Originally read February 19, 2012 4 Stars
"Bad Valentines" was published just in time for the 2012 Valentines Day holiday and since I was between books, I took a chance. Glad I did. I found Steve Vernon to be a talented storyteller with a wicked sense of humor and eye for the bizarre, occasionally finding both in the same tale ;-)
The collection begins with "Change of Pace", something that many couples look for after years of the same routine, both in, and out of the bedroom. Malcolm is in that kind of rut and has tried just about everything to bring back the magic. His friend Seymour finally comes up with the ultimate aphrodisiac which, much to Malcolm's surprise, actually works. He even tries some for himself. The end result is definitely not not what he expected.
"Wetside Story" is out there, I mean WAY out there. Sexuality among talking squid, shellfish and Nazi Zomboids in an Uberbottom Death Sub. Believe it or not there's an underlying moral to be unearthed in this comic romp. Really funny stuff, too.
The final outing here, is "Potboiler, Told in a Spanish Key". Where the first couple of tales were on the light side, not so much here. A dark tale of sacrifice. Well written, with some truly gross moments.
Oh, wait...there's a bonus story in the Kindle edition. It's from Steve Vernon's short story collection "Roadside Ghosts". "Catcall" is an enjoyable tale involving pre-teens and a haunted house.
I've added Steve Vernon to my list of authors to keep an eye on. Check him out for yourself. His works are available from Crossroad Press and Amazon.com.