Title: Unscripted (Heartsville)
Author: Nico Jaye
Pages/Word Count: 80 Pages
At a Glance: Fun, sweet, adorable, charming—Unscripted is all that and a little more.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Theater manager Teddy Carbone’s life has gone pretty much according to script… until now.
To his surprise, Teddy finds himself co-owner of the Oasis Theater with Carter Monroe, a corporate shark who’s looking at him like he’s chum in the water. Being in charge of the theater is one thing, but having to deal with Carter and his demands is another. With Carter’s proposed plan to sell the Oasis looming, Teddy must convince Carter the theater is worth saving. When he introduces the bright, bold world of the stage to Carter’s cold, all-business lifestyle, though, Teddy soon comes to recognize that the Oasis might not be the only thing he has a chance to save.
Review: I’ve said this publicly on any number of occasions, but it bears repeating here. I love short stories and novellas because sometimes I just want to get in, get happy, and get out. Get me to the HEA without all the angst and big misunderstandings, give me a fun and sweet short, maybe a little bit of the sexy too, and I’m your audience pretty much every single time.
Nico Jaye’s Unscripted was the perfect little read for a weekend afternoon. When we meet Teddy Carbone, he’s just received news that he’s now the partial owner of the theater that’s grown into such an important part of its community, this neighborhood called Heartsville. He’s also been informed he has a new partner, Carter Monroe, a successful businessman and the nephew of the former owner of the Oasis—a man who’s forgotten what the theater had once meant to him.
This story starts off with the sexy, moves on to the sweet, then ends with the fun (and more of the sexy, which, as an excellent bonus, was also fun!), perfectly paced as Teddy charms his way through his efforts to convince Carter not to sell the theater, lusting after him more than a little, and then Teddy proceeds to impress Carter not only with his love for the place and its people but with his knowledge of the running of the theater itself.
Teddy is adorable, Carter has a sexy sort of commanding charisma, and while we don’t get pages and pages of these two men falling in love, what Nico Jaye does give us is a convincing glimpse of their passionate and playful sides, and I totally bought into them as a couple. I also loved Teddy’s family—they give the story some feel-good moments that add to all the other warm feelings Unscripted delivers.
If you’re not a big fan of shorter stories but decide to give Unscripted a chance, the only thing I think you’ll find it doesn’t do is last long enough.
You can buy Unscripted here: