OK, no secret here - I have a thing for westerns. Also, no big secret - I have a thing for anthologies. Yes, I understand and totally "get" why a lot of readers don't like them. They generally tend to be wildly uneven affairs. But I love them because I'm a ho for short reads, and anthologies are a great way to scope out new-to-you writers without investing a whole lot of time. I wish I could say Wild, Wild Women Of The West, an anthology of smokin' hot historical westerns was a huge success. Unfortunately it was very much blah. And after I get this review done for my blog? Yeah, what I'm mostly likely to remember about this reading experience is that Delilah Devlin and Myla Jackson are sisters (didn't know that!).
"A Taste Of Honey" by Delilah Devlin - I guess if I had a favorite story this one would probably be it. Honey Cafferty makes a living selling patent medicines in the back of the wagon that also doubles as her home. She's stumbled on a gold mine though - a liquid form of Viagra, and the women in the town she's currently residing in are mighty happy. Yep, mighty happy indeed. However the sheriff, Joe Tanner, is not amused. He wants her out of town.
There's some "humor" in this story and that's where it stumbled for me. In a moment of pure slapstick, the women in town get drunk, subdue and kidnap the sheriff, and drop him off to Honey where she quickly learns the fine art of how to wake up a man properly. I'll admit, I'm not a fan of humor in any type of book (be it romance or otherwise) so this element annoyed. Also, I found it implausible that on one hand Honey had such limited sexual experience given her lifestyle and on the other, that a woman with her limited experience was such a fast learner. Seriously. Is there like a sexual shenanigans chapter to Mensa?
Final Grade = C
"Queen Of Hearts" by Layla Chase - Lissa Tayte makes her living distracting men with her boobies and winning their money in poker games. That's where she meets newly-minted riverboat captain, Roark Sheridan. They play cards, they have smokin' hot sex, done and done. That is until Lissa shows up at his riverboat the next day demanding to know where her family is. Seems dear old Dad lost the family home (said riverboat) in a poker game to Roark.
This story was going along just fine until Lissa arrives at the boat. Then she starts accusing Roark of swindling her father. ::snort:: This coming from a girl who is quite skilled at poker. Frankly cupcake should know that you don't lose what you don't throw into the pot - but there you go. Such promise and she ends up playing the ol' You Done My Family Wrong Card. What a disappointment.
Final Grade = C
"Touch Of Magic" by Myla Jackson - The Amazing Catarina makes her living performing magic shows. She needs to make enough coin at her current stop in Abilene, Kansas to take herself back to Chicago and a semi-respectable life. But she runs afoul of cowboy Trace Adams who heckles her during her first show. So she hypnotizes him on stage and plants the suggestion in his tiny little pea brain to come to her room later that night. Hot, sweaty shenanigans ensue.
Trace has a girl waiting back home for him, but he's not in love with her. Catarina is attracted to him, but annoyed by the fact that he's heckling her and could ruin her chances to make lots of money. She also wants him, so she brain-washes him not only to teach him a lesson, but to also have a gander at his naughty bits. Ahhhh, it must be true love! Not! Skim, skim, skim, skim. Final chapter, everything peachy at the end and the poor dumb twit waiting for Trace back home gets another happily-ever-after with a guy who isn't a jack ass. Frankly we never meet the girl in the story, and she was the one I liked the most. That's probably not a good sign, huh?
Final Grade = DNF
Which leaves me with meh. I read this anthology between other books I had going, and it never really stood out for me. Even though I had loads of issues with the Jackson entry, I would be willing to try all of these authors again. That said, while I wasn't exactly turned off by this anthology, I wasn't exactly turned on either. I'm sure I've got worse books in Ye Olde TBR, but I also fervently hope I have better.
Overall Grade = C-
(ISBN 9780758219817, in print, Kensington Aphrodisia, Erotic Romance, $12.95)
Note To Kensington's Art Department: When you have an erotic romance anthology of historical stories? Yeah, might be a good idea to make the cover art....oh I don't know....reflect that. Just sayin'.