Love in 24 Frames by C.S. Poe

Love in 24 Frames by C.S. Poe
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short story (38 pages)
Other: M/M
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Declan Groves is a CPA in New York City. His adult life is dictated by routine and borderline monotony. The need to express himself, in ways his career and crippling shyness have never allowed, leads Declan to becoming an amateur stop-motion filmmaker.

The one problem is that Declan is also in love with the Wandering Artist Studios receptionist Shota Watanabe. Shota has always had a smile and engaging comment ready for Declan, but even if it is more than casual politeness, Declan hasn’t been able to get out more than a tongue-tied sentence at a time. And a man like Shota surely has no intention of waiting forever.
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So when an unexpected change to Declan’s daily schedule throws the two together outside of the studio, it might be the catalyst needed to explore what’s unspoken between them. But if they’re to have a future, Declan needs to find a way to tell Shota how he truly feels.

Declan and Shota have always had chemistry, but neither is certain enough to want to make a move. Until they start meeting outside their regular routine and suddenly new possibilities open up to them both.

I enjoyed this short story – in large part because I found it so refreshing and unsual that Declan’s character could be so very competent and organized in almost every are of his life until it came with interacting with Shota. In general Declan has no problems carrying out a coherent conversation, but his attraction to Shota kept Declan – for months, not just an interaction or two – tongue tied and completely at a loss. I found this to be so endearing and helped make Declan feel relatable to me, I instantly wanted to see how he and Shota could move past this awkward phase and connect and expand on the attraction and chemistry they each so clearly felt for the other.

I was also incredibly intrigued by the small sub-plot of Declan’s making stop-motion films. With twenty-four frames to a single second of animation there seemed to be so much intricacy and time spent on literally every detail and I have to admit while I knew what a stop-motion film was, outside of that I had no idea of how it actually all came together. So I found this aspect of the story really interesting and like nothing else I’d ever read about previously. I have to give major kudos to the author because it’s not something I’d ever thought too much about and I really enjoyed reading about it in this short story.

Sweet and quite gentle, I really enjoyed the slow pace of the romance that blooms between Declan and Shota. While I, personally, enjoyed the fact it wasn’t very explicit – nor very Christmassy – readers who want something more focused on those aspects mightn’t find this suits their tastes. But with two deeply interesting characters, a solid and well-defined plot about the stop-motion film Declan is making and a hearty, warm-spirited love story this quick read ticked a number of important boxes for me and.

I really enjoyed this story and really enjoy reading this particular author.

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