I’m a big fan of buffets. There’s plenty of variety, and you can sample things you’ve never tried before without committing to a full course of the stuff. That’s why I like Sharon Buchbinder’s, KILLER KISSES – A Short Story Anthology. From short to novella length, from sweet to sexy paranormal, there’s something for everyone inside the covers of this single author contemporary romance anthology.
Ms. Buchbinder has amassed a wonderfully varied body of work that drew me in from the very beginning with a short story set in the midst of a hurricane evacuation. Yeah, I know. Not your usual setting for romance, but the author pulled it off, giving me enough of a taste to keep me turning pages to see what else she had to offer.
If there is a common thread in all the stories, besides kisses of one sort or another (duh!), it’s a strong heroine. Ms. Buchbinder’s female characters are strong and capable. Life occasionally gives them a kick in the gut, but they get right back up and fight for what they want and need. Now that’s my kind of woman!
Subtly woven through the stories, the subtext of morality adds to the depth of the characters. It’s easy to like these people. I especially liked Sandra in THE LAKE PLACID CURE. She’s got a world of issues of her own to solve, but when she sees something that doesn’t look right to her trained eye, she’ll move heaven and earth to set it right.
A SIZZLING SMOOCH: BONDED FOR LIFE, sets up the characters later found in Ms. Buchbinder’s full-length romantic suspense novel, DESIRE AND DECEPTION, as well as the fictional town of Summerville, New York, whose inhabitants make an encore appearance in the next story, a novella – DELECTABLE AND DELICIOUS: AN INN DECENT PROPOSAL.
BONDED FOR LIFE takes us into the dangerous world of international drug trafficking. When Lola, a one-time resident, tries to sneak back into town, bringing trouble with her. An old high school friend, now a police officer, is there to serve and protect! And, he does both very well.
In AN INN DECENT PROPOSAL, we’re back in Summerville where two former residents, both looking for a new start in familiar surroundings, find themselves after the same thing – the old Summerville Inn. This is a much sweeter story than BONDED FOR LIFE, but the characters are deliciously flawed, lending a depth not often found in stories this sweet.
The anchor piece, KISS OF THE SILVER WOLF is perfectly capable of standing on its own, and adds a paranormal element to the author’s repertoire, with shape shifters living amongst us normal folk. Look close for the underlying messages about accepting ourselves for who we are and persecution of people and groups different from us. This story works on many levels, not the least of which is the theme of love conquers all.
I’ve purposely skipped a few stories, just so you’ll still have a few surprises waiting for you. Over all, I thoroughly enjoyed this read. It’s refreshing to find so much variety in one place, as well as stories that stimulate your brain and bring a smile to your lips. Pucker up. KILLER KISSES is a fantastic read from start to finish.
KILLER KISSES is available HERE.