A Tender Curiosity (CrabbyPatty’s Review)

Title: A Tender Curiosity
Author: Charlie Cochet
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: June 15, 2018
Genre(s): Historical, Paranormal
Page Count: 90 pages
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Take a journey into the past and meet the men who laughed, lived, and loved in a bygone era. This collection includes three short but sweet tales of infatuation, adventure, humor, and even a dash of the paranormal.

When Love Walked In
Private investigator Bruce Shannon’s cases of missing persons and infidelity don’t inspire warm feelings around Valentine’s Day. Luckily Bruce is quite happy with only his cat for companionship—until handsome Jace Scarret wanders off the street and into Bruce’s life.

In His Corner
Former world heavyweight boxing champion Jessie “the Demon” Dalton needs a cornerman, and Eli jumps at the chance, hoping for answers about why Jessie broke his heart years ago. It soon becomes clear that Jessie needs Eli in his corner—and in his life. Now all Eli has to do is convince Jessie.

Believe Me, Beloved
Robert Bradley dreams of singing on the radio, and when he attends the masked ball of handsome station owner Gabriel Chase, Robert has no idea his dream is about to take an unexpected paranormal turn.

In His Corner originally published by Torquere Press, Inc., September, 2012.
When Love Walked In originally published by Torquere Press, Inc., February, 2012.
Believe Me, Beloved originally published in Masks Off Anthology by Top Shelf, An imprint of Torquere Press Publishers, 2012.

This is a collection of three short stories, set in America in the 1920’s and 1930’s:

When Love Walked In is set in the early 1930’s in the Depression. Bruce is a burly private dick who runs into a down-on-his-luck homeless man, Jace, in his apartment building. Bruce gives Jace a meal, a place to stay, and a job as his secretary. The story is very short and sweet as the two men celebrate Valentine’s Day together, with the promise of many, many more together.

In His Corner is set in 1923 with Jesse “The Demon” Dalton, a former heavyweight boxing champion, who is nearly washed-up at age 40. 25-year-old Eli Mayhew has loved Jesse forever, since he first met him when his uncle managed Jesse’s career. When the two men meet again, they find their feelings for one another are stronger than ever and there’s a happy ending to this short vignette.

Believe Me, Beloved is a longer story about Robert Bradley, who is overjoyed to be invited to attempt a high society ball in the home of his boss (and crush) Gabriel Chase. Turns out it’s a costume ball and Robert is given a white mask to wear, while other guests have red, gold or silver masks. As the story unfolds, Robert learns the meaning of the mask colors, and is introduced to a world of shape shifters and a “society” unlike anything he has ever imagined.

The first two stories are very brief, and while there is not a lot of character development nor plot, Cochet does convey a nice sense of the era, which I gather is NYC. There is the sizzle of sexual interest, but not a lot of on-page details, which I thought works well for the time period.

The final story involves a more involved plot and the brief sketching of a society that exists beyond the awareness and understanding of the rest of the world, however, there is little character development and chemistry between Gabriel and Robert and the ending seems rushed and incomplete.

While I like the general premise of each story, the tales were so brief and undeveloped that I found it hard to invest in the characters. 3 stars.

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Galley copy of A Tender Curiosity provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.


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: 100 Book Reviews Reviews Published Professional Reader