Joy by C.S. Poe

Joy by C.S. Poe
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (69 pgs)
Other: M/M
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Down on his luck is Gideon Joy’s default state. He doesn’t know why he expected anything different on his cross-country trip, but not surprisingly, the hits keep coming—literally this time. Gideon strikes a moose with his car in New Hampshire, not only totaling his own vehicle, but damaging one belonging to local construction worker Silas Bright. He has no choice but to stay in Lancaster and take a job that’ll pay for the repairs. And in a town so small, Gideon’s always running into Silas. What starts as annoyance between them soon blooms into something much more romantic. But when Gideon’s notorious bad luck rears its head yet again, how many disastrous dates will Silas be willing to weather before realizing Gideon’s not worth it?

Despite Gideon’s desire to remain in the quaint community that has accepted him as one of their own, past fears of inadequacy threaten the very joy he left Los Angeles to discover. If he’s to find a happily ever after with Silas, Gideon must learn that sometimes it’s okay to not be the best. And true happiness might be waiting in a small town nestled among the great White Mountains.

After crashing his car when a moose jumped out unexpectedly at him, Gideon Joy was pretty sure he was the most unlucky of men. Thankfully, fellow dinted-car-goer, Silas, turned out to be a decent guy and gave Gideon a lift to the nearest “town”. Needing to stay and earn some money for Silas’ repairs, Gideon is about to find that his life had taken on a complete turn-around.

This is a fun short story told in the first-person perspective from Gideon. While it’s clear that Silas is to be our hero’s hero and love interest, reading everything purely from Gideon’s perspective meant it took a little while for me to really thoroughly warm up to Silas. Silas is the strong, silent, mountain-man style of character and so not being able to see his perspective – while keeping me guessing and eagerly turning pages – did mean the romance unraveled a little more slowly than I’m used to in an erotic romance. Also, while I appreciated Gideon’s humorous inner thoughts, it made this feel more like a lighthearted romantic comedy – rather than the erotic M/M I was expecting to read. While I loved the voice and tone of the story, it took me a chapter or two to change my preconceived expectations on the story itself, relax and really start to laugh and enjoy the story for what it was.

I really feel it’s important to note that there isn’t any explicit sex at all in this story. There are a few kisses and a little hand-holding – but as I was expecting this to be an erotic romance it was fairly surprising to me that there was no sexual intimacy and nothing that I found at all explicit in the whole story. I personally don’t feel the story is lacking for this – there’s plenty of chemistry between Silas and Gideon – but readers expecting or wanting a spicy/erotic story might not find this satisfies them. That said, I loved the author’s voice and readers happy with a fun, light and humorous small-town M/M story should find this lovely. I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the story, as well as the strong cast of secondary characters from the small town. This helped give the book a vibrant feeling to me and also made the whole story feel homey and warm.

A romantic and happy short story, this is a fun book with great characters and plenty of laughs.

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