Review: ‘Losing it: A Collection of V-Cards’ anthology — part one

Losing It

22 Bestselling YA authors reveal what went on behind the curtain in your favorite YA novels! From paranormal to contemporary, this collection features over 200 pages of ALL NEW CONTENT full of deleted scenes, extended endings, and more from the young adult series’ you love.

In this YA/NA crossover collection all of your favorite heroines are cashing in their VCards! YA just got steamy, sexy, and not afraid to go all the way!

Due to the graphic nature of some content, this collection is recommended strictly for mature readers.

Note: I was given a copy of this anthology in exchange for an honest review.

You might think the idea of an adult content anthology based off a bunch of young adult stories is problematic, given the primarily teenage audience of the originals. But given there are a lot of adults (myself included) who read young adult fiction, and that teenagers grow up, it actually works.

There’s a huge variety of genres on display here within the young adult/new adult age bracket, so there’s something for everyone — so long as you want to read naughy scenes about folks’ first times. It’s also a great way to discover writers you might have otherwise not heard of.

My big regret with this anthology is that there was a certain amount of time pressure on me to read it, because these are the sort of stories that you want to read in isolation and savour rather than plowing through in one sitting. (Or maybe that’s just me!)

In fact, since I decided to write a paragraph on each book, I’ve decided to post this review in two halves. I have read more than I’m covering here, but I’ll save them for the next post.

Discovery (The Grimoire Saga) by SM Boyce. This one was intruiging. At first I thought it was set in a sci-fi universe, but it became apparent that it was parallel world thing. The male (I’m not sure man is the right word, though he has man parts), Braeden, spent a lot of time during his first, um, encounter, worried that he might shapeshift somehow and that bad things would happen. I kind of wanted to see what would happen next if he did!

Unrequited Death (The Death series) by Tamara Rose Blodgett. This is one of my favourite stories in the anthology. It is part of a near future urban fantasy series. There’s just enough backstory that I could follow what was going on, it’s long enough that I had time to get immersed into the story, and the main action between Tiff and John was realistic, sweet and hot, all at the same time. I’ll be adding this series to my TBR pile.

His First Everything (Penny Black trilogy) by Stacey Wallace Benefiel. Another near future urban fantasy story, this one was over quicker than I’d like (often the case with firsts, I suppose!). The setting caught my eye, though, and I liked Penny, the female lead.

One Hour (Dirty Blood series) by Heather Hildenbrand. A paranormal story featuring werewolves, this one jarred a little bit for me. The writing was beautiful and the sex was steamy (lol), but the means by which Tara and Wes ended up together was bizarre. Maybe it’d make more sense if I’d read the books? Still, I enjoyed it.

Eternally Free (The Mythology series) by Helen Boswell. Another paranormal, this time with demons and something that is suggestive of vampires, but I’m not 100% sure about that. It didn’t really matter, though — the encounter was sizzling.

Jess and Giovanni (Stories About Melissa series) by Bethany Lopez. This is the first contemporary in the book, and although I love my spec fic, it was actually refreshing to read something where I wasn’t trying to guess the supernatural angle. The sex was more realistic too — no simultaneous climax, which is definitely a feature in a lot of the other stories. But it was still fun for everyone. Hooray for considerate male partners!

Wedding Night (Keegan’s Chronicles) by Julia Crane. This is an elvish urban fantasy — a genre after my own heart. But I found it a little hard to get into, as the story picks up at the start of the wedding ceremony, and includes all the vows. It was interesting to see a story written from the male’s perspective though. (Even the ones that are dual POV tend to switch to the female partner for the actual act.)

Suffering (The Tate Chronicles) by K.A. Last. This story is part of an urban fantasy series about angelic vampire hunters, and I was lucky enough to beta read it before Losing It came out. For me, it stands out because of the dark emotions that are part of the encounter. (The name of the story probably gives that away.) Not every first time is fireworks and passion. Regret is a real thing.

A Reunion Most Desired (Fragile Creatures) by Kristina Circelli. Another contemporary YA, this story tells of a late teens girl with an older man. Most of the stories so far have had more inexperienced male partners — with the attendant consequences — so I enjoyed seeing something different. And Caster is hot!

Love Spell (The Spellbound trilogy) by Nikki Jefford. A paranormal story containing witches, warlocks and a love potion (hence the name), this one is sizzling … although I wouldn’t want to be Gray when she comes back to herself after the potion wears off. Massive buyer’s regret, I suspect…

To Love a Werewolf (Judgement of the Six series) by Melissa Haag. Saying this is a werewolf-y urban fantasy doesn’t feel like I’m value adding much! I read from the author’s bio afterwards that she usually writes sweet NA and that doesn’t surprise me, as this is heavy on foreplay and fades to black on the actual sex. Still, that might be your thing!

I’ll post the other 11 mini-reviews in a few days time. (When I do, I’ll edit this post to link to them.)

Edit: you can find them here.

One Liner - Kristina Circelli

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