Do you believe in love at first sight?
Sanford Stewart sure doesn’t. In fact, he pretty much believes in the exact opposite, thanks to the Homo Jock King. It seems Darren Mayne lives for nothing more than to create chaos in Sandy’s perfectly ordered life, just for the hell of it. Sandy despises him, and nothing will ever change his mind.
Or so he tells himself.
It’s not until the owner of Jack It—the club where Sandy performs as drag queen Helena Handbasket—comes to him with a desperate proposition that Sandy realizes he might have to put his feelings about Darren aside. Because Jack It will close unless someone can convince Andrew Taylor, the mayor of Tucson, to keep it open.
Someone like Darren, the mayor’s illegitimate son.
The foolproof plan is this: seduce Darren and push him to convince his father to renew Jack It’s contract with the city.
(Book reviewed here previously)
Katie and I did a buddy read/review for this because Katie is a HUGE TJ fan and both of us absolutely ADORED Tell Me It’s Real. (MS – Morgan, KS – Katie)
Sandy: “You know when you have a dream about doing something you shouldn’t and then it turns incestuous and you think, well, that wasn’t so bad and then there are marching bands?”
MS: OMG I was so psyched to see a follow up to Tell Me It’s Real (TMIR)! To me this is TJ at his finest. This book has all the fun and only a little of the angst. There are even moments when TJ makes fun of his own angst love when Kori/Corey describes her time with Tyson at school. What did you think Katie?
KS: Sandy had a very distinct voice in Tell Me.. and Art/Breathing, in this book he sounded a lot like Bear and Paul. Which don’t get me wrong, love them both, but Sandy lost some individuality for me. Helena didn’t take over as much as she does in other stories.
MS: I agree, Sandy did go on a lot of “Bear-like” rants in this. Hysterical, but different from the Sandy in TMIR.
MS: So… I think anyone could read this as a standalone but… they’d miss a hellovalot! Sandy is Paul’s BFF and a SUPER FABULOUS drag queen – Helena Handbasket. Sandy is the mild mannered counter to Helena’s outlandish and sometimes snarky side. Sandy/Helena have had a run in years ago with Darren – the Homo Jock King and Vince’s half-brother. Since then Darren has attended almost all of Helena’s shows but always leaves with some twink. Sandy – who hates Darren with the fire of a thousand suns – leaves with some piece of frat/jock/anybody else not Darren.
Paul: “Because you’d fight him for the right to my nipples?” Paul asked.
Vince: “Sure,” Vince said. “I’d fight anyone for your nipples. And also because Darren wants to bone Sandy and not you.”
KS: I now love Darren, but again he’s sounding very similar to Otter, who is one of my book boyfriends – so not a bad thing. But… I didn’t need to be constantly reminded that they were the Queen and Homo Jock King, it was brought up a lot.
MS: Darren did get more of a personality here, but the firm delineation of Queen v Homo Jock King did get a bit overused. I think that one of my biggest “issues” with TJ’s work lately has been a distinct lack of editing. He is SO funny but the rants are getting longer and longer.
MS: When Sandy’s friends get involved there is a suddenly a need for Darren and Sandy to act as boyfriends to get Darren’s dad to help them save the gay bar… and well… it was confusing and it’s supposed to be. While “acting as boyfriends” – their deepest desires (who everyone else already knew) come to the surface and some of the old hurts dividing them get explained and fixed.
(One of the rules to their fake dating.)
Sandy: Ugh. That sounded terrible. “Only in public where people can see us,” I amended. “No inviting me to your house where I assume the bedroom smells like twink jizz and sadness.”
Darren: He shrugged. “It also smells like vanilla.”
(Darren and Sandy fake having sex.) Sandy: “There we go,” I managed to say. “I’m going to stick my dick in you now. You feel that? You feel me opening you up with my fat dick?”
Darren: “Yeah,” he moaned. “Oh, it’s slightly bigger than average and feels so good.”
“Slightly bigger?” I hissed at him.
“We have to be realistic,” he whispered back. “Not everyone has got a monster cock.”
MS: There is SO much to love about this book, besides the humor there is a lot of love. We see more of Paul, Vince, Corey/Kori and a different side of Sandy.
