Cover Image: If the Fates Allow

If the Fates Allow

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Member Reviews

A light read, with Christmassy themes.  Many characters are gay, otherwise it's like a chick lit book.  A good holiday read.
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"If the Fates Allow" is such a lovely book! I haven't seen many queer holiday books or anthologies around, and this one is absolutely perfect. Full review coming soon!
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I had a hard time with this. Some of the stories felt too disjointed, and I had a hard time following.
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Live online 12/4/17

If the Fates Allow
Edited by Annie Harper, 2017

New Release! I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for the purpose of review.

Premise: Five stories of love, hope, and forgiveness at the holidays.

Do you need some warm and fuzzy holiday cheer? Do you love love?

This new collection features five LGBTQ holiday romances that make your heart feel full of sugarplums. I smiled and sighed and giggled. It's seriously sweet, without being too sweet.

The first author, Killian Brewer, starts off strong with "Gracious Living Magazine Says It Must Be a Live Tree." Marcus wants his first Christmas with his boyfriend to be perfect, and his grandmother's friends are there to help.

"True North" by Pene Henson follows a WNBA star who goes home for the holidays with a friend, only to navigate her family's misguided assumptions and her high school crush.

Erin Finnegan brings us "Last Call at the Casa Blanca Bar & Grill," in which a young political adviser navigates the first holiday after his lover's accidental death.

"Halfway Home" is an adorable story about a woman who feels lost in life until she rescues a dog and meets an animal lover.

Finally, "Shelved" by Lynn Charles features a library student who interferes in her uncle's love life because she's too shy to pursue her own.

Each story is full of great characters and each is a perfect little tale. It's so rare for a compilation not to have at least one dud, but I enjoyed each story for different reasons. I can be cynical about both romance and the holidays, but I wholeheartedly recommend this book.

5 Stars - An Awesome Book
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Five christmasy gay stories for a price of one! Well, count me in!!

But see, the problem with rating anthologies is that not all pieces are equally good, and that's especially the case when we get different authors. So while there's no doubt all of them were very gay & very cute, I only really enjoyed three of them...

My favourite might actually be Halfway Home by Lilah Suzanne. I've never related to a lesbian more than I did to Avery! We meet her as her girlfriend breaks up with her on account of Avery being dead inside and then see her rescue a stray dog. She runs into a doctor with the most beautiful smile at the animal shelter and proceeds to gayly panic every time they're next to each other. It's great fun, I loved every single second of it. There are also hideous christmas sweaters & even a christmas miracle!

Another one I enjoyed was True North by Pene Henson, about a professional basketball player who comes home for christmas and reconnects with her first crush. Said crush also happens to run a ranch... I mean, does it get better when it comes to tropes?? The only thing I'm not so sure about here is the fact that main character is a black lesbian & the story spends quite a lot of time talking about challenges a black woman faces while the author, well, isn't black herself. I get we (white people) want to write more diverse stories but is it really our place to be vocal about things we know nothing about?

The last one I loved was Last Call at the Casa Blanca Bar & Grille by Erin Finnegan and to be honest, this was one of the softest things I read lately! Our protagonist, Jack, re-learns how to enjoy life and how to be himself and how to open his heart again after losing his love. It's very simple in terms of the plot - though there is a great, surprising twist that you can interpret however you want!! - but what really counts is the amazing writing & the incredible calmness and hope this story offers.

All in all, this is a very solid collection & it's really cool to read some light, lowkey cheesy stories that are so very indisputably gay. Definitely a good book to put you in the christmasy mood!
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This is a collection of five LGBTQ+ short stories based around the Christmas season. I felt I could do with a bit of diversity in my reading and I actually really enjoyed this collection. They are feel-good stories perfect for this time of year.

I decided against reviewing each individual story, as I feel as a collection they are stronger than alone. All these stories are about new starts and falling in love and all are so romantic! Halfway Home was my favourite of the stories, but all were well written, heartwarming and smile-inducing. The accumulated collection of this hope and love is what makes this such a strong bunch of short stories.

If you like Christmas and love, this is the short story collection for you!
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Lovely Christmassy diverse short story collection, some genuine 'awww' moments. I read this quickly and enjoyed all of the stories but this quote probably made 900 History my favourite: " He never understood that librarians were heroes. They listened and never judged...They helped her believe, in spite of her father's awfulness. there was nothing she couldn't do' - yes!!! Great to dip in and out of, and certainly helped me to get in the mood for the festive season.
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I was unable to review this book because of a conflict in my schedule. Sorry for any inconvenience this has caused the publisher or the author of the work. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to review for you and  I look forward to reviewing for you in the future.
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Gracious Living Magazine Says It Has to Be a Live Tree 
By Killian B. Brewer
Determined to make his first Christmas with his new boyfriend magazine-perfect, Marcus seeks the advice of lovable busy bodies, the Do-Nothings Club. When he learns that his boyfriend, Hank, may have ordered a ring, Marcus’ attempts to transform his home into a winter wonderland get out of hand.

Review

This is a quaint look at expectations and the definition of “real” and “happy”.  Very sweet.


Shelved 
By Lynn Charles
When library clerk Karina Ness meets a new patron, lonely business owner, Wesley Lloyd, she puts her own love life on hold and begins a holiday matchmaking mission to connect Wes with her uncle Tony.


Review

Cute and sweet story about finding a partner for her uncle.

Last Call at the Casa Blanca Bar & Grille 
By Erin Finnegan
As the one-year anniversary of his lover’s death rolls around on Christmas, Jack Volarde finds himself at their old haunt—a bar called the Casa Blanca, where a new bartender helps him open up about loss, and see brightness in a future that had grown dim.

Review
Sweet and sentimental, a story about moving on from the loss of a loved one.

True North 
By Pene Henson
Shay Allen returns to her hometown in Montana for the holidays with her best friend Devon with the intent to return home to L.A. by New Year’s Eve. Instead, the weather traps them in the small town, but the there’s a bright spot: her old crush Milla is still in town.

Review

Interesting look at a woman who aspires to be in the WNBA and has to deal with changing priorities – life, love and basketball.

Halfway Home 
By Lilah Suzanne
Avery Puckett has begun to wonder if her life has become joyless. One night, fate intervenes in the form of a scraggly dog shivering and alone in a parking lot. Avery takes him to a nearby shelter called Halfway Home where she meets bright and beautiful Grace, who is determined to save the world one stray at a time. 


Review

This was hard to get into as it was written in the first person present tense.  The dog was very cute though!


Overall  3 of 5 stars

Christmas seems to be a time for sappiness and melancholy and that’s what you get in spades with this collection.  None of these is particularly joyful but they all end with at least a spark of hope.  “Gracious Living…” and “True North” were my favorites as they ended with the most happy endings and had some nice character development and felt a bit more complete.

If you’re in the mood for some Christmas sentimentality and aren’t afraid of a bit of melancholy – this is for you.
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It's November and outside it is hot. Hot and steamy. I'm on a coach in Malaysia and yet I'm feeling all tingly and Christmassy thanks to this volume of short stories. The ones I liked the best were the final three which had a little more depth and substance to them. Kudos to all involved and this would make a lovely Yuletide gift.
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Lighthearted, sweet set of romances infused with the warmth of the holidays.
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That was a cute bundle of novellas ! I had a good times with those characters, it's always great to have this fluffy feeling when you open a book !
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If the Fates Allow, edited by Annie Harper and contributed to by: Killian Brewer, Lynn Charles, Erin Finnegan, Pene Henson, and Lilah Suzanne is a collection of Christmas shorts. If you need something light-hearted, funny, and touching, this is a great collection of stories to read. 

I enjoyed each of the stories included. Each of them had their own unique flair and they weren’t just retellings of the traditional Christmas stories we all know.  I loved being able to hear the southern drawl of the characters in Brewer’s piece, Gracious Living Magazine Says It Has to Be a Live Tree. I couldn’t get over how perfect the match making was done through books in Shelved by Lynn Charles. Erin Finnegan gave me hope and made me want to cuddle up next to my love. True North, was my absolute favorite and I wish there were more about the couple. Halfway Home, wasn’t my favorite but there were some funny parts to it. I mean, how could there not be funny parts with a dog like Rudy.

I definitely would recommend this to others and I have found some new authors to check out.
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I received an ARC from NetGalley to read and review. The below is my honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you, the authors, the publisher, and NetGalley, for allowing me to review.

IF THE FATES ALLOW is a multi-author, Christmas-themed anthology with stories by Killian B. Brewer, Lynn Charles, Erin Finnegan, Pene Henson, and Lilah Suzanne. This LGBT+ set features stories about second chances, promised futures, unexpected romances, rekindled love, and healed hearts. 

These were sweet reads that I'd recommend to anyone who enjoys LGBT+ literature.
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Even though it's been unusually warm in the 80s for me, reading a little bit of Christmas was perfect. I love Christmas and romance stories, so this was right up my alley. These short stories so sweet and full of the Christmas spirit. I loved falling back into the world of the Do Nothing's and how eccentric they all were. I loved that the stories had lots of Christmas miracles without cliches.  There were several different times while reading this book that I just said to myself "Man, I really want this as a movie." Between puppies, grief, love, mountains, mall santas, and bars, there is something for all readers. My only compliant would be is that i wanted more in each story!
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Since I was borne in 1948, the subject matter in this book was somewhat unsettling to me.  I believe everyone is entitled to love whomever they want regardless of their sex.  However, the subject matter does make me feel a little uncomfortable.
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