Review: Gays of Our Lives, by Kris Ripper

Blurb:

cover-krisripper-gaysofourlivesEmerson Robinette only leaves his apartment to get laid and go to work. Having MS—and trying to pretend he doesn’t—makes everything more complicated, especially his fantasies of coming on strong and holding a guy down. Finding a partner who’ll explore that with him isn’t Emerson’s idea of a realistic goal.

Until a chance meeting with a hipster on a bus makes him reconsider. Obie is happy, open-hearted, and warm; what’s more, he gets his kicks being physically dominated, spanked, and teased until he’s begging. It would be perfect, except for one thing: Emerson isn’t made for happiness, and he doesn’t see how a guy like Obie would settle for a cynic like him.

But as far as Obie’s concerned, the only thing keeping them apart is Emerson. Can Emerson handle a boyfriend who’s more invested in his future than he is? Emerson’s barely convinced he has a future. But when Obie’s smiling at him, anything seems possible.

* * * * * * *

This book can be read on its own, or enjoyed as the first book in the Queers of La Vista series.


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Edition read:
July 11, 2016
Riptide Publishing
Contemporary, M/M, LGBT+
226 e-book pages
1st person
Queers of La Vista, book 1
July 12-14, 2016
Kindle Edition
See the book on GoodReads.

Rating:     ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Ratings are 1 to 5 stars and based mostly on GoodReads standards.
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Review:

I’ve had a great run lately with new-to-me authors, and Kris Ripper is no exception. This book was a SUPER enjoyable start to a whole new series I am beyond excited to read. #NewFanAlert

With a title like Gays of Our Lives, one might make the assumption that it’s gonna be OTT with the melodrama and clichés. I halfway expected someone to fall down an elevator shaft or someone’s relative to come back from the dead. At the very least there’d be some face-slapping and fighting at a wedding or funeral.

I didn’t get any of that…and that’s fine by me. Honestly, I’m really glad this didn’t fall prey to my assumptions of ridiculous plots and plastic, over-dramatic characters. Here, the angst was the believable kind. The kind that tugged at my heart.

Emerson is antisocial and a bit of a recluse. He has MS and is barely coping with the cruelty of this disease that causes his body to betray him. He’s angry, cynical, and self-deprecating in some relatively dark ways.

“And it may have escaped your notice while you were picturing me buff and confident, but I actually don’t feel all that suave when it comes to this kind of thing.”

Even with a crusty grump exterior, I ultimately found a well-rounded character who was likable, lovable, often hilarious, and well-deserving of the sweet and genial Obie.

“This is gonna be awkward for you if we keep cuddling, isn’t it?”

“We are not cuddling!” I tried to take back my arm, but he wouldn’t let me.

“Fine. Not cuddling. Manly postcoital dude-hugging.

Obie was reminiscent of a golden retriever puppy. So kind. Always happy. He genuinely wanted to help without being intrusive and was mindful of what Emerson needed. He’s loyal to a fault with the people in his life and so incredibly positive.

Emerson did his level best to push Obie away when he got too close. Frankly, there were times Obie probably should have cut his losses. But, these guys made sense together. Mainly because Obie was so persistent with chipping away at the walls Emerson had built around himself. He was a steady partner who would sometimes give Emerson the space he needed…but more often than not would not leave his side — or would show up unannounced and park his ass on the couch, helping himself to pizza.

There’s a bit of kink here. Emerson is interested in the dominant and sadistic side of BDSM play, with his only experiences in his fantasies and porn with popcorn. Obie is game for playing along and experimenting with some of the lighter activities. This was well done in the sense that it was fun for them while also making a few creative concessions to times Emerson had pain in his joints.

I can’t say I’ve read a whole lot of books about characters with MS, or that I have much first-hand experience knowing anyone with MS. But, from what I could tell, this was fantastically researched and portrayed in a truly authentic way.

This was a gorgeous and often hilarious story of growth, acceptance, finding happiness, and coping. It’s a story of Chosen Family (my favorite). It’s learning not to let limitations imposed by a cruel disease control life…and tumbling (begrudgingly) into a world of joy.

Tons of love for this book.

This review also posted on GoodReads.

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