Tell the Bees I'm Sorry - Felicitas Ivey
3.5 Stars

This story is another from Dreamspinner Press’s “Daily Dose – Mended” Anthology. I haven’t read anything by author Felicitas Ivey before, and as my first foray into this writer’s work, I found myself quite pleasantly surprised. This short story deals with many themes, and based on the prompt for this anthology, Ivey chose to deal with not only the physical scars of the character of Raph, but predominantly the unseen scars lurking beneath the surface of protagonist Marcus.

This was a hurt/comfort story, set in a vivid countryside in Vermont and with every word the author wrote, I found myself more and more lost in the imaginative descriptions of the isolated farm where the uncles resided. I loved the way the author used this setting to bring Marcus to some realization about what his life had been turned into at the hands of his abusive ex, Dan. The setting seemed to compliment the burgeoning attraction between Marcus and Raph perfectly, and it gave the story more feels by way of the lake and the unique decor of the home.

The love story that unfolded in this brief tale was a little hurried, and while it never promised such things as everlasting love, the story focused more on sexual release and the gift of letting go, so the sex between our two MCs was actually healing to the boy who had been broken as a result of a psychologically damaging union. The sex, however, seemed to dominate the back end of the story, and whilst everyone likes a good sex scene, it seemed to be overdone as far as narrative went. I feel in the words used to portray these scenes more story might have unfolded between the characters, making more of an impact on the final climactic scene.

One thing I did love was the crash course through brewing that the front end of the story offered. It was original and something I had not read before, so I enjoyed learning the tricks of the uncles’ trade right alongside Marcus. The home-grown country setting allowed for these images to be romanticized, and it lent the story an air of whimsy that captivated me. The bees however seemed a little misplaced in the story, as I was expecting them to be more than simply mentioned. The title was a throw-away title based on a single line of delirious dialogue, but that didn’t really damage the story much.

In comparison to other offerings from the “Mended” anthology, this one stood its ground nicely, and though I have read better from this series, I’ve certainly read a lot worse. This author shows great promise and I would strongly recommend, as I intend to, to look out for more from Ivey in both her past offerings and ones in the future. The story lent itself perfectly to the hurt/comfort theme of the anthology’s prompt and was not a disappointment to read. Had it been a bit longer and the sex scenes not overridden the back half of the story, I would have been whole heartedly impressed. As it stands, I liked it but did not fall in love alongside Marcus and Rafe. 3.5 stars to this cute and heartfelt tale from an author I’ll be looking out for.