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BlindItemsLGTitle: Blind Items
Author: Kate McMurray
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Length: 60,462 words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Story to Sex
Keywords/Tags: Kate McMurray Week!, Politics, Closeted, Coming Out, Famous, Paparazzi!, Funny Guys, Writers (Columnist/Reviewer), NYC, Straight/Gay Male Friendships, Childhood Friends, Best Friends, Teachers
Rating: Really Liked It

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Columnist Drew Walsh made his career by publicly criticizing conservative, anti-gay politician Richard Granger. So when a rumor surfaces that Granger’s son Jonathan might be gay, Drew finds himself in the middle of a potential scandal. Under the guise of an interview about Jonathan’s new job teaching in an inner-city school, Drew’s job is to find out if the rumors are true. Drew’s best friend Rey is also Jonathan’s cousin, and he arranges the meeting between Jonathan and Drew that changes everything.

After just one interview, it’s obvious to Drew that the rumors are true, but he carefully neglects to mention that in his article. It’s also obvious that he’s falling for Jonathan, and he can’t stay away after the article is published. Still, Jonathan is too afraid to step out of the closet, and Drew thinks the smartest thing might be to let him go—until Jonathan  shows up drunk one night at his apartment. The slow burn of their attraction doesn’t fade with Jonathan’s buzz, but navigating a relationship is never easy—especially in the shadow of right-wing politics.

REVIEW

I’ll be completely honest with you. This is one of Kate’s earlier books, but I really didn’t know what to expect from it. Part of it is that the secret relationship scenario is very hard to pull of, and then combined with the politics — I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about it. To my surprise, I actually found that I enjoyed the story (mostly because the character of Drew was so fabulous he pulled it all off!), but I also found this book to have some of the best writing I’ve seen from Kate. The prose is often times lyrical, which all really comes from Drew’s voice. He’s fabulous and campy at times, yet at times heartbreakingly vulnerable with a solid core of admirable strength, and in that combination when the story really needs it, his voice rang completely clear for me. It was almost harmonious in it’s poignancy.

Drew tells this story as a man out and proud and quite perceptive of the world around him. He’s a fierce friend and honest man, at times too honest and righteously indignant on behalf of himself and those he loves that he can hurt other people. He’s well meaning and finds fault with himself before others. And self-sacrificing.

A columnist for a leftist rag, in which he mostly expounds gay gossip and rails on prominent conservative Kansas Senator Richard Granger for his anti-gay speeches, Drew finds himself in a coincidental bind. Richard Granger is his best friend’s uncle. Rey, his straight best friend from childhood is now a major movie star, is willing to introduce him to his cousin Jonathan, even though Drew’s boss wants him to do a feature on the young man, now teaching at a NYC magnet school. An anonymous source has come forward to say that the senator’s son is gay and Drew is suppose to get the scoop.

It’s a nightmare of epic proportions when Drew meets Jonathan and realizes how attracted to him he is. He already feels uncomfortable with the idea of outing anyone, and meeting Jonathan and becoming involved with him could mess up his best friendship, as well as make him start to see the senior Granger as a real person. Soon, Drew is being pulled every which way, and when reporters start looking for their own scoops, it puts their relationship to a real test. Have they just been playing at a real relationship? Or, is Jonathan too messed up by his father’s expectations and guilt to ever be out and free to have something real? Should Drew just abandon the whole thing before it blows up in his face?

As you may have gathered, I really connected with Drew. Not only did I find him engaging, but I really admired him, and I don’t think the story could have played out in any different way. Drew is at the same time pragmatic and a dreamer, two parts of him which battle in his attraction and love for Jonathan. Is it better for him to sacrifice his happiness now for a better possible future? Drew is really tormented in this story, not only with Jonathan, who at time he loves and hates for his weaknesses, but with himself.

