Title: Cover Art
Author: Caroline Stephens
Length: 8,500 words (34 pdf pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: m/m contemporary
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?
This is a typical story of the shy nerd who meets his Prince Charming, the sexy popular male model, sure that a man like that could never be interested in someone like himself. Ryan has met Nick, the cover model on all of his books, a few times before and while talking politely about books, he’s never sensed any personal interest from Nick. Nick is his fantasy man, and the basis for all of Ryan’s male characters. Although he doesn’t really know Nick that well, the Nick of his fantasies is pure alpha male sexiness. At one of the monthly publisher gatherings, Ryan is kicking himself for coming to moon over Nick and gets the surprise of his life when he receives an invitation for coffee.
Ryan’s awkwardness and shyness comes through well. He’s his own worst enemy, berating himself internally for his behaviour, however he soon realizes that Nick is more than just a pretty face and is an interesting man in his own right. He gains confidence when he invites Nick in for a night-cap and decides to make a serious play for Nick, although his awkwardness still raises it’s klutzy head, so you don’t have the feeling that Ryan has changed his personality completely. Although you get Nick’s perspective as well, I found Ryan to be the more dominant character, if not the more dominant man of the couple. His character comes across very clear and strong in the story.
The sex between the two men is steamy, but also sweet, with Nick letting Ryan take the lead, boosting his confidence even more. It’s a very cute story and fans of opposites attract stories will enjoy this little taste of romance.