Author: Marshall Thornton and Joel Leslie (Narrator)
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: June 20, 2017
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Length: 6 hrs and 23 mins
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 5+ stars out of 5
Queeny cocktail waiter, Lionel, wakes up to find himself in bed with Dog, a straight-acting softball player and the two embark on a rocky road to romance. A journey that requires coming out of the closet, going into the closet, a pair of red high heels, many pairs of red high heels, a failed intervention, a couple of aborted dates, and homemade pom-poms. Mostly, Lionel and Dog learn what it means to be a man.
As Lionel would say ….. Oh my fucking Gawd! I love, love, frickin’ love Femme and Joel Leslie’s narration takes this 5 star story over the top to 5+ fabulous stars.
Lionel and Dog meet one night at the bar where Lionel is a waiter and Dog’s softball team comes in every Sunday night. One extremely sloshy drunken one-night stand later and Lionel and Dog find themselves in a relationship … sorta. Well, if you don’t count that night at the restaurant AND the movie theatre where Dog flat out runs out on Lionel after seeing his parents. Seems Dog really isn’t out to his parents and doesn’t want to tell his father especially … because of his heart problems, doncha know?
Femme really tweaks all those stereotypes and really makes you think about how we define ourselves and others. Lionel’s closet contains extra small Hello Kitty shirts, sparkly shorts and pink Converse, a killer aubergine jacket, some fabulous red heels, and he has no fucks to give for anyone who doesn’t approve. Dog plays softball, wears jeans and tees, drives a truck and seems like a sweet (albeit sometimes not the brightest) guy. As Lionel says:
And, yeah, I’m a fucking stereotype. Knock-knock, so are you. So is everybody. It’s how we identify one another. It’s how we communicate with strangers. Every single person is a stereotype until you get to know them.
In addition to Lionel and Dog, Femme has a stellar cast of secondary characters – Dog’s softball team, all the barflies at the two bars, Dog’s sister and parents, especially his mother:
I’ve had a very busy twenty-four hours. And I’ve come a long way. Last night I was on the same shift with Juan Hernandez. He’s a gay, and he explained a lot of things to me. He told me all about bears and otters and wolves and cubs and polar bears, and—oh my God you boys like your wild animals, don’t you?
I gotta say my personal favorite is Carlos / Carlotta who works with Lionel at the bar. Carlos and his car Frieda … and Carlo’s commentary about a former boyfriend:
“I knew I loved him the minute he put his penis into my mouth. And then…I knew I didn’t love him the minute he put his penis into Roger Tyler’s mouth.”
Joel Leslie’s narration takes an already stellar story and pushes it to a whole other level. All his voices are spot-on (and hysterically funny) and I loved the lyrical flow of the narration as he gleefully “pops” Lionel’s consonants and gives all the voices such texture and personality.