Title: A Summer's Day: Shakespearean Anthology with a Twist
Author: Various Authors
Publisher: Self - Published
Release Date: August 12, 2016
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Length: 115 K (12 short stories)
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Young Adult
SynopsisWe’re celebrating Shakespeare’s legacy with this collection of 12 stories based on his works and the way they are often woven into our lives. The twist is that all stories are MM. There are modern retellings of some plays, interpretations of others and one of the sonnets, and delightful referencing of anything Shakespeare.
There is gentle YA romance next to hot sexy stories and all kinds of relationships – first love, May/December, interracial, second chances, happy endings and even a tragic one.
We’re traveling from Ancient Rome through Renaissance England to modern day UK, Venice Beach and other places in USA, Vancouver and Havana.
There’s fun, drama, tears, angst, joy and, above all, lots of true love.
DEEPER THAN DID EVER PLUMMET SOUND
Rory Ni Coileain
Clarence Limont is a slowly fading star of the London stage; convinced his great performances are all behind him, he nevertheless agrees to play Prospero in an off-off-Broadway production of The Tempest helmed by an old friend.
Jaymes Stafford is the production’s starry-eyed Ariel, waking feelings Clarence had thought long dead and buried.
But the poisonous jealousy of other members of the cast may steal the stars from Jaymes’ eyes, and even put paid to Clarence’s illustrious career.
A FINE LINE BETWEEN
When Romeo runs into Julian on the beach, he's the last person he wants to see as he’s grown up hating him due to his parents' aversion to Julian's dad.
Forced to rescue Julian from the sea, Romeo is surprised by his grudging attraction to the other young man.
When simple lust becomes something more, the pair ignore their parents' anger, but family fights drive the lovers away from home - into a horrifying incident. Will it make the Montgomerys and the Caplins rethink their feud?
("Romeo and Juliet")
THE DEVIL AND THE LION
Caius Martius and Tullus Aufidius have long been enemies.
Then Martius arrives on Aufidius' doorstep, seeking a military alliance. Aufidius accepts; however, he wishes their partnership to extend from the battlefield to the bedchamber.
His lust for Martius is one of the reasons he spares his life, but his jealousy will soon have terrible consequences.
KISS ME, KADE
Kade is in trouble, negotiating a dangerous path between an authoritarian father and wayward sister.
Then Pete storms into his life and tries to take over.
It can only end in disaster.
("Taming of The Shrew")
IF MUSIC BE...
Rick Cowley finds himself taking up am-dram once more, thinking it’ll help him get over the death of his partner.
He’d never anticipated it would mean an encounter with an old flame and the sort of emotional complications the Bard would have reveled in.
Still, old Will had the right word for every situation, didn’t he?
TWO GUYS FROM VANCOUVER
Valentine has been watching Preston date man after man with never more than a brotherly hug for him.
Finally, despairing that Preston will ever love him in return, Val moves away to college, where he meets the glorious Silver, a man with problems of his own, who just might be his answer.
Torn between his attraction to Preston and his growing desire for Silver, Val wonders if he’ll ever find love or will his life become as tragic as any of the Shakespearean plays he loves so well.
("The Two Gentlemen of Verona")
WHEN I LOVE THEE NOT
Desmond, the heir of a business owner is outed in the media after a hot night with his lover, Olvin, who also happens to be the company’s best negotiation expert.
This is only the first step in Ian’s plan to get back at Olvin for choosing Michel Caswell as a main assistant for the latest merger instead of him, a plan in which he’s moving everybody around like pawns on a chessboard, bending the rules.
Will Ian drive a wedge between Desmond and Olvin and get the position he wants or will he realize that there’s something more important that stops the world from turning into chaos?
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE BEACH
Tony and Bartholomew have been friends for years, but his latest request is a little much.
Bart needs a loan to impress Porsche Keller, a personable billionaire, but the only cash available is from banker and raging homophobe Sherlock Palmer, who has a devious plan for them.
Will our heroes find love and get their happy ending?
