Bethany reviews ‘Femme’ by Marshall Thornton. Published by Kenmore Books on July 28, 2016, 216 pgs.
NOTE: We were provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: This was the book the readers voted for me to read, though I was so intrigued by the blurb I probably would have read it anyway.
Queeny cocktail waiter, Lionel, wakes up to find himself in bed with Dog, a straight-acting softball player and the two embark on a rocky road to romance. A journey that requires coming out of the closet, going into the closet, a pair of red high heels, many pairs of red high heels, a failed intervention, a couple of aborted dates, and homemade pom-poms. Mostly, Lionel and Dog learn what it means to be a man.
After reading the blurb I was intrigued, but I wasn’t sure what to expect from it. What I got was so much more than I could have hoped for. I was in a reading slump, listening more to books that I had already read. So readers picking what I read to review was actually a very good thing. I sometimes think you need to step back and let someone else say “here try this, I think you might like it.” And I really did, so I want to give a big THANK YOU to the readers who voted for this one. I also want to give a big THANKS to everyone who voted, I hope you found something new to read.
I will be the first to admit I love a book with two “manly men” as the MCs, there is just something about it that does it for me. I am also partial to the trope of a very alpha top, and a very, topping from the bottom, bottom. I love shifters & paranormal, sweet & angsty, light & fluffy, and dark & twisty. Basically I love a lot of different tropes. Normally I don’t seek out what the blurb calls “Queeny” MCs. But what a shame that is because I really enjoyed reading this one.
Lionel, is hilarious, seriously from the very first page I laughed so much at some of the stuff that came out of his mouth. He can be snarky and quick witted. Dog, yes that is what they call him, is Lionel’s polar opposite. Your typical “jock”, the kind of guy that acts straight, even though he is out on the gay softball team, but not to his parents. This is where I got angry, but more on that in a bit. Dog and Lionel just shouldn’t work, they are just TOO different. There are no common interests, well other than liking men, lol. So when they do get past the one night stand and realize they like each other and want to more about the other, I was doing a happy dance. Then Dog’s hangups about telling his family puts a damper on their first date. And here is where I got upset.
I wanted so badly to rant and yell at Dog, I wanted to hate him for what he puts Lionel through. I just didn’t see how he could be out to his team, but not his family. Then the closer Dog and Lionel got the more and more I began to see that Dog didn’t want his family to see him with Lionel because Lionel wasn’t “man” enough, and that just about killed him. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again some people shouldn’t have kids if they can’t accept them for who they love, man, woman, trans, or whatever it is that makes them them.
I didn’t get what I was expecting after I read this book, I got so much more. Marshall’s writing is fun and humorous, but it’s so much more. It emotional, and real. He doesn’t sugar coat things, he delivers real men, with real issues, real problems, trying desperately to overcome issues that stand in the way of their happiness. He paints Dog and Lionel as two men that you would meet in real life, both struggling to accept, not only the other man, but himself. So yes I got so much more after finishing this book, and it taught me something. Outward appearances shouldn’t keep you from getting to know someone. Because that someone might end up being your soulmate and the love of your life.
I highly recommend this book and in the words of Lady Gaga “Baby you were born this way.”
Lambda Award-winning author, Marshall Thornton is best known for the Boystown detective series. Other novels include the erotic comedy The Perils of Praline, or the Amorous Adventures of a Southern Gentleman in Hollywood, Desert Run and Full Release. Marshall has an MFA in screenwriting from UCLA, where he received the Carl David Memorial Fellowship and was recognized in the Samuel Goldwyn Writing awards.
Member Mystery Writers of America
Find Marshall here.