Thu. Oct 24th, 2019

Read 4 Fun

Read the short reviews, read the book, comment

Competitive Romance

3 min read

First Last Forever is described in its subtitle as a collection of first date disasters. The authors are collectively known as The Space City Scribes. Individually, Mandy Broughton, Artemis Greenleaf, Ellen Leventhal, K. C. Maguire, Ellen Rothberg, and Monica Shaughnessy contributed stories to this collection. Clicking on a link to the Space City Scribes will take you to their WordPress blog. As I usually do when I read a collection of short stories, I will comment on my most memorable impression of each story.

First Last Forever: A Collection of Disastrous First Dates


“Valentine’s Date” by K.C. Maguire Should we be friends?              Lacey has a problem being taken seriously as a professional attorney. She wants to crack the glass ceiling and has no time to go through the silly rituals of dating. And if she were to date, the last person would be Marc. The chocolate strawberries indicate otherwise.

“Salt to a Wound” by Mandy Broughton First world dating problems.         KaiAnne was proud of her cooking and wanted her culinary skills acknowledged. But Dyll disagreed that KaiAnne’s skills were competent and he just wouldn’t stop rubbing it (salt) in.

“Speed Freaks” by Monica Shaughnessy Five minutes to find forever         This is an interesting story with an unusual outcome about speed dating.

“Prima Facie” by Artemis Greenleaf Say no to drugs and yes to romance.               Nick was the cop. Susan was the hero.


“Date from Hell” by Monica Shaughnessy Karma has never been so sexy.              Josie Kreneck was feeling naughty and devilish. She was about to have a hell of a good time.

“A Soliloquy of Survival or First Dates Suck” by Ellen Leventhal Stalkers can be so hot.         This is a stalker story that doesn’t turn out altogether well for the stalker.

“Dance” by Artemis Greenleaf – Killer dates come in small packages with excellent dance moves.                       A story about pole dancing with a lady who knows how to clean up.


“Cassie” by Artemis Greenleaf High winds lead to high romance.               Being stranded gives you time to get to know each other.

“In the Mood” by Mandy Broughton Principal Charming experiments with thermodynamics Academics will appreciate that it is never too old to learn.

“Famine’s Daughter” by Artemis Greenleaf Never force a woman’s hand.               Try to guess the century in which this story is set. The fantasy part is right out of “The Game of Thrones.”

“Auld Lang Syne” by Ellen Leventhal Can we call a do-over?         If you have read all the stories this far, you might feel as I did; this is the most appropriate ending to this story collection.

This is a break from my favorite genres of crime fiction and horror. It might be thought of as a gentler, softer view of the world of romance. Some of these stories will leave you with the impression that the world of romance has its violent and cruel side as well. This was a very enjoyable read.


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