The novellas in this 14-story boxed set—these are genuinely cute stories. Because of the length, there is not a lot of character development nor deeply developed plot, but a type of “slice of life” look at these people and their pets.
The stories are each just the perfect length for a reading at one sitting and they are all sweet. While you can get the sense of the love between the characters, you don’t have the heat and passion you might have in other books—and that’s not a bad thing, especially given the shortness of the stories.
My favorite stories that I read were The Vet’s Valentine Gift– J.L. Campbell, Her Perfect Catch – K.L. Brady, and Trembling Hearts – Suzette Riddick. They were all good and I would love to read other stories by all three writers, but my absolute favorite was Campbell’s The Vet’s Valentine Gift. I didn’t love it so so much for the romance, but for the secondary characters. Matthias was a great guy, but completely clueless when it comes to what Toni needs (it took his mom and a co-worker to clue him in) and I felt Toni was bending over way too much to accommodate her ex, even though I understand where she was coming from. However, there is a secondary character that stole my heart—Toni’s daughter, Jade. She is just too precious for words and much too wise for her years.
The best part about reading anthologies with short stories is finding new-to-me authors and this book is chock full of them… I’m excited to read more from these writers and am glad I got the chance to read this anthology.
Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short Reviews. It has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.