Title : Closet Capers
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 282 pages (e-book)
Published : April 26, 2013
A dash of intrigue keeps any relationship fresh: laughing breathlessly over a little thrill, feeling clingy after a shiver of suspense, mucking through a minor mystery. This anthology offers a dozen light and humorous romantic short stories in which a quickly solved caper may be just the ticket to spice up any romance.
Stories included :
“Kitsch Me” by Mari Donne
“Leveling Up” by Jude Dunn
“Philip Collyer vs. the Cola Thief” by Amy Rae Durreson
“A Kiss in the Dark” by Eli Easton
“Calberg’s House Specialty Blend” by Skylar Jaye
“Small Change” by Danni Keane
“Lawrence Frightengale Investigates” by Aidee Ladnier & Debussy Ladnier
“The Whole Kit and Kaboodle” by Ari McKay
“Le Beau Soleil” by Christopher Hawthorne Moss
“Joie de Vivre” by Pinkie Rae Parker
“Made Good Under Pressure” by Maja Rose
“Tempest for a Teacup” by Andrea Speed
Jules has inherited his Aunt Mathilde’s farmhouse in “Joie de Vivre.” It’s old and falling apart but still harbors some of his best childhood memories. If only he could find her recipe box. He would like to serve some of her best dishes in his restaurant. While jogging to the market for provisions, a motorcycle races past Jules spraying him with dirt. At least dinner was fantastic. Unfortunately the late night rainstorm proves the roof leaks terribly. A knock on the door at midnight during the rain happens to be the cyclist from earlier who happens to be Henri, Jules childhood bully. Great! What Jules needs while standing in his recently deceased loved one’s house is to be reminded he used to be fat. But Henri runs upstairs and starts to fix the roof. The next morning he’s back completing the roof. After a plumbing disaster Henri promises Jules a dinner. They go to Henri’s place and talk. During a long conversation Henri apologizes for his childhood behavior and things take a turn for the romantic. Of course, the recipe box also comes up. Mathilde had given it to Henri in return for the work on the house. The men decide the best courses for Mathilde’s house and their possible relationship.
This was a bittersweet little story. You can never go home again. It’s not the same, neither are you, nor is anyone else. Sometimes that’s really good. Jules’ greatest memories were wrapped up with some of his worst. Henri and his brothers tormented him. Jules sees his happiest childhood memories gone as he realizes the house is a wreck. Henri is anything but a wreck. Someone who was once a tormentor grew into a handsome and compassionate man. It was beautiful … Rated 4 stars by Faye
In “Tempest for a Teacup” we return to Echo City to spend some time with Jake and Kyle currently in an on-again phase of their relationship. Jake is at work when a twink walks in. He’s Chambray Lodge and his Morkie is missing! Whatever, he’s paying a thousand dollars cash to have Princess found. Jake takes the case. The problem is that day also happens to be his and Kyle’s anniversary. Kyle decides the way to solve this dilemma is to solve the case together. They begin searching around the park where Princess was lost which just happens to have an incredibly good gourmet ice cream truck. Then the Echo City dog pound which turns up nothing. Suddenly Chambray calls Jake with information he’s received a ransom demand for ten thousand dollars. It seems incredibly fishy to both Jake and Kyle. That dog is worth more than ten thousand the Lodge family certainly has enough money to pay much more. They go to the Lodge home to talk to Chambray and find much more than they expected.
It was great to see Jake and Kyle again. As dark as some parts of their story have been with Jake’s drinking and the rampant corruption of Echo City policemen I was a bit surprised this short was so lighthearted. I was sitting in a crowded hallway full of parents waiting for my kid to get out of practice reading this story and laughing out loud about a celebutante sleeping with a “lesser Kardashian.” Yeah, I got looks. And I’m excited about what could maybe be another book for them. Or at least the fact Kyle sees them together long enough to solve mysteries together. I would, of course, be very thankful if that happened on paper, and I could read it … Rated 4 stars by Faye
The mystery in “A Kiss in the Dark” is about a stolen kiss in (you guessed it!) the DARK! I think the synopsis for this is really sexy… Lane is at a Xmas party, and he is wearing his lavender shirt. His starched lavender shirt. Irresistible right? When the lights go out somebody grabs hold of him and pushes him up against the wall, kissing the hell out of him! When the lights come back on again – nobody seems to be the obvious perpetrator. Who can it be? And can Lane get over it?
This story is an absolute gem – cute, funny and sexy! The story is told through Lane’s POV and he is a treat! He works with his close friend Josh, running their own business and from that kiss on – he is looking at everyone through “lavender tinted glasses”. Can you imagine how bittersweet to have experienced what is, to date, the best kiss of your life? And have no clue who it could be? Lane has a reputation for being a bit of a player, so he is hesitant to come out and ask people who had been at the party if they saw anything – as that would entail admitting how easily he surrendered to the kiss. So he enlists the help of his straight housemate, who suggests hypnosis. fun times! 🙂 Go. Buy the Book! … Rated 4.5 stars by Barb
“Le Beau Soleil” – A prequel to a yet-unpublished novel, debonair riverboat gambler François “Frankie” Deramus enlists the aid of confidential agent Michael Murphy to find out who is ruining his reputation. Can Frankie resist the stunningly gorgeous Mexican War veteran? I should say not! But is the feeling mutual? I should say so…
This was a fun little read. It is based in New Orleans in 1855 and focuses on a very sexy gambler called Frankie – somebody is out to ruin him by starting a rumour about him being a cheat. Ain’t nobody got no time fo dat!! So he finds himself a private investigator and they set about finding out who, and why. Michael, the P.I. is gorgeous; Frankie is super sexy; and like magnets they attract 🙂 It was a sexy read! I don’t have a problem with short storties being , ummm, short but where this fell down was that it was so obviously “just” a prequel that it never had a complete feel to it. You know what I mean? However, I will definitely keep an eye out for the novel as there was enough in this short to get my attention … Rated 3.5 stars by Barb
“Small Change” is set in a tourist type village set in the past. It’s told from the POV of Dom. No, he isn’t a Dom that’s his name. Dom is the caretaker of the village and he also takes care of the miniature village on display. Dom loves his job. He’s slightly smitten with the purple haired man college guy who drives the train on the weekends. Riley seems to embrace life to the fullest and just watching him makes Dom happy. He’s also gay but Dom thinks he’s way out of his league.When strange things in the miniature start to happen in the real life village, one of their managers decide they need a Riley and Dom to team up for a stake out to catch to the practical jokers in the act. This thrills and terrifies Dom because just being in the room with Riley tongue ties him.
I thought this was a sweet story. I was a little confused on when Dom was referring to the real village vs. the miniature but I just rolled with it. The characters were adorable and funny. Riley was my favorite and I wish his story was fleshed out a bit more. I would like to read a full length novel or novella about them. The characters were likable and the premise original. This was a nice short read. I’ll be looking forward to seeing what the author writes next … Rated 3.5 stars by Whit
An overall rating of 4 stars by the Posse