love inducing shortbread

Overall: MacLean’s snowflake scene is one of the most romantic ever. The rest is fine.

Continue reading “Anthology Review: How the Dukes Stole Christmas (2018)”