The real relationship of value in this story is actually with Drew and his best friend Rey. The story starts with them, and in a way, they’re the central relationship in this story. I can’t help but fall in love when an author gives me this — a real, solid, brotherly friendship between a gay man and a straight man. Maybe it’s because I never thought it was possible when I was growing up. I had a hard time with my own straight guy friends in high school. No matter how much they accepted me, in ways they didn’t, and probably couldn’t at that age. None of us were mature enough. But college turned everything around with me, and I made one particular friendship with another guy that was indeed brotherly and somewhat like Drew and Rey. Madison Parker wrote a similar friendship into her YA book Play Me, I’m Yours. Honestly, that’s the way to my heart authors, and I adored Rey for that very reason.

The only disappointment I had with this story was the ending, which felt a little rushed to me and seemed to cut off just a tad too early. But it was a small disappointment and didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the rest of the book at all. So even though I officially rate this book Really Liked It, I loved this book and I loved reading it 🙂

Remember to visit tomorrow for my interview with Kate McMurray! We’re discussing her new book, Save the Date available now from Loose Id, her love of Baseball and NYC. Tomorrow’s reviews are the baseball ones — Out in the Field and Four Corners!


privatedicks400x600Title: Private Dicks: Undercovers
Editors: Samantha M Derr
Authors: Siobhan Crosslin, K-Lee Klein, Holly Rinna-White, Alison Bailey, Megan Derr, EE Ottoman, Isabella Carter & Sasha L Miller
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Length: 135k words
Genre: m/m + m/m/m Mystery Romance
Keywords/Tags: Anthology, Short Stories, Private Investigators, Undercover
Rating: Pretty Good

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Temper by Siobhan Crosslin—Reese hates deception, but that’s all his life has been since he was sent to investigate a wolf pack on clashing sets of orders. Keeping his lies separated is all that’s keeping him alive, and it’s a job that grows harder by the day—especially with the unexpected complications of the alpha he’s investigating.

The PI and the Rockstar by K-lee Klein—Mason is a detective. He’s not flashy or hip and he doesn’t have an office conducive to entertaining wealthy clients. But when made-of-money Durango and his gum-snapping daughter hire him to do surveillance on a popular rockstar named Jade Jonathan Lee, Mason’s business world collides with his personal life, and the result is a mystery that must be solved.

Glamour by Holly Rinna-White—When his little brother is kidnapped, Jason hires Eric, PI and long-time crush, to find him, terrified of what will happen if people learn his brother is unregistered psychic. But when Jason is kidnapped as well, he learns he and his brother are not the only ones keeping secrets.

The Virginia Gentleman by Alison Bailey—When the Virginia Gentleman rides into town, it’s a sure bet that trouble ain’t far behind. He’s quick on the draw, feared by all, and one sad little group of train robbers is about to find out why it’s never wise to bet on trouble.

The Royal Inquisitor by Megan Derr—Esmour is one the best Inquisitors in the kingdom, but the penance bracelets on his wrists serve as constant reminder that once he was not a master of deception, but a victim. To solve his latest case, he must work alongside the liar who changed his life, and the love he learned too late was never real.

Regarding the Detective’s Companion by E.E. Ottoman—Jamie is desperate: he has no money, rent is coming due, and if he doesn’t do something soon he’ll be forced back into a life of charity and pity. So when he is brought a case, Jamie takes it—even if it will mean lying to his client, manipulating the suspect and propelling himself into the middle of a plot involving murder and political intrigue.

The Demon Bride by Isabella Carter—One dead body left at the door is more than enough, but after three are left on the stoop of his father’s agency and no one else is willing to investigate, Quinton decides he’ll just have to solve the mystery himself.

Too Dangerous by Sasha L. Miller—Shi is good at what he does, no matter what his stupid ex thought. Danger comes with the territory, especially when that territory includes a special license to do select work for the government. But when the government needs him to fix something that defeated even their most elite, Shi learns that some situations are too much even for him.

