Maxi’s Place: Volume One by Literary Stud

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maxisplacevol1Publisher/Date: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, Apr. 2014
Genre(s): Romance
Pages: 128
Website:  http://www.literarystud.com

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

MAXI’S PLACE (VOL. 1), a bind-up of three previously published serial e-books by Literary Stud, is mixture of love, secrets and heartbreak simmering in one spot.

Yes, just like her tagline says, the popular hangout for the Dallas lesbian crowd features “good food, good music and great drama.” But the good thing is that the drama is not over-the-top, just enough to give fantastic character development and a sense that the next volume will promise better things.

Last year, I reviewed both Rumors Ring True (Part 1) and It’s Complicated (Part 2), and found both to be engaging.

Part 1 titled Rumors Ring True mostly surrounds hostess Ava and saxophonist Bailey discreetly flirting with each other while suppressing their mutual attraction, both wary to begin a workplace romance because of prying eyes and ears. Not to mention Maxi’s Place owner Cole wants to keep her establishment drama-free – which means no employee fraternizing.

Speaking of Cole, It’s Complicated (Part 2) allows readers a glimpse at the woman who knows how to run a restaurant like a well-oiled machine – and her office like a sexual revolving door. Under Cole’s management, every employee knows their role except head chef Tasha, the only one who can dish flak (and her favorite sandwich) to Cole without consequences because they have a genuine friendship that goes beyond the doors Maxi’s Place. It also acquaints us with bartender Logan and the beautiful nightmares that haunt her after her shift is over.

In the most recent installment, The Lies We Tell (Part 3), readers get a real tour of a night a Maxi’s Place. Ava and Bailey are still in the mix, Cole and Tasha find themselves at odds and Logan is trying to get her life back on track. I won’t say anything more because it’ll give away the book’s progression, but just know that Part 3 is the best of the series.

With five strong characters, Literary Stud moves from good, to great to excellent as each installment progresses. The story is stronger, as well. Where there was too much of Ava and Bailey in the beginning, everything smooths itself out, and everyone gets equal time. Maxi’s Place (Volume 1) is a good showcase of Literary Stud’s talent, and I would love to see what she would do with a full-length novel.

[rating-report]

Reviewed April 2014

About Literary Stud

Born in the heart of Dallas, Texas, Literary Stud discovered her love of writing from an early age. Although life gets in the way from time to time, the passion of creating realistic characters and weaving attention grabbing plots drives Literary Stud to continue to perfect her craft.

A proud nerd, Literary Stud enjoys true reality television, anything Mafia related and is an avid watcher of The History Channel, Investigation Discovery and a host of other channels that educate as well as entertain. However, she is addicted to the Dallas Cowboys and the Dallas Mavericks. During their seasons, she is known for screaming at the television and having sporadic fits while watching games.


It’s Complicated (Maxi’s Place #2) by Literary Stud

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itscomplicatedliterarystudPublisher/Date:  Amazon Digital Services, Inc., Jan. 2012
Genre(s):  Romance, E-Short
Pages:  50
Website:  http://twitter.com/literarystud

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

The Plot:  What a difference 3 months makes in IT’S COMPLICATED, the second installment of the Maxi’s Place series. Author Literary Stud gave us an intriguing sample with Rumor’s Ring True, but It’s Complicated offers much more flavor. Maxi’s Place owner, Cole, takes after her womanizing aunt for whom the restaurant is named after; her good friend and cook, Tasha, wonders why she can’t get her stud to be as ambitious Cole. Taylor tries to leave her past behind, but it continues to follow the bartender. And finally, we’re reacquainted with Bailey and Ava, still keeping their relationship under wraps, but soon realizing it’s hard to hide secrets at Maxi’s Place.

The Good:  Literary Stud does an excellent job introducing the new characters and sharing their issues, compared to the previous story that mostly focused on Bailey and Ava’s blossoming romance. This second episode delves deeper into the lives of Maxi’s Place workers and makes you wish for the next serving.

The Not-So-Good: The fact it leaves you hanging on.

The Bottom Line: Maxi’s Place is a spot you’ll want to revisit for the third time.

Reviewed April 2013


Rumors Ring True (Maxi’s Place) by Literary Stud

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rumorsringtruePublisher/Date:  Amazon Digital Services, Inc., Aug. 2012
Genre: Romance
Pages:  47
Website:  http://twitter.com/literarystud

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

The Plot: RUMORS RING TRUE, the first in the Maxi’s Place series, promises “drama, deceit, and maybe a little love.” Maxi’s Place electrifies with great food, ambiance, and music. Behind the scenes, a romance steams between hostess Ava Russell and saxophonist Bailey Thompson. Because restaurant owner Cole Washington frowns against workplace romances, Ava and Bailey hide their budding attraction. Yet it’s unmistakable. The question is: what they are going to do about it?

The Good: A quick read, Rumors sets up a good story you could see yourself reading more of. Ava and Bailey play a cat-and-mouse game that some may find appealing.

The Not-So-Good: The cat-and-mouse game. Will they or won’t they? That’s mostly what this first installment was about. It would have been nice had Rumors incorporated other characters a little more.

The Bottom Line:Rumors Ring True is one of those Kindle stories to read on a lazy afternoon. I’m just curious enough to see what happens next.

Reviewed December 2012