As a vehicle for a reader to introduce themselves to a variety of fantasy/paranormal authors through retellings of romantic fairy tales...this was awesome. I wouldn't want to read a book like this too often, because short stories often lack the necessary time/space for the romance to blossom and build in the way I like, but once in a while, stretching out of your reading boundaries is great.
And I knew that with authors like Alethea Kontis and Devon Monk in the anthology that there would be at least a couple stories that I liked. And I also liked a few more stories enough to click on the author website and go check out some of their other work-- so win-win right?
That said, there were definitely stories in there that I mostly skimmed or didn't have enough emotional angst or development to keep my interest.
The stand-out stories I like the most were: Alethea Kontis's Glass Mountain: Not only was this one a lesser known fairy tale for me (Rinkrank), but also it was long enough that the romantic build was believable! Lovely and meaningful.
Hailey Edward's The Bakers Grimm: This one had enough fun, snarky dialogue between two competing bakers (plus baked goods yum!) that I went and got her first Black Dog book based on the quality of the writing. Hoping for more romantic banter :)
Anthea Sharp's The Sea King's Daughter: This one also had enough time to develop the relationship, but confession, I'm already an Anthea fan from the historical romances she writes. The quirky attention to details and slightly nerdy heroines I love from her romances are in this short story as well.
Jenna Elizabeth Johnson's Soot and Stone: After finishing this one, I went and looked at the author's other series online because of the developed quality of the world and the characters in the story, something that made it stand out from other fae stories set in the pseudo-medieval magical world.
C. Glockel's Rush: I didn't think I'd like this one. It's more of a paranormal story based in Glockel's world where SEALs had to go to Asgard to fight Loki and his bunch in a Ragnorak type situation. Not quite by cup of tea...but then what happened is that the main character, Rush, has to learn about love, not only romantic, so I did end up liking it. And I did end up clicking on Glockel's website to learn more about the world Rush lived in. Lots of potential, I would think, especially if you're a fan of Shelly Laurentson's Viking paranormals.
Devon Monk's A Small Magic: This one and the Glass Mountain vied for favorite in this anthology. I never thought I would be shipping the Pea and the Princess in the iconic story, but the heroine Monk created here...with the ability to hear inanimate objects, but not people, was just so cool!
Worthwhile overall, but be prepared to do some skimming over some stories and possibly being introduced to new authors on the strength of their stories here!