Unicorn Favorites: Love's Landscapes Stories : Week Three

The M/M Romance Group on Goodreads hosts a Don't Read in the Closet event each year where they invite members to submit a photo with a story prompt.  Interested authors then volunteer to write the requested stories, which are published for free for everyone to read.  It's a fun/exciting/stressful process, and a great opportunity to read stories from favorite authors.  And chances are, you'll also discover some new authors, who hopefully have a backlist of goodies to check out :)

This year's event was named Love's Landscapes and they started releasing the completed stories on June first. Here at BMBR, we've been following along on comment threads, anticipating the stories from our favorite prompts, and now greedily reading the stories as they become available.

We previously shared some of our favorite stories from the first and second weeks of the event, and the same rules about mysterious and magically rare unicorns apply this week.  Because the interwebz might not be able to handle unicorns showing up in our reviews, we'll just say this week we LOVED Fighting Dirty by Olley White and move on to some of our other favorites from the third week of the event, June 15-21:

Ann: If At First You Don't Succeed by K.C. Faelan - 4 Hearts!

Well that was just so damn charming, sweet, funny and hot as hell. All the makings of a perfect short story and an ideal way to spend my evening. Evan and Julien are an established couple who are learning their kink limits and trying to find a balance between what Julien really wants and what Evan feels comfortable giving.

It's not that Evan doesn't want to give Julien that bite of pain he craves, it's just not something he's prepared for and he loves Julien so much, the thought of really hurting him is scary to Evan. So, they spend a week trying ALL manner of kinky fun times, each one ending more disastrously than the last.

These poor dudes, seriously. Their misadventures were hilarious and the author nailed the prompt as hard as Julien wants a nailing. While the weeklong buildup was funny and hot, the end was smoking hot and Julien, that catty little minx, figured out how to make it happen capt'n and it turns out the best laid plans are really the simplest.

Breann: Measuring the Rein by Jae Moran

I do love me some friends-to-lovers romancing. There's always so much build-up and tension and I just can't get enough of it. Even though Toby and Gavin got together a little bit early, Measuring the Rein still had alllllll the build-up and tension that I love.


There were a couple little things that were bothersome. The dialogue was long. As in, they would speak for paragraphs at a time, without any back-and-forth communication. Also, Gavin's family was a tad too perfect for my tastes. *shrugs* But those things weren't enough to ruin the story for me.

I appreciated The Conflict and that it wasn't resolved in the way I expected. The support that Gavin and Toby gave each other through it all was sweet and made the characters increasingly likeable.

Cute and sexy, BFF, rodeo cowboys falling in love. Really, you can't go wrong. It was almost too fluffy and just fluffy enough to make me sigh and swoon throughout.

Lorix: The Layover by Megan Erickson

So, The Layover - short and very, very funny. If you like the film The Hangover, I'm pretty sure you'll love this story; it delivered a short but fully felt impact. 

Humour - tick; embarrassing situation - tick; hot sexual encounter - tick; dead guy in the room - tick; parrot - tick, HEA - tick. What more could you want from 17k? Gold lame shorts you cry - well you know what, your wish is Megan Erickson's command. TICK. Anything else? No? Exactly, go and read it - it's free remember!

Sunny: An Old-Fashioned Love Song by Michelle Grant

I may be a bit biased, because this was my prompt, but I loved this story!

The characters were wonderful, even the secondary ones.  Seth, though, he was so flippin' adorable, so needy, and so awkward.  That awkwardness led to many humorous moments and I was laughing throughout this story.  And Malachi...he was perfect in his imperfection and oh, so sweet.

Together, they were incredibly hot.  I loved the sexual tension as they got to know each other, and then the actual sex scenes...*fans self*  They are burned into my brain, like the scene from the prompt photo, and the one with the rope and gag.  Exquisite D/s scenes that were so intense, so steamy, I read them several times.  The devotion shown by Seth's submission to Malachi and Malachi's acceptance and appreciation of that submission was beautiful to witness.


  1. Did I see you mention cowboys, Breann? SOLD! :)

    Thanks for all the recs everyone!

    1. I did! Cowboy, fluffy goodness!

      Hope you enjoy, Susan :)

  2. Whoohoo,

    If at First You Don't Succeed was my prompt and I couldn't be more proud to claim it. It's great to see it getting recognition here, K.C. totally deserves it. Sorry if that all sounds braggy, I'm just really happy about what she did with my silly gif.

    I'm loving the other favorites and now have added a couple more to my list :) Thanks!

    1. Hey Lisa T!!!! Not braggy at all, are you kidding? I'd be on my roof with an air horn for this story. You are so right, KC did an awesome job with the prompt, the pic and the story - wins all around!