Unicorn Favorites: Love's Landscapes Stories : Week Four

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.

You can read about some of our favorite stories from earlier weeks of the event here. And some of our favorites from the fourth week of the event, June 22-28, are below:

Ann: I Spy Pecan Pie by Anna Birmingham


ok - now buzzoffigottaread

a little bits later . . . .

AND . . . I'm done. AND . . . I loved it!

See all these stars? That's me throwing them at the story that Anna Birmingham wrote for my prompt.

It was sweet, sexy, funny and Duke and Justin were just like I pictured them. Duke's cluelessness was so endearing and I loved when Justin went all Alpha Stallion in the bar. They were a perfect fit for each other and I would love to read more about them.

And the subtle shout out to my KINGS?? Awwwwww, yeah! Anna done did her research on my brain. It really felt like my story and I can't even begin to describe how flattering that feels.

Thank you Anna!

*squeezes Duke and Justin*

Breann: That Day in Spring by BJ Sheppard

I saw the prompt picture and I knew I had to read this story. There is so much emotion packed in the photo and I do love a story that tugs on the heartstrings. And That Day in Spring tugged. Hard.

Ryan and Lennox's story was told through three different time periods: when they were young and fell in love, pre-accident and post-accident. The story jumped between these different points of their lives and it totally worked for me. Not only did we read about their life pre and post the accident but we also got a cute YA story on the side. Because when they were young? So cute.

Back to the present... there was so much realness to their relationship and their hardships. Ryan's reaction to Lennox's injuries was perfect. Not because he should have acted that way, or that Ryan was perfect, but because it was realistic. He was heartbroken, of course he's going to wallow in his own grief!

I do appreciate a good HFN ending, there's so much hope for Ryan and Lennox and their future together.

Lorix: More Than He Can See by Nicole Forcine

This story was not very long, coming in at just 7,708 words but it did not lack in punch. The two MC's are far from conventional, which I adored. ADORED. The photo prompt of a gorgeous red-haired man inspired the character of Cale, a young man with a speech impediment who oft times finds talking to strangers hard.

Tal is the MC who falls for him. As Tal is shorter than average he finds often people don't know how to relate to him, especially strangers, so his conclusion at Cale being hesitant to talk to him was way off the mark. Throughout the story they learn good communication and less assumption is important.

All of the characters in this story are amazing and, as well as a wonderful romance I liked that this story highlighted the fact we all make assumptions - have prejudices even - through our own experiences. I like that it encourages us to reassess daily what we think we know. After all, we are all only human. A fantastic story that I hope you all enjoy too.

Optimist ♰King's Wench♰: The Case of the Insufferable Slave by Gillian St. Kevern


As a young whippersnapper, I was introduced to the noir genre by my parents, and I remember thinking the language was odd, the men always seemed a little terse and the ladies always had a secret. The endings were sometimes happy, sometimes bittersweet, but the mystery was always solved and the dick was always on to his next case.

Ms. St. Kevern knocked it out of the park with this gem. She captured that time and added a mouthy and lovable slave named Friday of all things! There were nefarious characters with zany nicknames. $10 is still a lot of money. Flint smokes Pall Malls and isn't the snazziest of men, but what he lacks in the handsome department he more than makes up for with his intellect which makes him dangerous. She nailed the loner private investigator so hard, she left a crater. Flint reminded me so much of Bogey I feel a viewing of The Maltese Falcon is in order.

 "So with you shying away like a startled filly every time a stallion comes by you, Galapagos couldn't find anyone to take you off his hands." 

Stallion reference, Unicorns.

I'm extremely impressed that this is Ms. St. Kevern's first effort. Really looking forward to her next effort. My thanks to her for participating in the event as well as Bree for her phenomenal prompt.

Sunny: Yarulf's Duty by Vicktor Alexander

I really enjoyed this story and the wonderful characters. The dual POVs were well done and very much appreciated; I loved knowing how the MCs felt about each other, and seeing how they reacted to each other. The world building, with all those interesting details, was also well done. With the characters this author creates, and the intriguing magic they use, I would be very interested in reading more stories set in this world.

Yes, sexy, sweet, tender, humorous and magical...this story had all the ingredients for an awesome read, and the author did a great job mixing them all together. My only complaint...there wasn't more :)

The author does hint at future stories, which we need. What happens with Yarulf's father?! And I want more steamy scenes!

Side note:
I need more information about this quoxpine *nods*

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