The 3Ms, which is how their combined newsletter comes out, are Maddie Taylor, Morganna Williams, and Meredith O’Reilly. They all write separately as well, but they tend to release anthologies with just the 3 of them. This is important, because Absolutely Alpha is a box set that contains 3 of their anthologies and 14 new stories. Altogether, you are getting 48 short stories. With the added 14, it’s like you are getting 4 books altogether. The 3 books that make up this set are Sweetly Sinful, Wonderfully Wicked, and Deliciously Decadent. Follow the links to see my re. The new stories are spread out throughout the entire set, and are marked as new content on the title page of each story.
Now, when it comes to reviewing, 48 is a lot to review. Hell, 14 is a lot to review. When it comes to anthologies, I personally don’t like to leave a review of every story unless it’s 8 or under, just because I think that it’s a lot of review to read, and if I don’t want to read it, I really don’t want to write it, and I figure that you don’t want to read it either. Instead, what I generally do is to pick out some of my favorites and talk about that those. That’s what I’m going to do here. I’m going to review my favorite story by each of these ladies, from the new content.
Now, I’ve often said that one of my favorite things about anthologies like this is that they are quick and easy to read, and they are. They also give you a nice taste of a new author. Some anthologies are themed, like all the stories are Daddy stories, or aliens, or whatever. That’s not the case here. The stories run the gamut from historical, to contemporary, to futuristic sci-fi aliens. So, no matter what you like, you can find something here.
This is a Meredith story. It’s very contemporary since it is set against quarantine and Covid. While those things are mentioned, it’s more about how Isabella and her husband and Daddy, Stephen are handling the quarantine and the uncertainty that we’ve all been dealing with. One of the things that I liked about this one is that it shows the absolute caring in between Isabella and Stephen. Yeah, he punishes her for breaking the rules, but the majority of the story is about what comes after. And it’s not just the cuddling, it’s also the talking. It’s a really sweet story.
This is a Morganna story. This one is a historical, and it gave me a real Scarlet Letter feel, especially since it takes place in a puritanical village setting, and because it has a woman, Constance, and her illegitmate daughter, Pearl. I really liked the Scarlet Letter when I read it back in the day, because I loved the whole subversion of turning the A into something beautiful. Anyway, that’s not what happens in this one. In this once, Constance and her daughter live in the woods, near a Native American village, and Pearl grows up with their kids and runs wild. The thing that I liked about this one is the Constance never tried to make Pearl into what everyone else demanded or made her fit into society’s rules.
This is one of Maddie’s stories. It’s a futuristic, post apocalyptic kind of thing. Karissa managed to survive the apocalypse by sheltering under her high school, but now, years later, she hears an alarm and is told to run to follow some lights and run to a pop-up shelter before they close the doors. When she gets there, she learns a whole lot more than she expected to. I like this one because of how careful Xain is when he finds out how little Karissa knows about what’s going on.
Anyway, if you want some great short stories, this is definitely the collection for you.