("The Merchant of Venice")
A HERO'S LAST BATTLE
Phetra H Novak
Claudio is happy to be home after serving his country as a soldier for over fifteen years being stationed mostly abroad ready to settle down.
Hero is still living at home, together with his father, trying to do what is expected a young man his age is supposed to do, work and live every day like it is your last.
The two men meet at a family wedding, realizing they share a mutual dream of finding love and starting a family but evil lurks amongst them. Will these two lovers find a way to be together?
("Much Ado About Nothing")
NOTHING LIKE THE SUN
Hollywood darling Jerome Winter always defined himself by his looks—until a fire destroyed them.
His oldest friend and still-loyal manager, Sam, has long carried a torch for him, but with his looks—and earning power—gone, what does Jerome have left to offer?
THE SUN OF TOMORROW
M. LeAnne Phoenix
When actor Koray Shepherd rescues writer Winter Sirois from the brutal hands of his supervisor, Winter never would have believed the beautiful Turk would share his love of The Bard.
When Koray asks Winter out on a date, Winter takes center stage in his very own tragedy, determined to end his play for today with a happily ever after.
Screwing his courage to the sticking place, Winter sets his sights on the future and Koray... but when the horrors of yesterday resurface, will he crest the waves of fear and despair, or will he be heard no more?
MUCH ADO ABOUT LADY MACBETH
Competition for roles is always high when the King's Men put on a play, but David seems to come up against Jacob time and time again, no matter what part he is auditioning for.
But now they both want to be Lady Macbeth and it’s more than simple rivalry that causes the sparks to fly.
And as all the world’s a stage we do hope that one day very soon all the world will be a place for everybody to love whomever they want to love and feel safe.
All proceeds of this collection go to the It Gets Better Project. By reading this book you become part of the hope for a better future of the LGBT youth.
Purchase at Amazon
A Summer’s Day anthology features a team of writers which includes Charlie Cochran, J.L. Merrow., Dianna Hartsock, Asta Idonea, Rebecca Cohen and others. The anthology offers up stories all based on Shakespeare’s plays or sonnets and the writing styles range from YA to M/M and lots in between. It’s not a stretch to say that there is something for everyone in this compilation and I enjoyed many of them.
The order of the stories seemed organized deliberately so you got a mix of wide-ranging emotions from the more serious to lighter and more happy fare and never too much of any one type but alternating somewhere between the two spectrums. Most of the stories are contemporary—although not all of them and some even have familiar characters you will recognize if you are familiar with that author’s back work.
I love that all the proceeds from this collection of stories will go to benefit the It Gets Better Project as well. I think you will find that many of these stories are very entertaining with ‘happy ever afters’ aplenty. I encourage you to pick up a copy and escape into stories from an era gone by that still resonate today.
ExcerptsA Fine Line Between by Louise Lyons
“I’m sorry.” I never thought I’d say such a thing to him, but as I listened to him, I wondered why we’d despised each other so much on the strength of something our parents did. We’d been little kids, just starting school, conditioned to loathe each other because of our families’ hatred.
“Not your fault, is it?” Julian’s voice shook and he moved away, initially heading toward Laura and Steve, but then changing direction.
“Hey!” I hurried after him. I caught up to him and gestured to mine and Steve’s towels. “I meant I’m sorry for being a dick. You’re right. It was never anything to do with us. I suppose listening to my dad go on about it made me feel the same. I don’t know why my parents even stayed together. They’re sort of friends, but that’s all. I think Mum just likes the security of Dad’s money. I know for a fact they’ve seen other people on and off. They don’t even try to hide it from me. Sit down.”
“Just like that? Suddenly you want to be friends?” His expression was wary.
“Hardly.” My lips twitched. “But since I saved your life, I suppose I can’t hate you that much.”
“Saved my life, bollocks. I’d have been all right.”
“Yeah, you keep telling yourself that.” I grinned and sat down, surprised by my sudden change in attitude. Glancing at him, I noticed for the first time how attractive he was with his reddish-blond hair and bright blue eyes. Tanned skin glistened with droplets of water and a light dusting of golden hair spread across his chest. I hadn’t seen him since high school and he’d been skinny, pimply, and ginger then.
