Virtual Tour ~ Spice by Lilah Suzanne ~ (ARC Review, Author Interview, Excerpt + Giveaway)
Book Name: Spice
Author Name: Lilah Suzanne
Release Date: April 2, 2015
Pages or Words: 228 Pages
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: Cover Art by Gladys Garcia; Book Design by BuckeyeGrrl Designs
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As writer of the popular “Ask Eros” advice column, Simon Beck has an answer to every relationship question his readers can throw at him. When it comes to his own life, the answers are a little more elusive—until computer troubles introduce him to the newest and cutest member of his company’s IT support team. Simon may be charmed by Benji’s sweet and unassuming manner, but will he find the answer to the one relationship question he has never been able to solve: how to know when he’s met Mr. Right?
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Rom-Com
“How about you? Did you always want to be a writer?”
“Yeah. I think I did.” He finally gives up on work completely and closes the laptop. “I mean. I guess what I write about is kind of pointless, but I wanted to be a poet once upon a time, so I guess it could be even more pointless,” he jokes.
Benji’s eyebrows knot. “It’s not. Why would it be pointless?”
Simon gives a humorless laugh. “I mean, I write a sex column for women. Not exactly moving prose or hard-hitting journalism.”
Benji scoots over little on the desk, sitting with his legs so close to where Simon is sitting low in his chair that he can smell Benji’s crisp laundry detergent and citrusy soap. He suddenly has to fight the urge to move a fraction to the left, press his nose to the inside seam of Benji’s jeans and breathe him in.
“You listen to people. You remind them that they’re valuable and worthy of love and respect. How is that not important?” Simon is struck speechless, chest tight and breath caught. Then Benji claps him on the shoulder and hops off the desk. “Come on. Let’s go have lunch.”
This was such a delightful read! I really enjoyed the concept of the advice column and the spicy articles (and the... ahem, research for the articles, as well).
Simon is a successful writer of a very popular column Ask Eros, kind of a dreamer, he's set his sights on one of the guys in upper management in the magazine he works for, even if he realizes Andrew might not be what he really wants. Enter Benji, the new cute IT guy, who comes to save the day when Simon's computer decides not to work. There's an instant attraction between the two, but Simon is still hung up on the idea of Andrew and ends up messing things up with Benji.
Benji is adorable, sweet, open, honest, supportive and really taken with Simon. I really loved him and was glad that it didn't take much for Simon to realize how wonderful he was.
I loved the secondary characters, like Tia and Simon's mom, and Walt and Peggy, who were too adorable and Simon and Benji's interactions with them were hilarious and just about perfect!
The story itself is entertaining and fun and just a tad silly, but oh so good, with a bit of angst thrown into the mix. The chemistry between Simon and Benji is amazing! And the sexy scenes are damn hot! Loved that we got to follow them for some time after they become a couple, through highs and lows and everything in between, it really added up to the experience.
*** 4.5 Sizzling Stars ***
Do you read advice columns?
I do! I’ve always liked them, starting with the Ann Landers column in the Sunday paper that I’d read after perusing the comics. I read a lot (a lot!) of advice columns while writing Spice to make sure I was getting the tone right and coming up with the sort of questions and answers that are typical of relationship advice columns.
How did you come up with the title for this book?
The storyline in the second half of the book, where Simon writes a special column about spicing up one’s sex life, was actually the first storyline. So even after it got bumped to later on, I wanted to keep the title because Simon is adding a little spice to his life with Benji, shaking things up. And you know, Benji is a ginger so it works on that level too.
Who do you love to read?
I haven’t had as much time to read lately as I’d like! I recently reread The Pearl by John Steinbeck and was reminded of how much I love his writing style and stories. Douglas Adams is always a favorite, as well.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, I wanted to turn the fairy tale, happily ever after ideal on it’s head a bit. I wanted to explore the ways relationships are joyful and messy and sexy after the happily ever after, and that a picture-perfect relationship with picture-perfect people doesn’t exist. It’s really just two flawed people trying to do their best.
eBooks or print books?
Either or. I’m not picky.
About The Author:Lilah Suzanne has been writing actively since the sixth grade, when a literary magazine published her essay about an uncle who lost his life to AIDS. A freelance writer, she also authored a children’s book and has a devoted following in the online fan community.
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