"Love Free or Die" Romantic Stories by Granite Staters

"Love Free or Die" is the fourth book in the NH Pulp Fiction Series that was created by NH Magazine's Rick Broussard

They’re steamy, escapist, fantastical and usually have a happy ending —  just a few of the reasons romance novels attract so many readers (yes, mostly women). In fact, they account for more than half of mass market paperback sales. 

“Love Free or Die” [Plaidswede Publishing, $19.95]   — an anthology of stories by 23 different authors — is a recent, homegrown entry into that market.

If you like romance, you’ll find all kinds of it here — sweet, funky, vampire and so on — all based in New Hampshire.  One story — about the Old Man of the Mountain — is even a little shocking, enough to  make your soft, red lips part in amazement. The book’s editor, Elaine Isaak, warns that “you’ll never think about the Old Man the same way again.” Indeed.

That it was written by a man only adds to the intrigue; surprisingly (to me), a good chunk of the stories in the book have male authors. (Did you know the generically named Leigh Greenwood, the best-selling romance author, is a man?)

All the stories are rife with the purple prose that characterizes the genre (“tremors rippled through her at his touch,” “muscles swelled and ebbed beneath his dark blue, form-fitting shirt”), but it’s just that kind of writing that romance readers groove on.

Full disclosure: “Love Free or Die” is the fourth in the NH Pulp Fiction Series that was dreamed up by Rick Broussard, editor of this very magazine. He edited the first three in the series: horror, mystery and science fiction.

All four, a great read. And, yes, I’d say that even if Rick weren’t my boss.  

Categories: Book Reviews