Davo’s a pretty average guy. He has a decent job, owns his own home, and spends his weekends at the pub. He fully accepts that he’s gay, but doesn’t want to be one of those gays, who are femme and girly. He likes football and other masculine pursuits, and firmly avoids anything that could be seen as femme—including relationships that last beyond fifteen minutes.
Then Davo’s friend and gay idol not only gets a boyfriend, but also adopts a baby girl. Davo is seriously spooked and scuttles down to the pub in fright. That’s where he meets Lee, who is cute from her cherry-red hair, to her pretty little dress and pointy red shoes. Davo is charmed—but how is that possible? He’s gay. Isn’t he? Then Lee tells him he’s actually a guy—he just likes to wear women’s dresses occasionally. Thoroughly confused about an attraction that’s out of character for him, Davo begins the long journey to where he can accept himself without caring what everyone else thinks.
(Book reviewed here previously: http://kimichanexperience.com/you-are-the-reason-the-tav-book-2-by-renae-kaye/
In book 1 we met Davo, whose motto “I’m gay but not a pussy”, is a bit offensive but who has a good heart – if a bit misguided. Davo’s coach and society in general has him believing that being feminine (for men and women?) is equal to being weak, slow, a failure So, though he finds a way to reconcile being gay with being okay, he does all he can to avoid being seen as weak by avoiding anything remotely feminine or girly or sweet in his personality or in his companions.
After Davo meets a “woman” named Lee some of Davo’s world gets shaken up. When it turns out that Lee is in fact a cross-dresser, a man, Davo is stunned, but also compelled. Strangely, the attraction to a woman felt better to him than being attracted to “one of those” types of gay men he’s been taught to abhor.
While I know there are many “issues” that could be seen in this story – to me – I saw someone finally uncovering his own prejudices and exploring life more fully. It was simple – like Davo himself – and the author drove these points home with a simple use of his nickname – Davo – when he was being a “bro” and Dave – when he’s being more thoughtful. I thought that was masterful.
Instead of having Dave’s parents be the villain we are shown that others in our world can do as much – or more – damage to our belief systems.
We get to see the MCs from book one and their trials and tribulations with a baby – definitely comic relief!
Another absolutely brilliant plot point was the explanation of pheromones. I have no idea how “scientifically true” it is – but it sounds very plausible. It allowed me to fully engage in the idea that our uber-gay Davo could find a “woman” attractive and was a beautifully executed explanation to this seemingly impossible plot device. Bravo!
I wasn’t too keen on the odd girlfriend/Thor/handcuffs scene – it felt out of place and seemed to stereotype aggressive females as a villain in a way that’s not helpful and it didn’t seem to fit the rest of the story or move it forward in an important way.
Other than that niggle I really, really loved this and highly recommend it!
6 of 5 stars
Dave Gilles is a great narrator and I’ve enjoyed several of his narrations in the past: Loving Jaye, The Shearing Gun, Mending Noel and others. I thought he did a great job with Davo and some of the other supporting characters and he handles the comic timing and emotions well. I wasn’t crazy about his depiction of Lee – he felt way to screechy and far too old to match his character and it was a bit disconcerting. It wasn’t enough to make me not like this and I certainly loved hearing the story brought to life but I do wish he’d gone a different way with that voice.
4.5 of 5 stars for the audio
Overall 5 of 5 stars
Copy Generously Provided By Publisher For Honest Review