Release Day Review by Natalie: Joy, by C.S. Poe

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Joy, by C.S. Poe
Series: States of Love
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: April 5, 2017

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Down on his luck is Gideon Joy’s default state. He doesn’t know why he expected anything different on his cross-country trip, but not surprisingly, the hits keep coming — literally this time. Gideon strikes a moose with his car in New Hampshire, not only totaling his own vehicle, but damaging one belonging to local construction worker Silas Bright. He has no choice but to stay in Lancaster and take a job that’ll pay for the repairs. And in a town so small, Gideon’s always running into Silas. What starts as annoyance between them soon blooms into something much more romantic. But when Gideon’s notorious bad luck rears its head yet again, how many disastrous dates will Silas be willing to weather before realizing Gideon’s not worth it?

Despite Gideon’s desire to remain in the quaint community that has accepted him as one of their own, past fears of inadequacy threaten the very joy he left Los Angeles to discover. If he’s to find a happily ever after with Silas, Gideon must learn that sometimes it’s okay to not be the best. And true happiness might be waiting in a small town nestled among the Great White Mountains.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.


M/M Pairing
Gay Characters
Small Town
Tatooed Character


This is a sugar-sweet little tale. If you are looking for something angst-free, satisfying, and (dare I say it?) joyful, then Joy is the story for you. It’s a small town story, which is rarely my cup of tea, but in just a few pages, C.S. Poe is able to create a place that feels warm and real.

Silas instantly won a place in my heart. Quiet, shy, and so utterly sweet, yet initially intimidating because he looks like a gruff lumberjack. What’s not to love? I liked Gideon, too. He’s got a distinctive voice. A little wry, and willing to roll with the punches. He has to be, since his deal is that he has incredibly bad luck.

This bad luck starts the story with a bang, and then is essentially forgotten until the last section of the book. I’d forgotten all about his luck, in fact, until it’s used to create a really quick montage of bad dates at the end, and to stir up an unnecessary conflict that’s resolved before it has a chance to go anywhere. As a conceit, Gideon’s bad luck was so extraneous to the novella that it didn’t really have any business being framed as so central to the story or his character.

If I could have another two hundred pages of Silas and Gideon being domestic and teeth-rottingly sweet, I’d be pretty pleased. As it is, Joy hits the spot – I wouldn’t mind seeing more of their initial attraction developing into a relationship, but I’m satisfied with what this novella gives us.


C.S. Poe is an author of gay mystery, romance, and paranormal books.

She is a reluctant move and has called many places home in her lifetime. C.S. has lived in New York City, Key West, and Ibaraki, Japan, to name a few. She misses the cleanliness, convenience, and limited-edition gachapon of Japan, but she was never very good at riding bikes to get around.

She has an affinity for all things cute and colorful and a major weakness for toys. C.S. is an avid fan of coffee, reading, and cats. She’s rescued three cats, including one found in a drain pipe in Japan who flew back to the States with her. Zak, Milo, and Kasper do their daily best to sidetrack her from her work.

C.S. Poe can be followed on her website, which also has links to her Goodreads and social media pages. She can also be followed via her e-mail newsletter on the website.


You can purchase Joy from:
Google Play
Barnes & Noble

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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

One thought on “Release Day Review by Natalie: Joy, by C.S. Poe

  1. Pingback: Just Love’s Favorite Books of 2017! | Just Love: Queer Book Reviews

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