Authors know that their muse is a fickle creature. Best-selling spy novelist Stephen Ramsey has been in a hate-hate relationship with his inspiration for months. When Stephen'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, Stephen 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 Stephen. The woods are a magical place, and he quickly finds himself falling under the spell of the free-spirited photographer. Confusion wars with desire inside Stephen as he succumbs to the feelings welling up inside. But, sadly, summer camp always has to end. Can a man who has just found himself really leave the person that makes his heart sing?
Who doesn't know the words to at least one song by Stevie Wonder...
While I'm still not a big fan of stories where there's an age gap between the MCs and by age gap I mean 10 years or more. I really enjoyed this one.
Stephen Ramsey is a successful 45 year old writer who's lost his muse. He's been married 3 times and has a college aged daughter who thinks he needs to try something different and wants him to go to a retreat for the summer...not having any better ideas he decides to give it a try and heads off for basically the middle of nowhere to find his muse and commune with nature. What he finds is 22 year old Declan Pomeroy a photography student who piques his interest and has him totally enchanted.
While I haven't read a lot of stories by this author I have to admit this one had a slightly different tone to the writing and I enjoyed it. At times it felt a little rambly and disjointed but at times life can be a bit rambly (yes, rambly's a word...ok, maybe i just made it one but hey how do you think all these other words came to be?) and disjointed so really why can't stories reflect that aspect of the real world if it works and in this case for this reader it worked.
There's a 22 year age gap between these two men and I have admit for me that's stretching things...I mean seriously we've gone from "who's your daddy?" to "I could be your father...literally I could be your father" and sometimes that's a little more than I'm comfortable with but there were certain things that really helped to offset this for me taking it from a story that could have been 'eewwww and creepy' to a story that was sweet and I enjoyed. So let's see if I can explain what went right for me...
1st is the fact that it was Declan who basically did the pursuing. Which for me can make a huge difference. It made this a story about 2 men who were interested in each other exploring a relationship and it offset the imbalance of power that I often feel when it's the older man who does the pursuing. Especially when the older man is established in his career and has the amount of relationship experience that Stephen has.
2nd I liked that Declan didn't loose sight of his goals and what he wanted out of life for himself when it came to a career. While Declan may not have totally had his life together neither was he anyone's pushover who was going to become some mindless little neophyte. If anything in some ways I felt like Declan was what some people would call an 'old soul'. But only in some ways in other ways he had a certain sweetness and innocence about him.
3rd I enjoyed the interactions between these two. In general this pairing worked for me both in and out of the bedroom. I realize that Stephen suddenly realizing he's bisexual at the age of 45 may seem like a stretch or even a bit preposterous to some but honestly I had a dear friend who was in their 50s when had the same realization so for me it didn't seem so unlikely of an event.
4th I really liked the way the author wove music into this story. I think a lot of us could probably create our own 'life play list' without a lot of effort and I know for me a number of the songs in this book would be on my playlist so I think in hindsight that my connection to this story started with the music...
I haven't done this in a while but this story basically begged for it and I found that at the end of it all for Stephen and Declan it was a Stevie Wonder song...'Overjoyed'...
And though you don't believe that they do
They do come trueFor did my dreams
Come true when I looked at you
And maybe too, if you would believe
You too might be
Overjoyed, over love, over me
This one was short, sweet and fun to read. So if you're in the mood for something that's not complicated but definitely enjoyable then load up your Stevie Wonder playlist and curly up for an hour or two of light entertainment with 'Life is a Stevie Wonder Song'.
An ARC of "Life is a Stevie Wonder Song' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
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Reading gives us someplace to go, when we have to stay where we are. (Mason Cooley)
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