Box of 1Night Stands Anthology Review: Dominique Eastwick, L.J. Garland, & Desiree Holt

Box of 1Night Stands

Decadent Publishing presents some of the very best of the 1Night Stand series featuring NYT and USA Today Bestselling authors Jennifer Probst, Jen McLaughlin (writing as Diane Alberts) and J.M. Madden, along with 18 other trendsetting authors such as HOLT Medallion winner Desiree Holt. When Madame Eve arranges a date, you are guaranteed more than you’ll ever expect. More heat, more heart, more SIZZLE…

Strawberry Kisses – Dominique Eastwick
Can two introverts gamble on love and win…with the help of Madame Eve and a bowl of Strawberries anything is possible.

Dead or Alive – L.J. Garland
She’s a bounty hunter on a mission…but when she captures her man, will she shoot him or kiss him?

Night Mission – Desiree Holt
For Navy SEAL Gabe Walker his one night stand with Maggie Fitzpatrick might turn out to be his hottest mission yet.

As a recap:

Box of 1Night Stands contains 21 stories by 21 different authors. Each story is roughly connected to each other by the framework of a dating service named “1Night Stand” run by Madam Evangeline. The dating service allows people to pay absurd amounts of money to be hooked up with someone “suitable” and willing to have a night of sex. The service includes reservations to one of the Castillo hotels and resorts (owned and run by one of satisfied 1Night Stand clients). Madam Evangeline seems to be the world’s best match-maker as all of her single night stands turn into committed relationships. Thus far the included stories are all either vignettes or very short shorts. Most seem to be between 3-5 chapters long as well.

Strawberry Kisses by Dominique Eastwick (3 stars)
Sadly, this one was rather forgettable as well. I had to go skim it again before writing this tiny review. I liked the characters a lot. More than a lot. This story is pretty basic contemporary romance – it just needed to be a bit longer. The heroine, Mia, is a video game designer…which is incredibly cool. I have a (very young) cousin who was trying to break into that industry last I checked. It’s difficult for women…which is why the shortness of the story bothered me. There was such a wealth of information and/or options to extend it.

Dead or Alive by L.J. Garland (2.5 stars)
This one was weird and (so far) it stuck out like a sore thumb. It’s a sci-fi romance featuring aliens and spaceships and super high tech BUT it’s mostly set on Earth. The Earth portions (outside of the hotel room, that is) gives a very heavy Men In Black vibe: Earth’s government(s) are aware of aliens/space and have the MIB in place to police alien concerns while keeping the population unaware. All of this made the story awkward – forcing a SFF romance into a contemporary romance frame wasn’t the best of ideas. The story was fine if you remove all mention of the 1Night Stand dating service and the required connection via Madam Evangeline.

Night Mission by Desiree Holt (3 stars)
I liked this one but t wasn’t what I was expecting. I’ve read and enjoyed a couple of Desiree Holt stories so I had a different expectation from what I received. The text itself also set expectations that were not fulfilled as well. The characters in Night Mission kept referring to all of this “creative sex” that they were longing for – but when the sex happened it was pretty run of the mill. Other than that I liked the story and thought it was cute.

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