Love All Year 2021
K.D. Casey, Kosoko Jackson, Hudson Lin, Jasmine Luck, Elsie Marrone, October Rhea, Soumi Roy. Edited by Elizabeth Kahn
September 21, 2021
Summary: Love All Year is a romance anthology featuring non-Christian holidays and cultural celebrations from around the world.
“The Koufax Curse” by KD Casey: On Tu Bishvat, former baseball rivals—now teammates—plant the seeds of a new romance.
“Kwanzaa Kiss” by Kosoko Jackson: After a breakup, Anthony Jenkins returns home to Atlanta to lick his wounds and help his parents with their annual Kwanzaa scavenger hunt and is paired with his high school crush. Markus Kennedy. Over the next 12 hours, the two men will try to win the scavenger hunt, where finding the pillars of Kwanzaa might be the goal, but love might find its way into their hearts.
“Their Dragonboat” by Hudson Lin: When OB Julie agrees to join the queer women/enby dragon boat team, she didn’t expect to fall in love. But team captain Rae, with their ever-changing hair color, a silver lip ring, and sleeve of flower tattoos is too fascinating to resist.
“Yes, Chef” by Jasmine Luck: A lawyer finds himself in hot water when his injured mother can’t cook the Lunar New Year feast. He needs lessons, fast. Can new London resident Zoey help him turn up the heat in his kitchen?
“Spiraling Closer” by Elsie Marrone: When recently divorced Jenny accidentally lobs a bread roll at her rabbi’s single, hot nephew, the last thing she expects is to find romance. But in the new year, anything can happen–that is, if she can silence her inner critic long enough to give love a second chance.
“Heart and History” by October Rhea: Liberty Stanley is ready to love herself again after leaving a toxic relationship. Black Love Day is the perfect holiday to put her plan into action. Isaac Golden sees Black Love Day as just another thing to teach his students. He likes to run his classroom in his own way, but he won’t admit to his new co-teacher Liberty that he is both fumbling the lesson plan and falling for her. As they get to know each other, Isaac discovers that Black Love Day may have something for him after all.
“A Tangled Truce” by Soumi Roy: Rohini should be thrilled when the hottie on the plane to Kolkata turns out to be the man her parents want her to marry. Hridan came to sell his grandma’s house, not to fall for a girl whose fear of commitment outweighs their attraction. Hridan has five days of Durga Puja to win her over, while Rohini must decide if he is worth risking her heart for.-From Goodreads
What I Liked: I love that this collection of stories introduced me to holidays I’m unfamiliar with and holidays that I didn’t even know existed! The authors did a great job of explaining the holidays within their story without making it too dry or bogging down the love story at the center. It’s a difficult challenge to tell an entire story in a limited amount of pages but most of the authors in this collection succeeded. I also loved the diversity among the stories, in race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.
What I Didn’t Like: While none of the stories were bad, there were some that I felt needed more time to connect to the characters, such as The Koufax Curse and Spiraling Closer. There’s only so much you can do with a handful of pages and I wanted more.
Who Should Read It: Anyone looking to read about holidays other than Christmas and Hanukkah will love this collection.
Review Wrap Up: I enjoyed every story in this collection, even the ones that I felt needed to be longer. I loved learning about different traditions and found myself wanting to know more about some of them, such as Black Love Day! This was an enjoyable read that truly can be read at any time of the year.