Title: You’re Invited
Author: Roxy Harte
Buy Link: Amazon.com
Genre: Contemporary M/M/M
Length: Novel (195 PDF pages)
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
A guest review by Tj
Summary Review: A sexy and realistic look at the struggles of coming out and dealing with it’s ramifications on one’s life, career and dreams.
The Blurb: Twenty-year-old hottie Bryce Jordan studies hard, plays Lacrosse, and juggles the ladies. He’s the envy of every man on campus, as much for his athletic body as for the different blonde on his arm every Friday night. He seems to have the world by the balls.
So, why is his best friend Stanley suddenly not speaking to him? And why does it matter so much? He gets to make amends but all goes awry when he receives a “Coming Out Party” invitation from his eccentric Aunt Tacky, who entertains at the drag club downtown spoofing celebrity meltdowns. He has no intention of going until Stanley holds their friendship hostage and insists on attending with him as his “guest.”
Unbeknown to Bryce, everyone has acknowledged his homosexuality except him, and the party was conspired between Aunt Tacky and Stanley to help him face the truth. After a light hearted game of spin the champagne bottle lands Stanley and Bryce in the closet, Bryce finally admits he’s been hiding the truth too long. If their friendship survives the night, Stanley and Bryce might just become more than best friends.
But at what cost?
The Review: When I read the blurb above, I was expecting You’re Invited to be a funny, and perhaps light weight read. What I got was a very sexy, sometimes funny book that deals realistically with the serious issue of coming out and the ramifications on one’s life. The characters were very likable, well developed, interesting and reacted realistically to whatever life threw at them.
When college student Bryce receives an invitation from his Uncle Joe (aka Aunt Tacky) to a “coming out” party, his long time friend Stanley wants them to go together. Stanley, being gay, thinks the party will be a lot of fun, whereas Bryce is horrified at the mere idea of it. Stanley eventually gets his way and the boys are off to Bryce’s Uncle Joe‘s for an evening Bryce will never forget. What happens at this party will change the course of Bryce’s life and make him reconsider everything that he had believed.
From here, we are taken on a wild ride along with Bryce through the pleasures and pitfalls of overcoming your fears to live a legitimate life. Bryce had been dating women in a vain attempt to deny his attraction to men, or perhaps to cover it up. But once he is exposed to the hedonistic excesses at his uncle’s party, he can’t deny his true feelings, and is willingly seduced by the incredible pleasures of being with another man… or two. 😉 There is quite a bit of sex in the story, (and I am definitely not complaining) as it seems to fit Bryce’s character as a closeted man who finally has the opportunity to sample the man smorgasbord. And boy does Bryce get his fill! He actually complains at one point:
“Bryce swallowed, dropping his gaze, not understanding what was going on now that he was facing up to being gay. Was every man he met going to elicit a sexual urge?”
I think his experience is more that once you open yourself up to the possibilities around you, you will find opportunities that would have gone unnoticed before. Poor Bryce, so many men, so little time.
I really liked how Bryce’s denial, and struggles with his sexuality were portrayed, and felt that he could be a real person, granted a very lucky real person with all the sex thrown at him, but still – real in his feelings and reactions. At some points he is so troubled by what he is doing that he runs from everything. Then he gets drawn back into his new life as he can no longer hide his true feelings. I felt that this was very well done. Bryce also had the added pressure of a father who wants him to have a political career (that Bryce says he also wants), and now must deal with the reality that being gay may end that dream. This was all handled in a fashion that I thought was thoughtful and realistic.
I must warn readers who don’t like more than one man in a bed at a time that this is a m/m/m story and although not all, some of the sex has the three main characters together, but there are also several scenes of Bryce with one or the other of his partners. I usually don’t care for multi partner stories, but I actually felt that these scenes seemed realistic and all the sex was very hot, without being too clinical – you know none of that one finger, two finger, but still enough detail to be hot. And in case you’re concerned, we do get a nicely done HEA that seemed both realistic and fun.
Overall, I recommend You’re Invited as it was well written, realistic and very sexy.