Unicorn Favorites: Love is an Open Road Stories: Week Two

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 is an Open Road 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've already shared some of our favorite stories from the first week of the event. And some of our favorites from the second week, June 8-14, are below:

Breann: Waiting for Clark by Annabeth Albert

Cute prompt, cute pic, cute story!

Oh, Clark and Bryce put a big, stupid grin on my face. I was completely charmed by their nerdtastic ways.

The friends to lovers was perfectly done. In such a short story, I felt all the chemistry from their past and definitely felt all their tension in the present. These stubborn fools were so obviously made for each other, I couldn't wait for them to freaking kiss already!

Lots of tension, lots of cuddles, lots of hotness. Made for one heck of an enjoyable story and one of my favorites so far.

 So nice I read it twice.

I cannot express the amount of joy this story has brought me. Cari Z. took my little ole prompt and didn't just knock it out of the park, she blasted it out of the stratosphere!

Anyone who knows me well knows what I like in a book. My closest friends will recommend books to me and say something like, "this is a JL book" meaning that the story hits a lot of my buttons and usually follows the norm of what I like to read. Well, I can confidently say that this is the epitome of a JL book.

It has everything I could ask for in a story. And I mean everything. It has action and adventure. It has humor and snark and witticism. It has romance and fight scenes. It has hijinks and shenanigans. Basically it's The Princess Bride of the Love is an Open Road event. At least to me it is.

I feel like I have won the lottery. I hit the jackpot with the author who picked my prompt. Thank you SO VERY MUCH Cari Z., for picking my prompt and writing such an amazing story. Thank you also for listening to my ramblings and actually incorporating them all. I don't think you missed even one of them. Bravo, Cari Z., bravo.

Now, please excuse me while I run off and read this again.

Justin: Hellion by Lisa Henry & Wrong Direction by Kelly Jensen


HELL F-ING YEAH! Now THIS is the kind of Regency I can get behind.

I loved everything about this story. The descriptions of the settings were fantastic. I loved the tension and buildup between Sir Oliver & Simon and I adored the way the story and the relationship between them played out.

Woop! I am 3 for 3 with "Love is an Open Road" stories.

A HUGE thank you to Lisa Henry and ALL of the volunteers that make this event possible!!! *tips top hat* 

All of the stars from me for this one.

It was as if this was written just for me. I absolutely loved every word. It made me GIDDY. I'm talking full-on, fourteen year old school girl, giddy.

I got a kick out of the humor. Really laughed out loud quite a few times. The guys, with all their insecurities, were so cute. I wanted to visit Alvaro's family farm and I just wanted to hug Daniel most of the time.

The sexy times were smokin hot yet still sweet. And, AND the romance was all out swoon worthy. *still swooning*

I'm so sad it's over and I want more! More Alvaro and more Daniel PLEASE, Kelly Jensen!!!

Thank you to the author for this story and thank you to all of the volunteers who make this event possible!

Lorix: Salvaging Toby's Heart by Lexi Ander


So I've steadfastly refused to love tentacle sex. Tentacles are creepy, creepy, creepy things as far as I'm concerned. I am, however, trying to read all the offerings for the DRitC event this year, at least give them all a shot. So, when I started Salvaging Toby's Heart and it had tentacles right there on the front cover, I anticipated reading a couple of pages and then politely DNFing it because it wouldn't be for me.

What a fool I was.

I loved this story. Loved the characters, the mission, the world that had been created. I loved the sex. OH MY GOD. I loved tentacle sex. WTF?

Hot and sweet and romantic all at once. I am officially a tentative tentacle fan. Slap me with a kipper and call me fool, but I am. So there.

I loved this sci-fi, tentacled offering. Yep, you heard right - I've delved into tentacles and loved it.

Lord help me.

This reminds me of James Cox's work, which is never going to be a bad thing!!

Thanks for this offering for the DRitC event.

Optimist King's Wench: The Downs by Kim Fielding


I'm star blind by "The Downs". Fielding took this prompt and turned it into beautiful thing to behold.

It's a story of redemption, vengeance and acceptance. Magnificently told with two well fleshed out characters who happen to find love along the way.

The Downs are unforgiving and dangerous, full of deadly creatures and the caustic fog. You can't be a delicate flower and call the Downs home. You have to have grit and guts, be a fighter.

Enitan is a fighter. He just has no cause, no purpose and his sister has betrayed him in so many ways. He is broken by more than just the fall into the Downs, but Rig only sees the good in him.

But can Enitan see the good in himself before it's too late?

Excellent world building and lovely prose so common to Fielding's work.

A marvelous addition to the LOR event. Thanks to the author and her team for participating.

SheReadsALot: Burn for Me by Ann Anderson


Pirates? Always in season for me. 
Genies? Same thing. 
 “I know of genies, of their need for a master, but none have a need quite like yours, do they?” There was no pause as he continued, “No, none like you. Fire trapped inside a cage, needing someone to release you and let you burn.”

A gasp, a hiccup, and Salai shuddered, his mind a wreck as his master’s will stroked over his core, far gentler a caress than Salai had ever encountered.

“Will you burn for me?”
I've searched high and low for good genie MM and the results have been sorely lacking. (Note to authors: Think genie for a main character. Please!) Last year, I came up with an idea to have a genie and pirate mash up romance. Of course, I wanted kink thrown in especially some aftercare. And wouldn't you know, Ann Anderson decided to take a chance on my prompt. I had such high hopes for this. I stared at Salai and Laren's picture for over a year waiting for DRiTC to return. 

The results were amazing! I am thanking Ms. Anderson once again for this delicious kinky romance. There was magic, there was D/s...there were PIRATES! The author made Salai more than a picture, she made him a person. He had family, he had feelings, he had a back story! And the author took the time to add little tidbits of things I like to this story...I truly treasure it like pirates treasure. I'm crossing my fingers that she'll revisit this world and boys. I could read pages upon pages of these two!

*** All stories are available for download at  http://www.mmromancegroup.com/ ***


  1. 100% agreement on these choices, still got some to read but I loved Salvaging Toby's Heart.

    1. Wasn't it great???? I loved all of these - well I've not read the Cari Z one yet, too many stories, too little time!