The Official Description: Luke Schumaker designs computer games, working from his home. Every day he walks his dog in the woods nearby, never suspecting that someone who is completely smitten is watching.
The watcher is Alex Shaw, and he too works from home, designing logic and crossword puzzles. Alex’s options are limited: he’s too shy to approach Luke and his wheelchair won’t let him follow into the woods. His solution? Secret messages for Luke in the crosswords he writes for the local paper.
When Luke decodes them, romance begins, but then they face greater puzzles, like Alex’s interfering sister and what commitment to a man in a wheelchair really takes. And, most puzzling of all, how do you know if love is real?
Just the facts: M/M contemporary romance novella, a character with a disability, gay characters, fun, and a dog!
A fun, witty, heart-achey romance between two hot nerds.
My thoughts bit: This book was a lot of fun. It’s a novella, so it’s a quick read. But Easton packs a lot into this story.
Luke is a game designer who works from home. He hikes with his dog most mornings and returns home one day to find a newspaper with a crossword puzzle in it… with a hidden personalized message. I loved this premise! I thought the idea of someone creating a special message hidden in a puzzle was lovely and romantic.
Alex, the man behind the crossword puzzle is a great character. He’s strong, independent and hilarious. He was born with Spina bifida and is in a wheelchair. I liked Alex. He doesn’t dwell on the fact that his life is “different” from some people’s. He’s great at expressing what he needs/wants and I really felt the emotion when he found out that Luke reciprocated his interest.
Both these characters are sheltered in their own way… one because he is working from home all the time and has fallen away from the social life he had before he moved, the other because it’s challenging to know that someone is interested enough in him to see past his disability.
Although this is a short piece of work, there’s a lot of emotion packed into it. There were a few times when I felt that lovely heart-achy-pain of wanting to get in the book and sort these two men out !!! Life is messy, and these two characters are no exception to that. A strong 4 stars from me! I would definitely read more by the author!
The warnings bit: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) mentions past infidelity with a married man
Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, and organic farmer, Eli has been a m/m romance author since 2013. She has over 30 books published.
Eli has loved romance since her teens and she particular admires writers who can combine literary merit, genuine humor, melting hotness, and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, bulldogs, cows, a cat, and lots of groundhogs.
In romance, Eli is best known for her Christmas stories because she’s a total Christmas sap. These include “Blame it on the Mistletoe”, “Unwrapping Hank” and “Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles”. Her “Howl at the Moon” series of paranormal romances featuring the town of Mad Creek and its dog shifters has been popular with readers. And her series of Amish-themed romances, Men of Lancaster County, has won genre awards.
Her website is www.elieaston.com
You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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I received an ARC of Puzzle Me This by Eli Easton via Signal Boost Promotions in exchange for an unbiased review.