Author: TJ Klune
Narrator: Michael Lesley
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 17 hours and 5 minutes
Category: Contemporary, Romantic Comedy
At a Glance: This wonderful read is powered by Lesley’s talent and Klune’s words. Buy this audio; you will not be sorry.
Reviewed By: Mike
Blurb: Do you believe in love at first sight?
Sanford Stewart sure doesn’t. In fact, he pretty much believes in the exact opposite, thanks to the Homo Jock King. It seems Darren Mayne lives for nothing more than to create chaos in Sandy’s perfectly ordered life, just for the hell of it. Sandy despises him, and nothing will ever change his mind.
Or so he tells himself.
It’s not until the owner of Jack It – the club where Sandy performs as drag queen Helena Handbasket – comes to him with a desperate proposition that Sandy realizes he might have to put his feelings about Darren aside. Because Jack It will close unless someone can convince Andrew Taylor, the mayor of Tucson, to keep it open.
Someone like Darren, the mayor’s illegitimate son.
The foolproof plan is this: seduce Darren, and push him to convince his father to renew Jack It’s contract with the city.
Review: This book is a sequel in the very best sense of the word. It doesn’t just continue a story; it expands a story to make the world it is set in that much more wonderful than the one you left at the end of the first book. You do not need to have read book one in this series, Tell Me It’s Real, but you should because it’s a damn fine book. The story here is standalone but is also a fine companion to book one. If you have not read book one, you can read it before or after this one, but you’ll have a whole new room full of friends no matter what order you meet them in.
Sandy Stewart has not led the easiest life. He has one very best friend, Paul, and a logical family made mostly of Paul’s relatives and the habitués of Jack It, a gay bar where Sandy becomes Helena Handbasket, the Queen of them all. At Jack It, Helena continually runs into her nemesis, the Homo Jock King.
The Homo Jock King has been in Sandy’s life before he ever became Helena. He did something to Sandy that Sandy has never forgiven him for. Further complications arise—because life is all about complications—coming from the fact that the gorgeous, seductive Homo Jock King, Darren, is the half-brother of Sandy’s best friend Paul’s lover. Now, that may sound complicated but it is fully explained in the book.
Sandy avoids Darren. Sandy hates Darren. Sandy needs Darren to help protect and save the nightclub/bar they both love, and Sandy performs at as Helena. So, Sandy and Darren embark on a plan to save the bar. Everyone assumes the frenemies are now dating for real and all is well. During one of the numerous fights Sandy and Darren have, Paul’s lover, Vince, asks Paul to marry him. To say that this complicates Sandy’s plan with Darren is an understatement. Add into the mix Paul’s parents, who dearly love Sandy and took him in when he was teen; Paul’s Nana, who is perhaps the most loveable and dirty elderly lady in all of Tucson; an aging Leather Daddy; and Sandy’s gender fluid protégé, Kory, who is sometimes Koree; and a parrot named Johnny Depp, who is prone to vulgar outburst implicating Paul in numerous (hilarious) illegal and disgusting activities; and you have the stuff of high camp, high drama, and true emotion.
Michael Lesley as the narrator is NOT TO BE MISSED. He gives life and breath to many of TJ Klune’s books. He has read both of the books in this series, and hearing his voice work is a true treat. Throughout the length of the book, even minor characters get treated the same as the major players. If you read and loved and laughed at any of TJ Klune’s books, you must listen to this book. You’ll laugh out loud, agree with some things, grumble about others, and you’ll live for the scenes where Nana gets to be her outrageous self.
This wonderful read is powered by Lesley’s talent and Klune’s words. Buy this audio; you will not be sorry. I don’t often recommend you buy both the book and the audio, but in this case I do. Hearing the words you’re reading come to life with this sort of talent behind them is something you’ll want to savor. Fortunately, this is a long book. Unfortunately, it ends. You’ll be happy and sad when it does, and you’ll probably be wondering, like the rest of us, when the next installment will arrive.
You can buy The Queen & the Homo Jock King here: