Duo Review | At First Sight

I’m in love with TJ Klune’s writing and my goal was to read his entire backlist, but we all know how easy it is to get caught up in ARC’s and how that affects our spontaneity.  Thankfully getting an advance copy of Until You was the perfect excuse to finally read The Queen and the Homo Jock King.  (I know it’s only been a handful of months since my last TJ Klune read, but for me it feels like forEVER.)  I’m so glad I got the kick in the pants I needed, and I had the opportunity to read them back to back, because I love this group of characters and their crazy antics.

I hope my reviews do them justice.

*Read my review of Tell Me It’s Real


queen-homo-jock-king h

About the Book: 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.

Simple, right?

Wrong.

At First Sight #2
Dreamspinner Press

Published February 29, 2016
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I finished this book at 12:30 am last night, having read the last 40% manically because it was just too much fun to put down.  After finishing I lay awake thinking of all the ways I wanted to gush about The Queen and the Homo Jock King.  I should’ve stayed up longer last night to jot down those immediate thoughts, because now (probably because I’m so darn tired) I can’t seem to articulate the rush of feelings I had.  So, I guess, bear with me.

“Isn’t that right, bae?”
“Sure,” He said, sounding as if he was so happy to be here.  “That’s exactly right, boo.”
Internally, I was dying.
“Boo,” Paul repeated, sounding horrified.
“Bae,” Corey repeated, sounding choked.
“Heh,” Vince said, “that sounded like you both said booby.  Awesome.”

I’ve decided TJ Klune is probably the funniest author I’ve read.  (He also writes amazing serious books.  He’s a favorite because he writes everything beautifully.)  I’ve read other funny books, but TJ hasn’t written 1 funny book.  He’s written a whole slew of them.

I’m not even a fan  of slap stick comedy.  I love romantic comedies, but the line blurs for me when the story or movie goes too far into the comedy and further from the romance. I prepared myself for not liking this as much as some of TJ’s other books, but realized how wrong I was when I was holding my breath at work, trying not to bust into laughter in front of my boss and co-workers.  I lost my shit 2 seconds after they walked out the door to go to lunch.  And when I say lost my shit, I mean it.  I was laughing so hard I was streaming tears, and maybe a little snot.  That’s what happens when a book is so funny the laughter literally erupts from your belly like a volcano.  (The most hilarious fake sex I’ve read in anything ever.)

Sandy was one of the sassiest characters in fiction.  I loved reading him slay the world like a boss -er Queen.

“You said you’d call,” Santiago said to Darren as he pouted.  “But you didn’t.  I waited and waited and waited.”
“You didn’t even call?” I asked Darren.  “That’s so mean of you.  I mean, his mom probably pays for his phone and everything.  It’s a shame to let those minutes go to waste.  They probably don’t even roll over at all.  You’re ruining his family plan.”

Sandy made an art out of putting people in their place, but when it came to his family you always felt his love.  Even when he was throwing the attitude their way.  I particularly love the way Paul tossed it back.  I fell in love with their friendship in Tell Me It’s Real, and I still loved them in The Queen and the Homo Jock King.  (I loved getting the hilarious moments with Vince and Paul too, but more on them in the next review.  This is about The Queen and her man.)

Darren and Sandy were smoldering.  This wasn’t the same story as Vince and Paul.  Paul didn’t trust someone as beautiful as Vince could truly be attracted to him.  The angst in the first book was driven by Paul’s low self esteem.  Sandy knows he’s beautiful.  His problem with Darren is years of an antagonistic bitchy relationship, and it’s only through Vince that they’re now forced to play nice (kinda).  But Sandy doesn’t have to like it, and he makes his displeasure known through every snarky sass filled retort he can come up with.  And Darren pretends to hate it, but you can tell he actually adores it.  And they’re adorable together. Rather quickly I was grinning and laughing and swooning right along with the story.

I really loved when Sandy allowed himself to show his claws.  When he gave into his jealousies and put the smack down on competition.  It was awesome, and I’d really love to post another quote here but I’m going to hold back because I don’t want to annoy you guys with a million of them.  Try to imagine it.  There were bodily threats and emotional threats, and all of it made me feel gushy inside.

There’s so much more I could talk about, because this book was 300+ pages of awesomeness but I’m in the middle of reading Until You right now and I think I should leave talk of Vince, Paul, and the family for that review.  Let’s just close this one by saying, this book was hilarious and romantic.  Sandy and Darren are an amazing couple, and I’m hoping somewhere down the line we get an invite to their Super Classy Drag Wedding.

I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
5-feathers


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About the Book: Sequel to The Queen & the Homo Jock King

Together with their families and friends, Paul Auster and Vincent Taylor request the honor of your company at the celebration of their marriage.

Paul Auster and Vince Taylor just want to have a simple wedding. Really, is that too much to ask?

As the big day approaches, they struggle to keep everything from spiraling out of control. From meddling friends and intrusive family, to a certain drag queen’s idea as to what constitutes a normal bachelor party, Paul and Vince have their work cut out for them.

At First Sight #3
Dreamspinner Press

Published February 27, 2017
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It was so much fun, diving back into Paul and Vince’s love story.  I really enjoyed Tell Me It’s Real, and what I loved about it was how unconventional it was.  Paul loves his food, so he’s chunkier than your usual romance hero.  Vince, he’s beautiful but appears unintelligent.  Vince thinks Paul is absolutely perfect just the way he is.  Paul sees the depth in Vince everyone else misses.  The entire book was beautiful (and hilarious).

In Until You we get the pleasure of attending Vince and Paul’s wedding, and all the events that lead up to it.  Paul is still Paul, but Vince is there every step of the way to remind Paul it’s real, and they will be together forever.  It was the perfect follow up to all the struggles from Tell Me It’s Real.

The real beauty in Until You was in highlighting Paul’s family.  I always fall in love with families that are inclusive, and Matty & Larry were the best of the best.  The way they accept everyone, no matter what, and adopt them into the family -it’s so amazing.  Even more, I love the way they raised their own son.  My favorite chapter in this entire book was chapter 1.  I won’t say what it’s about, but it’s should be our parenting goals.  I want to be the kind of mom Matty is.

And it’s not only the parents, it’s Nana too.  By extension, it’s also Sandy and Charlie.  It’s the entire group.  It’s like Darren warns, once they’ve got their hooks in you there’s no getting away.  But who would want to?  I’d love to be part of this perfect dysfunctional family.

AND, the best part, TJ set up the next book.  All about Corey.  I just know it’s going to be a good one.  I hope Paul, Sandy, and Co get together with Ty, Bear and Otter, and the entire group works to give Corey his happiest of endings.

4-feathers


Thank you to Dreamspinner Press for providing a free ARC of Until You, in exchange for an honest review.

About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

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