WORDS OF WISDOM … from THE SCARF PRINCESS
kindly agreed to review Gay as Mardi Gras
Here’s the link to her site: WORDS OF WISDOM … from THE SCARF PRINCESS
(PS: Don’t forget to enter for your chance to win a copy of Gay as Mardi Gras)
After the demise of his relationship with his childhood sweetheart, Janey, Jesse needs to get away. His nan has just the thing: a month-long cruise around Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. It seems perfect—until Jesse realizes what kind of cruise it is.
A gay cruise.
Since Jesse’s roommate, Daniel, is recovering from a broken heart, the two decide to buddy up. They hit it off, and with Daniel now Jesse’s partner in crime, they explore the boat and participate in all the fun activities on offer—with some, ah, interesting results for straight boy Jesse.
Gay As Mardi Gras by Lily Velden grabbed me from the moment I read the title and kept me fully immersed in the delightfully romantic and problematic journey that Jesse undertakes to discover himself. Until now Jesse has always insisted he’s straight, contrary to what his sweet and uproariously funny Nan thinks. To prove her belief she sends him on a month-long cruise that unbeknownst to Jesse is for gays. What follows is a sweetly romantic yet undeniably sexy lust-filled journey to acceptance with the funny and smart Daniel acting as cruise director. The name The Love Boat came to mind immediately and took on a whole new meaning as the story progressed.
Jesse is immensely likable and fights his feelings every step of the way. I felt his frustration and understood his fears as changing the beliefs you’ve had about yourself since the day you are born is indeed difficult. Seeing his closeness to Daniel evolve into romance was a sweet yet sexually tension-filled journey that surprisingly had some laugh out loud moments. He truly GETS Daniel though and the early sparks of jealousy are both funny and speak volumes of what is yet to come.
Daniel’s journey to acceptance happened early in life but was no less rocky as his last relationship left him feeling used. Jesse’s the perfect shoulder to lean on and their friendship quickly and believably morphs into something more. Their similarities make them the perfect couple and Daniel’s tutoring in the ways of love are endearingly sweet yet sexy and sweaty. This leads to numerous sexual interludes that start out slow but build in intensity as the story progresses.
For a short story there’s surprising depth to both the characters and storyline. I felt great sympathy for Jesse’s conflicted emotions but proud of his ultimate acceptance of the truth. Daniel’s subtle support was unwavering yet undeniable in the quiet touches and longing glances. It’s Nan who steals the show even though we only have brief scenes with her. Her humor was infectious and her loving support was heartwarming and put a bow on what, for me, was an utterly delightful read with the perfect amount of spice.
My rating for this is an A.
*I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.