Reviewed by Tori (Vicki)
TITLE: Creative Process
AUTHOR: Jodi Payne
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 206 pages
RELEASE DATE: September 25th, 2017
Best-selling thriller author Reese Kelsey knows his career isn’t conducive to romance. He doesn’t work the normal nine-to-five, and sometimes his characters take hold and demand all his attention, causing him to neglect important appointments… and lovers. Rather than go through another heartbreak, Reese contents himself with his small circle of friends—fellow gay New York City artists—and his dedicated publicist, Chad.
Until he sees Owen Mercado lugging his cello toward the subway and impulsively offers him a ride.
Owen has worked long and hard for a career in the symphony, and success comes with a demanding schedule—something Reese understands. Their desires and lifestyles are surprisingly compatible, and Reese and Owen certainly set the bedroom on fire. They’re both carrying baggage, but they fit, and it’s hard not to hope for a future that once seemed impossible.
But when Reese’s work inevitably pulls him into its dark world and refuses to let go, Owen draws a hard line, and Reese discovers he can’t rely on good intentions alone. He will have to control the obsession that drove his other lovers away or risk losing Owen as well.
Reese is a best-selling author of mystery novels, with a strong horror component, so he has some darkness in his head. He gets way too focused on what he’s writing, and has ignored lovers in the past and lost them. He forgets his commitments, and is frequently saved by his publicist Chad. He can be an asshole, and has some issues with anger. But he’s also very lonely, and has abandonment issues as well. He has a support system in his friends and Chad. He may be an asshole, but he needs the right lover to understand his commitment to his writing career.
Owen is driven as well, he’s a musician recently hired by the symphony. He also plays in a small three-piece band several nights a week. He’s just moved in to an apartment on his own, finally having a consistent paycheck. He has some trust issues from past relationships, and needs someone who can understand his commitment to his music.
The two meet after the symphony one evening, Reese there with Chad to listen, Owen there as a performer. Reese overhears Owen trying to find a cab and offers him a ride to his second job of the evening, at a small coffee-house. Reese is attracted to Owen and intrigued about his music, so he hangs out and listens… The two connect for a bit of something-something, but Reese freaks out and leaves instead of staying for the night.
Eventually Reese does reconnect with Owen, and the two start a very tentative relationship. Helped and hindered by Chad, as well as both of their friends.
This book is mostly about Reese and his issues. We see glimpses of what he is writing, and get an understanding of the dark place he goes to when he writes. We see his anger and darkness directed towards Owen, who doesn’t take that crap well. Chad is in and out, dealing with the temperamental Reese, and trying to keep the two new lovers together. We see Reese at work with Chad, and the two are clearly friends. We see them with Reese’s friends, and we see Owen’s friends a bit, so there are some nice side characters to this story. We see them having sex a lot, and it is hot!
I liked Reese and his darkness, but I wanted him to deal with it more. He lashes out at Owen, and Owen leaves, but the two get past this very quickly. I wish there had been more to that situation. I loved the balance between the two men, Reese is dark, Owen is light. That contrast worked very well. The sex scenes between them were plentiful, and I liked them, maybe Reese could have let more of his dominance out, Owen seemed to like it! There was a strong attraction between the two, that turned in to an emotional connection that I liked. I do think the plot was a little basic, it could have used something more somehow. More drama, more something. I’m not sure what I was missing. The author created these great characters, but not that much happens with them.
Overall I liked this book, especially the two main characters. I liked the emotional bond that forms between them, and I liked the sex scenes. The writing was good, especially the character development of Reese, but it could have used some more plot development for me to love it.