The problem with anthologies is that that you usually get a one great story. The reason "Cross Bones", aka "Gay Pirates Fucking" is so great is because *every story* is consistently good.
And you know how anthologies usually have one story that's just incredible? Best of the bunch, stand-out?
Cross Bones had several.
For the sci-fi lovers: "Rough Trade" by Cooper West was just incredible. It's about Gunner, the unofficial captain of a murderous AI ship. The ship (Carthage, she calls herself) wants a doctor for her crew, and no one's going to stop her. Luckily, the man in question, the handsome Dr. Sagittarius Diefenbaker, has a reason to stick around...
"My Hand in Yours" by Emily Moreton is a short tale about a town sheriff (referred to in-story as a "peacekeeper") who starts a fuckbuddy relationship with a pirate captain. This one was not only romantic but scorching-hot. The end gives you a real sense of freedom and satisfaction, that the two men can pursue their romance without either of them giving up their ideals.
"From a Simmer to a Burn" was incredible. Not gonna lie - I get pretty bored reading about white guys. But this is the story of a former African slave overcoming his own racism as he falls in love with someone he initially despised. That's a pretty fucking difficult topic to write about. And yet, B. Snow (the author) handles it like a professional. I mean, it's just incredible. She picked a hard story to write, and she wrote it anyway, and she did it well.
And the rest were all within the three to five star range. Which, like I said: pretty good for an anthology.
But seriously: gay pirate erotica. Have I mentioned how hot that is? *fans self*