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REVIEW: “Stitch” by Various Authors

ABOUT:

Stitch is an anthology of four novellas by m/m romance authors, each with a Frankenstein/creature theme. It is the first in a series of gothic m/m romance anthologies called gothika. The stories in this volume are:

The Golem of Mala Lubovnya by Kim Fielding

In a small, 17th-century Eastern European town, a rabbi creates a man of clay—a golem—to protect the Jewish people from the threat of pogrom. Awaiting a call to duty, the golem spends a long time confined to an attic, lonely and sad. His only joys are watching the stonemason at work across the street and listening to a lovely voice singing prayers.

When the golem meets the mason, Jakob, the two become friends, and Jakob names the golem Emet. But devout Jakob struggles with his attraction to Emet, and Emet dreads being used as an instrument for violence. Though Emet’s name means truth, honest love between a faithful man and a golem will only survive if they risk everything for a miracle.

Watchworks by Jamie Fessenden

Harland Wallace made his name as one of the premiere watchmakers in Victorian London, so he isn’t surprised when a handsome young gentleman named Luke Prescott comes to his townhouse to hire him for a repair job. He is apprehensive when he discovers it is not a watch Mr. Prescott wants repaired, but a complex prosthesis he has in place of a hand.

As further repairs are needed, Harland begins to wonder how much of Mr. Prescott is real and how much is mechanical, but he cannot deny the growing attraction he feels toward him. When he learns Prescott’s household servants pose a threat to the man they see as a monster, Harland must choose between what his culture tells him is wrong and what his heart tells him is right.

Reparation by Eli Easton

On the harsh planet of Kalan, weakness is not tolerated. When young spore farmer Edward suffers a carriage accident that kills his mail-order bride and his factory manager, Edward has little chance of survival, until Knox—an enormous “reconstitute” labor slave—plucks him from disaster.

Recons are part machine, part human remains from executed Federation prisoners. But Knox is different from other recons. He can read and has flashes of brilliance. With no one else to rely on over the bleak winter, Edward forms an alliance with Knox, and against social taboos, they become friends. Edward struggles against his growing lust for the large humanoid, and while Knox thrives in his new life, memories of his past torment him.

A twist of fate brought Knox and Edward together, but there will be a price to pay in blood when they learn how deeply their lives truly intersect.

Made For Aaron by Sue Brown

As a teenager, Aaron Fox was sent to an asylum by his parents because he was gay, leaving him emotionally fragile after the treatment. However, it gave him Damon Fox, the nurse he later married. For over twenty years, Damon’s devotion and strength has never faltered. When Damon is killed in a car accident, Aaron’s devastation soon gives way to confusion when he is shown Damon walking away from the hospital. Despite a desperate search, Damon isn’t seen again, and if Aaron can’t live with Damon, he may not want to live at all. But forces beyond Aaron’s understanding work behind the scenes, and if he can find the courage to unveil the secrets, he might get a second chance at happiness.

 

REVIEW

Uh oh. I’m feeling all gushy again. Um. Okay, first: Cover. Love. Second: this is my very first anthology, and wow, what a treat! Stitch includes two of my most beloved m/m authors: Kim Fielding and Jamie Fessenden, and two new-to-me authors: Eli Easton and Sue Brown. Reading this collection felt like my birthday on rewind, with each story as a new little gift for me. Weee! And the theme—gothika—I loved it to the moon and back. Short reviews for each story:

 

The Golem of Mala Lubovnya by Kim Fielding

I’m in love with every single one of Kim Fielding’s big, brutish characters, and Emet is no exception. Created to protect his village from its enemies, he’s a gentle golem who longs for human contact. When he’s finally introduced to Jakob (see, Emet’s been watching Jakob from afar for several weeks…), Emet wants nothing more than to help Jakob build his house and serve Jakob in every possible way (yes, please). I swear, every time I read a Kim Fielding story I walk away thinking, “know yourself, love yourself, love everybody else.” How awesome. Warning: this story was so sticky sweet, I had to brush my teeth when I finished. Right after my cold shower. ;)

4.5 stars

 

Watchworks by Jamie Fessenden

Oh, how I love a good historical! Jamie Fessenden’s concept, characters, setting, writing in Watchworks = pure magic. I loved MC Harland, this grown, loaner of a man who’s brought to his knees when he discovers that servant Luke is not what he appears to be. Is Luke man, or machine? Does he feel? Can he love? Can he make Harland believe? Harland reluctantly (and dramatically) finds the answers in this story’s denouement, and what these two are left with is so satisfying, I just about burst from all the feels.

 

Reparation by Eli Easton

Reparation is so, so interesting, and my first Eli Easton to boot, and, well, I’m in love. Set in a dystopian future, the story follows MC Edward as he struggles to survive on a hostile planet where enemies abound. But with half human/half machine Knox at Edward’s side, things are looking brighter. What thrilled me so much about Reparation were the visuals; the words carried my mind to the harsh, deadly terrain of Kalan. I could see spores flying through the air, I could feel them almost choking me. I sat at Edward’s table, in his library. I felt the internal struggles plaguing Edward and Knox: can you forgive the person responsible for destroying your family and way of life? Can a writer help you find the answers to such complex questions in so few pages? If it’s Eli Easton, my answer is yes.

4 stars

 

Made For Aaron by Sue Brown

Just the other day I was telling a friend how I believe there’s someone for everyone. Naïve? Maybe not. What if there really, truly is someone for us all? Made for Aaron addresses the theory head-on, and I’m in love with the idea that there could be forces out there, touching us, connecting us just when we most need someone to help us move to the next phase of our lives. And when we find that perfect someone, maybe there’s nothing in this world that can ever keep us apart, not even death. Thanks for keeping my dream alive, Sue Brown!

4 stars

 

RATING: 4 STARS OVERALL

BOOK INFO:

stitchTitle:  Stitch
Author:   Sue Brown, Jamie Fessenden, Kim Fielding, Eli Easton    
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Pages:  294
Release Date:  April 21, 2014
Purchase Links:  Dreamspinner

2 comments on “REVIEW: “Stitch” by Various Authors

  1. elieaston
    May 3, 2014

    Reblogged this on Eli Easton and commented:
    Great, insightful review of “Stitch” from Jenni at Boys in Our Books.

    Like

  2. susanylee
    May 7, 2014

    I’m obsessed with this cover and this book has a couple of my favorite authors. I’m excited!!!! Great review!

    Like

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This entry was posted on May 3, 2014 by in PNR / UF / SF / DYS, Reviewer: Jenni and tagged , , , , , , .

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