Reviewed by Tammy
TITLE: Settling the Score
AUTHOR: Eden Winters
PUBLISHER: Rocky Ridge Books
LENGTH: 260 Pages
RELEASE DATE: October 6th, 2016
Outed and dumped on national television by his rising star boyfriend, Joey Nichols must face the bigotry of the locals in his small Southern town alone. His dreams of a happy ever after lie crushed at his feet.
Novelist Troy Steele has an axe to grind against Hollywood heartbreaker types. Transforming Joey into a gorgeous, unobtainable hunk would be payback worthy of Troy’s poison pen. It’s a brilliant way to get back at Joey’s image-obsessed ex-boyfriend and the movie producer who’s mutilating Troy’s novels.
What begins as simple revenge may tangle them together in something far more complicated. Living well may be the best revenge, but Troy and Joey could rewrite that to loving well.
First Edition published by Torquere Press, March 1st, 2011
Joey Nichols comes from an extremely small town in Georgia and when he’s both outed and dumped on national television by his supposed boyfriend Ricky Joe Evans, now better known as Riker Sanderson! as expected, the town turns on not only Joey but his whole family.
Joey has worked as a mechanic for his father since he was old enough to hold a wrench but when business drops off to such an extent that the only people who will bring their cars in to be worked on are from the gay community. When Joey starts to get abusive, threatening letters as well as derogatory words spray painted on his door Joey decides it’s time to stay home. He even must move out of his apartment above his father’s workshop.
When Troy Steel’s assistant Erica brings Joey Nichols’ situation to his attention he can’t help but see the similarities between the MC of his latest novel and Joey. When Erica reveals that the person behind Joeys abject humiliation on national television is none other than Riker Sanderson, producer Ian Hagan’s latest “wonder-boy”. Unfortunately, Troy knows all about Ian Hagan and the way he manipulates everyone he meets. Years ago, Troy t and fell in love with Ian Hagan while they were in college only to have Ian swindle him out of a manuscript as well as creative control and two more in the series! Even before Ian had Troy’s signature on the papers he had Troy’s replacement in his bed, now Troy is after revenge and Joey is the perfect person to help him get it.
Joey and Troy meet up thanks to Erica’s machinations but Troy carefully doesn’t say a word about his plans he just has Joey start working as his “muse”. Both Erica and Troy send Joey to have a makeover and they can’t believe the change in Joey’s appearance! The longer Troy and Joey live together getting to know each other the deeper they fall in love with each other. Eventually the reason for Joey living with him is blurring for Troy right up to the moment Joey finds out about his past and then he tells him the truth about the reason for Joey being with him. It’s while Troy is having to talk about everything that’s going on that he’s forced to really take stock of what he has done and is still doing, all for fame and fortune but at what price?
I have no hesitation in recommending Settling the Score to everyone. The story has a lot of twists and turns, some are surprising, some aren’t but they make the overall story well worth reading.