Box of 1Night Stands Anthology Review: Heather Long, J.M. Madden and Virginia Nelson

September 9, 2015 2015 DNF Graveyard Challenge, 2015 Review Challenge, 3.5 Stars, Anthology, Book Review, ebook, Erotic Romance, Insta-love, insta-love, insta-lust, Romance, series, short story/Vignette 0 ★★★½

Box of 1Night Stands Anthology Review: Heather Long, J.M. Madden and Virginia Nelson three-half-stars
Box of 1Night Stands by Heather Long, J.M. Madden, Virginia Nelson
Series: 1Night Stand
Published by Decadent Publishing on August 4, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Erotic, Romance
Pages: 781
Format: eBook
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Decadent Publishing presents some of the very best of the 1Night Stand series featuring NYT and USA Today Bestselling authors Jennifer Probst, Jen McLaughlin (writing as Diane Alberts) and J.M. Madden, along with 18 other trendsetting authors such as HOLT Medallion winner Desiree Holt. When Madame Eve arranges a date, you are guaranteed more than you'll ever expect. More heat, more heart, more SIZZLE...

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Her Marine - Heather Long
The last thing Shannon and Brody expected was a soul deep connection that brings them both wonder, but is the spark of lust enough to bring these two loners in from the cold?

Wet Dream - J.M. Madden
Ginger Hampton isn't surprised when her Madame Eve date is a no-show, but maybe Chief of Security Cameron Jones can salvage her night, and her heart.

Dom of the Dead - Virginia Nelson
Love transcends the grave when Carson submits to the Dom of the Dead.

As a recap:

Box of 1Night Stands contains 21 stories by 21 different authors. Each story is roughly connected to each other by the framework of a dating service named “1Night Stand” run by Madam Evangeline. The dating service allows people to pay absurd amounts of money to be hooked up with someone “suitable” and willing to have a night of sex. The service includes reservations to one of the Castillo hotels and resorts (owned and run by one of satisfied 1Night Stand clients). Madam Evangeline seems to be the world’s best match-maker as all of her single night stands turn into committed relationships. Thus far the included stories are all either vignettes or very short shorts. Most seem to be between 3-5 chapters long as well.

Her Marine by Heather Long (4.5 stars)
I really, really liked this one. It almost brought me to tears, lol.

I’m starting to notice a pattern with the 1Night Stand series (at least the ones in this anthology) – there are a LOT of damaged (both physically and emotionally) people used as heroes in this series. In Her Marine, the heroine is terrified of men touching her due to a college rape.

Most of the time I dislike it when authors use sex to “magically heal” those kind of major issues/traumas but I feel Long did a great job with this one. Long didn’t have the heroine cured by the hero’s magic wang – the heroine was “cured” by the hero’s personality. Shannon felt safe with Brody and in control – something that no one else had given her – and that happened prior to the couple having sex. LOVE. Cause that’s something I can get behind.

And there are SO MANY great lines in such a short story!

“And you’ve known a lot of us ‘military’ types?
“A couple. Army mostly.”
“Oh. Them. That explains it. You just needed to meet a Marine, ma’am.” The easy wink and gentle smile boosted her hear, and she skipped a half step and then they were at her building.

She giggled. “Please don’t call me, ma’am.”
His eyes crinkled in amusement. “Sir, yes sir.”

The statue stood brazenly in the center of her studio. The man’s rugged features were definitely Brody’s. But it wasn’t just the raw naked man, but the mirror formed from dark marble that reflected a saluting Marine, field gear and all, facing the nude that undid him.

Damn right, I’m her Marine.
Semper fi.

Wet Dream by J.M. Madden (3 stars)
This one is another issue story. The heroine is Amazonian-like and thus has a hard time finding a good guy who loves her for who she is. The hero is a solider who was badly hurt in combat about 5 years ago IIRC.

I loved the hero but I found the story itself a little meh.

Dom of the Dead by Virginia Nelson (3 stars)

This one is hard for me. It’s a paranormal about a woman who loses her best friend and the love of her life. The story starts with the heroine collapsing at the hero’s funeral. This is followed by a pretty long segment that shows the heroine truely loved the hero. She is also in shock because she was in love with the hero but not in a relationship with him. They were best friends.

The extremes of her grief were totally understandable BUT it was TOO MUCH for such a short. I found myself ready to cry (in grief) when I just wanted to have a good time. It made me pause (the read) quite a few times.

Later, when the hero shows up as a ghost and the sexytimes started…I was a little…annoyed. But the ending was pretty close to what I expected.

After reading Dom of the Dead I happened to listen to “Goodbye My Lover” by James Blunt (Back to Bedlam) and it really felt like the two belonged together.

I’ve seen you cry, I’ve seen you smile.
I’ve watched you sleeping for a while.
I’d be the father of your child.
I’d spend a lifetime with you.
I know your fears and you know mine.
We’ve had our doubts but now we’re fine,
And I love you, I swear that’s true.
I cannot live without you.

Goodbye my lover.
Goodbye my friend.
You have been the one.
You have been the one for me.

I’m so hollow, baby, I’m so hollow.
I’m so, I’m so, I’m so hollow.
I’m so hollow, baby, I’m so hollow.
I’m so, I’m so, I’m so hollow.
-James Blunt, “Goodbye My Lover”

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