Masc (Femme #2)

Title: Masc
Author: Marshall Thornton
Publisher: Kenmore Books
Release Date: April 28th, 2018
Genre(s): Romantic Comedy, Contemporary, Humor
Page Count: 217
Reviewed by: LenaRibka
Heat Level: 1 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Lionel and Dog are back in this follow-up to the Lambda finalist, Femme. Almost six months have passed and, after taking an online quiz, Lionel believes their relationship is doomed because they have nothing in common. To save their future together, the pair joins a gay bowling league and discovers that Lionel is an excellent, if somewhat eccentric, bowler.

Meanwhile, Dog gets profiled in a work newsletter. He’s excited that he’s out at work, but doesn’t immediately realize that by fawning over Dog’s masculine nature the writer was also putting down all femme guys. Lionel takes it personally, which leads the to a crisis in their relationship. Attempting to make it up to Lionel, Dog makes a grand gesture—which backfires spectacularly.

Will the two manage to put things right? And will a night in jail, a morning of drag bingo, an afternoon of day drinking, and a month of moping make things better or worse?

Almost two years after the release of Femme that not only won the hearts of the true romantic comedy lovers but was also nominated for the Lammys in the category Gay Romance, Marshall Thornton pleasantly surprised his readers with Masc, a wonderful addition to the Femme series.

We meet Dog and Lionel here again, 6 months later. They are on their way to become an established couple, and things seem to be really good between them. Well. Almost good.
If there were not this stupid online quiz that Dog’s sister forwarded to Lionel. Now Lionel is concerned that their relationship with Dog is doomed. Because they don’t have anything in common.

“We have to do something. We have nothing in common.”
“Does that really matter?”
“Of course it matters. What are we going to do when we’re old and gray and stop having sex?”
“Why would we stop having sex?”

They both like to watch TV, but they like different shows, they like different movies (Dog needs more action and less talking, Lionel with a lot of talking), they like different kind of pizza, Lionel likes theater and musical, Dog prefers sport events. The solution of this VERY BIG problem is just to find a way to grow together. That means they need to have things in common. Period.

What could be better than gay bowling? Like Dog’s softball team?

“Okay. Bowling it is.”

My first reaction: how could Lionel forget the old saying opposites attract? And if there is FEMME, there has to be MASC in close proximity to, right? My second reaction: oh, it is much serious as I thought.

Without giving much away: a lot of things are happening in this book, and not only bowling contests. One of most important developments – Dog’s accidental coming out at work and the problems related to it. Marshall Thornton touches upon even sensitive topics ( a key word – #MeToo), and of course, this book will make you not just laugh and smile but also think.

Masc is fun pure, it is witty, funny and serious at once. I love absolutely ALL characters, Dog and Lionel, sure, but also many secondary characters that are simply wonderful to meet: Dog’s family, Carlos, Tim, Fetch, except maybe Byron Seeley.

You should read this book sloowlyyy, savoring its delightful dialogues and delicious humor.

And as it was already in the first book, the message in this book again is as simple as it is great:

“Be yourself, don’t forget who you are and how special you are, be honest with yourself, and just allow yourself to be happy.”

Fantastic, right?

Femme Series

Buy Link Amazon Global Author Link GoodReads More Author Reviews

Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Masc provided by Marshall Thornton in exchange of an honest review.


A passionate reader from Germany. I learned to read at the age of 4 and never stopped since then, though my books from that time were very different from what they are now. English is my third language, and I'm sorry for all grammar mistakes I made in my reviews. But I assure you, that my reading English is much better than my writing English. I'm a seeker for the books that differ from mainstream, that provoke the reader or have very often very opposite ratings.