Erryn reviews ‘Made Marian Mixtape: A Made Marian Collection’ by Lucy Lennox. The ebook was published December 10, 2019. The ebook is 280 pages and was released December 10, 2019. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: I love the Marians.
The best mixtape always has a mix of favorites on it— songs playing in the background at Jude and Derek’s wedding or when Simone finally falls in love. Loud beats pounding the dance floor when Blue tries to seduce Tristan in public, or sleepy notes written late at night while Jude is on tour. Strains of familiar music bring heart-gripping memories rushing back in—memories of the first time Tilly meets Senator Cannon, the weekend a mysterious new family member arrives at a snowy cabin expecting solitude but finding a sexy lumberjack instead, or the winter Teddy “accidentally” strands Jamie in Tibet.
Made Marian Mixtape is a collection of everything from a short 1k word vignette to a longer 30k novella. Catch glimpses into the lives of favorite existing Marian characters and meet new ones as well. With everything from hot nookie in a broken elevator to double-doses of pre-wedding panic, Mixtape presents over ten new stories set in the Made Marian world that will make you sniffle, swoon, and laugh out loud.
Made Marian Mixtape is 72k words in length and best enjoyed by readers familiar with the Marian world.
Although each little ‘song’ is self-contained and enjoyable, this book is best enjoyed by those who have a passing acquaintance with the Made Marian world. If you’ve read all the big books, you’re in a great position to truly enjoy this. If you happen to have read all the smaller stories as well, you’ll be likely to fall even more in love. Heck, you might be inspired to go back and re-read the whole series. I know I was tempted. So many books, so little time. (Quick note – there is a family tree and a reading order for the entire series in the back of the book.)
I considered writing a mini review on each story but some of them haven’t been announced and I want each to come as a fun surprise – as they did for me. Instead, I’ll give a couple of my favorite quotes (no spoilers involved).
First, there’s the night before Derek and Jude’s wedding. It was inevitable these guys would make it permanent and there are little clips of them later (including Jude’s Lullaby which is the only previously released ‘song’). Anyway, Jude is hunkered down at his parent’s house and Derek is home alone. Well, not for long.
“Grab your jockstrap, Stud Muffin,” Tilly commanded. “We’re taking you out.”
I laughed and gestured for them to come inside. “Where are we going? I thought you ‘d be at Thomas and Rebecca’s giving Jude some kind of last-minute sex talk.”
Granny scoffed. “As if. Irene scored half-off coupons for drag night at the Inside Out. We can’t get in without a real gay.”
I glanced between the two lesbians and raised my eyebrows.
“Chicks don’t count,” she said, flapping her hand. “We need dick. It’s like a magic wand or something. Let’s go. And grab your singles ‘cause we’re gonna need lots of tips.”
Well, if there was a better way to spend my last night as a single gay man than going to a drag show with three horny old ladies, I didn’t know what it was.
Okay, I might have hooted in laughter. There were many funny moments in the stories, enjoyable even if you don’t know all the characters. Just the thought of Teddy and Jamie stranded in Tibet was funny, yaks and all. Of course I suspected something was afoot, but didn’t see that ending coming.
There were also more serious and longer stories. Ammon was the young man rescued by AJ in Delivering Dante. He was embraced by the Marians but was too young for the time for a happy ending. He reappears in this book, twenty years old and far more mature. He’s playing his violin in school and volunteering at the shelter. He’s getting more confident and an encounter with bodyguard Mark has him wishing for things he’d always considered out of his reach. Mark, though, has reservations. He’s much older than Ammon and, as he says, “imagine having a crush on someone who literally had fifteen brothers and brothers-in-law watching out for him, not to mention a feisty sister who took shit from no one.”
But Ammon, more than most, deserved a happy ending.
Speaking of that feisty sister… Simone Marian never got her own big book, but she’s loomed large in many of the stories, especially when she was kidnapped in the cross-over book Lucy wrote with Sloane Kennedy. So, in this book, Simone gets her own happy ending. Or beginning, depending on how you look at it. The romantic in me might have swooned. Several times.
Along with the humor came moments of poignancy. Will every reader need a tissue? Probably not. But, if your heart is easily touched, like mine is, you may want to keep one handy.
Then there are passages like the following:
I looked from his lips to his eyes where the heat was undeniable, but for the first time in my entire life, my gut told me to wait instead of making a move. My cock downvoted the idea, but my brain overrode it.
Curious to know who actually vetoed sex? You’ll just have to read to find out. (Hint – new characters!)
As you can see, I enjoyed revisiting the Marian clan. The stories touched me and, of course, made me laugh. I mean with Tilly, Granny, and Irene, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be a raucous time. I recommend you pick up this little gem and enjoy.
10/10 Pots of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars
Lucy Lennox is finally putting good use to that English Lit degree earned way back in the 1900s.
She enjoys naps, pizza, and procrastinating. She has some snarky kids and is married to someone who is better at math than romance but who makes her laugh every single day and is the best dancer in the history of ever.
She stays up way too late each night reading M/M romance because that stuff is hot.