The Bachelor and the Cherry is one of my favorite V.L. Locey stories. It also takes place in a series and universe that’s shaping up to be up among the very top of those as well. Which is pretty amazing, considering how much I adore her hockey series and romances.
But the Campo Royale , with its strong air of being everything from a great performance hall to a sanctuary for those stumbling in from the harsh reality of a world of family rejection, disownment, religious intolerance, and abuse, becomes that place you don’t want to leave.
Presiding over it all, is the fabulous, beautiful, and sharp tongued Mother Sitka Patel. Drag Queen Superior, owner of Campo Royale, and at the moment, still in withdrawal from the last devastating relationship.
Outside of drag, he’s Jordan Stevens, 50 years of trying to escape the effects of aging and the results of some very bad relationships. Jordan/Mother Sitka is such a magnificent character. I could see her clear as crystal, from her sarcastic wit to the warmth with which she embraces her girls and club. The wealth of the years of experience that Locey layers into her makes Sitka/Jordan such a powerfully emotionally complicated individual that your belief in them never falters.
Yampier Perez is equally strong as the naive, hopeful southern boy, determined he’s got talent to make it, no matter how many times someone beats him down. Or up.
Even if it’s his Cuban family who’s fists are flying.
So many Yampier Perez out there. Runaways, throw aways… so few lucky enough to end up outside of a Campo Royale. Heartbreaking.
The extended Campo Royale cast of found family , the Queens, their friends and boyfriends, the other employees, everyone contributing such warmth, genuine layers of humor and snark, that adds such richness here.
The relationship, friendship, and then romance is such a satisfying journey to read and watch develop. I just curled up and was so invested in this story that I couldn’t put it down.
A Drag Queen is that very embodiment of fierceness, bravery, courage, and strength. Someone, at whatever level, whatever gender, is expressing their truth for all to see! It’s beautiful, and fabulous!
The Bachelor and the Cherry (Campo Royale #2) by V.L. Locey allows us a glimpse into a slice of that world.
I’m highly recommending it. And the author if you’re not familiar with her!
Campo Royale series:
🔹The Viking and the Drag Queen #1
🔹The Bachelor and the Cherry #2
Is he brave enough to stop hiding behind his persona and give love one final try?
Jordan Stevens has crammed a lot of living into his fifty years. Some of those years have been good, some bad, and some he would just as soon forget. The world isn’t always kind to an aging queen. Lovers begin to scamper into forbidden fields, your padding tends to slip, and you spend more time with egg whites than most pastry chefs. Heartache is nothing new to the man who embodies the acid-tongued Sitka Patel on stage every night, which led Jordan to vow to never trust another man under eighty again. He has his club, his drag family, and his Bombay cat Heckle. Who needs the hassle? That philosophy had served him well, until a stunning young thing with dark chocolate eyes shows up at the back door of Campo Royale with a suitcase, a sad story, and a dream.
From the time he was old enough to spell the word sequin, Yampier Perez knew that someday he’d be wearing them. One of three children born to Cuban immigrants, Yampier was always a little glitzier than the other neighborhood boys. His love of fashion design and performance arts was barely tolerated at home and even less so in the hallways of his rural Georgia high school. Yet, Yampier never let his light be doused, not even the day his older brother caught him modeling his sister’s prom dress. Beaten, disowned, and on his own before graduation, he found himself having to work seedy jobs doing even seedier things, until he saved enough cash to head to the Big Apple. That money has now run out, leaving him stuck in Wilmington with no food, no place to stay, and no family. Little does he know that stumbling into the Campo Royale Club, half frozen and weak from hunger, is about to bring him everything he has yearned for.
The Bachelor and the Cherry is a gay age gap romance that features an aging drag queen, a virginal newcomer, lots of sass, wigs galore, hurt/comfort, family found, and a richly sequined happy ending.