Review: Eric Arvin's Greatest Hits by Eric Arvin

From Urban Fantasy to Contemporary, enjoy these four romances from Eric Arvin in this exclusive bundle. In Simple Men, Chip is a football coach at a small college, but his personal life is in a bit of a rut. Then he meets the new school chaplain, Foster. Chip decides to go for it, but love is never simple, and sometimes it's a downright mess! In Another Enchanted April, three men stay at a bed-and-breakfast with a breathtakingly beautiful garden that has an air of the supernatural. Jerry's there for love, Doug's there for sex, and Tony is practically dragged along. Three men clinging stubbornly to their self-destructive ways... can the magic of the garden prevent love's labors from being lost? In Woke Up in a Strange Place, Joe wakes up in a barley field with no clothes, no memories, and no idea how he got there. He sets off through a fantastical changing landscape to confront his past. If he wants to find peace—and reunite with the Stranger he is so strongly drawn to—he must continue on until the end. In Galley Proof, fiction writer Logan is perfectly happy—until he meets the editor of his next book, Brock. Soon his life and his new manuscript are in a shambles. To take his mind off the mess, Logan goes on a trip, but he might have to admit there are some things you can’t run from.


Simple Man

2.5 Hearts

“It’s not you it’s me”

This story follows two separate couples. A Chaplain, Foster, and a Football Coach, Chip. Chip is a stereotypical hetero jock until he meets the new Chaplain of Verona College. He quickly discovers his thoughts about the chaplain are not very straight at all.

Brad and Jason have been friends and roommates since they started at Verona College, and their bromance is starting to feel like a little more than platonic intimacy.

I think some people would favour this type of writing style. It is flowery and light. Lots of descriptive text and traditional prose. Unfortunately for this story, I prefer a more contemporary style of writing, so I didn’t quite get into it the way I had hoped I would.

There is a lot of tongue in cheek wit that got a giggle out of me, and I enjoyed the side characters and the interactions (except fo Lynn, I didn’t like Lynn all that much) and the relationship development was decent.

This story is fluffy and lighthearted in a lot of ways. There wasn’t a great deal of depth of character which is my preference, but the romance was nice.

I enjoyed that it followed two couples of differing ages through their discovery of their sexuality. It gave a good contrast between two generations. Jason and Brad are the school pranksters and I enjoyed their antics. It boarded erotic with their interactions and continued to simmer for much of the story.

Foster and Chip were more overt in their relationship development. More set up, and getting to know them. A lot more background of prior relationships, and time spent developing their characters.

I’d recommend this as a light read. This is romance, so you’re not going to get anything more than a take of an erotic wrestling match, and a lot of hard-on references, but for this style of writing it fit well.

Another Enchanted April

3.5 Hearts

Three friends, Tony, Douglas and Jerry are off for a holiday at a seaside resort. Tony is reluctantly pressured into going so he could be a supportive friend for Jerry, who has been mooning after Douglas for a long time.

All Verona College graduates they have stayed friends, even though Tony is a grump, due in part to a football injury that never healed properly.

This story is about new connections and reconnections. I really enjoyed the setting, and the relationship building. There was a lot of good dialogue and teasing out of personalities that helped this story stay strong.

Tony feels old and washed up (he’s not) and spends most of the vacation in the gardens, trying to ignore the flirting of the grounds keeper, Sal. Sal is not put off by the gruffness that is Tony, and continues to flirt and pursue throughout the story.

Told predominantly through Tony’s and Jerry’s point of view, the gardens and the Manor House is the primary setting. There is a lot of beautiful descriptives of the surroundings which really drew me in.

Doug is the playboy of the three, and there are some fun scenes with Doug planning all manner of erotic fun for them to enjoy. I felt pretty bad for Jerry, because all he wanted to do was spend time with Doug, no matter what they were doing.

Relationship development was strong in this story, and I really enjoyed getting to know everyone. There was a lot of lighthearted banter, but also a serious tone when necessary, and the three characters were endearing.

Recommended for those who enjoy light romance with some light erotic content in a holiday setting. Don’t expect a threesome between these three though. Tony is way too much of an outlier to participate in that type of debauchery.

Woke Up in a Strange Place

4 Hearts

Revered by many a reader on Goodreads, I had pretty high expectations for this story, and I can say that it absolutely delivered.

The thing that stands out most for this story was Eric’s use of descriptives to build an entirely tactile world inside my head. It was beautifully balanced with richness that allowed my imagination to take hold and steer me through the winding dimension of this afterlife.

The premise of the story was enchanting, as were the characters and the overall plot. This is a beautiful journey for Joe, with some fascinating concepts of life after death, coupled with some well placed humour to cut through the morbid subject matter.

There was enough depth to ensure the subject was not glossed over. There are some things that may be distressing for some readers, but I honestly think this is an experience in reading that even the lovers of fluff will find enjoyable.

Experiencing Joe’s memories one at a time, on his journey from childhood to his one true love was precious and beautiful. Even through the hard times, I saw the connections he made, and the love he had for life and his friends.

This is a highlight of this anthology, and I am richer for this journey. I would recommend this for all readers.

Gally Proof

4 Hearts

This is the story of writer Logan Brandish and his new editor Brock Kimble. Written in first person from Logan’s point of view, this story was beautifully witty and well written.

Logan is being challenged in his writing by his newly assigned editor Brock, but he is having trouble concentrating on writing due to a combination of writer’s block, and swooning over Brock. It seems that Brock hates everything Logan writes, and he is challenged to re-write his manuscript over and over, while fighting said writer’s block, and pining for Brock to notice him in a completely unprofessional way.

This was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed both Logan and Brock. I found the banter entertaining and smile inducing. The writing style in this particular story was enjoyable, and suited, even though it is not my favourite style to read.

The focus on Logan and his unrequited infatuation was strongly expressed during the story, and a mixture of traditional writing style, and some well placed contemporary language made the punch lines stand out stronger.

This is a story that I would enjoy re-reading, as something comforting and entertaining both.

Logan’s roommate Janey and her mission to get the Mormons was a quirky and fun addition to the plot line. I loved her antics and was cheering for her the whole time.

Logan is dating Curtis, and it was easy to see how that was going to turn out. I promise there is no cheating, and everything turns out well in the end, but from Curtis’ first introduction, you can tell that the relationship is pretty stale, and it’s a matter of time before something needs to change.

As part of this collection, this story was one of my favourites, and I would recommend this for those who want a story that has more depth than the first two. It has a lot of wit and charm, and kept me reading from the start to finish with no lapses in concentration.

A review copy was provided for an honest opinion.

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