4 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Bullying Contemporary DA drag queen Dreamspinner Gay GFY/OFY Heat Index Homophobia Hurt/Abuse Hurt/comfort Insta Love m/m Medical Mid level angst Mild/low level heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series PTSD Standalone

Mascara & Bandages (Mary’s Boys #3) by Brandon Witt

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents


Ariel Merman is a new drag queen who’s already finding a family at Hamburger Mary’s. After a performance as Ariel, Zachary Cooper walks home in his makeup and is assaulted by homophobes. Zachary’s worry that the attack has thrown a wrench in his good fortune is eased when he looks into the eyes of his doctor.

Dr. Teegan Chau is a little lost after divorcing his wife and coming out of the closet, but he can’t deny the pull he feels toward the young man he patches up. Luckily, Zachary takes the initiative and asks Teegan out. But attraction is the easy part of their blossoming relationship—as they deal with an ex-wife and child, being a drag queen in a heteronormative culture, Zachary’s lingering trauma from his attack, and Teegan acclimating to life as part of an out-and-proud gay couple.

The challenges seem daunting at the start of a romance. Can Zachary and Teegan make it through the rough patches and take a chance on the love that’s been missing from both their lives?

Continuing the theme of this series, we have Zachary – a drag queen – who gets HORRIBLY attacked on the way home one night while still in drag. He meets a recently out of the closet doctor and the two fairly easily fall for one another.

There isn’t a lot of relationship angst and the ex wife is a dear! – but there is a lot of emotional trauma for Zachary to work through.

While I think the entire issue of masculinity could have really been delved into in a deeper fashion, I appreciated that there wasn’t a lot of hang wringing and tears. The cultural issues Teegan felt could have been expanded upon, but I was actually glad it was dealt with so matter-of-factly.
(It was a little light on steam and I wanted to see more of these guys physically since that was such an important thing for Zachary.)

I thought this was a very romantic and sweet story with a nice amount of kick to give it some depth.

(I loved all the mermaid mentions and I pictured Brandon’s Christmas tree the entire time!)


4 of 5 stars


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