Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Blog Tour: Even if the Sky is Falling [edited by Taj McCoy]

ARC provided for review 


I have another book from the Harlequin Trade Publishing Summer Blog Tour Program for you today - this time it's a compilation, edited by Taj McCoy.

For readers of Bolu Babalola's LOVE IN COLOR and Dhonielle Clayton's BLACKOUT, a collection of six stories filled with hope, humor, and heat that explore the chances a couple may take when they mistakenly believe the world is ending; for fans of Love Actually and all the best 90s disaster films that end in a triumphant kiss, with stories by Taj McCoy, Farah Heron, Lane Clarke, Charish Reid, Sarah Smith, and Denise Williams.

When the global threat of meteor showers - exacerbated by an increasing amount of space debris in our solar system - causes widespread panic, a world-wide siren system alerting people to significant threats is developed. The plan immediately hits a rocky start when the US accidentally launches the siren during a routine testing without being able to signal the all-clear, causing people to take immediate shelter.

Each of these 6 stories forces two people - strangers, colleagues, crushes, rivals - to take cover with one another, exploring what chances a person may take when they mistakenly believe the world is ending. Spoiler: it's a lot of confession making and kissing.

Filled with joy, heat, and emotion, this collection also seamlessly incorporates issues impacting people of color in an authentic and genuine way.

Editor Taj McCoy describes herself as "committed to championing stories that include Black & Multiracial women of colour, plus-size protagonists, Black love, Black joy, & senses of sisterhood & family bonds."

That aim really comes through in this collection of six romance stories, all set during a 12 hour emergency lockdown (of sorts). The opening story, "All The Stars" by Taj McCoy explains how the disaster happens, with a sweet tale about a NASA crew trial that goes awry.

In Keep Calm and Curry On by Farah Heron, two rival Pakistani chefs get stuck with each other in a flea market; My Lucky Stars by Lane Clarke sees law student Jones infuriated with her colleague Dianna, who she assumes is just a pretty face. Bunker Buddies by Charish Reid is that "do it for our country" scene from Grease 2 but with a professor and an indie bookstore owner; Interlude by Sarah Smith is a handyman fantasy come to life, and Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better by Denise Williams is a spicy tale of old rivals returning to their college for an awards ceremony when the alarm sounds.

It's SPICY - no slow burns here, no ma'am - but it's fun, and it's always nice to read stories featuring Black characters & characters of colour that don't have some kind of traumatic backstory to overcome. Joy and love reign supreme - and it's hot, fast, sweet, and charming. It has been described as "an ode to the disaster movies of the 1990s, but with more kissing" and that's a really accurate description.

Spicy, cute, well done. 

Thank you to Justine at Harper Collins for having me on the Blog Tour! 

Even if the Sky is Falling is available now.

Or you can request it from your local library!

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