REVIEW

I’ve been sitting on this anthology for a while, but if there’s anything that I know about anthologies from Less Than Three Press, it’s that they’re usually some of my favorites, it not my overall favorites from a specific publisher. So I was excited to read it and I found several stories within that I really liked.

Once again, as with the LT3 anthology I reviewed earlier this week (Something Happened on the Way to Heavenreviewed here), I was delighted with the diversity in the stories presented. Each story deals with a Private Investigator and a mystery, but the stories cross all genres, from Paranormal to Steampunk to Science Fiction, Contemporary and Western. I really enjoyed the steampunk story, “Regarding the Detective’s Companion” by EE Ottoman. Even though it isn’t the best story in the anthology, I really liked the characters, the mystery and the world. Having a steampunk world was also nice because there are so few m/m steampunk stories. The first story is one of my favorites. With a very distinctive style, Siobhan Crosslin takes us into an extreme werewolf society with some really fine writing.

So, look below and I’ll give you a bit about each story. The reviews will be shorter than usual, because this was a longer anthology, but the tags and info about each story will give you quite a bit about what each one has to offer 🙂


Temper by Siobhan Crosslin (Pretty Good)
Genre: m/m Paranormal Mystery Romance
Heat: 1 – Sweet/None
Sex Frequency: 1 – None
Keywords/Tags: Shifters (Wolves & Dragons), Mate Bonding, Enforcer/Thug, Violence, Undercover

Siobhan Crosslin takes us into a highly segregated world of the different paranormal races. Werewolves form highly structured packs, and Reese has been sent by his alpha to investigate an alpha of a different pack. He infiltrates them easily. Reese was raised and groomed into a killing machine and his loyalties are clouded by his feelings for each alpha — his fear of the old one and his shifting loyalty to the new one, the one he’s lying to, and the one he’s falling in love with.

This one ended up being on the high end of Pretty Good for me, almost Really Liked It. In fact, for most of the story I really, really liked it. Most of all, I loved the writing style. The story thrusts you into the lies and deception from a point of view that is compromised, confused and unable to accurately bring the reader up to speed about what is actually going on and who is who. I admired that and fell into the story, excited by the challenging point of view. It soon grew to be tedious, however, and I ended the story upset that I never really learned much about the world or the people. I had hoped that the writing I loved so much was just being choosy about how to impart information to the reader, but what was held back never came to light.

I’ve since read the sequel to this story (Weld), or rather another story by this author, not a direct serial but also in this world. I ended up liking that one even less, because it carried on with this same writing style, but at an even higher degree, which made for an unpleasant read, unfortunately.


The PI and the Rockstar by K-Lee Klein (So So)
Genre: m/m Contemporary Mystery Romance
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Story to Sex
Keywords/Tags: Rockers, Private Investigators, Piercings!, Sexy to the 999s, Closeted

Mason is a private investigator with a rather famous boyfriend. Though that’s all on the hush hush. Of course, that secret means that when a teenage client and her father come into his office asking him to find a musician that got the girl pregnant and then ditched her, he can’t tell them that the man they’re trying to frame is, in fact his boyfriend, the lead singer of a popular rock group. So what is the girl really up to? And how will the added level of duplicity affect Mason’s relationship with Jade?

This was an okay story for me. I was a bit sad that there weren’t any surprises for me — as soon as the girl came in with her father and explained “what happened” with the rockstar, I had a feeling I knew what was going to happen. Sadly, I was right. Add to that the fact that I never really felt like I got to know the characters well, made this story just a So So read for me.


