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Mini Blog Tour #Review & #Giveaway – Age Is Just A Number, A Wayward Ink Publishing Anthology

Title: Age is Just a Number
Authors: Eric Gober, Layla Dorine, Lily Velden, Dale Cameron Lowry, Eddy LeFey, Asta Idonea, Louise Lyons, Kassandra Lea, Carol Pedroso, Aimee Brissay
Genre: Gay, Romance, May/December Romance, LGBT
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Synopsis

There’s something to be said for life experience, a little gray at the temple…

And then there is the appeal of youth.

When it comes to what the heart wants, Age Is Just A Number.

Buy Links

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AIJAN Anthology Cover

Review

Age Is Just a Number is one of the most diverse anthologies I’ve read. Although May-December romances are the theme, the stories range in genre from science fiction to paranormal, and from historical to contemporary. It’s a wonderful mix of interesting tales that will always keep you wondering: what will happen in the next one.

With ten different stories, its size is that of a novel, but Age Is Just a Number is an engaging read that will keep you hooked until you finish all of the stories.

Stories Included

TWENTY LIGHT YEARS BETWEEN US

Eric Gober

An alien encounter…
An unfortunate misstep…
A lightning fast journey through space…
The laws of physics are about to wreak havoc on Walt and Michael’s May-December love.

I love it when science fiction stories account for how time passes when you travel at faster than light speeds. The subject matter, the foreshadowing, the characters, both human and alien, are absolutely brilliant and made me love this short.

ALL ROADS LEAD WITHIN

Layla Dorine

When James spotted Rogue, a young man for whom wandering is like breathing, half-dozing on the hood of his car, he never expected that warning him about the dangers of sleeping out in the open would lead to a weekly visitor at his door.

There are many a stories out there about finally finding a place where a character belongs. Yet Layla Dorine’s story still kept it fresh, interesting, and had a certain slow build to the relationship which was perfect for a  character prone to running away to never come back. The setting blends into the story and you can almost see yourself taking a hike in the canyon.

NORTH PASTURE

Lily Velden

Upon the death of his grandfather, up and coming Fantasy author, Thomas, returns home.
A place he left four years earlier to get over his unrequited love for Sam Fletcher, his older, straight, and very much married neighbor.
Thomas soon discovers, however, that things are much changed with Sam…

We’ve all had our adolescent crushes on older people. But sometimes, despite our best efforts, feelings don’t go away that easily. For Thomas, coming back home brings back all his teenage feelings, pushing him into a complicated and sometimes heartbreaking relationship. The fact things don’t come easy for Thomas is what makes this story so appealing to me. Both characters have to fight for what they want, face their issues, and learn to communicate if there’s hope for a happy ending.

AMERICAN MASTER BAKER

Dale Cameron Lowry

Baking is a way of life for Joey, a young pastry chef vying for first place in the popular reality show American Master Bakers.
But the judges have been showing favoritism to Terence, an aggravatingly attractive older man with more experience under his belt.
When the competition gets hot, so do the two men. Can a relationship that started in hatred end in love?

This story was sweet, funny, and delightful. Expect to drool while reading, both because of the two characters finding their way to each other and because of the intricate deserts and pastries described in the story. It’s fun without being cliche, and does a great job at capturing the competitive nature of a cooking TV show.

ALPHA AND OMEGA: THE CLAIMING

Eddy LeFey

A young Omega shifter meets a much older Alpha.
Will Elliot let Issac help him be who he is too afraid to be?

Eddy LeFey’s paranormal story explores prejudice in werewolf societies. As one of his main characters is an omega, there is much room for abuse, mistreatment, and downright despising him. The story doesn’t only explore how people treat those they perceive as week, but also the effect a lifetime of such treatment has on the person exposed to it. Elliot has to learn to accept and love himself before letting others do the same. The story is a lovely read, with enough action to keep you hooked, and a sweet love story to make the serious issues easier to digest.

STAND AND DELIVER

Asta Idonea

Necessity has forced former soldier Captain Keen to assume the occupation of gentleman highwayman. His fortunes take a turn, however, the night he stops the Marquis de Beaumont’s coach and gets more than he bargained for when he utters the words “Stand and deliver!”

A historical with a dashing gentlemen highwayman and a French Marquis? Why, yes, thank you! This story was such a fun read for me because of the action, the society described, and the twists Asta Idonea threw in just to keep me on my toes. The noble wife that’s prone to groping everyone was a nice and funny touch, and so was the interest high born women took in these gentlemen robbers. It shows how lackluster their lives where if a robbery excites them more than scares them.

LOST AND FOUND

Louise Lyons

The loss of his best friend leads Phil to find love.

This was a very difficult read for me. The story is lovely, but for someone who refuses to face the reality of dogs not living for 50 years minimum, there were plenty of tears involved. Beyond that slight issue that is totally personal, the story itself is a great read. Healing from losing his best friend and then opening himself to love give Phil a great character arc, and turn this story into more than the tale of two people falling in love.

TRAIL TO LOVE

Kassandra Lea

There’s only one thing Kit Conley likes more than horses and that’s Roman Meadery.
But will the elite rider ever notice him?

