Release Day- REVIEW: Candy Hearts- LGBTQIA2S+ Charity Anthology- 16 Multi Authors

Candy Hearts Book Cover Candy Hearts
LGBTQIA2S+ Charity Anthology
Finn Dixon-16 Multi Authors
Valentine, Holiday, Anthology, Collections,Charity
Feb 1, 2024

The Candy Hearts Anthology will be available for a limited time, and all proceeds will benefit the Transgender Law Center and the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Participating 16 authors in this inaugural volume are:
Becca Seymour, Beck Grey, Bix Barrow, Chantal Mer, DK. Sutton, Finn Dixon, Lee Blair, Linden Bell, 'Nathan Burgoine
Nic Starr, Rain Carrington, Riley Long, Stella Rainbow
Susan Scott Shelley, Toby Wise, Victoria Gillilan....

Thank you Finn Dixon for sending this to PRG and having us participate....

What's sweeter than a low angst queer romance at Valentine's Day? How about sixteen of them brought together in one anthology to help support a good cause?

Each novella in the Candy Hearts Anthology is overflowing with red-hot romance and all the good feels. And this time around, every story has a secret—a secret admirer.


Reviewed by Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team

This anthology consists of sixteen different authors writing novellas perfect for Valentine’s Day. This is for the benefit of the Transgender Law Center and National Center for Transgender Equality. An LGBTQIA25+ Charity anthology for a wonderful cause. I love anthologies because I get introduced to new authors I haven’t read before and there were quite a few that I listed on my favorites list.

Cupcake Crushes: Becca Seymour – 5*****Stars

A perfect Valentine’s story about two men who have had crushes on each other and were afraid to admit their feelings for fear of rejection. Boyd cared for his friend Finnegan for quite a while but unfortunately Finnegan was dating someone else and when they broke up, he did not want another relationship. Both men wanted each other but fear kept them apart and of all things it would take cupcakes to break the ice.

Bee Mine, Valentine: Beck Grey – 5*****Stars

This was such a sweet story about neighbors, a dog, a niece and nephew and finding love next door. Jeremy has moved to a place that fulfills his desire for a low-key life and his neighbor Gus and his chocolate lab would fit right in. Is Gus gay, is he attracted to him questions that are answered when Jeremy finds handmade Valentine’s gifts on his porch. As an elementary school teacher, it is just the kind of gift he would expect. Chip loves him and a tea party with Gus’s niece and nephew seal the deal.

Voices Harry Bix Barrow – 5*****Stars

Voices Harry is the professional name for Harry Wright, a voice actor and audiobook narrator and whose biggest fan is a cat named Bumper. Harry hates social media and never shows his face, the face of a librarian and not the sexy voiced man people hear. When he discovers that the owner of Bumper, MitchelltheHooker has lost his other cat, and that Bumper is not dealing well with the loss Harry makes a video addressed to Bumper telling him how sorry he is it opens the way for a romance between a crocheter and a voice actor. Such a sweet story.

When We’re Together: Chantal Mer – 5*****

Robbie is a man who had a rough childhood. He was stabbed at ten and his body is riddled with scars. Robbie is an ex-drug addict heading toward middle age and now is a waiter and reinventing himself. Emerson, a classmate of Robbie’s and much younger, is obsessed with Robbie but a relationship may never happen. Whenever Robbie sees Emerson he shakes, can barely breathe and keeps dropping things. Then secret admirer Valentine’s Day gifts keep arriving for Robbie and he hopes they are from Emerson, but it will take more than secret gifts to get these two on the same page and make it to the finish line.

Inconveniently Yours: D.K. Sutton – 5*****Stars

This is a story about a man, Jules, who always believed he was straight until he fell in love with a gay man, Remi. Since high school Jules has loved Remi but has always been afraid of revealing his feelings. He put his feelings down in his journal, but somebody is using his letters and sending gifts to Remi without his knowledge. When Remi finally gets tired of his secret admirer, he asks for help in finding him and it is Jules he goes to. This was a beautiful love story and a mystery as well since neither Jules nor Remi know who the secret admirer is. The SA was as much a shock to me as to the two men.

Swim Crush: Finn Dixon – 5*****Stars

Mike is on the University swim team getting ready for the championship. He has come out but his only experience with sex is his hand and porno. When he begins to receive notes from a secret admirer he is thrilled and when the notes become messages on Grindr he is hooked. Mike and his secret admirer have computer sex, showing various body parts without revealing an identity. His admirer is someone he sees every day and knows but he doesn’t put two and two together, yet.

Love is in the Ear: Lee Blair – 5*****Stars

Oscar has moved to Dahlia Springs, Oregon after his uncle died and left him his house. As a child star Oscar’s life was dictated to by his mother and being in the spotlight constantly was tiring. Now he discovered his love of baking and working part-time in a bakery his cupcakes have become the talk of the town. His only disappointment is that the man he has had a crush on since they met, Calvin is out of reach after so much time has passed. Calvin works on a farm and has had an off again, on again relationship with his ex-boyfriend but like Oscar his attraction seems to be a lost cause. Then a porn app where you can have your fantasies fulfilled, not visually but by ear. This app satisfies Oscar’s taste of being dominated and when he meets the narrator, well let’s just say wow. Lots of sex and an up close and personal ear full of sex.

