Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5
Queeny cocktail waiter, Lionel, wakes up to find himself in bed with Dog, a straight-acting softball player and the two embark on a rocky road to romance. A journey that requires coming out of the closet, going into the closet, a pair of red high heels, many pairs of red high heels, a failed intervention, a couple of aborted dates, and homemade pom-poms. Mostly, Lionel and Dog learn what it means to be a man.
I remember reading a blog post some time back where Marshall Thornton said he didn’t write romance novels. And I had to concede that as truth, as much as I love the Boystown series, there is a lot of sex and there is some love, but not a lot of romance or sexual tension. When I saw that he’d written a book that actually had the word “romance” right up there in the blurb, I had to read it.
As usual, the writing and characterization is superb. There were a few editing errors, but since I don’t remember noting any of those in his other books, I tend to think that is just because the copy I received was an advance copy.
I enjoy reading about flamboyant characters, so I was not surprised that I adored Lionel. Witty, sharp-tongued, ballsy, but with a sweet vulnerability—he had me from the beginning. Can’t really say the same for Dog, well, I take that back. I did like him at the start but after he totally bailed on Lionel in public not once, but twice, I found myself cringing for Lionel and wanting to kick Dog in the nuts.
However, I must admit that he was acting in character… he had a good heart, like Lionel, but Dog didn’t come across as the brightest bulb. And sometimes he didn’t deal with things so well. He did have some terrific insights though when he really sat down and thought about stuff. And so genuinely cared for his family. So, like Lionel, I forgave him. Especially when he came up with the idea for the shoe scene. What a picture. That was great.
While the story begins with the MCs in bed after a drunken one night stand, there isn’t actually that much sex. There is some, although not a lot, sexual tension along the way. In the end, I decided it was just right. There’s a twist near the end that I didn’t see that coming. And I LOVED it.
Lionel loves old black and white movies, and some of this story actually reminded me of the tone set in some of those, which I found pretty cool. The author paints some vivid images, and for the most part the story flowed along well. My biggest complaint was that I’d have preferred more time with Dog and Lionel together and less of Dog interacting with his family. Those bits took up so much page time that a few times I found myself wanting to skim.
Overall, this was a fun and delightfully different M/M read. The cover is simple but it fits the story well.
Sales Links: Amazon
Kindle Edition, 222 pages
Expected publication: July 28th 2016 by Kenmore Books