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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cover Art by Caroline Stephens

Cover Art by Caroline Stephens
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (38 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Shy erotic romance writer Ryan Michaels bases all his hero-characters on Nick Driscoll, the model who graces the covers of his books. After meeting Nick in person at a publisher get-together, Ryan is smitten but convinced that Nick would never be interested in him. Fantasy suddenly meets reality when Nick asks Ryan out for coffee. Can Ryan believe something that feels like a scene from one of his books is really happening to him?

Sometimes the best pairings are the ones no one expects to work at all.

I love a good story with a nerd, even if nerdy characters are all the rage lately. Then there's guys with hang-ups, guys with issues who are very realistic. Readers can relate to them. Caroline Stephens hits the nail on the head with her short story Cover Art. I wanted to know more about the characters, got more than a little emotionally involved, and couldn’t get through the pages fast enough.

Ryan is the quintessential nerd. He writes well, he’s unsure of himself, and would love to do nothing more than hide in the corner and fantasize about the man of his dreams. Who has ever felt like simply watching beauty, male or female? There’s a definite sense of longing and pain in Ryan. He wants who he wants, but darned if he could get his feet to move to go after it.

Then there’s Nick. He’s the epitome of sex on legs. Tall, dark, handsome, chiseled, five o’clock shadow...oh, and he’s got a thing for guys who serve as wallflowers. Upon opening the book, I couldn’t see the two together. Nick seemed completely wrong for Ryan and vice versa. But as the pages flew by and I went on the journey with these two men, I believed.

I do have a few regrets with this story. I wanted it to be longer. I couldn’t let them go. The sex scenes sizzle and crackle from the screen. There were a few moments that went a little too quickly. I had to reread more than once to make sure I’d caught all the details. It’s a great story, but it moves fast in spots. Slow it down a tad and this is a fantastic little tale.

If you want a story that will stay with you long after the last page, then you need to read Cover Art.

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