Monday, December 25, 2017

Release Day Reviews: Color of You by C.S. Poe

Title: Color of You
Author: C.S. Poe
Release Date: December 25, 2017
Category: Holiday
Pages: 200

Bowen Merlin— yes, that’s his real name—accepts a position in the quaint town of Lancaster, New Hampshire as the high school band director. He leaves New York City for the snowy countryside of New England just in time for the holidays. With class, homework, after school activities, and a surprise Christmas concert to plan and rehearse, Bowen is plenty busy. And since he’s never had much luck with romance, factoring in time to find Mr. Right isn’t a priority….
Until he meets the proprietor of Snowy Ridge Apple Orchard, Felix Hansen. Suddenly, true love seems like a possibility for the first time in Bowen’s life. The two are a perfect match and fill the skipped beats of each other’s hearts. But as wonderful as Felix seems, he’s harboring scars that could end their budding relationship when someone in town goes to great lengths to sabotage their careers.
If Bowen is to survive the holidays, he’ll need to lean on old friends and new, convince Felix he’s worth any hardship, and prove they can come out of the catastrophe stronger if they do so together.

5+ Stars!!!

Bowen Merlin moved to Lancaster in New Hampshire to be a high school band director and teach music in the elementary school nearby. The last thing he expected was to find a man with the perfect color of voice on his first day there or that Bowen would throw hot apple cider all over him. Intent on making things right, he goes back and asks Felix out, but Felix refuses, even if later he decides to accept Bowen's invitation. Felix is the father of one of Bowen's best students and he hides some scars that he refuses to talk about and even if Bowen never thought he'd be dating someone who has kids, he finds himself swept up by both Felix and Alan.

However, not everyone is happy that Felix and Bowen are dating and things could get ugly fast.

Bowen was plain awesome. He has synesthesia and that means he listens to voices and music and they turn into colors for him, which makes music the perfect medium to express himself. I loved that concept, I didn't know anything about it, but it's definitely intriguing. Felix was such a sweet, sweet man. I felt so bad for him, especially when Alan told Bowen how Felix got his scars. Felix and Bowen were just perfect for each other and didn't fit any stereotype that could be assigned due to their sizes or ages. Bowen was younger and smaller, but he was the dominant partner and Felix longed to be the passive one in a relationship despite being older, taller and broader than Bowen. So, it was like a match made in heaven. Nevermind that Bowen being so caring and gentle with Felix brought Felix out of his shell and showed him he deserved to be treated like that.

Alan was amazing, a nice balance between being protective of his dad and being a normal teenager, without going overboard. I adored Scarlet, Bowen's BFF and Steven, who I hope Ms. Poe will consider giving a HEA at some point.

OMG, how perfect was this book? While it has age gap, the age different between Bowen and Felix was a non-issue from the get go. There's a bit of instalove, but truly, Bowen and Felix fit together so perfectly in all senses that it was unavoidable. The cover is just perfect for the book. Alan was totally adorable and it was refreshing that he was such a normal teenager, and still be able to be close to his dad and want him to be happy. There was a bit of a mystery with the fire at Felix office and it was nice seeing everyone rallying together to both solve it and help Bowen get back his job. All in all, this book was amazing, I laughed, I cried and I totally fell in love with Bowen, Felix, Alan and the rest of the supporting cast.

Highly recommendable!!!

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

Color of You is a standalone contemporary story by C.S. Poe, though while reading it I realized there were characters from C.S's novella Joy included in the story. I haven't yet read that novella, but I recognized the names. Reading the novella isn't necessary to enjoy this story, but I did immediately buy it after I finished just so I could reread Color of You again after reading Joy.

I am a fan of this author's. I love her writing style, characters and stories she tells and this one is no different! I loved Bowen! Bowen has just moved to the small town of Lancaster to take a job as the band teacher. He has red hair and wears bow ties that make him stand out in the school, but in a positive way. The students love the new teacher and even the jocks start emulating his bow tie wearing. And though Bowen doesn't move to a new area thinking he's going to end up in a relationship, he meets Felix when he dumps hot cider on him. Felix is shy and though he's attracted to Bowen, he's turns him down for a date. Though Bowen is down, he doesn't let that hold him back and gives it another chance. Felix is shy and standoffish, and though you can tell he's also interested in Bowen, he's very reserved. But, Felix has a history to share that explains his actions. And though Felix's history could have been used to weigh this story down, it really doesn't. Felix's isn't reliving his past, refusing to move on.

The relationship between the two men was perfect! Though Bowen is the smaller, slight guy, he's always been dominating, but men typically see him as the bottom. Felix is a strong, big man but is interested in being a bottom, and more submissive. Bowen and Felix are perfect together in this aspect and the further their relationship goes, the more they become comfortable sharing what they want. Bowen and Felix are more than what happens in the bedroom though. You get to watch them building a relationship together, talking, and spending time with Felix's son. They get to know each other, and you can watch the love grow between them. But, not everything is easy for Bowen and Felix and not everyone in the small town is happy about having another gay man live in their town and teach their children. But, Felix and Bowen won't have to fight this alone.

This honestly was one of the best books I've read this year. It hit every note right for me from the first page to the last. Once I started reading this story, I couldn't put it down. I really did buy Joy so I could read it and then reread Color of You. I loved Bowen and Felix and how they were more than a stereotype. I thought Alan, Felix's son, added another terrific dynamic to the story. I loved Bowen's best friend Scarlet and their interactions together, and I was rooting for her to move to town so we could see more of her. Bowen's new friend Stephen was a great character and I really hope the author has a story lined up giving him someone to love. This is a must read for everyone who loves a romance story with a HEA ending. It's definitely one that I'll reread often.

Rating: 5+++++ Stars

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