Glamour by Holly Rinna-White (Pretty Good)
Genre: m/m Science Fiction, Paranormal, Mystery Romance
Heat: 1 – Sweet/None
Sex Frequency: 1 – None
Keywords/Tags: Brothers, Undercover, Private Investigator, Psychic, Aliens, Kidnapping

Most of my enjoyment of this story came from the world, which I found rather interesting. Jason and his brother are both unregistered psychics, in a world where those with abilities have to come forward to be assessed by the government. While Jason has mild precognition, his little brother is a different case, with a powerful precognitive sight that puts them all in danger. When Jason’s little brother is psychic, he must go to the man he’s had a crush on for months. Eric is a private investigator with secrets of his own, the least of which is that he’s as interested in Jason as Jason is in him. Searching for the men who kidnapped Jason’s brother, and then trying to rescue Jason himself when the fool rushes in to save his brother, brings both of them closer together.


The Virginia Gentleman by Alison Bailey (So So)
Genre: m/m Western Historical Romance
Heat: 1 – Sweet/None
Sex Frequency: 1 – None
Keywords/Tags: Undercover, Cowboys, Thieves, Kidnapping, Private Investigator

I admit, I had a little trouble with this one. I read half of it, finished the anthology then came back and re-read this story. I enjoy westerns, but most westerns in m/m romance are simply contemporary cowboy stories, and this story harkens to a much more authentic historical Old West. The story moved a little too slow for me, but that is all personal preference — the pace suits the plot and sub-genre.

While a man is searching for a boy that was taken years ago as a child, the Virginia Gentleman is looking for some helping hands for a train robbery. Finding the boy and his ogre of a keeper, as well as a man looking to score money to settle with his fiancee, the Virginia Gentlemen leads them across the west to a planned heist of a princess’ carriage. Along the way the VG gets to know the young boy, now a young man but shy and quiet and scared, all while holding some rather big secrets of his own.


The Royal Inquisitor by Megan Derr (Pretty Good)
Genre: m/m Alternate World Historical Romance
Heat: 2 – Romantic & Tame
Sex Frequency: 2 – Few & Far Between
Keywords/Tags: Royalty, Thieves, Second Chances, Undercover, The Big Mis

I really, really enjoyed this story. You all know how much I love Megan Derr’s writing, and I really got into this story. Sadly, I felt like the tension was created by a misunderstanding, and while it isn’t classic Big Mis type situation, having to do with some duplicity from other nefarious characters, it was still a little disappointing to me that the hurt Esmour feels in this story is because of pride and miscommunication. Still, that was only a shadow on the ending for me, and for the most part I really liked this one.

Esmour wears bracelets that show his penance toward the crown. Unknowingly involved in a sting operation in the past, he came down on the wrong side of the axe when all was said and done, only spared from the noose by his connection and faux-relationship with the undercover prince. Now, the prince has need of him to solve a mystery slave trade in a city in the kingdom, and Esmour, despite his bracelets, is still the best investigator working for the crown. The case will force the two back together into a situation that for all the hurt it may cause might ultimately lead to a reconciliation that Esmour could never have envisioned.


Regarding the Detective’s Companion by EE Ottoman (Really Liked It)
Genre: m/m Historical, Steampunk Romance
Heat: 1 – Sweet/None
Sex Frequency: 1 – None
Keywords/Tags: Disability, Injured Character, Nerds/Geeks, Politics, Science, Awesome Female Characters, Present Tense

**Spoiler Alert! The review of this story in the anthology has some spoilers**

Jamie was rescued from certain death by a priest. With no working legs, he hobbles on crutches, but manages to get around a steampunk Victorian England trying to solve enough cases to make a name for himself as a private investigator. If he does, he might finally be able to make rent, but as it is he’s facing another week of near starvation and one step closer to being back on the streets… or worse, falling up on the Father’s mercy. In his desperation, Jamie takes a case from a man who he’s certain is aiming to frame an innocent man for murder. So what if he didn’t explicitly agree to finding the man guilty? If he investigates, he can find the real murderer and bring real justice. The case could make his career. Plus, they’re paying him up front.

