Sticking to the Script, an all-new standalone in the romantic comedy Cipher Office series, from Stella Weaver is available now!
Steven Thompson had a bad year. A string of mean, kinky (the alarming kind, not the good kind), and crazy dating debacles combined with a boss who appears to be experiencing male-prenatal-psychosis means Steven’s stress levels are high. They’re so high, he’s decided to quit dating and focus instead solely on his job.
Until he meets Dr. Ken Miles.
Doctor Ken Miles is having a fantastic year. His hard work is paying off in a big way . . . professionally. But his social life? Not so much.
Until he meets Steven Thompson.
Steven isn’t so sure about Dr. Miles, but Ken is one hundred percent certain about Mr. Thompson. And even though both men know full well that the key to getting what you want out of life is hard work, they can’t seem to make them—together—work.
Will they ever get on the same page? Or just keep sticking to the same old script?
'Sticking to the Script' is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, can be read as a standalone, and is book#2 in the Cipher Office series, Knitting in the City World, Penny Reid Book Universe.
So when Ken and Steven first meet it is not love at first sight as Ken's reputation of being cold and arrogant has preceded him. They end up striking up an easy friendship whilst Ken's feelings are more than just friendship. Unaware that Ken is bisexual, Steven is content to be friends.
Steven is very concerned about how others perceive him so he keeps most of himself hidden from those around him. Working at Cipher is his dream job and he doesn't want anything to risk this so he keeps lots of himself secret. This includes his growing relationship with Ken as well as the threat posed by a crazy date.
This was hard hitting as they confront the secrets they both hold and demonstrates the lack of understanding faced by those who identify as bisexual. That being said I did struggle with the dynamics of Cipher here as there was a lot of backstory that I was missing and was expected to know. I still managed to enjoy this read though.
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Excerpt“He asked you to a movie?” She blinked, nonplussed. “Who are we talking about?” Nico asked, leaning around Elizabeth to look at me. His green eyes held a mischievous twinkle, no doubt eager to hear a new chapter of farce and lunacy in Steven’s Big Book of Dating Disasters. “Ken Miles,” I replied. Nico’s twinkle and dimple disappeared. Whether Elizabeth disliked Ken or not, I was sure Nico loathed the man. I couldn’t blame him; it was his prerogative to hate men who used to lust after his wife. He arched one raven eyebrow and asked, “How’d that come about?” “Yeah,” Elizabeth said. “How, Steven?” Her tone was curious, but I thought I detected a little tinge of disapproval that I didn’t like. Not wanting to make an issue of anything, I replied with an easy nonchalance. “I ran into him at Buzzy’s. We started talking about Mystery Science Theater 3000—” “That show’s a riot,” Nico asserted, reaching for his fritter. “The reboot is pretty good, too.” “That’s what I told DKM.” I took Nico’s lead and grabbed my own heavenly pastry. “Then, when he found out the movie was playing at the Music Box,” he asked me if I wanted to see it. So, we went.” I shrugged. “There’s a movie?” Nico asked. “How did I not know this?” I mumbled around my fritter bite, “You’re not missing much.” “Stinker, eh?” “Little bit.” I shrugged again. That had been two, overly casual shrugs in just a few seconds and I worried I was playing it too cool. Elizabeth’s powers of observation surpassed my own. If I wasn’t careful, she’d have me giving her every last detail of the evening. “So,” she broke in. “Are you thinking this might have been like, you know, a date?” Her brows were drawn together in concern, her words tentative. I tilted my head in stern exasperation. “Puh-leeze. The man didn’t know who McSteamy was. I got the memo that he’s straight.” “Who’s McSteamy?” Nico asked. I pursed my lips together, raised my eyebrows and gestured to Nico. “I rest my case.” Elizabeth laughed. “I’m sorry, I just didn’t want you getting the wrong idea or anything. He’s”—she looked at her husband in apology—“he’s very good-looking, and I could see how asking you to a movie could get your hopes up.” “Nah,” I waved dismissively. “I know what’s up. But I think we could hang out,” I volunteered without thinking. I instantly regretted my slip. “Good luck with that,” Nico said with a laugh. “We had a good time. He’s kind of funny,” I defended. “Not possible,” he declared. Nico was a comedian, and a very successful one at that. He knew what was funny and wasn’t about to give the odious Dr. Miles any benefit of the doubt where humor was concerned. Inexplicable annoyance spurred me to continue. “I think I might make hanging out with him a regular thing.” “I don’t think a stiff like that knows how to have fun.” Elizabeth grimaced at her husband’s uncharacteristic snark, then issued me a sympathetic smile. “Well, it will be good for Dr. Ken Miles. He’s not the most colorful person in the city, that’s for sure. Maybe you’ll broaden his horizons.”
About Stella Weaver
Stella Weaver is a reader, writer, sloppy crafter and family-woman. She’s a native of coastal northern California who now lives on the Texas Gulf coast. She’s won the much coveted #1 Mom of the Year Award and has the coffee mug to prove it.
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