Cocktales (The Cocky Collective Anthology) edited by Penny Reid

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This anthology was inspired by a gross human being making poor choices, and I loved reading and supporting this! Also, you only have until August 26th (a day before my birthday) to buy this collection of stories from so many amazing and beloved authors! Don’t miss out, loves! All net profits will be donated to the authors already impacted by creative-obstruction (10%), and Romance Writers of America (RWA) (90%) as a general donation intended for their Advocacy Fund.

This is a collection of 39 short, but very steamy, reads. I only had read a handful of the authors that were a part of this, but now I have so many new authors on my TBR! Also, please know that this is for sure a collection of sexy stories, many with explicit scenes!

I have two negative things to say! First, there is way too much heterosexuality in this. There is only one confirmed queer relationship, and it’s m/m. With this many stories? Come on. And how great would a w/w story been in an anthology called Cocktales? What a missed opportunity. I’m not familiar enough with all these authors to know all their ethnicities, but I am aware that it’s probably mostly white authors, and that’s not okay either. Next, I’ll say that many of these are short stories from the authors’ already established worlds and series. Therefore, some of these just felt pointless, short, and I was completely unable to connect with them. So, know that going in, because it was for sure a problem I had with a lot of these.

But I did enjoy so many of these stories, too! A few of my favorites were from Jana Aston, Karpov Kinrade, Lex Martin, Liv Morris, Kylie Scott, and Leia Stone! But my ultimate favorite was Until the Cock Crows by Sierra Simone! I need the full-length version of this now. Please. This was perfection.

But, like I do with all anthologies, I’ll break down all my thoughts and feelings about all the stories in this collection!

DYLAN ALLEN Cocked and Loaded ★★
This one is about a woman in her thirties wanting to get back at a boy who was rude to her when she was twelve, so she comes up with a revenge plot to leave him wanting more of her via Tinder. I just didn’t think this was too believable, especially holding a grudge that long over something so dumb. Also, their screen names were totally something that no human in their early thirties would ever use, hence the title of this short. Yet, I did like the sex scene a lot.

JANA ASTON Double Cocked ★★★★★

“It’s a slippery slope back there, ladies. Admitting you enjoy their finger in your ass quickly escalates to their cocks prodding for entry.”

You all, I loved this one. It stars a strong (some would say unlikeable) woman who knows what she wants, and she isn’t afraid to tell her sexual partners or anyone else. And what she wants is a polyamorous relationship. This was dirty, this was hot, and this was everything I wanted from this collection. But there are a couple of jokes made in bad taste, but the sex in this was honestly some of the hottest word combinations I’ve ever read. And the ending was high key perfect. I’d give this six stars if I could.

This was a cute story about an unexpected blind date unexpectedly turning into a good date, especially since the main character was never expecting to see said blind date again. This was fine, but it just didn’t feel like anything special to me.

SAWYER BENNETT A Wicked, Cocky Plan: A Prequel to Wicked Force ★★★
First off, this is set in Vegas, so it immediately got brownie points with me. But this is a story about a famous singer who is being stalked, and after a close call with her life, she goes to a person from her past who has always kept her safe (and owns a security firm), even if they didn’t leave each other on the best of terms twelve years ago. And a fake relationship begins! But, sadly, this entire story is just a teaser for the start of the full story that will come out in 2019! But, I am super excited for more.

K.F. BREENE Magical Cock and Bull ★★★
You know, I’m always looking for a new Adult Fantasy Romance, so I think I’m going to check this author out. This was a steamy and magical read about a vampire and a shifter who happen to have their paths cross, and then they choose to cross them one more time.

RUTH CLAMPETT Don’t Get Cocky ★★★

“And who does he think he is, having his lawyers send cease and desist demands to existing users of the title when we haven’t even made a cartoon yet?”

I didn’t love this story, but holy moly did Ruth Clampett go in! Like, the parallels in this story had me grinning from ear to ear. And even though this wasn’t my favorite in the collection, I’m giving her all the props and respect for this tale she created.

