Jul 242015
 

Sun-KissedSweet Scenes that Savor the Delights of the Summer Season!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Publisher

Summer is my favorite season, mostly because I get to read outside in a variety of settings – by the pool, in my hammock, at the beach. In addition, I love what summer represents – a time to go on holiday, to visit new places, to go somewhere scenic. I’m thrilled that Meryton Press, one of my favorite publishers, has published their first short-story anthology and that the theme of the anthology is summer romance. Since there are eight short-stories by eight different authors, I thought I’d briefly touch upon each story individually. I hope you find this breakdown helpful!

SPYGLASSES AND SUNBURNS – J. Marie Croft

Type of Story: Pride and Prejudice Variation (Regency)

My Thoughts: Perfectly captured the essence of a beach holiday! Loved seeing the Gardiners and Bennets run into the Darcys and Bingleys. What a pleasant and diverting twist of events. And as always, I adore J. Marie Croft’s splendid sense of humor. Everyone seemed to get the most irregular of sunburns on this holiday!

SECOND CHANCE ON SUNSET BEACH – Sophia Rose

Type of Story: Persuasion Inspired (Contemporary)

My Thoughts: A truly beautiful and compelling romance! Takes place on Sunset Beach (my favorite kind of setting) and during a wedding weekend. It was a very moving story, Callie (Anne) is extraordinary and admirable, and her reunion with Camden (Wentworth) is everything that is tender and satisfying. One of my faves!

THE INCOMPLETE EDUCATION OF FITZWILLIAM DARCY – Linda Beutler

Type of Story: Pride and Prejudice Prequel (Regency) (Mature Audience)

My Thoughts: Prearranged lessons for Darcy to learn the art of pleasing a woman! It was interesting to see how Darcy behaved in such a setting. I thought it was very true to character. And while the second part of the story felt a little too brief, I enjoyed seeing the connecting links to Jane Austen’s plot and timeline.

MIDSUMMER MADNESS – Natalie Richards

Type of Story: Pride and Prejudice Variation (Regency)

My Thoughts: Sometimes it is easier to confess the truth to a stranger! I enjoyed this sweet interlude between Darcy and Elizabeth. Their costumes, clever appellations, confessions of love, and the enchanted atmosphere of it all made me think this story was as much an ode to Shakespeare as it was to Jane Austen.

SHADES OF PEMBERLEY – KaraLynne Mackrory

Type of Story: Pride and Prejudice Variation (Regency)

My Thoughts: Imagine finding yourself locked in a room at Pemberley! I loved witnessing both Darcy and Elizabeth’s thoughts about each other. Poor Darcy thought he was seeing a ghost or going mad! Without giving away too much, I will say I loved how Ms. Mackrory hearkened back to one her previous novels (*wink wink* I see what you did there!)

A SUMMER IN SANDITON – Abigail Bok

Type of Story: Cross-Over Sequel – Pride and Prejudice/Sanditon (Regency)

My Thoughts: When proposals of marriage do not befall a young lady in London or her home county she must seek them abroad! I loved seeing these characters interact with each other – especially Lady Denham and Lady Catherine! Classic! Was slightly confused as to why some Sanditon characters were altered, but overall felt like I was treated to the restorative properties of a seaside resort holiday myself! I long to go to Sanditon!

DREAM SPINNER – Morgan K. Wyatt

Type of Story: Non-Austenesque (1980s)

My Thoughts: Sometimes facing a new and different reality is better than living on dreams! A refreshing and inspiring story. The descriptions were vivid and the setting skillfully brought to life. Even though things progressed rather quickly I found myself interested in these characters and satisfied with this original tale.

NORTHANGER REVISITED 2015 – Karen M. Cox

Type of Story: Northanger Abbey Inspired (Contemporary)

My Thoughts: A lovely modern update! I thought the characterization just brilliant – Henry was of course adorable, Catherine endearing and open, and John Thorpe a colossal annoyance! 😉 I greatly appreciate all the nods to places and names from Northanger Abbey and thought the modernization of the events very clever and believable. One of my faves!

CONCLUSION:

These stories are like sun-ripened strawberries – warm, sweet, flavorful, and perfect to enjoy during the summertime! I greatly enjoyed seeing different types of stories, settings, and time periods blended together in this anthology. If anything, it would be great if there was even more variety (Pride and Prejudice inspired stories kind of tipped the balance heavily.) But overall, I found Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer to be a splendid way to quench your thirst for summer romance during those “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer!”

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  20 Responses to “Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer – Edited by Christina Boyd”

  1.  

    Nice review! I like how you addressed each story. I also emjoyed this anthology. I am looking forward to the next holiday collection of stories from Meryton Press.

  2.  

    Thank you so much for your time in crafting such a thoughtful review for these eight short stories! Appreciate your time and effort. So relieved you enjoyed it. Your opinion means a lot.

  3.  

    Lovely review, Meredith! Thanks so much, and I’m glad you enjoyed the anthology 🙂

  4.  

    Meredith, wonderful review of a wonderful summer book ! And congrats dear authors !

  5.  

    Hah! Yes, the beach in summer and the urge to be on holiday! I am the same. Glad you love the story and I love how you broke down your review thoughts.

  6.  

    Thanks, Meredith, for your kind words about the anthology. I’m so happy you enjoyed our effusions of summer.
    May you enjoy every lazy, hazy, crazy day of your favourite season.

  7.  

    Good review. You never disappoint. I, too, enjoyed these short stories.

  8.  

    Such a lovely read! I really enjoyed this anthology.
    Thanks for reminding me of my faves, Meredith, and have a wonderful summer.

  9.  

    Great review Meredith! I agree, it would have been nice to have had a bit more of a mix, though it was nice to see a Sanditon story, that’s something quite unusual. What was your favourite story of the collection? Mine was the sunburn one, it really made me smile 🙂

    •  

      Thank, Ceri! Your thorough review was excellent! It is hard to choose a favorite, but I’d had to say it was Second Chance at Sunset Beach and Northanger Revisited 2015 (sorry I can’t pick just one!)

  10.  

    Usually I’m not fond of anthologies because some short stories feel incomplete. But after I read Holidays with Jane (both the Christmas and the Spring one), I started to see things differently. Some authors are really great at writing in less pages a complete and satisfying story! So I’m definitely eager to get to this collection! Jane is an amazing inspiration! Great review, Meredith! 🙂

  11.  

    I have been carrying this one around with me on my reader but have not taken the time to read it! Thanks for the review as always, I believe I need to read a story or two along the way today!

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