Marc reviews the audiobook version ‘The Queen and the Homo Jock King’ (At First Sight #2) by TJ Klune. The eBook version of this book was published by Dreamspinner Press on February 29th, 2016 and is 531 pages long. The audiobook version was published on August 1st, 2016, was narrated by Michael Lesley and is 17 hrs and 5 mins long.
This audio review copy was provided free of charge by the narrator in exchange for an honest review.
Please also check out Sam’s review of the eBook HERE.
Why I read this book: ‘The Queen and the Homo Jock King’ is the sequel of TJ Klune’s hilarious bestseller ‘Tell Me It’s Real’. For me book one was one of those books that kept making me laugh out loud, while reading on my train to work, sometimes with tears in my eyes. It didn’t matter if people were staring at me, it was too funny not to. I was sure the same kind of humor could be found in this sequel, especially considering that Sandy is one of the MCs. Sandy/ Helena were THE scene stealer in book one. To be honest, I didn’t know that TMIR would even get a sequel, but it was the most pleasant surprise for me when I discovered the sequel and was asked to review it. Especially considering that the audiobook narrator was the same guy who narrated my favorite audiobook (EVER), ‘The Lightning-Struck Heart’ by TJ Klune. So what do you get if you take one of the best authors, one of the best narrators and a beloved, best-selling series? Read on to find out… 🙂
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.
The idea of listening to an audiobook that is longer than 17 hours might seem scary at first, but you won’t want to miss a single second. Time flies when you have fun and the length of the audiobook seemed perfect. At no time did I want to skip over any scene, because it wasn’t boring and Michael Lesley’s narration was spot-on and hilarious. He really brings the characters to life and is really becoming one of my favorite, if not THE favorite narrator, in this genre for me.
I would encourage readers to read Tell Me It’s Real, the first book in this series, before starting book two, so they can fully appreciate the friendship between Paul and Sandy, though book two can be read as a stand alone. However, book one was briliant as well, so I see no reason for not reading it. In fact, I would go so far as to assume that readers who didn’t like book one won’t like the sequel either. And those who loved book one, will love this sequel as well. Normally lightning doesn’t strike twice, but TJ Klune has found a way to write sequels that don’t have to shy away from comparisons to the first book in any way.
That being said, the plot of this book did not not always make sense. It’s not even trying at times, not taking itself too seriously. The characters are created with loving care and are very likable and memorable. I just had so much fun with them as they are put (and put themselves) into unbelievable and unbelievably funny situations.
The shy Sandy and his fabulously bold drag alter ego Helena Handbasket were the scene stealers in book one and definitely deserved their story being told. TJ Klune tells the story in his uniquely ‘over-the-top’ funny, yet heartwarming way. You will giggle, snort and laugh out loudly, but the story will also pull on your heartstrings and make you feel for the characters. It is a unique blend that works incredibly well, but I’m sure not a lot of authors could pull it off.
Interestingly, while the plot is ridiculous at times, as mentioned, the story actually resolves in a very satisfying way. I love that there are serious and very emotional moments mixed in with the fun and even gets very sexy in parts. We also get to see some of the most loved and wonderful characters from book one and it just feels really good to be back in this book universe.
For me the highlight of the book was the slow-burning relationship between Sandy/ Helena and Darren. There is a lot of tension, a heart-breaking secret and crazy sexual chemistry between them and it is so worth the wait to see it all play out. I loved both characters and they are more complex even than the masks they wear. They want to be seen in a certain way, but as readers we get to see their vulnerabilities and identify with them.
For all the hilariously funny humor that kept a constant smile on my face while reading this book, it was the characters who stole my heart and enchanted me. I can strongly recommend this book. Go get it now!!!
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4/5 Stars
When TJ Klune was eight, he picked up a pen and paper and began to write his first story (which turned out to be his own sweeping epic version of the video game Super Metroid–he didn’t think the game ended very well and wanted to offer his own take on it. He never heard back from the video game company, much to his chagrin). Now, two decades later, the cast of characters in his head have only gotten louder, wondering why he has to go to work as a claims examiner for an insurance company during the day when he could just stay home and write.
He dreams about one day standing at Stonehenge, just so he can say he did.