…we're keeping our name but expanding our offerings!
In the mood to try something sweet? How about a collection of stories about bears and the special men in their lives? Guys don’t have to be in their twenties, perfectly sculpted, and hairless to be hot. Bears are real men with real bodies—and that doesn’t always mean a perfect six-pack or an immaculately smooth chest. With bears, it can mean more man to love. The men in this anthology are chubs, cubs, grizzlies, pandas, polar bears, and more—all looking for a connection. And beneath their burly physiques are hearts of gold. Explore the bear scene and beyond with these big, hairy guys and the men who find them irresistibly sexy.
I admit it: I’m here for the cover. And the word “bear.” Okay, it’s the beards, too. I’m a sucker for beards. GAH. There, now that we’ve cleared that up…
I’m starting to really enjoy anthologies, which surprises me. I thought I was a 200+ pages, one story kind of gal. With A Taste of Honey, I got 14 stories, an excellent little forward by B.G. Thomas (complete with a quick education about all things bear!), and a whopping 350 pages. That’s a lot of bear…beards…er, hair…um…sexiness. With the 14 what I didn’t get was a synopsis of each tale, and I’ll admit that was a bit of a letdown (I like to know what I’m stepping into). I’m not going to summarize each of the novellas, but here are my thoughts on the complete collection plus a shout-out for my four favorites.
Most of the authors—well, to be honest, all but one—were new to me. That’s a great thing, actually, and I found a couple writers that I’m looking forward to reading again soon. Stories in this collection covered just about any trope/topic you can imagine: twinks, gay-for-you and a personal fav: age difference (YUM).
Since they were so short, many of the stories had vague, fade-to-black or happy-for-now endings. Again to my surprise, that worked out okay. Instead of feeling incomplete, I got the chance to imagine outcomes for myself.
Honorable mentions from the collection:
Amped by Zoe X. Rider and Hunting Bear: A Fairy Tale With a Very Hairy Ending by Edmond Manning; both were 4 stars in my opinion. I’ve been seeing a lot of buzz about Rider lately, and her writing doesn’t disappoint. Amped is a story about a young(!) guy trying to come to terms with his sexual identity and an older guy(!!!); they hook up via their mutual affinity for heavy metal and drugs. I liked the way Rider crafted this story. The drug use was, hmm….unexpected…but it was blunt and raw and real.
Hunting Bear: A Fairy Tale With a Very Hairy Ending was great. It took me a few pages to get into the story, but once I did, I was hooked. It was clear to me from about, oh, Page 1 that MC Tyler was destined to end up with his good friend Derrick, even if took Tyler the entire story to come to the same conclusion. Highlights for me were the psychic abilities of all the secondary characters, including the pugs. Super funny, super cute and super satisfying.
Honorable mentions for Life’s Tiny Surprises by Tara Spears and Bear Chasing by Renae Kaye; each were 3.5 star reads. Life’s Tiny Surprises was choc-full of insta-love, but it worked in this shortie, and it had a cute HEA (I think one of the only ones in the anthology, maybe?). It was very sweet.
Bear Chasing included another twink/bear combo (be still, heart) wherein a bear stud and his bear stud buddies move in across the street from a nerdy twink helping to raise his sister’s kids. (Mmmmm. Talk amongst yourselves.)
There were definitely some solid stories in A Taste of Honey, and yeah, a few duds, but it’s worth your time to check it out. And to stare at the cover, too. ;-)