Melissa reviews Brave & Beautiful (Sassy Boyz #3) by by Elizabeth Varlet published October 9th 2017 by Carina Press, 249 pages.
There’s only one relationship that matters to Tameron “Tam” Kis—his love affair with dance. Life’s been pretty shitty, but dance got him through it and now he’s ready to focus on what he loves. He doesn’t have the bandwidth for any distractions—especially not his sexy, not-quite-straight new neighbor.
Driver Ellis doesn’t need anything but his bike and the open road. He wouldn’t trade his drifter lifestyle for anything…until his friend calls in a favor and Driver suddenly finds himself pet-sitting. Driver isn’t thrilled being stuck in one place, though things start to look up when he sets eyes on the gorgeous girl next door.
There’s just one problem… She isn’t a girl at all.
All it takes is one spontaneous dance to turn both Driver’s and Tam’s worlds upside down. They might not have been looking for love, but as things heat up between them, it’s clear life has very different plans.
A complimentary copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: I have heard so many good things about the previous books in this series I decided to see what it was all about.
First let me say I missed the boat and haven’t read Fierce & Fabulous or Dark & Dazzling. Grr!!!! But, never fear! For those of you haven’t read them either, you don’t have too. 🙂 I was fully able to enjoy Brave & Beautiful and not feel lost or as if I was missing the inside joke. In my opinion, this can be read as a complete stand-alone. Do I wish I had read the previous books? Of course, but only because I am sure they are just as cute as this one!
And when I say cute, I mean cute, not sunshine and rainbows cute, but sweet and dramatically cute. Tam is a shy and sensitive man who is still trying to overcome the abuse he suffered as a kid. He has his friends around him who support him and are his family. He still talks with the therapist he had when he was at a sort of youth shelter (I am not clear on if it was a detention center), even though he is no longer really eligible to receive those benefits. I felt sorry for Tam, and that’s possibly (probably) not the reaction the author was going for, but I mostly felt pity and then hope for Tam.
When Driver arrives in Tam’s life, neither are prepared for the changes that will happen to each of them. Driver has been running from commitment (of any kind) since his parents and brother were killed in a car accident. Driver feels responsible since they were coming to pick him up from a party, and regardless of his grandparents or friends telling him it’s not, he can’t help but feel it. So he doesn’t stay in one place for long since he is really trying to outrun those memories and the guilt.
I liked Tam and Driver together as a couple – Driver was completely understanding of Tam’s limits in the bedroom. And Tam was able to use Driver to help boost his confidence in all matters, not just sex. What I didn’t like was the fact that at times they could be overly sweet and understanding.
There was a lot of this:
“You’re just so bright and stunning. Like the sun, you pulled me into your gravity and I couldn’t let go until we were both destroyed.”
Would he ever be able to fly again?
All the darkness in his life had made it possible for him to know the stars. He wasn’t going to let them fade without a fight, especially not when he was holding one of the brightest spots in the palm of his hand.
He was about to crash. In a split second everything became crystal clear. He was going to die. He was going to die without ever really living. Tam would never know. God, that hurt the most. How could he die without telling Tam that he was loved? In the dark, bruised and probably bleeding, Driver smiled through the tears.
“You are you because the light inside is brighter than all the darkness you’ve had to live through. You never lost your light, your sweetness, no matter what terrible shit life threw at you. You’ve no idea how amazing you are, and that just makes you more appealing.”
At times it was just too much. It actually felt as if this were an MF romance not an MM and Tam didn’t come across as a very strong person. Brave, yes at times Tam was brave. And bravery shouldn’t have a time-table. He took the steps he felt he was ready for as they came. Just as when Driver came into his life, he took the biggest leap of his life and let Driver IN! Lots of courage – heaps! But, Tam isn’t a strong person. Brave, sassy – yes. But when Driver leaves at the end, Tam’s spirit was very broken and he was a mess. Granted, this happens to a lot of people after a bad break up, but still…
Overall an enjoyable read and I do recommend this one, especially if you’ve read the other books in this series. I plan to read them myself, it’s just a matter of when.
She started writing stories in high school and hasn’t stopped. Now, her characters like to get frisky under the covers – or the stars, they’re not picky. She’s a thirty-something, newly married, world traveler who devours books like they were candy.
To contact Elizabeth, send her an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or follow her on any of her social media sites.