All Wrapped Up, an anthology

All Wrapped Up, an anthology
Stars: 4/5

Length: 80,000 words (186 pages)
Tentacles are a taboo subject for most, something most people look at from between their fingers as they hide. All Wrapped Up explores this genre through the lens of gay erotic romance, offering four science-fiction and fantasy stories featuring tentacled heroes in all their wiggly glory.

The men in Ground Mission are podmates, a matched set: Simon Pollux, the lethal scout, and Adrian Lovasz, his willing and even more lethal combat specialist. In the midst of exploring an alien world, Simon is infected with an alien virus; to what lengths will Adrian go to ensure Simon's comfort?

In the wood-locked town of Orm, ranger Koster meets the mysterious Irsing: the guardian of the forest. Is he the one letting the forest turn to wilds, or is the forest turning to wilds on its own? In Wildwood, Koster aims to do whatever it takes to set things right.

Eli exchanges his a life of poverty in Dark Covenant when tricked into signing a contract giving himself to the masters of the Academy. His body, his movement, his life is theirs to do with as they wish, until the enigmatic Eramus offers Eli his power—if Eli will join with him.

Sebastian Reed lives on the legal limits in Situation Normal, barely scraping by in his hunk of junk ship until a Peace Officer, Ten, commandeers his ship... and his body. Not that Sebastian minds, except for wondering exactly where it is that Ten means to take him.

Tentacles aren’t my thing, per se, but this anthology was hot! It’s a wonderful mix of plot and tentacle sexiness, where the naughtiness may involve the squirming bits, but it’s not the focus of the entire story. A fantastic collection, especially for readers who are fond of this specialty. It has a little bit of sci-fi and a little bit of fantasy, providing a range of genres for readers.

Ground Mission by Laylah Hunter
A sci-fi story that originally didn’t interest me, but when I returned to it and finished it, I thoroughly enjoyed what it had to offer. The beginning, which is necessary to set the tone of the book, was more focused on the sci-fi than anything, which left me very blase about the story being told. However, as the plot progresses it gets good and really builds the bond between the two men. I ended up enjoying this more than I was expecting and it was a great start to the anthology.

Wildwood by Thea Hayworth
I loved this story from beginning to end. Of course, it had a slight advantage over the sci-fi story because fantasy stories are my thing. There was beautiful descriptions, a plot that was edgy yet simple, and a conclusion that was both sweet and heartbreaking. My only mark against this one would be that it ends on a slightly bitter note, but even that was realistic enough that I had to forgive the author because it was true to the story’s tone.

Dark Covenant by Gryvon
I enjoyed the plot and world building in this story, but I wanted so much more. This really felt like the first few chapters of a novella (at least!). There are so many places this can go and there are a number of questions left unanswered. Overall it was enjoyable, and while the end was satisfactory in some ways, it also left me feeling like the tale was not yet finished being told.

Situation Normal by Morgan Harcourt
The writing in this story was the weakest of the bunch, but still enjoyable. I’m pretty sure I could read about these two characters in a hundred different short stories and not be bored. It was fun and almost silly, but also intense, both in action and the sex. The characters come off as 2-D initially, but the last scene gives more depth to Ten and the struggle scene gives more depth to Red, enabling the characters to grow in their relationship together. It was a pleasant way to end the anthology.

Requested this book for review.
Be sure to check out my other reviews on my blog.

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