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New Release Review! HE’S COME UNDONE: A Romance Anthology (Stories by Emma Barry, Olivia Dade, Adriana Herrera, Ruby Lang, and Cat Sebastian)

He's Come Undone cover

For him, control is everything…until it shatters, and now he’s come undone.

“Appassionata” by Emma Barry
Piano technician Brennan Connelly lives to control details: the tension on a piano string or the compression of hammer felt. But he’s never faced demands like those heaped on him by Kristy Kwong, the diva who’s haunted his dreams for two decades. Kristy’s got her own secrets–the debilitating stage fright that’s kept her from performing publicly for years to start–and this concert is the last chance to save her career. But can he locate her lost passion without losing his precious control?

“Unraveled” by Olivia Dade
Math teacher Simon Burnham–cool, calm, controlled–can’t abide problems with no good solution. Which makes his current work assignment, mentoring art teacher Poppy Wick, nothing short of torture. She’s warm but sharp. Chaotic but meticulous. Simultaneously the most frustrating and most alluring woman he’s ever known. And in her free time, she makes murder dioramas. Murder dioramas, for heaven’s sake. But the more tightly wound a man is, the faster he unravels–and despite his best efforts, he soon finds himself attempting to solve three separate mysteries: a murder in miniature, the unexplained disappearance of a colleague…and the unexpected theft of his cold, cold heart.

“Caught Looking” by Adriana Herrera
When best friends Yariel and Hatuey’s gaming night turns into an unexpected and intense hook up, Hatuey can’t wait to do it again. Yariel is less certain–the major leaguer might seem to all the world like he has a heart of stone, but he’s been carrying a torch for his friend for years, and worries this will ruin the most important relationship in his life. That means Hatuey has to do all the work, and he’s planning to give it all he’s got. Yariel may be the one hitting home runs on the field…but Hatuey is playing a game of seduction, and he knows exactly how to make Yariel crumble.

“Yes, And…” by Ruby Lang
When rheumatologist Darren Zhang accidentally sits in on acting teacher Joan Lacy’s improv class, he’s unprepared for the attraction that hits him–and he’s a man who likes to be prepared. Joan is caring for her ailing mother and barely has time to keep up her art, let alone date. But as the pair play out an unlikely relationship during stolen moments, they both find themselves wanting to say yes, and… much more.

“Tommy Cabot Was Here” by Cat Sebastian
Massachusetts, 1959: Some people might accuse mathematician Everett Sloane of being stuffy, but really he just prefers things a certain way: predictable, quiet, and far away from Tommy Cabot–his former best friend, chaos incarnate, and the man who broke his heart. The youngest son of a prominent political family, Tommy threw away his future by coming out to his powerful brothers. When he runs into Everett, who fifteen years ago walked away from Tommy without an explanation or a backward glance, his old friend’s chilliness is just another reminder of how bad a mess Tommy has made of his life. When Everett realizes that his polite formality is hurting Tommy, he needs to decide whether he can unbend enough to let Tommy get close but without letting himself get hurt the way he was all those years ago.

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Review:

Ohmygoodness, this anthology is just delightful! Every single story is absolutely lovely–truly, I wish each author could have given us about ten more chapters each, but I guess I can settle for finding some full length novels from them all instead <3

“Appassionata” by Emma Barry

Just delightful! I loved the way that Kristy and Brennan helped each other to go beyond their fears, both in their personal/professional lives and in their relationship. Giving each chapter a music-y label was a nice touch. I’ll definitely be looking for more from this author!

Rating: 4 stars / A-

“Unraveled” by Olivia Dade

OMG, this story! I *loved* Simon and Poppy’s romance, told entirely from buttoned-up math teacher Simon. Watching him slowly become “unraveled” here was simply delightful.

(PLEASE tell me murder dioramas are a thing. I’m sure I couldn’t possibly afford one, but just knowing they’re out there in the world will make my true crime obsessed heart just a little happier.)

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

“Caught Looking” by Adriana Herrera

This is a friends-to-lovers, what-do-you-mean-that-kiss-at-high-school-graduation-wasn’t-a-fluke story that was OMG hot! Though this reader was at least as aggravated with Yariel’s refusal to see what was right in front of him as Hatuey was, their HEA made it all worth it!

Rating: 4 stars / A-

“Yes, And…” by Ruby Lang

Oh, this story! Though yes, Darren definitely needed to “come undone,” Joan was the one actively throwing up obstacles in the way of their relationship. Darren didn’t give up, though, and I honest to goodness gave a happy sigh when they finally found their way to work toward an HEA.

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

“Tommy Cabot was Here” by Cat Sebastian

Another friends-to-lovers, this one with even more second chance romance flavor! Everett has grown up to teach math at the boarding school where he met and fell in love with Tommy–and he’s not at all prepared for how he’ll feel when he encounters him again. But some things haven’t changed–especially Everett’s appreciation for order and predictability, and he can’t possibly risk another broken heart…or can he?

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

Overall rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

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