Mud & Lace (Lili’s Review)

Title: Mud & Lace (Rainbow Place, #4)
Author: Jay Northcote
Publisher: Jaybird Press
Release Date: April 25, 2019
Genre(s): New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 240 pages
Reviewed by: Lili
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 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.

Although this book is part of a linked series, it can be read and enjoyed as a standalone.

After I finished Better Place (Rainbow Place #3), I knew I’d read Mud & Lace but admit I was a bit nervous. Books about closet cases can sometimes go awry for me but had to give it a go for Lady Gogo.

I had some preconceived notions going in and thought my trepidations would prove right, but fortunately, they were wrong.


-Charlie, aka Lady Gogo, wasn’t at all what I was expecting, and that was a good thing. Behind the confident drag queen is a young man embracing himself. Jay Northcote excelled at showing us the person behind the custome.

-Simon, aka Wicksy, the total opposite of Charlie. It took me a little longer to warm up to him- because of my preconceived notions. I pulled a Cam. You’ll know what I mean when you read the book.

++Both main characters made me care for them. I could feel their confusion and fear and then it’s as if I could feel their weight lift when they started to accept themselves.

-Dual POVs

-Chemistry, JN knows how to write hot sex scenes, so this is a given.

-It’s always lovely to see past characters and see them doing well. Ffs I talk about them like they’re real people. lol

-The end is HFN. I would’ve rated higher if the epilogue had given me a little more. I get that they’re young, but I don’t know- the epilogue whore in me wanted a little more.

Can this be read as a standalone? Yes, but be warned you will see past characters in the story.

All in all, I was left happy at the end. Jay Northcote did an excellent job with Mud & Lace. It’s a story about self-discovery, friends, family, and acceptance.

4 Stars

Rainbow Place Series

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Mud & Lace (Rainbow Place, #4) provided by Jay Northcote in exchange of an honest review.


I’m a romance junkie, who loves when books make her cry from heartbreak and happiness.

A few of my favorite tropes:

-Friends to lovers
-Age gap

NetGalley Member since 2015
2016 NetGalley Challenge 80% Professional Reader 2015 Challenge Participant


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