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Monday, May 9, 2016

Topped by Kayti McGee

                    A Review by Wendy                 
4 Be Willing to Dive Right In Stars 
     * * * *

There are some reads which must have the right attitude to get the "full flavor". You have to be open to just go with the flow and let it take you where it wants to go. Kayti McGee was new to me. I didn't have a clue of her writing style or anything she had done before. All I had to go on was a blurb which caught my attention and made me say, Yes... I think I could get into this...

And I Did :DDD

The idea is nothing profound...A romance author, Randi Rose, plugging away at her craft...churning out books she loves but not receiving the audience she feels she deserves. She takes the time to craft her books... feeling deeply about all of it. Has a fair fanbase but is stuck in the middle ...not hitting the top 100 on Amazon or receiving the recognition or respect from peers she admires.

Match that with our other author, Charlie Shivers. He has come up with a genre unique to itself... Dino Porn. It is written to cause stomachs to cramp from laughing so hard at the craziness of it all and he is churning out these puppies faster than he can think up a new title. His books climb the top 100 in minutes. He is basking in the fun of everyone who reads his stuff is in on the joke.

(I was not familiar with the infamous Chuck Tingle and his Dino Porn, for real. This is a guy who has a fanbase and was nominated for the prestigious Hugo Ward for writing. Kayti says on her website this was an homage to him.)

Everyone but Randi, that is...

Now let me share for a minute... The way this book is written is we get alternating POV's. We are with Randi as she drinks her wine which helps her get through all the angsty writing passages of her book...We are with Charlie while he shoots the sh*t with his Bros and their banter/ teasing and just stupid silliness adding up to additional titles for future books.
Both of the characters' humor is hysterically funny in a silly, true way of how friends talk and how people think in their heads. All of this sets the tone for what is to come...the fun and games, the self-doubt, the discovery of what is really happening and everything else surrounding them.

So we have the set-up of Randi hating the success Charlie is having. She doesn't feel he is qualified to even be called an author, let alone writer. She has tracked his books with alerts; bought them and then has done one star reviews, blistering attacks of his credibility. She, on the other hand, has been producing works for quite some time and needs a breakthrough. The Annual Romance Convention is taking place in her town of Kansas City meaning it will be on her turf. She is desperate to line up one of the Top 5 publishers to represent her. She feels this will be her chance.

Charles is not immune to feelings; he works hard in his own way. Always having a notebook with him, writing down his inspirations, having them ready for when he is ready to go. His tight group of bros and their Buddy Lunches are the ultimate bonding time for these guys... all talking in Dinosaur/Bro speak about their days, women and drinking beer. Nothing too heavy or serious... not the code.

Charles is going to be at the convention too; he is looking to see how to market better and maybe nab a deal of foreign rights...also wouldn't hurt to possibly hook up with one of his fans... The list of opportunities is endless for this hot guy.

These two meet, (DUH), hook up with using their real names. Have the best sex of their lives. She leaves before he wakes. The next day they are both scheduled to be on a panel discussion... only to discover they are Charles Shivers and Randi Rose....dum ta dum dum....Mortal Enemies....

This book is so much fun. The banter, the inside reader-blogger-author-street team directives... all of it was just right on. The chemistry of these two was off the charts and sexy times were hot, happening, and seriously funny.

There were current references to the political scene which had me choking and laughing with tears running down my face. It was the type were you have to stop and gather yourself...letting out huge sighs.

But all jokes aside... it was also a very smart story about the politics of the publishing world, the way books are promoted and how reviews and stats can be manipulated. Things are not always as they seem or handled the way they should...

What was the final cherry on top of all of this was how we saw each character mirror the other in real time... both realizing how they felt for each other... both having to take things into consideration and form different ideas.

Kayti McGee had her tongue planted firmly in her cheek for most of this book, however, she also was doing what my dad would say... Kidding on the square. Through all of the cuttingly funny jokes, the innuendo of gaming the system of reviews etc...she gave us a very clear picture of how ratings and popularity can foster unbecoming behavior. She had the smarts to couple all of this with a terrific love story, too. Which to me confirms, Kayti McGee knows from where she speaks.
Very entertaining in so many ways.

A gifted copy was provided by author/publisher for an honest review.


Kayti McGee is a former Kansas Citian who now follows the Royals from Colorado. Besides writing, her hobbies include travel, cooking, and all thing Whovian. She also writes as the latter half of Laurelin McGee. Like her co-author Laurelin Paige, she joined Mensa for no other reason than to make her bio more interesting.

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