Cephalopod Coffeehouse Dec 2014–STONE AT YOUR SERVICE

Hi there! Welcome one and all to the Cephalopod Coffeehouse, a cozy gathering of book lovers, meeting to discuss their thoughts regarding the tomes they enjoyed most over the previous month. Pull up a chair, order your cappuccino and join in the fun.

This month I’m featuring an Alpha Male romance from Rie Warren. What I found so interesting about this book is it’s a romance told entirely from the man’s POV, and while it’s not the first book I’ve read like this, it’s also a complete hoot.

Stone, At Your Service (Carolina Bad Boys, #1)About the book:
Hell on wheels meets Hell in high heels.

Bad boy mechanic Josh Stone likes to get his hands dirty any way he can—the filthier, the better. Ever since his wife walked out on him and their young son, he’s only had room in his heart for two loves: the kid and cars.

Roped into playing his best buddy’s gay boyfriend during a romance writers convention, the player meets the girl who’s gonna rock his world. Leelee Songchild. Shy, bashful, beautiful Leelee who blushes at the drop of a hat yet writes hardcore smut to rival Josh’s backlist of Penthouse Forum.

The only problem is his hands are tied. Josh can’t stab his old friend/fake lover in the back even though all he wants to do is take luscious Leelee to bed, and maybe, love her. When the truth comes out, all hell breaks loose.

Too bad romance is just for books.

My Review:
I do love me a strong, funny man! Josh is a super lovable, very sympathetic single father. His four year old son, the kid (JJ, named in honor of Josh’s late father), is four and traumatized by the abandonment of his mother. Josh has never left him alone for more than a night–and now he’s going on a week-long trip with his BFF Nick, aka indie romance author Nicky Love. Nick has had some bad run-ins with fans and fellow authors and, despite his hetero reality, he has cultivated a “gay persona” to shield himself from unwanted attention. After all the support Nick has given Josh–helping out with JJ and at his garage–Josh agrees to posing as his boyfriend for a fan convention.

Josh has no interested in another relationship. He’s super bitter over the abrupt end of his marriage, and then he sees Leelee from across the hotel’s crowded lobby and he’s struck. He’d like to add her to his list of anonymous conquests, but meeting her turns a switch in his brain. She’s beautiful and demure, a real Southern lady–who writes some of the filthiest romance he’s had the pleasure to consume. In short, he swoons. But…he’s the very public boyfriend of Nick and that’s a big problem.

Josh is such a fun narrator. Watching him straddle the line between supporting Nick and wooing Leelee is pure heaven. This is an adult read with plenty of cussing, carousing and cock-ups, not the least of which is poor Josh’s continually interrupted self, uh, “management.”

For her part, Leelee is a temptress. She’s totally attracted to Josh, but has her own dark secret, and it’s exactly why Josh is just not he right man for her. So she thinks…

I adored the banter between Josh and Nick, Josh and Leelee, well, Josh and anyone. He’s such a great sport about all the come-on’s and flirts of the conventioneers, even allowing himself to get rolled into a cover model’s contest and hitting the highlights/lowlights of a sex shop and a male strip club as part of the junket. Throughout, Josh’s just implacably funny.

I already have the sequel, Nick’s finding love story, so I’m on board with the series.

Interested? You can find STONE AT YOUR SERVICE on Goodreads, and Amazon.

Thanks for popping in and don’t forget to check out other reviewers’ picks on today’s hop.

1. The Armchair Squid 2. WOMEN: WE SHALL OVERCOME
3. Hub City 4. mainewords
5. Cherdo on the Flipside 6. Trisha @ WORD STUFF
7. My Creatively Random Life 8. A Creative Exercise
9. StrangePegs — An Acceptable Time 10. Words Incorporated
11. V’s Reads