When I Love Thee Not by Rian Durant
“Hey, was that Michael talking to Des in the garden?”
Ian had managed to take Olvin right on time to a spot where he could see the two talking, but it seemed Michael had seen them as well and promptly took his leave. Which, of course, made him look even more guilty.
“Yes, I think it was but why would he steal away like that?
The sound made the Cuban turn around and stare at him.
“What was that about?”
He paused dramatically, and gazed again at Desmond who had taken his book and looked as innocent as new fallen snow.
“Tell me, did Michael know you had an affair with Des before the… you know, before everybody found out?”
Clearly, the man didn’t like being reminded of this and winced before replying.
“Yes, he knew. I even asked Michael to give him a present and chocolates from me once or twice as he lives closer to their house and could see him more often while we were hiding.”
“Yes, really. Why?”
He looked at the Cuban who seemed utterly confused. He’d never seen him like this with the meanest experts in negotiations, with those who were capable of convincing you to sell yourself by the small print in their contracts and make you tie a ribbon around your head for their pleasure. He was swift and efficient in curbing their desires to trick him, but now he was lost.
“Why, think for a minute.”
Two Guys from Vancouver by Dianne Hartsock
VAL TOOK A long drink from the thermos, enjoying the cool bite of lemon and vodka on his tongue, the alcohol content exactly enough to send a pleasant tingle along limbs already lethargic from hours in the sun and sea air.
“Sure.” Val handed over the bottle, his gaze lingering on his best friend, his heart rushing. Preston’s skin was bronzed from months in the summer sun, his board shorts hugging muscular thighs and the large cock Val knew lay hidden under the bright fabric. He wanted to lick a path down Preston’s glistening chest, knowing he’d taste of sweat and sea salt.
Preston swallowed a mouthful of the Lemon Drop and sputtered, laughing as he licked the stray drops from his lips. “Shit! That stuff’s potent.”
A shiver ran through Val. If he moved only a few inches he could be kissing the mouth that had been driving him wild all summer. And by the gleam in Preston’s brown eyes, he wouldn’t object, either. A shout on the still air shattered Val’s dream and he pulled away, scowling at the bottle Preston handed back to him. Julian approached them up the beach; Preston’s latest boyfriend, lithesome, lightly tanned, with gorgeous blond hair cascading to his shoulders.
Val hated him. Problem was, Julian was great, always laughing, genuinely kind. If it wasn’t for the fact he was fucking Preston, they would most likely be good friends. Julian plopped down beside Preston and Val sighed. Probably for the best he was moving from Vancouver to Portland in the morning. The two cities were only nine miles apart, but it would take him out of Preston’s orbit.
Much Ado About Lady Macbeth by Rebecca Cohen
SURELY DAVID WAS not the only one who could see Jacob’s complete lack of talent. Jacob might be pretty enough to pass as Juliet, in the right light and squinting, but the minute the petulant popinjay opened his mouth his ineptitude had to be clear to all. How Jacob had ever become a player in the King’s Men was beyond David’s comprehension. He seethed quietly to himself as he watched Jacob prance from one side of the stage to the other, supposedly a sprightly fairy but looking more like he was suffering from ague. David clicked his tongue in annoyance as Jacob fumbled his words.
A soft sigh to his right made him turn to see his friend Gwilliam shake his head. “What?” David demanded.
“You grind your teeth so loudly I thought it was a carpenter at work. Yet, the reason for it is so absurd you cannot see the ridiculousness from where you are, deep in your cave of wilful denial.”
“Denial? What gibberish knots your tongue?”
Gwilliam tutted and returned to reading the pamphlet he was holding. “Your animosity for Jacob is no more real than the fairy he is currently playing.”
David spluttered, almost swallowing his tongue at the implication of Gwilliam’s words. A “shush” from the stage prevented him from answering and he sank lower in his seat, his gaze fixed on the annoying Jacob and his annoyingly perfect bottom. David couldn’t grumble about the importance of his role, but thought he should be playing Titania, not the dull-witted Helena. A pining maiden was no match for the queen of the fairies.