L.H. COSWAY Illusionist Seeks Neanderthal
This just reads like a black sheep on the collection. Nothing romantic or sexy happens. Just borderline cheating and gross comments about girls and math, kids and videogames, and the use of the slur g*psie. No sexy times, just uncomfortable banter. And maybe I would have enjoyed more if I knew these two characters from the author’s previous works, but I didn’t.

AMY DAWS Cock and Balls ★★★★★
You all, this one just worked for me. I loved the couple and how she was a doctor and he was football player. I loved the Scottish setting. I loved the eloping. And I know fireplace, big, fluffy, furry rug sex is a little cliché, but I loved it too. I’m for sure going to check out this author’s other works!

This was so short, and honestly just felt like another tease to buy more from the author. But the super short snippet wasn’t enough to make me want to.

BB EASTON Cocky BB: Two Boys, One Prom ★★★★
Okay, this really intrigued me for a few reasons. One, the author writes about her real life. Two, the story was super addicting. And three, this has a super sexy scene that left me wanting more. Some of the elements were on the problematic side (lots of TW for abuse, drug use, and eating disorders), but I was so invested with the story and it was completely able to captivate me.

JAYMIN EVE The Cockier the Dragon, the Harder they Fall ★★
I really liked the introduction to this world, and dragon-shifters sound freaking amazing, but I felt like I couldn’t connect just because I was so unfamiliar with the world.

EMMA HART Tricky Bond
I just… didn’t love this one. I feel like to enjoy this one, you’d really have to be familiar with the author’s other works and worlds. But, I just didn’t care about this couple on a bird hunt. And the ending left so much to be desired.

STACI HART Cockamamie ★★★★
You know what? I loved this one. It was short, and left you wanting more, and totally felt like it was created specially for this anthology. Also, all the props for coming up with as many cock references as this author did. I’m so impressed. And I can’t wait to read more about the mis-sent email!

JESSICA HAWKINS Cocky Couture ★★★★
This was super well written and super sexy. I loved this, and I loved the dynamic of a relationship between a photographer and a secret model. Love, love, loved. This would have gotten five stars, but the photographer got a little too toxic when he didn’t want to photograph her (from the front) in a thong, but was okay with her wearing nude, sheer, things that made her look naked. Like, what? But, I still loved this.

JULIE JOHNSON Culinary Cock-Up ★★★★

“Looking at you, Shmordon Shmamsey—and no one makes a peep about it. Meanwhile, we females are expected to coddle and comfort our way to the top, soothing our staff into basic competence instead of scolding them for lacking it entirely.”

Okay, I never thought I needed an enemies to lovers romance from after culinary school, but here we are. I loved the premise of this, and I want so much more. Also, this brought up some great gender double standards in the kitchen and out of it, and I was so here for it.

KARPOV KINRADE Crimson Cocktail ★★★★★

“And so, our adventures begin. Oh, the libraries I will see. The books I will read. The lives I will live. And all with this man beside me.”

Um, I fell so completely in love with this. Librarian, Las Vegas, and… Vampires? Holy moly, this was perfect. And this is one of the main reasons I love anthologies. I can’t wait to read more from this world.

Again, I didn’t know these characters or care about these characters. I don’t care about whose in charge of the will. And I surley don’t want to read about a girl being insecure about her body and stretchmarks, while her husband convinces her they make her more beautiful. This one really didn’t work for me.

LEX MARTIN Love & Hate at the Stallion Station ★★★★★
You all, I loved this one. I normally don’t like the “cowboy” romance thing, but this was adorable and sexy, respectful and dominant, and just made for a perfect read. This was a cute mix of enemies to lovers, and also friends to lovers, but also a second chance romance sort of too. I don’t know, but I loved it. Also, the sex was 11/10. For sure a favorite of the entire collection.

ALY MARTINEZ Going Down ★★★
Finally, something not straight! I actually thought this was a cute m/m romance! And it was quick and funny, but still really heartfelt and romantic!

KAYTI MCGEE Cocksure Co-Star ★★★★★
This was funny as hell, and sexy as hell. The enemies, to fuck buddies, to lovers, was so great between these two people who were forced to become costars. And their energy and banter together was perfection. I loved this one. And I really, really want to read more about these two!

