Erryn and Dana review ‘How Not to Tuck (Lovestrong #2)’ by Susan Hawke. The ebook was published February 15, 2019 and 64 pages. The audiobook version of this story was narrated by Michael Pauley, released on March 15, 2019, and is 1 hrs and 44 mins long.
Why Erryn read this book: I loved the the first Lovestrong book and couldn’t wait for Larry to get his happy ending.
Why Dana read this book: After listening to the first book in this series, I wanted more of the community of friends introduced to us, and I did want to see Larry find love.
An invitation given to a nemesis backfires in sexy, fabulous way.
Honey Combover slays them, honey…and hey, she can’t help it if her “equipment” is too large and in charge to stay tucked away during her drag performances, right? As for Honey’s “other half”, Larry Perretti is a large, kind man who excels loves his job teaching music at a private high-school.
Godric Sheppard is the principal of Grace Academy. He’s known for being a meticulous and authoritative man who’s never shown a hint of impropriety. In the two years they’ve known each other, the pair of passionate educators have never been able to agree on anything.
The two men clash when Godric tells Larry that he can’t lead the Glee Club in performing Born This Way while dressed as his drag persona. He has a point, since Honey is infamous for her wardrobe malfunctions. Determined to show the uptight little prig that he can keep things, er, tucked away…Larry invites him to catch his show to prove him wrong.
After the inevitable untucking event occurs, Godric knows two things. One, Larry needs a keeper. And two? It probably needs to be him. Godric’s firm hand and gentle touch is just what Larry needs. It doesn’t hurt that Larry melts a little every time Godric calls him pretty.
I want to start my review by discussing Michael Pauley’s narration. When he narrated Book 1 of the Lovestrong series, he encountered Honey Combover. I admit being surprised at how deep he chose to make Honey’s voice and although I struggled with it a bit, I did eventually get used to it. I even came to kind of care about Honey so when I heard she was getting her own book, I was thrilled. Again, Michael’s portrayal was spot on and this book is well worth the listen.
In real life, Honey is Larry Perretti, a mischievous choral director who believes in advocating for his students, especially when dealing with stick-in-the-mud principal Godric Sheppard. The men have sparred on and off for almost two years, but it’s Larry’s insistence that he direct the choir as Honey Combover that has ruffled Godric. See, Honey’s wardrobe malfunctions are legendary and there is no way Godric is exposing the students and members of the community to Honey’s cobra. Big man, big… Well, you get the picture.
Believing he can perform without having a mishap, Larry invites Godric to watch the show at Saint’s Drag Night. Well, big surprise that Honey can’t stay tucked and she exposes herself to the entire bar. Most are used to the adventures, but Godric’s response is primal. He’s ready to dedicate himself to Honey and ensuring no one ever sees the large snake again.
This is a quick down’n’dirty audio that had me laughing almost the whole time. Larry’s dedication to his students was admirable and his interest in Godric was a long in time coming. That Godric realized the larger man needed to be taken in hand wasn’t a surprise but the speed of the relationship was quick. I also liked that the men didn’t necessarily fall into all the stereotypes. I enjoyed watching them find their way into the new relationship and the epilogue left me quite hopeful.
It’s hard not to say great things about this book. It’s cute, perky, funny, and heartwarming. Between Susan’s words and Michael’s narration, this is a perfect listen. There are more books in the series, so I suspect there is more of Godric and Honey to come. Thanks goodness.
10/10 Pots of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars
This audio is on the short side and I think my review will kind of be the same. When we first met Larry in How Not to Blend, he was an interesting character. He was a caring individual, as Honey to his drag daughter and as Larry to the kids he worked with in choir. But his rough voice and general persona made him seem like comic relief. Not to mention his multiple tape malfunctions.
We know a lot less about Godric. He is on the serious side but Larry helps lighten him in some ways. I don’t know if he is a natural dom, or if Larry/Honey’s crazy antics make him feel like he needs to take control, especially to keep his man from revealing all his bits in public at the drag bar. At the end, I didn’t quite have a good grasp on who Godric was, but I did feel like the two men were a great match. Godric tempered Larry and Larry brought fun into Godric’s life.
Michael Pauley is a great narrator. I think he emotes well. I can feel the humor in a scene by the tone of his voice, and I can feel when characters are in pain, though that doesn’t really happen in this book. I liked his voice for Larry/Honey, but like I mentioned before it felt sort-of comical. So I admit that I couldn’t really get into the sexy scenes with Larry’s voice. However, I don’t read or listen to books for the sex scenes, so it doesn’t really effect my rating.
This book is a novella in the middle of the series, and can be read as a stand-alone. However the whole series is really good, and I recommend all of the books.
8/10 Pots of Gold (80% Recommended) – Compares to 4/5 Stars
Susan Hawke is more widely known for her mpreg writings as Susi Hawke; this new name is a departure from that. Whether written by Susan or Susi, the books are filled with that all-important love, laughter, and family; the only difference is that this name has no male pregnancy.