Hunting Under Covers by Various Authors

20572629Title: Hunting Under Covers
Author: Aimee Brissay, Shayla Mist, Kaje Harper, M.E. Sanford, J. Vaughn, Katies Crewman, Kathleen Hayes, and Others
Published: January 15, 2014
Pages: 349
Publisher: Divergent Publishing
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Hunting Under Covers is an m/m romance anthology inspired by the Goodreads M/M Romance Group’s Scavenger Hunt Challenge in 2013. The anthology contained everything to be found on that list in a single book (quite a feat). Even with that lofty feat, it also serves up an interesting array of stories by a number of different authors.

Living Out the Fantasy by Aimee Brissay
A short but sweet read. Anthony is at a conference in Las Vegas and missing his boyfriend, Robert – so much that he almost thinks he sees him. When he gets back to his hotel room, however, he finds a stranger waiting for him. There’s an intensity here that I appreciated and that managed to come through despite the length of the story.

Thank God for Games Saga by Shayla Mist
Rich is a game designer who was just offered his dream job, right at the time things are really starting to get serious with his boyfriend Eric. There’s definitely a fair amount of angst here as they work through the idea that they will likely need to break up as neither thinks a long distance relationship is the right choice. It struck me as a little anticlimactic as the situation could have been resolved much differently (and earlier), but I still enjoyed it.

Changes Coming Down by Kaje Harper
Will, Casey, and Scott are in a polyamorous relationship in a small town. Add about seven layers of complication to that and you’re there. I really liked the characters and the relationship, but the story itself was way too long. There’s really like three or four different stories here; just when the plot resolves, guess what – there’s a new conflict. This was an excellent story idea, though, and I would be interested to see it expanded into a series with each bit split out with more time to develop each one.

A Capricorn Tale by M.E. Sanford
It took me a moment to get into this one – it’s a fantasy/sci-fi tale with amphibious creatures that also end up interacting with humans. I’m still not entirely sure I understand all of the issues surrounding their society/culture, but it was something different and refreshing to read.

Pierced by J. Vaughn
This was probably my favorite bit of the anthology, though it was also probably the most difficult one to read. Paul finds Kyle in the shower of his college dormitory after he’s just been assaulted. After working to try to comfort Kyle and convincing him to report the incident to the police, the two form a connection that seems like it could be the start of a relationship. But knowing Kyle’s attackers are still out there keeps them both on edge. Some tough subject matter, but very well-written.

Demons, Time Travel and Bacon, Oh My! by Shelby, Marc, Raganna, Filipa, K., Astrid, Eepa, Danielle, Susan, Amanda, Pamela Su, Brandilyn, Teresa, Fehu, Jamie, Kaje, and Jay
I don’t know that I’ve ever read a story by this many authors before. While it did seem a bit disjointed and choppy in places and as a result had moments where it was just confusing, overall this was a creative story.

Trevor and Jace have accepted a dare to spend the night in a reportedly haunted house. Unbeknownst to them, it really is haunted by a demon who pulls them into his game. But they soon learn the demon is motivated by a force much stronger than evil – and it’s that force that they end up finding together.

I know this was a sci-fi/fantasy tale, but some of the twists were rather jarring and just didn’t seem to fit with the story. And the final showdown with the witch was anticlimactic and extremely unrealistic. But I did find it interesting, overall.

There Are Worse Things by Katies Crewman
Frank has been invited to attend a Halloween party by his roommate, Nick, on Nick’s family private island. Although Frank and Nick are both gay, they’ve never really pushed their relationship past friendship, though they clearly share a connection and go to great lengths for each other.

This one had me going and engaged until the plot twist involving Nick-from-the-future showing up and adding all sorts of unnecessarily complications to the story. A number of additional layers and warnings of future doom are tossed out and then just quickly dispensed with as though they weren’t plot points at all. I did like the two main characters and would have liked to see more about them and their relationship and how it grows.

Home by Kathleen Hayes
When Angus, a Scottish highlander, was born, there was a prophecy made about finding his true love on his 30th birthday. And on that day he finds himself thrown forward through time right into Brian who is being attacked on the street. After Angus saves him, Brian invites Angus back to his place and offers him a place to stay. But Angus is stuck trying to figure out how all of this fits into the prophecy and if the man he just met is, in fact, his true love.

There are a few time jumps in this story that sort of threw me off and disappointed me because those gaps are where I think the most character and relationship development could have taken place. I found it difficult to truly engage with Angus and Brian because all we got to know about them and their relationship was high-level surface facts and nothing very deep.

Poetry by the Scavenger Hunt Teams
These were creative and interesting.

Content warning – This book deals with a few issues that some might want to be warned about: rape/sexual assault, violence, male pregnancy, cross-species (humanoid) relationships