This collection was okay. Some of the stories are better than others.
The weird story with the kittens is my least favorite. Now, I’ll fully admit I’m not super familiar with the Shifting Sands universe, but Chant bills all her books as books that can be read as standalones, so I didn’t think I had to be. From the perspective of someone who has never read a Shifting Sands book before, that story was: Lady gets kittens, is planning a wedding, finds out her friend with a whole backstory I know nothing about has been locked up in a mental institution (I’ve had about a dozen in-patient stays myself-so the flippant way this was treated struck a nerve with me) and right after she thinks about this, thinks about how horny she is, plays with kittens, end of story: no resolution on the mental hospital thing….erm, wut? Wtf was the point of that story?
Wasn’t a huge fan of the hockey player story either, only because that brother sister energy was SERIOUSLY weird. I got very icky vibes from the protective older brother spiel…while they vacationed together…yech. And I’m never a fan of the whole weird dynamic where a male family member must be won over before the woman can be wooed. It’s misogynistic and gross. Why was that lady such a lame pushover? Her brother tells her to get away from the guy and she runs away pissing herself like a shaking little dog. It really made me dislike her what a damn wimp she was. However, I did like the hero of the story. Lars was so damn cute. The female lead (forgot her name) thinking he was dumb because English wasn’t his first language was xenophobic as hell and had me irritated on his behalf. He was way too cute and sweet for her.
I did like the story of Magnolia and Chef. Way too sweet ❤ I really liked reading a romance about an established couple. And the conflict of the story had nothing to do with the relationship, but with Chef finding a sense of purpose again. A really healthy message here about love/romance are great, but everyone needs more in life. People need their own interests and sense of purpose outside of the relationship. I really liked the resolution. Chef really found his dream job and they ended up finally settling down in a paradise location. Loved it ❤
I also liked the story of Caroline and Liam. I’ll admit, I didn’t think I was gonna like this one. but that’s only because Caroline being asexual too was a real third-act twist. Liam is all worried that Caroline won’t want him because he’s asexual. We, the readers, don’t even get a hint that Caroline is also asexual. As someone who has been in a sexless relationship before, I didn’t like the idea of an asexual person ending up with a non-asexual person. If people want to do that irl, okay cool. For wish fulfillment romance, as someone who spent years feeling really ugly and unwanted and feeling that pain of being with someone and wanting to have sex with him and he didn’t want me in that same way: yeah, I don’t need my cheesy shifter romance to go stirring all those feelings up. So with the book hinting that this would be a mismatched ace/non-ace relationship, I was not feeling it.
But then Caroline reveals that she is also asexual and the story ended up being pretty cute. They both got exactly what they needed from each other. There was lots of tenderness and cuddling and no pressure on either of them to have sex. It was really beautiful and sweet.
As far as Zoe Chant books, this was middle of the road for me. It wasn’t bad and it wasn’t great. It was okay. I liked it well enough.