Review: Life is a Stevie Wonder Song by V.L. Locey

Authors know that their muse is a fickle creature. Best-selling spy novelist Steven Ramsey has been in a hate-hate relationship with his inspiration for months. When Steven's publisher lays a legal ultimatum upon him, with a rapidly approaching deadline, he knows he must do something to kick-start his creativity or face the unemployment line. His daughter comes up with a possible answer: a summer camp for the creative soul. With nothing to lose, Steven packs up his laptop, phonograph, and beloved record albums and heads from Greenwich Village to the Catskill Mountains.

There, among a horde of college students attending for extra credits, is Declan Pomeroy, a photographer of fey creatures who is twenty-two years younger than Steven. The woods are a magical place, and he quickly finds himself falling under the spell of the free-spirited photographer. Confusion wars with desire as Steven succumbs to the feelings welling up inside. But, sadly, summer camp always must end. Can a man who has just found himself really leave the person that makes his heart sing?

I have a soft spot for quirky artists and I think that’s because I appreciate their unique views, but in real life I can be just too practical (unfortunately) to be able to appreciate them 24/7, which is why I love to read about them so much. It’s much easier to let go of practical thoughts with fictional characters. The beauty of Life is a Stevie Wonder Song is that there are TWO creative types to swoon over and shake your damn head at.

Steven is a best selling author who has lost his mojo and hates the MC of his novels. He’s in his mid forties with three divorces under his belt and a college age daughter who is the light of his life. (I loved her BTW). Declan is a college student, free spirit, fey photographer who eschews labels and lives his life with respect for his true self. Steven has always identified as a hetero male, but when he sets his peepers on Declan at an artist’s retreat everything he thought he knew about himself comes into question.

These two were so alike in their overall characteristics and it was interesting to read how the author gave each man their own spin on their qualities. I’m going in here with a whole bunch of generalities here about those who thrive in the arts, so forgive me this moment, but it makes sense for these guys in a big picture way. They both have a flair for the dramatic, they both have selfish, stubborn streaks (charmingly so) and they both feel everything with passion. The difference is in how they express these characteristics and that has a lot to do with their ages and their professions. Steven is a wordsmith and Declan swoons over his purple prose when Steven is actively wooing Declan. Declan knows how to set a scene to get Steven’s attention and Steven is SO obviously a smitten kitten every time his eyes land on Declan.

The story is from Steven’s POV, so I didn’t get as much depth from Declan as I wanted, but his little bit of mystery suited his ethereal personality well, so it worked for the story. I just liked him and would love to get to know him more. Steven’s daughter is the best and I loved reading about their relationship. Declan’s bro dude friends at the retreat were obviously good people for Declan even though they were pretty peripheral characters, they gave Declan’s character some grounding and made him seem more accessible.

I really appreciated how Steven accepted his new view on his sexuality with minimal angst. It may not have been the most realistic, but it would be nice to think it could be so. I do believe there were a lot of unspoken revelations that were alluded to by both Steven and his daughter. They both made comments about how some parts of Steven’s history with relationships made more sense now and while Steven’s revelations were not what the book was ultimately about, the way the author portrayed his acceptance was a breath of fresh air. Steven adopted Declan’s view of labels pretty seamlessly, he saw Declan for Declan and not his gender.

Steven and Declan were absolutely perfect for each other and the impractical parts of their relationship (Will they last past the summer? Where will they live? How will they live? Etc. Etc.) didn’t really matter much in the end. These two don’t really play by the rules of adulting that most people do, their lives are driven by their arts and the fact that they can act as muse to one another made me believe in an HEA for them.

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**

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