Reviewed by Tori
What happens when love gets caught in the rain?
In this romance anthology, RITA-Award winning author Molly O’Keefe shows us the power of a city thunderstorm from the top of a skyscraper, while Amy Jo Cousins soaks us in a rain in Spain. New York Times bestselling author Ruthie Knox’s heroine is devastated by a winter storm, while a summer thunderstorm grants Alexandra Haughton’s hero and heroine a second chance at love. Rain sparks self-awareness in the robot in Charlotte Stein’s story and allows Mary Ann Rivers’s heroine to fall in love with her hero and her own art. Rain causes romance between the college students in Audra North’s and Shari Slade’s stories, while romance causes rain in Cecilia Tan’s myth-inspired tale of a sacrifice to a demi-god. Nine romance novelettes, edited by Sarah Frantz.
All proceeds from the volume will be donated to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (www.rainn.org), the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the United States. (Goodreads)
As a huge fan of the organization, RAINN, I jumped at the chance to review and purchased some additional copies to send to friends. Summer Rain is a romance contemporary anthology filled with tales of love, loss, redemption, and most importantly…choice. A wide variety of voices come together, each giving us a snippet into a relationship and the dynamics surrounding it. While love doesn’t necessarily play an important part in every story in here, life and romance are the key components and each character is given the chance at finding it. I enjoyed seeing some familiar faces and meeting some new ones. Not every story worked for me but the anthology, as a whole, is well written and presented. I have heard there is a second volume coming-Winter Rain-and I look forward to reading it.
Redemption by Ruthie Knox. A somber story about a relationship where the only connection seems to be sex. Both parties are experiencing a rough patch and use each other to escape the troubles that seem to be hounding them. Enjoyable though I wasn’t enamored with the couple. C+
The Heart of It by Molly O’Keefe. A new to me author, O’Keefe offers us a delicate affair between two victims of abuse. Poignant and enlightening, we see how childhood abuse can affect people and the struggles they go through to move past it. B+
Sacrifice by Cecilia Tan. Another new to me author. Virgin sacrifices and sexy demi gods? Hoo Rah! Unfortunately, this one didn’t work for me. I enjoyed the backstory and the emotional evolution of hero but felt the story glossed over the actual jump from lust to love. C-
Real Feelings by Charlotte Stein. I adore Charlotte Stein and this story. Choice and consent are at the forefront of this sci fi romance when a woman buys a male AI only to discover that what she thought she wanted, pales in comparison to what she can have if she just learns to trust. A
Rainy Season by Mary Ann Rivers. A sweetly emotional story that deals with disappointment and having the courage to let go of the past in order to move forward. B
The Rain in Spain by Amy Jo Cousins. An honest look at marriage, communication, and the compromises that must be made in order to for both parties to connect on all levels in a relationship. A romantic journey through Spain only adds to the sensuality of the story. B
Fitting In by Audra North. Social acceptance and being true to yourself is the theme of this story by new to me author, Audra North. In here, the son of two gay parents finds himself reevaluating his choices in life when he meets the college pharaoh and learns that changing oneself begins on the inside. B.
Private Study by Shari Slade. An interesting look at sexuality and the shame that is often directed towards young women who seek to explore their own. Slade does a fantastic job of capturing the uncertainty and fear that often accompanies sexual curiosity in young adults. B+
Storm Warning by Alexandra Haughton. Second chance love is always a winner for me and Haughton does a fantastic job of addressing and offering realistic solutions to the issues behind the relationship falling apart. B