This story was quite fun in an unexpected way. Kit was so sure he’d kept his feelings hidden, only to realize he’d been more of an open book than anything else. The horses and riding only make the tale more interesting and add a extra romance to the settings. Riding to your picnic is always much better than driving or walking there!

CRUISING WITH LOVE

Carol Pedroso

Gus is under the thumb of a controlling father. Can meeting his mate give him a reason to make a break for freedom?
Nelson is twice Gus’ age, and very protective of what is his.
What will happen when Gus’ father tries to split them up? And what surprises does Nelson have up his sleeve?

Carol Pedroso supernatural world is one where shifter societies are quite powerful and seem almost out in the open. A dolphin shifter and a cross-breed cat shifter are the protagonists of this tale of mates finding each other. Gus’ father is almost comical in how he’s portrayed – full of himself, power mad, and uninterested in anything but his position as pod leader. All humor is lost though when he mistreats his son.

NEAR MISS

Aimee Brissay

A few seconds, that’s all it takes to make a difference between life and death.
Between killing someone and stopping on time.
But is it enough to turn yourself around when you’ve hit bottom?
Or to make you recognize something good when you have it?

The last story of the anthology was my favorite. While I enjoyed all of them, this one had something special to it. Maybe because of the familiar setting, or the fact it delves into what being gay meant in the Communist era. Teo is an amazing character to watch. Thrown into a whirlwind of emotions after he manages to stop his train in time to save the life of a suicidal woman, he has to find his way out of the shock and fear. Although he doesn’t deal with it in the most healthy of ways, his journey will still keep you on the edge. In the middle of this turmoil, his hooking up is interrupted by someone he’s genuinely interested in, but the timing couldn’t be more off. Absolutely brilliant read and great way to end this anthology!

Book Trailer

Giveaway

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Excerpts

North Pasture – Lily Velden

AND SO A pattern was set into motion.

It started with Sam knocking on my door every fourth evening. Our clothes would be history in a matter of seconds. The only thing to compete with the speed of their loss was Sam’s hasty retreat as soon as we’d both climaxed.

Each time I’d launder his shirt and leave it by the door for him to grab as he bolted on his next visit.

When every fourth evening became every third, I smartened up.

If I couldn’t get Sam to hang around after the sex, then I had to draw out the lead up. That meant exercising a little restraint, which was a huge ask where Sam was concerned, but if it resulted in him coming to a place of acceptance of his sexuality, I could do it.

My campaign began with the clothes shedding. I slowed it down to one button at time, caressing each inch of flesh I exposed. I made love to his nipples, murmuring how gorgeous I found him. I whispered in his ear how I desired him—had always desired him—before trailing moist kisses down his neck and along his collar bones.

My seduction wasn’t without setbacks. There were setbacks aplenty, and certainly, the first handful of attempts were met with groans of impatience rather than pleasure, but, bit by bit, I did seduce him.

Near Miss – Aimee Brissay

The train burst through the barrier of darkness. Light flooded the cabin, and Teo squinted against it, his gaze still locked on the woman. His entire body quivered, poised for the impact. How would it feel? Bumpy? Or so smooth he wouldn’t even realize it?

His breath caught, lungs refusing to cooperate. His heart skipped a beat. Then two.

The train ground to a halt. Then there was silence. The engine had stopped, but the brakes remained engaged, holding the iron monster in place. Eyes closed, he prayed; although, he wasn’t aware of the actual words.

After what seemed like a century, he dared to look around. On the platform, the people closer to the train seemed frozen, their eyes huge and faces ashen. Nothing moved, and no sound came. It was as if time stood still, and with it, everything else, except for Teo. He stared at the passengers, too afraid to move. It was the Schrödinger cat dilemma. He figured as long as he remained motionless, the mystery would remain unsolved.

From the left, on the platform, a woman’s shriek pierced the silence. The stillness shattered like glass, and he swore he could almost hear the shards breaking. Uniformed security guards ran down the stairs, and Teo snapped from his shock-induced paralysis and leaped into motion. He threw open the cabin door and dashed outside.

Steeling himself, Teo went to the front of the train and looked down at the track. His breath came out in a rush. There was no blood. No body parts. Just a woman sprawled over the track, clutching a purse and, looking dazed.

As if on cue, the passengers gathered around him, attracted, and perhaps disgusted, by the possibility of seeing the gruesome picture of a body severed by a subway train. He watched the play of emotions on their faces, his stomach convulsing in revulsion. The station, huge and light, tightened around him. His breath caught and his heart did the tango in his ears.

Air. I need air.

Teo combed his fingers through his hair in an attempt to calm himself, and barely realized how badly his hand was shaking. What was he supposed to do now? They had training sessions, countless numbers of teachers had drilled into him the procedure for cases like this, yet he couldn’t remember any of it.

“Stand back. Everybody stand back.”

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Writer, traveler, coffee and book addict, and also founder of EyesOnBooks. I've loved books all my life and now they are a huge part of my work. I have been blogging for about twelve years and have worked as a PR and marketing consultant in the IT&C field before shifting all my focus to books and authors.


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