I’m really not into military romances, and I’m really, really, really not into possessive fathers that use fear tactics to scare their daughter’s dates. Especially when the daughter is even constantly saying that they are only friends, not that that should even matter. This just didn’t work for me and I hate that people keep romanticizing this toxic, gross, behavior from adult men.

LIV MORRIS Getting It Up ★★★★★
You know what? This was the perfect story for this anthology, because it’s only all about a cock. This stars a doctor who specializes in penis, and a baseball player that feels like his member is no longer working, that is, until he meets her. And then she becomes his only hope! It’s a little corny, it’s a bit over the top, and it even has a scene where the woman reads him erotica aloud, but it’s perfect for this anthology and it made me want to read more by this author. Oh, and bonus points for the Hitachi! I loved this. Perfection! Easily one of my favorites in the collection.

RED PHOENIX Her Cocky Russian ★★★★
This was pure erotica, but it totally and completely worked. This starred what I think was a polyamorous relationship, that was Dom, Dom, sub (m/m/w) and it was all kinds of naughty.

DAISY PRESCOTT Confessions of a Cockblocked Wingman ★★★★
I really enjoyed this one! This was a cute story, about a man who is shopping for his wife, with their new son, and he’s getting a lot of attention in the grocery store. But he goes home and is thankful to share his life with his beautiful family. This was just sweet, and pure, and sexy, and I really enjoyed it.

JESSICA PRINCE A Cocky Corruption Engagement ★★
This was cute, but just disjointed. It’s about a girl shopping with her friend for her friend’s wedding, when she gets a big surprise herself. This wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t memorable.

MEGHAN QUINN Fight or Flight
Again, this was a tease for a new series, and nothing happened. It is about two air force cadets, and the authors note at the end said a “big twist” is coming, but, like, I think it’s just going to be a m/m romance. And, the set up wasn’t very good, if I’m being completely honest.

PENNY REID Beard and Hen ★★★
This was cute and sweet, but I love Penny Reid and her writing so much that I was just expecting more. But she really did embrace what this collection is about and took it to that “cock” level in the truest form. This was a fun read, but not my favorite.

CD REISS Cocky Capo ★★★★★
This is easily the most well written in the collection. I honestly forgot I was reading a short story, and felt like I was reading the start of a brand new book. This was sad, sexy, and heartfelt. Really well done, and for sure a star of this anthology

JULIE A. RICHMAN The Color of Love
I just felt very uncomfortable reading this one. The way the boy love-interest’s skin color was described was also not well done. And I feel like a full-length story could turn into something more problematic.

This story just felt like so many of the major pieces were missing. I didn’t dislike it, but it read so hard to follow. I really enjoyed the bonus story though. A lot, a lot. I kind of wish it was the only part included.

KENNEDY RYAN All: A Grip & Bris Story ★★★★★

“I believe in all the things cynics despise. First kisses on Ferris wheels. Soul mates and once-in-a lifetime loves. I believe in fifty years and forever.”

Oh my word, I loved this. I am sad that I haven’t read this series yet (soon, I promise), but Kennedy Ryan can write a sex scene. I loved the characters, I loved the celebration of motherhood, I loved this. And this felt like a full story, too. This was a romantic and sexy treat to read and I loved every page.

KYLIE SCOTT Short Story with Mal and Anne from The Stage Dive Series ★★★★★

“If you didn’t get girl juice all over your hands and at least half your face when you gave head, then frankly, you weren’t doing it right.”

Okay, I know “girl juice” is a gross term, but that quote is true. Also, this was one of the few short stories that take place in a series I’ve always read! I loved seeing Mal and Anne from The Stage Dive series, and this is probably TMI – but I’ve kind of always wanted to have sex in a bookstore. Also, this was just a fucking cute and sexy roleplay scene and I was living for it from start to finish.

SIERRA SIMONE Until the Cock Crows ★★★★★

“For a preacher, he sure fucked like a god.”

