Puzzle Me This by Eli Easton (3 Stars)

Playing games can be fun as long as it isn’t with somebody’s heart.

Luke Schumaker is a video game designer who is fortunate enough to work at home. One day, he discovers a crossword puzzle with an extra clue and realizes somebody is interested in him. Wheelchair-bound since birth, Alex Shaw writes crossword puzzles for a living. He’s been watching Luke through his window and decides it’s time for them to meet.

Told from Luke’s point of view, the story focused on whether or not he could spend his life with somebody unable to walk. Luke was a nice guy who was constantly throwing out one-liners, but he was a bit immature in his behavior, especially as he became move involved with Alex. Unfortunately, Alex was also a bit immature. For example, he had a rating scale which he used to determine if two people were good enough for each other. It would have been fine to do that if the focus was on personality traits, like compassion, instead of physical attributes.

There is a lot of sex in this story starting from almost their first meeting. I would have liked to have seen that time spent developing the relationship and characters more. I really enjoyed the puzzle angle.

Sex-packed story with a unique use of puzzles, this nice little short was an easy read.

cover

Originally reviewed for The Romance Reviews. Complimentary copy provided by author/publisher for an honest review.

BLURB

Luke Schumaker is a computer game designer who works from home in a small college town in Pennsylvania. When he starts finding secret messages in a Philadelphia paper’s crossword puzzles, he can hardly believe it. The messages are clearly meant for him, but who is the crossword puzzle author? The byline is a pseudonym, and the newspaper refuses to give their author away. Luke is intrigued and delighted. He sets out on a quest to learn the identity of his secret admirer.

Alex Shaw has been in a wheelchair since birth. That hasn’t stopped him from living independently and making a career as a crossword puzzle writer. He’s content enough until he starts noticing the gorgeous man with long blond hair who hikes past Alex’s apartment every morning. He learns from the complex manager that the hiker is Luke Schumaker, a game designer. Alex can’t resist the challenge of getting Luke’s attention. But even if he can charm Luke with the power of a good puzzle, could Luke love a man in a wheelchair?

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