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The flow of this story is wonderful and smooth and the secondary characters delightful. I sure hope we get a book for Chad, I loved him and want to see him with his special someone. The sex is hot, hot, hot, hottie McHotsen hot! And the romance is paced perfectly and quite realistically. Ms. Payne gives us a couple who are flawed, funny, tender, and loving. Go grab your copy now!
Best-selling author Reese Kelsey has all but given up on having a love life because of his erratic moods and lifestyle, until he meets a musician, Owen Mercado. They both understand getting lost in their art but there are limits. You are always responsible for your actions. There's never an excuse to become so obsessed with work that you deliberately hurt someone because of it.
Generally speaking, Reese is a good guy. He's handsome, funny, considerate, intense, but, as many geniuses tend to be, he's scatterbrained. Reese would be lost without his PA, Chris, to keep him on track and reel him in when need be. When Reese gets into 'the zone' while writing his dark, bloody books, he forgets to do things like eat and sleep. This is never good, but when you have a significant other, you need to set a certain amount of yourself aside to accommodate your lover's needs. Before now, Reese has never done that, resulting in destroying his past relationships. If they are not artistic, they won't 'get the burning desire to perfect whatever project is at hand, to be afraid to retreat from their creative session in order to function in the real world. Even an artist will only understand this up to a certain point. Reese knows that his destructive behavior is what is keeping him from having a good life. Reese's greatest fear is being deserted, yet he often pushes people away before they can leave him, ensuring his solitude.
Owen is a talented young man who has worked hard for everything he's achieved. Lately, it's earning a seat in the City Orchestra that gives him a steady job, allowing him to create music freely without worrying about profit. When he meets Reese, he's instantly charmed. They are more than compatible in bed as well as out of it. Chris tries to warn Owen about Reese's retreats into himself. Owen listens but takes it with a grain of salt, that is, until he experiences one of them. Owen lets the first “snap” go but isn't as confident about his relationship with Reese after that. Owen is rattled but doesn't give up easily; he talks to Reese about his problem, hoping that will solve the issue. With an effusive apology from Reese and a promise that it will not happen again, they move forward. Everything goes well for a while but, once again, Reese descends into his dark world, shutting Owen and everyone else out. When Owen tries to check on Reese, after he's been in his office for two days, he's greeted with behavior that is worse than before. The onslaught is so vicious that Owen is speechless. Not knowing what else to do, Owen turns and runs out of the apartment. Their promising future doesn't seem so promising now.
This is a well written book, with strong characters, humor, and great sex. I liked Owen and Reese and was rooting for them to work things out. Besides the love affair, there is a message for everyone—no matter what the situation, taking it out on someone else is not acceptable. “In the heat of the moment” is not an excuse. It can and will ruin your life as well as hurt others, especially those close to you. Thanks, Jodi, for Reese and Owen and their story's important message.
Originally reviewed at Rainbow Book Reviews.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Jodi Payne is a new to me author that I am definitely going to start following more closely!
I really enjoyed this appropriately titled book, about two artistic, creative men. As a thoroughly non-artistic person myself (although I have to admit, I secretly wish I was!), I have always been amazed at the differences between right-brained creative types and left-brained analytical types. And I guess even the fact that I'm drawn to it in this way illustrates how left-brained I am, ha ha! So in this book, when the author really gets into how Reese thinks up his characters, and his plots, and how they take on a life of their own, I was just fascinated.
Reese Kelsey is a successful author of what he calls thrillers and what many of his fans call horror stories. He's made it into the best seller lists with his current series about a detective and his serial killer nemesis, and is working on what he plans to be the fourth and final book. He's methodical in a way, with a daily word count goal, deadlines to meet, marketing events to attend, but though he loves writing, he is also aware of how much it can set him apart from others. When someone asked him if he enjoyed writing, he said
Most of the time. Except – except when you can't get an idea out of your mind, you know? And you've got this psychotic murderer talking to you in your head, and it's two o'clock in the morning when the rest of the sane world is asleep, and then you have to research something like blood splatter patterns or fingerprint recreation to pin something on the bad guy... and...
and he got a blank stare. Talk about a conversation killer! His writing also takes over to the point of forgetting to eat, or sleep, or attend important events, which has sabotaged all of his attempts so far at having a serious relationship. There's also the unwelcome aspect of celebrity and fame, when all Reese really wants is to be a normal guy
Reese has a very supportive group of friends, including his publicist Chad, who do their best to keep Reese functioning in the real world when he starts getting too caught up in his novels. These gay men are the kind of friends who have become true family, and work well as secondary characters in their own right, as well as moving the plot along. Reese is actually out with Chad when he first runs into Owen Mercado – hot, younger, talented, humble, and best of all, completely unaware of who Reese is as an author, so Reese has the chance to get to know him without the fanboy effect. Owen is a cellist in the symphony, but also plays in a trio that gives a classical spin on pop music and has a standing gig in a local coffeehouse. They have instant physical chemistry together, but it rapidly becomes much more than that.
Although the blurb hints at obsession and angst, I really didn't see it. This is a story about a building relationship, with no manufactured drama, no over the top stupidity, no crazy characters. Yes, these men are both driven, and their careers require more than the average amount of time and dedication and flexibility, but these are clearly real people with real world issues. This is the story of how they make it work, and how they have to recognize their own flaws in order to overcome the obstacles to that successful relationship. I found it to be a character driven, rather than plot driven novel, which is exactly what I enjoy. The writing is excellent, the dialogue realistic and engaging, and both men are guys I would love to meet.
Cover art by Tiferet Design was amazing. It almost made me wonder if this picture inspired the book, the characters are just so perfectly matched to the models!
Most recent customer reviews
I was given this book for an honest review by Wicked Reads.
This is a sweet story.Read more
When we meet Reese, he’s presented as a well-known, best-selling author who lives his life immersed in his books and surrounds himself with (somewhat snooty)...Read more