I just read a book by this author this year! And I was not expecting a story about a Reverend in this collection, but I was so pleasantly surprised! Also, even though this is a relationship between a man and a woman, he never assumes she’s straight. And they both heavily stress consent and talk about their history and bodies before acting upon any urges; making sure they know what the other one wants. This was a breath of fresh air. I actually loved this. Also, this was hot as fuck. Easily some of the best sex in this collection. And the first talk was A+. This was my favorite of the collection. And I’m really not sure what that says about me, but I was honestly crossing and uncrossing my legs constantly while reading this. Perfection.

TARA SIVEC Chocolate and Cockup ★★
What and the fuck did I just read? Oh my word. Okay, I’m giving this two stars because I’m impressed the authors went there. This is a story about six older people, living in a retirement home together, when they spent their lives together owning a sex toy business. Let your imagination take the wheel. Bye.

KATE STEWART The Golden Sombrero
I would have guessed this was written by a man, honestly. There are some gross gender stereotypes all up in this story. And It didn’t even make sense that the dudes thought that not allowing themselves to have sex would help them with their baseball training. On top of ignoring their wives needs. So, the reader is forced to read about these wives throwing themselves at their husbands for sex. Like, miss me with all this. Please.

LEIA STONE Cocky Alpha ★★★★★

“That smart-mouthed asshole came into my shop every new moon, and it took everything in me not to throw a penis shrinking spell right at his crotch. He was the cockiest alpha male I’d ever met, and that was saying a lot for a witch who ran a supernatural spell shop.”

Witches, werewolves, and vampires, oh my! This was a paranormal romance treat. I loved Dax and Tatiana and this was such a perfect addition to this anthology. I can’t wait to read more from this author and more from this world!

KARLA SORENSEN Tristan & Anna: A Bachelors of the Ridge short story ★★★★
This was such a cute and heartwarming story about two people who are about to start their lives together; both in marriage and parenthood. And the use of the rooster in this was so dang clever. This was a really sweet read that I really enjoyed!

Like, I’ll never be here for a dude getting mad at a male doctor because he’s looking at his wife’s vagina. Especially to deliver a baby. Like, miss me with all that gross thinking and enforcing please. I’m so sad that this was one of the last stories.

APRIL WHITE Code of Conduct ★★
I liked that not only did the main character mention gaming, I am pretty sure this is the only story to have disability rep, because the main character has a prosthetic leg. But I felt like this was a really odd choice to close this anthology off with. It was an alright story, but it really didn’t feel like it fit in the collection, and especially not to wrap up the anthology.

Out of a possible 195 stars (5 stars possible for each of the 39 stories) this collection accumulated 122 stars (~63%). But I very much recommend, just because of #CockyGate!

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20 thoughts on “Cocktales (The Cocky Collective Anthology) edited by Penny Reid

    1. Yeah, I think me not being familiar with so many REALLY did some of these a disservice! But… my TBR is now overflowing! Hahahaha! I can’t wait to see what you think, love! And I’m wishing you the happiest of reading! 💗xx

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This review was AMAZING, Mel! I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read this, but now I’m dying to read it. Honestly, you made some of these stories sound so good and steamy. I haven’t read most of the authors in this, but I have heard about their series and I think it’s gonna be a perfect way to discover new writers and books. Great job! 💗

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t read this anthology yet but it’s such a good way to get a feel of new-to-me romance authors. I read Tara Sivec years ago and I think I know which characters are in the retirement home. It’s gonna be so weird reading about these characters grown up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha, oh my gosh, Jess, that story is going to SLAY you, I bet! Hahahaha! And yeah, it’s such a good way to discover secret gems! My TBR feels it… haha! But you have to come back, or DM me, when you read Tara’s story! Happy reading, my love! 💕xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I really need to get to this.
    I read your little review about Meghan Quinn and I think I know which duology she meant. It’s definitely hard to write that in an anthology without spoiling anything about the bug twist. These two books were very unexpected, but an odd thing to use in an anthology.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehe yeah, I feel so bad about some of my ratings, because I know others will five star if they are familiar with the worlds/that author’s work! BUT, I’m happy you feel me! Hehe! And I hope you’re having happy reading, love! 💕xx

      Liked by 1 person

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