Girls Next Door edited by Sandy Lowe and Stacia Seaman, is the latest short story collection from Bold Strokes Books. The title is says it all when it comes to the book’s theme, with stories that show all kinds of interpretations of what it means to be a girl next door.
With 19 stories, each by different authors, you’re sure to find characters that you’ll connect with. We don’t get as much time with any of them as we would if we were reading a full length novel, but the authors did a great job of giving us enough so we can get invested in the characters and their respective journeys.
The Writing Style
Rather than talk about the writing style, since that’s difficult to do in a book with 19 authors, I’m going to talk about the editors! Stacia Seaman and Sandy Lowe did a fabulous job in choosing stories for this collection. It’s a great blend of Bold Strokes veterans, new authors, and regulars of the short story circuit. And there really is something for everyone, whether you’re a fan of romance, erotica, or even quirky stories.
I especially loved how the authors play with the theme of the girl next door. Some of the stories actually feature next door neighbours (with standouts from Kris Bryant, Beth Burnett and Nell Stark), and some feature coworkers, best friends, people who live down the street, and even people who live in the same dorm (which, damn, Missouri Vaun, was that ever hot!). Two in particular really stood out for me—Georgia Beer’s super sweet story “Cupcake”, about a woman who falls for the owner of the cupcake store next to the yoga studio she frequents, and “Kiss Cam” by Lisa Moreau, which follows what happens when a woman takes her girlfriend to a basketball game for some guaranteed time on the kiss cam.
Is it obvious enough that I loved seeing all the different ways a woman can be a girl next door? Because I did!
Not all of the stories did it for me, which is pretty par for the course for a short story collection. That said, most of them did work for me.
If you like short story collections, definitely check out Girls Next Door!
Excerpt from Girls Next Door edited by Sandy Lowe and Stacia Seaman
“Well, hello there, Belle.” She calls me that because the first time I sat down at her “cupcake bar,” I was reading a book. She asked if I’d ever seen Beauty and the Beast. I basically laughed and said something along the lines of “duh,”and she’s called me Belle ever since.
“Hi, Katie.”I take a seat on one of the bar stools.
“I’ve got a new one today. You game?” Her blue eyes sparkle with approachability. You can’t not like Katie. She’s cute and friendly and cheerful and you just…want to be around her. I love to listen to her talk. I enjoy watching her work as I sit on my stool and eat my cupcake. When it’s not busy—like tonight—I really like just talking to her. About anything. About nothing.
“Always.” This isn’t the first time she’s tried a new flavor on me. I love when she does that.
Get This Book On Amazon
Bits and Bobs
ISBN number: 9781626399167
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Note: I received a free review copy of Girls Next Door edited by Sandy Lowe and Stacia Seaman. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.