KS: I never thought of Sandy as slutty, but he kind of came off that way in this book, but still totally lovable.
Sandy: There comes a time in every gay man’s life where he’s asked if he got rimmed in an alley behind a Mexican restaurant. It’s almost a rite of passage.
MS: Paul and Vince are crazy as ever.
Sandy: “No one has ever had anything good to say when starting a sentence here’s the thing,” I told him.
Paul: “You don’t know that,” he said. “Gandhi could have been all, like, ‘Here’s the thing: love everyone and junk.’”
Vince: “And I know I’m right, because you can’t spell convinced without Vince.”
MS: So is Paul’s gran and Johnny Depp the parrot that hates Paul.
Darren: And then Johnny Depp started screaming that Paul was raping him
Darren: And that someone needed to save him from Paul’s pencil dick
MS: Paul’s parents are there being their weird/kinky/strange/loving selves, too.
“So they’re just sex friends?” Larry asked.
“It would seem so,” Matty said. “Should we get a sex friend?”
Larry shook his head. “I would get too jealous over something like that. Maybe we could borrow Vince’s riding crop.”
MS: We get the help from Mike the boss, and Charlie and a back-story about Vaguyna – Helena’s mentor.
Sandy: “A queen is never late,” I told Charlie. “As my dear mentor and savior Vaguyna Muffman used to say, ‘A queen always arrives precisely the moment she’s meant to and not a minute sooner, so fuck off, you cockmongers.’”
MS: My hope is that our dear Kori/Corey and maybe…. a certain bartender??? – will get a story next… Corey is too great a character to not have a book to himself.
KS: Yes! We need more Izaac! I’m hoping he’s mentioned so much for a reason. I love Corey/Kori and would have liked to see some conflict there, a continuance of Art/Breathing. Maybe them together?
Corey: “Take a shower. You smell like what sad dreams are made of.”
Izaac: “Would it make you feel better if you saw my nipples?” he asked, reaching for the hem of his shirt.
Sandy: I sighed as I shook my head. “Thanks, baby doll, but I don’t think even your nipples will help me out today. I best get in there and get this over with.”
He nodded. “That’s what my girlfriend said when we decided to try anal.”
MS: Fans of Tell Me It’s Real will LOVE this and if you haven’t read that – GO DO IT – then read this FFS.
Sandy: “And also please find out a way to send me back in time so I never have to hear you describe the term slow-bone to me ever again. If I had to list the top five traumatizing things that have ever happened to me that would be number 4. At least”
MS: The story winds and wiggles and giggles and meanders and twists and turns for 350 pages – but it’s so damn funny the time flies. 5 of 5 stars
Katie and I collaborated again on the audio review.
MS:: Katie, what was your favorite part of the narration to Homo Jock King?
KS: I love that Tj got the same narrator back. It was so nice to hear Paul, Vince and Sandy as I’ve heard them so many times before. Michael Lesley is great at going between the characters and making them each unique. I love the layering when they all shriek about something or stepping away from the mic when they’re yelling from other rooms. All nice touches.
MS: I thought Michael Lesley did a fantastic job with keeping all the voices unique and separate. Who was your favorite character based on the voices?
KS: Not necessarily because of his voice but Paul is always my favorite. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the author so when I read Paul I hear Tj’s voice. So it was really hard for me to hear another voice on Paul, but I’ve been won over (for the most part).
MS: I loved how the narrator used pacing and inflection to add to the humor in this story. When he does the very many monologues he slows down, then speeds up in a way that had me laughing at loud and giggling in public! What was the funniest scene you listened to?
KS: Tj is the master of awkward dinners, so the brunch was great. I mean Tj does them often, but they are always hilarious. Nana and Paul bidding on Darren was pretty great, as well as Sandy on the phone with Paul in the bathroom while at lunch with Darren and his father.
MS: Is there anything you wish were done differently? Anything else that caught your attention you wanted to talk about?
KS: Name pronunciations bothered me more than I’d like. I know different narrators but I didn’t like the different pronunciations of Corey/Kori. I didn’t like the Izaac pronunciation either. Overall so fun, and had me struggling to not laugh out loud at work. Love these characters so much.
5 of 5 stars – absolutely recommended!
Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review