Foolish Hearts edited by Timothy J. Lambert and R.D. Cochrane
"As gay marriage bells are finally ringing out around the world, bestselling editors Timothy J. Lambert and R. D. Cochrane celebrate with a collection of gay romance that will incite love—and lust—in every reader. A thirty-something realizes the man sleeping beside him every night is his real Prince Charming in Steven Reigns' "On These Sheets." Love, youth and age bump up against each other at a gay guesthouse in "Symposium," by Andrew Holleran. A hopeless romantic finds his heart’s desire amid the temptations of Hollywood in Felice Picano’s "New Kid in Town: 1977." Men who love men abound in this dazzling collection of deliciously sexy, romantic and tender stories."- summary from Amazon
I really enjoyed this collection of gay fiction, though not every story worked for me. I'll be focusing on the ones I loved, starting with the first story "Hello Aloha". Calvert wrote an ADORABLE story that takes place at Disney World and involves flirting with the Goofy mascot. I mean, seriously, this story was so cute and romantic- it's the perfect story to begin this anthology. Puterbaugh's story "How to Be Single At a Wedding" follows it and it was an interesting take on the theme. There isn't a romance here but the story is humorous and introspective and ends on a hopeful note for the main character's love life and his outlook on it.
"On These Sheets" is almost flash-fiction, it's so short, but it's a very sweet story and Reigns does a great job painting this relationship in such a short amount of pages. It just works so well. "Tea" is a more melancholic story but it is still romantic while being heartbreaking; it makes me want to read more from Ricker. It flashes back and forth between past and present, which could be a little confusing at times, but for the most part, worked really well.
"A Royal Mess" was so sweet, and I loved that it took place in a pet store. It was such a unique place to set this rekindling of old flames and made for a unique story. The reader really gets to know these characters and their past together and separately, and watch them work toward a future together. Burgoine's "Struck" was an extremely cute story and I absolutely loved it. There's a bit of magical realism sprinkled into it, which made it very fun. I loved that the main character was a bookstore clerk and it was all just GAH SO ADORABLE! I want to read more of these characters.
"Foundations" by Timothy Forry is a sweeping love story about a couple during a massive thunderstorm being miles apart; it made me tear up. It's a really beautiful story. Finally, I really enjoyed "Meditation" by Timothy J. Lambert, which was humorous and cute while having very little dialogue (there's three lines spoken, only one of which is to the love interest).
Overall, this is a fantastic collection of gay fiction and while I may not have liked every story (though that would be hard to do anyway), I can appreciate the writer's prose and talent. There's definitely a story here for everybody; every one is so different.
FTC: Received finished copy from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.