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REVIEW: “Pluck and Play” by Clare London



Everyone knows Curtis Wilson around the Soho business scene: a hard-working, budding young entrepreneur, who can get you supplies of whatever you need, and always with a joke and a laugh. Only Curtis knows that’s a purely public persona. Secretly, he’s still licking his wounds after being beaten up by his ex-lover, and he’s not about to let his guard down again.

Handsome Riley Richmond was born to be a cowboy, on his father’s side at least. But after his parents’ deaths, he finds himself stranded this side of the Atlantic, an anachronism in the bustling capital, and without financial capital. His consolation is his music, albeit he’s not a very successful busker and he loses his only decent piano gig after standing up for Curtis against a homophobic bully.

After that, they keep meeting, partly by accident, partly by Riley’s design. He’s smitten, and doesn’t mind letting Curtis know. Their music brings them together – Riley’s guitar playing and Curtis’ sharp, sexy poetry are a powerful combination. But Curtis still has some unfinished business with his ex-lover that he’s struggling to handle on his own. Riley intends to be the man Curtis calls on for help, whether he likes it or not. He’ll do whatever it takes to show Curtis that people can still be trusted to be honest and caring – even if it means walking them both into danger.


Have you ever finished a book and wondered ‘what did I miss?’ A handful of times I’ve had the unfortunate displeasure of making it to the end and found myself scratching my head in confusion. This was one of those times.

I didn’t click with the guys.
I didn’t click with the story.
I didn’t click with…the editing?
Basically, we missed on every angle.
Bummer. I hate it when that happens.

Curtis is kinda a jerk. No. He’s definitely a jerk but he tries to play the endearing jerk. I didn’t buy it. Or maybe I just didn’t like him? I’m not certain. I respect honesty and a straight shooter, but you know those people that completely lack filters? Yeah, that’s Curtis. He didn’t just put his foot in his mouth, he put his whole damn shoe collection in his flapping trap. He runs into some bad luck and his knight-in-shining-armor is actually a singing cowboy. Hat, boots and all. I’m a sucker for cowboys and I lurve me some rock stars. Sadly, Riley is not a real cowboy. Or at least that is how I took him. Curtis continued to hound him about his cowboy authenticity and it zoned in on the fact that despite Riley being a sweetheart, he’s wasn’t raised in the saddle. The music didn’t lull me as I had hoped. I wanted to love the musical twist, I tried…I couldn’t.

Their story was…funky. Curtis owns his own business and shares a flat with a couple of good friends. He’s basically a one-man show for a delivery service and his customers love him. His last boyfriend was abusive and he is still struggling with the post-traumatic stress of the relationship. When a stranger rescues him from a hate crime and then continues to cross his path, he considers jumping back into the dating game. Or jump back on the horse, or rather the cowboy. Riley is tender, sweet and secretive. Curtis would like to know what those secrets are but he’s fairly self-absorbed and misses several obvious clues. Then the jerky ex comes back into the picture and I lost the frail thread that I was clinging to. The ‘big’ scene near the end left me shaking my head. I still am.

And what about the editing? I honestly felt like I was reading a copy that was attacked by termites. There were holes. Possibly even parts of scenes that were axed. It felt choppy and rough. Even sections of dialogue that didn’t flow. I caught myself rereading paragraphs multiple times, searching for the reason why I was lost. It felt as if I was reading 3/4 of the book. Things were missing and it was noticeable.

This happens to be book five in the series, so I’m thinking that something is going right for ‘With a Kick’…and frankly, I missed it.

Hopefully you’ll find what I couldn’t.




Title: Pluck and Play (With A Kick #5)
Author: Clare London
Publisher: Jocular Press
Pages: 98 pages
Release Date: February 6, 2015
Purchase Links: Amazon

3 comments on “REVIEW: “Pluck and Play” by Clare London

  1. clarelondon
    March 26, 2015

    Thank you for your time in reviewing.


    • Sheri
      March 26, 2015

      I always feel sad when I miss the connection with a story. I know not every story is for every reader, but it still bums me out. I was chatting last week with a dear friend about my ‘miss’ with P&P and she told me I should try Compulsion. She said it was her favorite story of yours and was certain I would enjoy it. I’m looking forward to giving it a go. I’m not giving up! Takes me a couple of attempts and fails before I admit that I don’t mix with an author. Thanks for not giving up on me as a reader!


  2. clarelondon
    March 30, 2015

    Thanks Sheri.


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This entry was posted on March 23, 2015 by in Contemporary, Reviewer: Sheri and tagged , , .

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