Title: Mud & Lace (Rainbow Place #4)
Author: Jay Northcote
Publisher: Jaybird Press
Release Date: April 25th 2019
Page Count: 226
Reviewed by: Kirstin
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
When Wicksy falls for drag queen Charlie, they discover that both sexuality and gender can be fluid.
Simon Wicks—Wicksy to his rugby teammates—has only ever been interested in women. But when he sets eyes on Lady Gogo, a drag queen who performs at Rainbow Place, he can’t stop thinking about her. He knows there’s a guy behind the fishnets and make-up, but he’s ready to explore his fantasies, and Lady Gogo is game for making them come true.
Charlie adores performing in drag. It allows him to indulge in his love of cross-dressing while earning some extra cash. Fooling around with a mostly straight guy in secret seems like a fun diversion, and gives him the chance to explore his feminine side. He feels safe wearing the mask of his confident alter ego, because the real Charlie is hidden from view.
When Wicksy sees more of the guy behind the make-up and glitter, his attraction to Charlie persists, and he realises he’s bisexual. In turn, Charlie begins to understand and accept his gender fluidity. As their mutual journey of self-discovery brings them closer, the secrecy becomes increasingly hard to deal with. If they’re going to have a future together, they both need to find the courage to show people who they really are.
Self discovery is a vast, scary, exhausting experience and one that isn’t easy to express. Jay Northcote has taken this delicate notion and created a wildly romantic, generous tale of two men united in their journey and given them both the words and means to support each other and has done it with excellence.
Charlie’s character has always had a feminine side. He’s been ashamed and scared of showing it…afraid of his friends opinions as well as his mother. When he takes the chance to dress up and sing as Lady Gogo at Rainbow Place, he finally feels like a piece of the puzzle has snapped into place.
Simon ‘Wicksy’ Wicks is straight. And has feelings for a guy who dresses as a girl. But he’s still straight, right?
At first I was worried for the obvious reasons. Was Wicksy really taking advantage of Charlie by ignoring the masculine side of him and flaunting the femme? Jay quickly dispelled that thought when the characters voiced their own worry.
Things weren’t easy, but the support of family and friends allowed each of them to acknowledge and accept what they felt was true and real for them. It was amazing to read and get to know both Simon and Charlie. The intense feelings between them were palpable.
I’ve loved each book in this series, but I have to admit… I’ve been waiting for Wicksy’s story. He’s intrigued me from the start and Jay Northcote did NOT disappoint. I loved this book. I loved how carefully played out it all was. It was crafted with intent and so very well done. Do yourself a favor and read this awesome tale of love and awareness.