Title: The Hardest Fall (Roadmap to Your Heart #3)
Author: Christina Lee
Release Date: June 23rd 2016
Page Count: 255
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 2.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Lee trades country ballads for show tunes in the next standalone book of her Roadmap to Your Heart series.
After licking his wounds from a painful relationship, Tate Sullivan is ready to move back home. He picks up where he left off as drag queen extraordinaire Frieda Love in a West Village bar in New York City. He doesn’t expect to be drawn to the mysterious man with the dark eyes who shows up to every single performance—flirtatiously eyeing Tate one second and disappearing on him the next. Why mess around with a guy who is clearly giving him mixed signals?
Sebastian Clark is on a mission the first night he shows up at Ruby Redd’s. He doesn’t anticipate his plan being flipped on its head by the charismatic drag queen and even more so by the mesmerizing man beneath the makeup. But the more he learns about the vibrant and brash Tate Sullivan the more intrigued he becomes. So he pushes aside his guilt about why he sought out the bar in the first place in order to get to know the guy behind the stilettos.
They’re opposites on many levels, but as Tate spends time volunteering with Sebastian at the shelter, he begins to feel good about himself in ways he hadn’t before. For Sebastian, Tate represents a sense of fun and freedom that is completely fresh and invigorating. Before they know it, their easy companionship catches fire, and Sebastian is kissing a man for the first time, while Tate is opening his heart to new possibilities. But Sebastian is still keeping a secret, and Tate will have to decide if he can trust again, or if the betrayal he feels from Sebastian’s confession is too much to overcome.
I’m afraid I’m in the minority with this book. I really liked some parts, but others didn’t quite work out for me.
What I liked:
~I love books with cross dressing, drag queens or gender bending in general, and this part is done really well here. Frieda Love, the alter ego of Tate is magnificent and her shows and personality won me over.
~I loved Sebastian. His character is very likeable and I really loved the way he handled his sexuality.
~The writing is pretty good and it flows really well.
What didn’t work:
~That goddamn secret hanging over their heads like the sword of damocles for the most part of the story! Sebastian’s initial reaction to not reveal it felt genuine, but it went way too far.
~There were parts that felt…not preachy per se, but definitely didactic, regarding drag queens and transsexuals. I like it when stories have messages to convey, but it didn’t feel very smooth here.
~I felt that the dead guy was kind of disrespected. Yes, he was an asshole. Yes, he treated Tate like shit. But he’s not here to defend himself and he expressed remorse on his deathbed. At first it was ok, but after a while I was done with the accusations and the name calling. Tate was to blame too.
~When important scenes (like the revelation of the big secret!) get interrupted by trivial things, like an arrival or a door opening it is contrived and frustrating.
~The internal monologues got too long and repetitive. Tate and Sebastian spent too much time in their heads!
The majority of reviewers loved this one, so it might be just me, not the book. But the above reasons took a lot of my enjoyment out.