A Stella Review: Set Me Free by Kitty Stephens


RATING  3.75 out of 5 stars

Set Me FreeAaron Ledbetter’s future had been planned out for him since before he was born. Each year, the Ledbetter family vacation on Tybee Island gave Aaron a chance to briefly free himself from his family’s expectations. When he meets Jonas “Lucky” Luckett, a caricature artist in town with the traveling carnival, he must choose between the life that’s been mapped out for him, and the chance at true love.

Set Me Free is Kitty Stephens‘ debut novel, in my opinion a very well done young adult story. Two things conquered me, the characters and the writing.

Lucky is eighteen years old, his highschool teacher found him a summer job to a carnival off the coast of Georgia. He is nervous, knowing this is a great chance for his future in an art college but it can’t wait to start enjoying a summer doing what he can do best.

Aaron is looking forward his three months on the Tybee Island to live without his parents’ expectations to go to Harward, take over their company and marry his bestfriend, Lyn. He wants nothing of that.

Aaron and Lucky come from two very different words, being together is hard,  for Aaron, deeply in the closet with no intention of coming out due to parents that have planned his life without asking for their son’s dreams. And for Lucky too, out and proud, with no money and only his talent and a supporting (except for distracting boyfriend) mum. It was a pleasure to see their relationship bloom, Aaron let go of his fears and open up to Lucky. At the same time it was painful too, especially when Aaron and Lyn kept things from each other, afraid of the implications their actions and with who they fall in love, could have on their lives.

I found the writing very good, the reading flew easily and I get to the end without even realizing it. I particularly loved the descriptions, I really felt myself in the carnival, on the beach, at Lucky’s booth waiting for him to draw me in. The author did an amazing work, she sucked me into the MCs’ lives and it was impossible to let them go.

At the end what I got was a story about freedom, summer loves and finally achieve your wishes. It is sweet, emotional and lovely. I feel I can recommend it. I can say I’m curious to read more by Kitty Stephens.

The cover design by CB Messer is what caught my attention first. It’s so cute and sweet, I simply couldn’t resist. And it perfectly portraits the story of Aaron and Jonas.

Sales Links: Interlude Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition,192 pages
Published June 6th 2016 by Duet, an imprint of Interlude Press
Edition Language English

In Our Spotlight: Set Me Free by Kitty Stephens (Author Interview, Excerpt and Giveaway)


Set Me Free 1600px FRONT (Smashwords, Amazon)

Set Me Free by Kitty Stephens
Release Date: June 9, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: C.B. Messer

Today Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is very lucky to be interviewing Kitty Stephens, author of Set Me Free. Hi Kitty, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

My name Kitty Stephens. I currently reside in Ohio, with my husband, my son, and our three guinea pigs. I’ve been an avid reader since I was very young and started writing when I was around nine or ten. Once I had internet access, I became active in fan communities and started posting my work on various fan sites. Set Me Free is my first book.

What did you want to be when you grew up?  When I was a child and got asked this question, I had one answer; I wanted to be a writer. Actually, I said “novelist”, possibly because it sounded more professional to my ears (but in retrospect probably made me sound pretentious). This answer was the only answer I had, all the way until I graduated high school and even into the few years I attended college. My mother even used to tell people that I was going to publish a book and make enough money to buy her a nice house to retire in.

Even though life got in the way and took me on a few detours, I never stopped wanting to write my own books and have them published. It’s taken me a lot longer than I could have anticipated, but publishing Set Me Free is the culmination of a lifelong dream for me.


When an affluent college-bound boy falls for a young artist, he must choose between the life that’s been mapped out for him and the chance at true love.


Pages or Words: 63,000 words
Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance


They found a secluded spot to sit off the main drag and scarfed down pieces of pizza and people-watched. Aaron had been full of nerves earlier, but Lucky put him at ease. He had that way about him.

“I’ve got a few minutes left,” Lucky said when they finished their food.

They got up, sipping at their drinks as they made their way through the crowd back toward Lucky’s booth. It was now or never. He had to ask, had to get the words out, or miss his shot.

“Can I ask you something?” Lucky spoke up before Aaron could. Maybe Lucky would… Aaron held his breath, nodding. “It might sound weird.”

“Sure,” Aaron replied, his heart beating a little faster. He had no idea what was coming now; what could Lucky possibly want from him? A kiss?

“Can you take your picture for me?”

Aaron blinked at him. Lucky tilted his head off to one side and Aaron turned his head the same direction. His gaze landed on a photo booth, realization sinking in. His mouth fell open, unsure what to say. It was a little weird because they barely knew each other, but also flattering.

“I’d really like to draw you again.” Lucky seemed slightly embarrassed. “I mean, I could take pictures on my phone if that’s better for you, but that seemed creepier somehow.”

Aaron couldn’t help the chuckle that escaped at Lucky’s words, even as the idea of Lucky drawing him again and again left him breathless. “Um,” he managed to get out, glancing around at the crowd. A familiar blonde head caught his eye and he nearly choked.

Was Lyn at the carnival? Wasn’t she supposed to be with their mothers?

Aaron pulled Lucky by the hand into the photo booth and slid the curtain shut.

Lucky slid money into the slot as they sat down. His breath caught as Lucky’s hands touched his face gently. “Like this,” Lucky whispered, turning his head to the side. The camera flashed. Lucky’s fingers turned his head to the front, pulling away just in time for the camera to go off again. Once again, Lucky’s fingers turned his head to the side, only now he was facing Lucky, staring deeply into his eyes.

Aaron tried not to hyperventilate as he held Lucky’s gaze. The camera flashed for the last time but neither of them moved.

“Go out with me?” Aaron suddenly blurted out. He had to do something or he might do something even more insane, like kiss Lucky. Aaron so wasn’t ready for that yet. Lucky’s eyes widened and he smiled.

“Sure,” Lucky drawled after a moment. “When?”

Buy the book:



Meet the author

Kitty Stephens’ writing aspirations date back to her childhood, when she and her brother would make up stories about characters in their favorite books. She eventually started writing stories in online fan communities, and majored in English at Ohio State University. She lives in Ohio with her husband and son. Set Me Free is her first novel.

Get to know the author on tumblr at @kittystephenswrites and on Twitter at @KittyStephensWr

Where to find the author:

Twitter: @KittyStephensWr

Tumblr: kittystephenswrites.tumblr.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KittyStephensWrites?fref=ts


Tour Dates & Stops:


Happily Ever Chapter, Boys on the Brink Reviews, Book Lovers 4Ever, Havan Fellows


Oh My Shelves, Bonkers About Books, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words


Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, Unquietly Me, A.M. Leibowitz


BFD Book Blog, Velvet Panic, My Fiction Nook


Anna Butler Fiction, Three Books Over The Rainbow, MM Good Book Reviews


Making It Happen, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Open Skye Book Reviews


The Novel Approach, V’s Reads, Prism Book Alliance


Up All Night, Read All Day, Bayou Book Junkie


Nephy Hart, Love Bytes


Alpha Book Club, Molly Lolly, Divine Magazine

Final Set Me Free


Must be  18 years of age or older.


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