I really liked this story, mostly because of the characters. Jamie is great, but the really great characters are the friends he makes during his time undercover, as well as the sweet romance that develops with his employer and the man he’s meant to frame. I think what I really liked was that this story diverted from the norm. What I expect when I read a story with the lie/undercover plot device is that the deception will go on until the characters are in love and then the secret coming out destroys the trust and is the climax of the story. Instead, when the truth of Jamie’s deception is revealed, the characters band together, almost making their relationship stronger with the real truth. It brings down the barriers that previously existed as boss/assistant and teacher/student and put the characters on an equal footing. Plus, that allows the two to continue the investigation, but now together. And I really liked that, because the best parts of this story are the interactions between these two characters. It’s sweet, awkward, funny, and totally nerdy. And I loved it 🙂


The Demon Bride by Isabella Carter (Not Feelin’ It)
Genre: m/m Fantasy Romance
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 2 – Few & Far Between
Keywords/Tags: Serial Killer, Demons

For some reason, I really just could not get into this story. I think it was the fact that both the romance and the mystery felt a bit incomplete to me. And even more, I didn’t really understand any of the characters, and to a smaller extent, what was really going on in the end. This could obviously be in my own mis-reading of the story, but I still never really latched on to this story like the others, no matter how little I understood about the end. Plus, I didn’t ever feel like this was really an m/m/m story.

Quinton has now found several bodies lying at the door of his father’s detective agency. No matter how many times he brings the subject of what to do about it up to his father, his father refuses to give him any information about it, despite the fact that Quinton feels he deserves to know, not only because he’s now older and wants to investigate the mystery himself, but also because he’s found the bodies, and he knew them. But when the third body is left of the stoop and Quinton finds a letter addressed to him, he decides he must investigate.


Too Dangerous by Sasha L Miller (Really Liked It)
Genre: m/m Science Fiction Romance
Heat: 1 – Sweet/None
Sex Frequency: 1 – None
Keywords/Tags: Action/Adventure, Second Chances, Military, Futuristic, Secrets & Lies, Kidnapping/Hostage

Ending this anthology with a Science Fiction story was a nice change of pace from the previous ones. And I really like Sasha MIller’s work, so this story, which was more of an action/adventure story was very nice to end the book with.

Shi is a successful private investigator, but he’s thinking about letting his military consultant status (at the highest clearance) lapse. Working a case for the military was how he met his ex-boyfriend in the first place and Shi is still trying to get over their breakup several months previously. So when he arrives at his office to find an unmarked hovercraft, he knows that the military has come to call once again. He fully expects to turn the offer down. After all, he made sure that provision was put into his contract. But when he finds out that he’s the only man for the job — to infiltrate the operate of a space crime syndicate to rescue the remaining member of the special ops team being held captive on the man’s ship — he knows he has to consider. Especially when he finds out that the man held captive is… his ex-boyfriend. No matter the hard feelings, he can’t leave him there. So despite the fact that he’s in way over his head, he’ll do what he has to to get the man out of there, and hopefully get some answers in the process.


dragonslairs185Title: Dragon’s Lair (Dragon #6)
Author: JB McDonald
Publisher: Torquere
Length: 22k words
Genre: m/m Paranormal Fantasy
Heat: 2 – Romantic & Tame
Sex Frequency: 2 – Few and Far Between
Keywords/Tags: Series, Dragons, Fae, Healer, Royalty, Family Issues, Politics, Magic
Rating: Really Liked It

Reviewed by Sadonna

**Spoiler alert: This is book 6 in a series and as such, any information contained in this review may be considered spoilers for the previous books. It is not recommended that these books be read out of sequence as each builds on the previous events.

BLURB

Being a demon is no fun at all. This doesn’t particularly come as a surprise, but his constant escort and rarely seeing his lover does. When Ashe agreed to come to Katsu’s land, he did so hoping to spend time with Katsu. Instead, he spends time locked within the palace grounds, ostracized as a monster. This will continue, he knows, until the princess Chieko is healed… or dies.



