Review: Jodi Payne – Creative Process

Author: Jodi Payne
Reviewer: Wendy
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary

Rating: ★★★★☆ 


Best-selling thriller author Reese Kelsey knows his career isn’t conducive to romance. He doesn’t work the normal nine-to-five, and sometimes his characters take hold and demand all his attention, causing him to neglect important appointments… and lovers. Rather than go through another heartbreak, Reese contents himself with his small circle of friends—fellow gay New York City artists—and his dedicated publicist, Chad.

Until he sees Owen Mercado lugging his cello toward the subway and impulsively offers him a ride.

Owen has worked long and hard for a career in the symphony, and success comes with a demanding schedule—something Reese understands. Their desires and lifestyles are surprisingly compatible, and Reese and Owen certainly set the bedroom on fire. They’re both carrying baggage, but they fit, and it’s hard not to hope for a future that once seemed impossible.

But when Reese’s work inevitably pulls him into its dark world and refuses to let go, Owen draws a hard line, and Reese discovers he can’t rely on good intentions alone. He will have to control the obsession that drove his other lovers away or risk losing Owen as well.


I’ve always wondered how talented authors go about creating their masterpieces, so it was a total treat to read this book and get one version of exactly how that might happen. “Creative Process” was like getting a story within a story. One of the MCs, Reese, is an author and in the process of writing what he expects to be the final installment of a series that has been quite literally consuming his life for a little too long. I found myself invested and wondering about the direction of the story he was writing. I also found that I was more than a little frightened at the depth to which his story’s main characters got inside his head. A couple of times, the concept of “anger issues” popped into my head regarding Reese – that’s exactly how deep his stories and characters manifested themselves into his psyche.

Owen is a great complement to Reese as far as partners go. As a musician, Owen also understands what it’s like to get caught up in the creative process. However, he does have a hard limit when it comes to a couple of Reese’s more extreme behaviors and that’s really the only place where any angst comes into play between these guys. Owen truly acts like the more mature half of this couple despite his younger age. He may have given up a little control to Reese in the bedroom; however, he was by no means a pushover. He stood up for himself and his own needs when others needed to hear it. Go, Owen!

I enjoyed getting to know some of the secondary characters and how/why they fit into Reese and/or Owen’s circle of friends. From a romantic perspective, I wouldn’t necessarily rank this one really high up on my list. Their relationship happened quickly and didn’t require a long pursuit or slow burn. Regardless, I enjoyed their dynamic and the unique expression of creativity brought to life in this story. Very interesting!


Dreamspinner Press 

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