After reading Macky's review, I thought I'd grab this since I love J.L. Merrow. Great value price on ARE($2.99)! I'll rate the stories as I read them.Summer Hire by Chrissy Munder - 3.5 stars
-- Jim is a new computer/software college grad who takes a job for the summer in a mechanics garage and is crushing on his muscular, tatted, hunky boss. This story promised a lot of UST and delivered for the bulk of the story. The romance was good if not especially unique. I really liked the setting-- a lake town in Michigan with heavy summer tourist traffic. The author did a nice job creating that summer vibe.Lost and Found on Lindisfarne by J.L. Merrow. 5 stars
-- ah! It's nice to read a new J.L. Merrow story. Chris and his 12 year old daughter are visiting an island where there's a Viking reenactment. Chris falls for a dreadlocked berserker. This is a sweet little romance given 5 stars primarily for some magical language and the many highlighted lines on my iPad, plus all the cute Viking stuff. Ur!Werewolves of Venice Beach by Lou Harper -- 4 stars
Lou Harper always has a lyrical and interesting prose style. This summer romance story, set on Venice Beach, is a fun, quick read. I've read a ton of nerd/jock or bad boy stories recently and this one didn't particularly stand out, but the writing is quite good and I loved the little Sparky twist. (And I liked that it didn't actually get into anything paranormal.)By Quarry Lake by Josephine Myles -- 4.5 stars
Loved the small town/farmer's son theme of this story in which two childhood friends are reunited when one moves back to town. Sexy with a nice homey feel. I really enjoyed the father's reaction. ;-)Salt and Vinegar by Clare London -- 3 stars
This was my least favorite story in the anthology because of the theme. It was set mainly around a fish and chip shop in Brighton. I loved the ever-changing names of the shop (Eel Be Seeing You, Between a Rock and a Hard Plaice). The characters of Joe and his sister Mandy, who work in the shop, were cute. I didn't get a super strong sense of Joe since it was written from his POV except that he was a student. He has a crush on a regular customer, Steven. All of the set up was fun, but once the story got rolling it turned out Steven had a secret and the story got angsty and dark and it just wasn't what I was expecting from this 'hot summer loving' anthology. Steven was being physically abused by his boyfriend and was in denial/escapism about it. I have a hard time with characters who put up with bad abuse like this because they seem weak and not very bright. Steven wasn't even trying to get out of that situation until Joe pushed him to. And then at the end the abusive ex just watches from afar and quietly goes away--not a realistic reaction from someone who's been that controlling and violent.
The writing was good though. This kind of story just isn't my cup of tea in romance.
Overall, I give the anthology 4 stars. It reads quickly and all the writers are strong. Recommended.