Dying looks like the greater possibility, and Katsu is already mourning his sister. Then something happens — something terrible and wonderful. The ground trembles and opens up, and Katsu nearly falls through. At Ashe’s greatest need, the dragon responds, saving Ashe’s lover. If they can make it happen again, it might just save the princess’s life — and mean Ashe and Katsu can go home.

REVIEW

I discovered this series back in April and quickly read the first four books in one day. They are not long books, so since I liked the first story so much, I just devoured them one after the other. Each story builds on the previous events and I really fell in love with Katsu and Ashe. While this is a romantic series, the sex is not the focus of the story and the relationship between Ashe, an elf and Katsu, a human mage/healer

In this latest installment Katsu has been sought by messengers from his family and must travel back to his homeland in order to attempt to save his sister from a plague that has struck their lands. The trip is difficult and the climate and terrain are tough on Ashe. He is also seen as a demon by Katsu’s countrymen as there are no elves native to their domain. They are however respectful and keep their distance because of Ashe’s dragon who of course must accompany them on the trip.

It has come as a surprise to Ashe that Katsu is indeed a prince of this land and his mother, the Queen has summoned him to save his sister, the princess Chieko, who is also pregnant. We discover that there are several reasons why Katsu has left his homeland and why he is not exactly welcomed back with open arms.

Katsu tries to heal Chieko but his efforts do not seem to be working and he is getting depressed and cranky. On top of that, his mother has assigned an escort, Daisuke, for Ashe who is not fluent in the local language. The twist is that Daisuke is in fact a type of courtesan that has a past with Katsu. Katsu is furious with his mother over this interference. Ashe has no interest in the escort but he is kind of pleased to know that he means so much to Katsu as evidenced by his jealousy and worry.

As the visit goes on Chieko continues to deteriorate and Katsu becomes more despondent that he cannot heal her. Ashe offers ideas about using magic to heal her as Katsu has done for Ashe in the past. Katsu is convinced that will not work because humans do not absorb magic like elves. However, a near disaster convinces him that maybe he should try another approach. His last ditch attempt using Ashe and the dragon and magic to save Chieko has some rather dire consequences, but he has nothing to lose as she is near death anyway.

This series gets better and better with each book. The evolution of the relationship between Ashe and Katsu is just a pleasure to read. The fantasy and magic elements really add to the story and I cannot wait to see what the next chapter brings.


Title: Fifteen Shades of Gay (For Pay)
Author: T Baggins
Publisher: Voodoo Lily Press
Length: 70k words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Story to Sex
Keywords/Tags: Rent Boy, Politics, Coming Out, Bi, GFY/OFY, Multiple Partners, Cancer, NYC, a bit of BDSM, Kink (Spanking, Breath Play/Edge Play), First Times
Rating: Really Like It!

BLURB

MONEY…

Andrew Reynolds is determined to stay in New York City as long as his sister Marie, a cancer patient, needs him. But despite his good looks and talent, Andrew hasn’t managed to find work as an actor. With his bank account empty and his credit cards maxed, Andrew needs money fast. Gay escorts make a nice living, but there’s one problem—Andrew isn’t gay.

SEX…

Ever since his early teens, when Andrew’s father shocked everyone by coming out, Andrew has been uncomfortable around gay men. Pretending to be gay will be the role of a lifetime. From male/male dates to erotic toys, spankings and more extreme play, Andrew must satisfy his clients without revealing his usual tastes.

… AND ROMANCE

Andrew’s first date with closeted politician Cormac Donovan ends in disaster. Yet with each successive booking, the attraction between them grows. As Andrew struggles with unexpected new feelings, Cormac puts his senatorial career in danger. And what began as a way for Andrew to earn money becomes a one-way ticket to heartbreak—or lasting love.

REVIEW

I have to tell you… I did not expect the story I got when I started reading this. I’m not even sure what I expected really — something funny/facetious?. To be honest, I tend to not expect much when I read a first time author, or at least an author I haven’t heard of and I took a chance to review this when the author contacted me for review. Well, I’m really glad I did, because this turned out to be another book I loved that I hadn’t heard anything about before reading that I’ve gotten this fall for review (the first was JC Lillis’ awesome YA novel, How to Repair a Mechanical Heart).

