Roxana-Mălina Chirilă

Kristen Slater – Working it Out [review… + reminiscing]

Around 2008-2009 I discovered that Project Gutenberg, which is one of THE best sources for free, out-of-copyright books, was suggesting that people can volunteer for producing those books. I signed up.

I became a proofreader for the aptly-named Distributed Proofreaders. The system is long and beautiful and it produces the excellent books on the Gutenberg website today (I can tell you all about it later).

It was a lovely period of my life. I recommend Distributed Proofreaders to anybody who likes free books. I think I quit in… 2011? or so?… Maybe 2010? I got busy with a lot of other things and I didn’t log in for some time, then failed to log in at all. I miss it sometimes, and it taught me a lot.

Anyway, as it happens, I got to know a few people there and to talk to them. I posted on the forum, I enthused about all sorts of things. This blog has been around since the end of 2012, but the incessant talker in me has been around for much longer. So imagine my surprise when I got an e-mail not too long ago from a person who was a fellow proofreader, Kristen Slater, who was contacting me to say that she was getting published and she was dedicating the novella to me.

I have bragging rights, so here’s the dedication 😀

To Roxana Kiril, without whom I would never have discovered writing.

I didn’t do much, but I’m too flattered to be able to properly disagree with her.

So what’s the book about? Well, it’s about 55 pages of fluffy, casual m/m romance. It doesn’t say or do anything very uncommon, and the plot won’t surprise you with a thousand twists and turns. It doesn’t connect all the dots and sometimes you feel like you’ve been cheated out of reading things that were interesting (Joe getting his boss kicked out, for example). But if fluff and a feeling of fuzzy warmth are your thing, you might like it.

The premise is in the official description, so I won’t be spoiling you much: the two main characters have been together for awhile, but is it love? It takes an accident to find out, and some talks, and some help from friends.

One thing I really liked were the small details that Kristen inserts here and there – like the two characters eating chocolate that’s been dunked in black coffee. They’re small, life-like little touches which are fun to remember.

Another thing I enjoyed: the novella isn’t focused on sexual desire. It’s not that the two characters are not interested in each other (they are), or that they don’t get in bed together (they do), but it isn’t used as *the* driving motor of their relationship. And the story is entirely unapologetic about the lack of sexy tidbits, which is refreshing, really.

Overall? A book that fans of fluffy, romantic, casual stories might like reading.

(You can find it here)

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