It’s All About You: Linden Bell – 5*****Stars

When Gavin comes home to find his best friend and love of his life sitting on the floor in front of his door, he knows that something is terribly wrong. Beau is getting a divorce from his wife, he did what was needed, married and was planning on children but their marriage turned into a battlefield. He has done what he always did, running to his best friend for support. Gavin has never stopped loving Beau and being with him is a constant pain in his heart. Can a straight man suddenly find himself wanting a man and can the gay man believe it is possible. Well,I believe anything is possible.

Valentine’s Day: Nathan Burgoine – 5*****Stars

Dave has one bad Valentine’s Day after another and hopes this year will be a winner. When his best friend Asher discovers he has cancer it was Dave who opened his door to him to give him all the care and support he could. Dave has a crush on the veterinarian and with a new send a message with Village Cupids delivering them Dave has found the perfect way to approach Victor anonymously. He and Asher work together to bring Dave his best Valentine’s Day, only Dave can’t see what is right in front of him.

Sweet Serendipity: Nic Starr – 5*****Stars

Forty-one-year-old Derek has been in love with his best friends’ younger brother twenty-nine-year-old Ryan for a long time but pursuing a relationship is something he can’t do. Nathan is away on business for months and has asked Derek to watch over Ryan, which he gladly does even though each time they are together it breaks his heart. He won’t cross the line, dating his best friend’s brother when he is tasked with watching over him. Such a sweet story.

The Tip Jar: – Rain Carrington – 5*****Stars

Blake owns a coffee cafe which is very popular and when he receives a note in the tip jar he begins to wonder if there will be more in his life than the cafe and shoveling snow every day. Someone wants to be more to Blake than a secret admirer, but Blake is clueless as to who it could be. His life takes a turn for the worse when while digging he pulls his back and winds up in the hospital but sometimes a bad turn can turn out to be the best thing that ever happens to you.

Love Unplugged:Riley Long – 5*****Stars

What happens when one member of a band finds himself in love with another member. It is a recipe for disaster because if the relationship doesn’t work out it could be the beginning of the end for a band who is finally becoming recognized. This is a problem Callum is facing, he loves Leo the bassist and the only way he has to show Leo someone is interested in him is by writing anonymous secret admirer letters.

The letters are found in Leo’s guitar case which leads to all kinds of speculation, another member of the band, other band members, staff a fan all possible suspects but when the truth is finally revealed would the band survive.

Betty’s Books and Biscuits:Stella Rainbow – 5*****Stars

Anson is living in poverty since at the age of seventeen his rich parents discovered his desire to be with men. He was just another victim of gay hatred and this time from his own parents. He lives in a very bad neighborhood and works hard to support himself. His sanctuary is Betty’s Books and Biscuits where at least twice a week he goes to read, eat cookies and drink tea, this is where he feels at home. Betty looks after him because Betty is hiding a secret, she is a shapeshifter and in reality, a man named Bettino, hundreds of years old and in love with Anson, his mate. How does he approach Anson, well a secret admirer letter and a phone number. What will Anson say when he discovers the truth.

Heart of the Batter: Susan Scott Shelley – 5*****Stars

Hart, Max and Toby all work at the same bakery, a bakery where everyone feels like family. When Toby comes in one hour late after one problem after another, leaky roof, key broken in door, and car won’t start he walks in looking disheveled and sad. A bouquet of flowers sitting on the desk for Hart to give his sister for her birthday would be the catalyst to a HEA. Hart says that they are for Toby left by a secret admirer and Toby is beside himself with happiness. Max reveals that he wants Hart, Toby and him to be together. He knows they would be great together so that starts the beginning of more secret admirer gifts and a way to encourage Toby to join them.

A Healer’s Gift: – Toby Wise – 5*****Stars

Who would believe that a giant spider and his poisonous pincher could lead to love, well it did.

Colt is part of a group that act as mercenaries and this time their job was to clean out a cave filled with giant spiders. To save one of his friends he jumped on the spider and is seriously wounded. They are able to get him to a healer, but Colt refused to have magic used. His stubbornness could cost him his life, but he has a fear of the danger mages can cause. When he finally realized that without the magic, he would die he relented. Desmond is a healer; he is a mage with a big heart that has been embraced by the entire town. He refuses payment because he feels his gift should be available to all. Colt sees Desmond in a different light and there is a HEA at the end of the tunnel if Colt lightens up.

Yours Truly: Victoria Gillilan – 5*****Stars

Evan and Ryan are best friends and work together in the same fire house. When Evan receives notes and gifts from a secret admirer, he knows who he hopes it is and yet has no way to confirm it. It would take a part-timer and a photo to reveal the truth.

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