PS (Crabbypatty’s Review)

Title: PS
Author: Caraway Carter
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing
Release Date: October 26, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 142
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Blurb:

Looking back, it was kind of crazy to put a down payment on a fallen-down train depot I’d never actually seen, in a state I’d never actually been to, and use it to build a life with a guy I’d never actually met, but love makes people do crazy things. If you’ve ever been in love, you know what I mean.

But before the plane had landed, I found out that Sam—the guy I’d met online and had been talking to for four years—wasn’t really Sam. He wasn’t even a guy.

I already own the little train depot, and I can’t go back to my old life. And Fairville is such a lovely welcoming town. Did I mention James? He’s made sure that I’ve had a really warm welcome.

All I want is to build a great little bookstore, and have a relationship based on humor, honesty, and hardbacks. I see some tough choices ahead of me.

Or maybe I don’t have to choose…


I loved the premise of this story, as well as the small Vermont community Caraway Carter creates in PS. Catfishing victim Gus bets all on love, and get a rude awakening:

Sam—the man I’d hoped would work on not only my wood, but that of the building—had finally admitted he was actually a she, and that she was a twenty-one-year-old creative writing student. She went on to explain that our entire relationship had been for her senior thesis. She’d never meant to lead me on. She’d said she didn’t believe a guy could be so lonely as to sell everything he owned so he could buy a train depot on the basis of emails, instant messages, and Skype.

But with the help of the community, Gus starts rebuilding his life, as well as restoring the train depot with plans for PS (“Post Sam”) a bookstore / cafe / community center. Along the way he meets James Boyer, “newly minted gay” handyman, and they start navigating a relationship while restoring the depot.

As mentioned above, I really got into the premise of this story, but had a few quibbles. PS has a large cast of secondary characters, and I didn’t feel I knew the two MCs, Gus and James. I needed more insight into their characters, their emotions, their experiences, and didn’t really sense their sexual chemistry. Also at times the dialogue was awkward and unclear and I found myself reading and rereading passages in order to figure out just was happened. Finally, there were a few plot points that seemed clunky:

Spoiler
Gus and Sam have had a four-year relationship yet he believes when Sam tells him she is a 21-year-old college student writing her senior thesis, which would mean the relationship started when she was 18? Also, Gus “replaces” Sam with James very rapidly, and I felt Gus forgave Sam and Kelly too quickly for the catfishing
… however I realize other readers may not be bothered with these issues.

I give PS 3.5 stars for the great premise and community but would have liked more character development.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of PS provided by Publisher in exchange of an honest review.

Author

Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas

I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend.

My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh … not in my wheelhouse, but I’m a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre.

Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more.

A few “badges” from NetGalley:
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