by Stella Weaver
Released: October 15, 2019
Series: Cipher Office #2
“…never have I wanted a HEA more, I believe there was some actual yearning on my part.”
~ Under the Covers
Steven Thompson hasn’t had much luck with men. His dates usually end up as amusing stories to tell his friends on Monday morning. However, it’s starting to feel like he’s the butt of a cosmic off-colour joke. Best thing to do? Concentrate on his work and stop dating. Dr Ken Miles is an astounding success…at work. His love life, if it could be called that, is a little lacking. Then he meets Steven. Ken knows to get what he wants for his personal life he has to apply the same principles of hard work he has in his career. Now, if only Steven would cooperate.
This is one the Smartypants romance, which means that it’s part of a series of spin offs written by various authors in the world created by Penny Reid in her Knitting in the City and Winston Brother series. Do you need to read Reid’s series to understand the events or characters in these books? No, but it will mean you’ll recognise the characters. Dr Ken Miles was the ‘villain’ in Reid’s book Friends Without Benefits and Steven has been in the Knitting in the City series from the start. Did I ever imagine that these two characters would end up together? No. But wow, clearly I was being very short-sighted as Sticking to the Script has been one of my favourite reads of 2019.
I feel like a cartoon character every time I think about this book. One with her hands clutched to her chest and hearts for eyes. This book was everything I want in a romance, it was so full of hope, laughs and was sexy to boot. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. More than anything, it was such a wonderful surprise. Admittedly, as a Penny Reid fan I was dubious about the pairing of Dr Ken Miles and Steven, but I have never been so pleased to be so wrong.
The main crux of my problem was the character of Dr Ken Miles. He was kind of an ass when we last met him, but Weaver managed to take the traits we know about and weave them into a much larger character narrative. Was he kind of clinical and arrogant? A little, but mainly he was nervous and awkward in social situations and manages to say the wrong things. But, watching Ken courting Steven in perfect earnest was one of the most beautiful things I’ve read.
Then there’s Steven, a character I already loved and getting to know him better just made me love him more. This was a funny book and most the humour was brought by Steven. However, like most good comedy, it also has the edge of tragedy; the funny stories he tells his friends about his dating life are have an edge. Which, is why it’s easy to see his reluctance to fully commit to Ken, he doesn’t want him to become yet another sad tale he twists into a comedy to placate his friends. But, never have I wanted a HEA more, I believe there was some actual yearning on my part.
This book was such a delightful surprise, I went in not knowing what I was going to get, but came out with stars in my eyes and a new author to follow. If you want to find something that manages to make you laugh but has true character growth and emotional depth; look no further.
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Annnnnd I will stop myself there, before I start waxing lyrical about my love of historical romance and fantasy as well; no one needs to know about my elf fantasies. As you can tell, I adore and day dream about most romance genres, and my three big loves are 1) reading about romance 2) writing about romance and 3) talking about romance with my gals. Which, is why I love Under the Covers so much, I get all my bookish needs satisfied and don’t get judged when I talk about my favourite characters like they are real people. Which they are right?