C. S. Poe

Joy by C.S. Poe

JoyRating: 3.5 stars
Publication day:
 April 5, 2017
76 pages  
 Dreamspinner Press

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.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

My View: Joy starts right into the action and the main characters first meeting. It’s easy to see their personalities and how the rest of their new acquaintanceship is going to be. Gideon spends a lot of time on his head, but it paints a better understanding of everything happening and how his life’s unfolding.

This story has a slow burn and many of the dates between the characters happened off page. I wished we could have seen some of those to help move their relationship forward instead of taking it as a given.

I like Silas and Gideon and how everyone rallied behind them. All the secondary characters are great and take part in setting them up. There’s no angst, or anything else happening during the story, other than their love story developing. We see a little background, but the story is well-centered in the present.

Overall, a very sweet, very quick read. A perfect distraction for a  rainy day.

What I liked the most: How true to form the descriptions of life in a small town were.

I wanted more/less: I wanted a bit more conflict.

Who should read it:  Fans of sweet, angst-free romances.

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.


The Mystery of Nevermore by C.S. Poe

mysteryRating: 3.75 stars
Contemporary; Mystery
Publication day:
 August 30, 2016
216 pages  
DSP Publications

It’s Christmas, and all antique dealer Sebastian Snow wants is for his business to make money and to save his floundering relationship with closeted CSU detective, Neil Millett. When Snow’s Antique Emporium is broken into and a heart is found under the floorboards, Sebastian can’t let the mystery rest.

He soon finds himself caught up in murder investigations that echo the macabre stories of Edgar Allan Poe. To make matters worse, Sebastian’s sleuthing is causing his relationship with Neil to crumble, while at the same time he’s falling hard for the lead detective on the case, Calvin Winter. Sebastian and Calvin must work together to unravel the mystery behind the killings, despite the mounting danger and sexual tension, before Sebastian becomes the next victim.

In the end, Sebastian only wants to get out of this mess alive, and live happily ever after with Calvin.

My View: The Mystery of Nevermore is a mystery novel with gay characters, not an MM romance. But the relationship between Sebastian and Calvin do have the starts of a love story. My only complaint would be about the way things ended between Sebastian and Neil. It colored my view of Sebastian, and therefore, his new relationship.

I have read most of the Edgar Allan Poe’s stories mentioned, but it’s not necessary to in order to follow the developments in this book. I enjoyed the way the author mixed all the works to create her own. One thing they differ is tone. Where E.A. Poe is dark and sad, C.S. Poe is light and fun. I think it needed more mystery or more romance, though; to bring the story to the next level.

The mystery has some twist and turns, but I think the antagonist stays on the sidelines too long. I wanted to see him/her take a more active part/mention in the story from the beginning, and not just in the last part.

The author did an excellent job with the setting descriptions, Sebastian’s condition, and creating likable characters. We get to experience all the places, and each character plays an important part in the story.

I’d love to see the next book in the series being told from Calvin’s POV, or at least, both of them; either way, I’d read it. This was my first story by this author, and I’m definitely reading more from her.

What I liked the most: The characterization of Sebastian’s condition.

I wanted more/less: More mystery or more romance.

Who should read it: Fans of mystery novels.

ARC provided by DSP Publications, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.