Review: Joy (States of Love) by C.S. Poe

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.

I loved this cover from the moment I saw it. Then I read the blurb and saw the guy's name was Gideon. *growls*

All Systems Are A Go!

It was a cute, low angst, fun read.

Gideon is having a mid-life crisis at 25. He decided to quit his job at a tattoo parlor in LA and drive to Maine. Then he hits a moose and the quietest mountain of a guy ever in New Hampshire, totaling both of their cars. And guess what? He's broke. 

Gideon never expected to find himself smitten with what could possibly be the smallest town ever, but life sneaks up you sometimes. This little town and its inhabitants have charisma. They welcome him in, give him a place to stay and a job at a local restaurant.

I love reads that have chefery in them so that was another bonus for this novella. Being from a small town myself this read authentic regarding the inherent, but mostly harmless, gossipy nature of small town living. It is a novella so there's not a lot in the way of relationship development; things happen fast between Silas and Gideon.

There's an opposites attract trope at work with Silas being the strong, crazy shy and mostly silent to Gideon's outgoing vivaciousness. There's also a significant size difference between them that I was hoping more would be done with, but there are no sexy times. 

When they decide to date it ends in disaster after disaster and leads to a mini conflict which is where the story lost traction for me. It was a little too melodramatic and contrived for me.

Still, it's a cute, easy, feel good short read that seems typical of Poe's writing, or at least what I've read of hers thus far.

A review copy was provided.

Find out more on Goodreads & Dreamspinner Press.

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