Though the cover and title don’t suggest much in the way of good plot and writing, the reference to the much argued about “mommy porn” book actually has a place in the story. Andrew has always been straight, and he’s always been afraid of gay men. Of course, that all stems from finding his father in bed with his favorite teacher in school, and the subsequent trauma of the breakup of his family and his school life turning upside down. Bitten by the acting bug at a young age, Andrew doesn’t find many opportunities in small town Kansas, but finds himself looking for work in New York City when his sister, who moved to the city for an adventure a few years prior, is diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. Now Andrew finds himself a primary caregiver and looking for difficult to find work in a difficult economy. When the bills start to pile up, Andrew admits that he needs to find work, now — and waiting for a well paying acting job just isn’t smart when he has to consider his sister’s care.

Andrew’s neighbor is the proprietor of a stable of escorts and offers him a job. Sure, he’s straight, but he’s also an actor, and what better role than this could there be to test his chops? It might even help him get over his aversion to gay men. But he doesn’t really know what he’s getting into, and even though he’s memorized the laws and isn’t being pressured into sex for pay, he knows that that’s where the extra (and big) money is. Could he do something like that? He’s forced to face up to all his preconceived notions, his fears, his family history, and the possibility that his sexuality might be a lot more fluid than he ever allowed himself to consider as he goes out on job after job. And the worst, or maybe best, is a repeat customer: Cormac Donovan, a republican congressman from California who is nothing like he ever suspected.

Don’t be mistaken, what might seem from the blurb a lighthearted tale is really quite a serious book that deals with several heavy issues. First and foremost is the extremely frank, honest and real look at what cancer does to a patient and the people around them, supporting them. I know firsthand what that is like from my mother, who cared for my grandmother as she died from cancer in our home. This book shows all sides of that, in a very frank and honest way. Very little of the details are spared, just as the bond grows stronger between the siblings and love and laughter are shown as well. But, take this as a warning for some who might be sensitive to the issue. I was very impressed with the level of dedication and emotion written about this, and it was the undercurrent that brought the rest of the story together.

Two parts of Andrew’s life as an escort are shown in this book, that rarely, if ever, meet. First, are the few men that Andrew meets first at a pool party put on by a wealthy Indian man along with several of the other escorts. Paresh takes a particular “shine”, shall we say, to Andrew who can’t help but show his green colors. No matter how good of an actor Andrew thinks he is, it is obvious to most that he’s new to his job and straight. But for Paresh, that is a turn on, and his repeat business (along with the other people and intense situations that come along with him), awaken Andrew to the sort of self-reflection that he needs the most. On the other hand is Cormac, the republican congressman who takes Andrew on dates, starts to fall in love with him and at the same time touts his party’s line views of “Family Values.” I liked that you could measure Andrew’s real feelings, maybe even subconscious feelings, by how reactions to seeing Cormac on television, going along with the republican values that he uses to stay elected and as he says, do some good from the inside. But his feelings for Cormac are confusing, and they definitely have a real and possibly lasting relationship, if you take away the impossibility the outside world represents to them and their vast differences.

But really, what brought this story to a higher level for me was Andrew. He’s a great character. He really considers himself and works through his feelings, which allows him to change. Part of that is done through writing his memoir, Fifteen Shades of Gay (for Pay). Though he finds it difficult to put certain things into word (like his sister’s illness and his sexual experiences, he’s still working through it in his head. So, along with the different aspects of his life that are woven into his narrative, we really get to his his reaction and thoughts with it, and they go quite deep. I felt like I got to know him really well, and even more than that, I liked him.

I definitely recommend this one. Don’t let the title fool you! But be sure check out this book and give it a chance — it is worth it.