SUMMER RAIN for R.A.I.N.N. = High Quality Authors Giving Back



Summer Rain Anthology Ruthie Knox, Molly O’Keefe, Charlotte Stein, Cecilia Tan, Mary Ann Rivers, Amy Jo Cousins, Audra North, Shari Slade, Alexandra Haughton   Editor: Sarah Frantz
for R.A.I.N.N

Release Date: 9 June 2014
Ebook  357 pages
This work is volume one of a two-volume series.

SUMMER RAIN, an anthology of romance novelettes to benefit RAINN.
Book provided by Ruthie Knox for review purposes. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted..


What happens when love gets caught in the rain?
In this romance anthology, RITA-Award winning author Molly O’Keefe shows us the power of a city thunderstorm from the top of a skyscraper, while Amy Jo Cousins soaks us in a rain in Spain. New York Times bestselling author Ruthie Knox’s heroine is devastated by a winter storm, while a summer thunderstorm grants Alexandra Haughton’s hero and heroine a second chance at love. Rain sparks self-awareness in the robot in Charlotte Stein’s story and allows Mary Ann Rivers’s heroine to fall in love with her hero and her own art. Rain causes romance between the college students in Audra North’s and Shari Slade’s stories, while romance causes rain in Cecilia Tan’s myth-inspired tale of a sacrifice to a demi-god. Nine romance novelettes, edited by Sarah Frantz.
All proceeds from the volume will be donated to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (, the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the United States. Pink Kayak Press

Author Links GOODREADS


Ruthie Knox, New York Times bestselling author
Molly O’Keefe, RITA-Award winning author

Editor: Sarah Frantz

I read the works of three authors known to me and whose work I enjoy:  Ruthie Knox, Charlotte Stein and Mary Ann Rivers.  I don’t often feel the need to read an entire anthology at once. If I find several stories by authors I know, I am happy. It’s just gravy to discover someone new! Who have you read among these authors? And it’s a five course meal with dessert first and last to support an important organization like R.A.I.N.N. The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.

In recent years we have learned the hard way that attititudes towards rape haven’t changed as much as we would like to believe.  On the other hand, at least we can talk about it now and the media promotes victims’ rights rather than those of the perpetrators.  Organizations like RAINN offer an important place for victims to find help and are vital to education and awareness.  I like that RAINN offers help to both genders.

REDEMPTION by Ruthie Knox:
Jessie Bellin’s cheese shop is failing, her house is falling apart, and the mortgage is ninety days overdue. With nothing left to offer, she’ll take what she can get from the handyman who wants nothing but her body. But when Mike Kaminsky suddenly asks for more, Jessie has to figure out exactly what she wants—and if it’s possible for a woman who’s lost everything to learn how to hope again.

I adore Ruthie’s writing. It makes me feel good, turns me on and makes me think too. The story in SUMMER RAIN:
Redemption, was grittier and darker than anything I had rreviously read by her. It feels as if the characters are also older than the normal “contemporary romance.” It’s stark, and painful at times and the mystery is whether Ruthie can bring home a happy ending in this shprt format that doesn;t offer a lot of pages to develop these non-typical characters. As in TRULY, Ruthie’s NY/WI/Football and Food book, most of  the events in the story take place in Wisconsin and involve the food and restaurant business as well as coming to grips with failure and what it means to succeed. As a woman who has had a long marriage but who has not had a huge business career, differences in how we define success spoke to me.

RAINY SEASON  by Mary Ann Rivers
Lisa Shirek is everyone’s favorite barista. She does more than get her customers’ orders right, she gets her customers. She can see the most painful moments of their lives like stormy weather around their bodies, and she does what she can to soothe that pain with the right smile, the right words, the perfect combination of coffee and foam. Except, then, there’s Mark—he’s a sunbeam, a mystery made of light. He breaks through the
storm around her so she can see herself, for herself.

“Lisa is a woman, and artist, a potter,who has unusual insight to everyone’s past, except her own. A math teacher, a long walk, and red bowl remind her of herself. Of the shape of her own happy ending. ” (on Facebook)

Like the other story I have read by Mary Ann, The Story Guy, this was beautifully and ethereally written in almost poetic prose. It’s sexy without sex, and a little paranormal in the female character’s empathic abilities. It’s mysterious, gripping, and a winner. I love the way Lisa’s empathy reveals itself as a natural part of who she is instead of some spooky power. And, I wanted to watch Lisa’s and Mark’s  love story unfold.


REAL FEELINGS  by Charlotte Stein:
Moira longs for a connection—any kind of connection with anyone—and is beginning to despair she will ever find it. In desperation, she purchases an android, hoping against hope that she can find some solace in a simulation of the real thing. But what she doesn’t expect is Michael—a machine that seems to be more than the sum of his parts.

Charlotte Stein brings me back to themes of the creation of a species that I was first awakened to in reading Jorge Luis Borges, and the questions raised around the development of artificial life. But where Borges is theoretical and symbolic, Charlotte’s story deals with the mind and body, spiritual and primal, creator and creation issues that surround artificial technology and questions that feel like science fiction now, but which in the future may be very real. And, yet, she skillfully poses questions for both artists and technologists about giving life to our creations, are basic, and explore the meaning of love, self-awareness, autonomy, and identity. I have only read one other book by Charlotte, and I felt it also very subtly raised these questions.

So if you take the fine writing and the cause, it adds up to a good value and a good thing to support!

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