This collection of nine gently erotic short stories opens with “Ink,” perhaps the best tale in the book as it recounts the struggles of an up and coming biographer as he turns the tables on an established if unprincipled author. A famous actor facing his fortieth birthday in “Flight” is having something of an identity crisis as it appears women are drawn to his fame and persona without looking at the real man. While on a transcontinental flight, the actor sets out to woo a woman who apparently has no clue who he is. “Fur” is a weaker story as it opens with issues of loss and mental illness before adding a paranormal romance twist with a werecat. The flower sculptor mentioned in the previous tale becomes the focus of “The Alchemy of Coincidence” that finds the artist creating her image of a perfect lover while discovering her sensual side.
Learner has blended history with fantasy, the paranormal and everyday activities for this engaging collection. Each of the stories includes a tie-in to the previous which provides a nice continuity allowing the pieces to flow together. Some stories like “Fur” have an unfinished feel with unresolved questions about what happened to a couple of the key characters, others lack explanation of events that require suspension of belief to fully enjoy. This is a nice anthology provided you are looking for something light and easy without being too picky on the details.
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