Review: Femme, by Marshall Thornton


Queeny cocktail waiter, Lionel, wakes up to find himself in bed with Dog, a straight-acting softball player and the two embark on a rocky road to romance. A journey that requires coming out of the closet, going into the closet, a pair of red high heels, many pairs of red high heels, a failed intervention, a couple of aborted dates, and homemade pom-poms. Mostly, Lionel and Dog learn what it means to be a man.





Dates read:
Edition read:
July 28, 2016
Kenmore Books
Contemporary, M/M, LGBT+
222 e-book pages
1st person alternating
Aug. 31-Sept 2, 2016
Kindle Edition
See the book on GoodReads.

Rating:     ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Ratings are 1 to 5 stars and based mostly on GoodReads standards.
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This was fun. LOADS of fun.

The story opens as Lionel wakes up nekkid in his own bed next to Oh My Gawd, a Super Macho Hotty with no memory of the previous night’s festivities. Super Macho Hotty, Doug (who goes by “Dog”), well, …he’s not real sure how it all happened either.

This is a quick-pace read with a goodly amount of this is a bad idea, you aren’t my type, what’ll people say, but I want you anyway business that was packed full of snark and sass that had me laughing my ass off.

To cap it off there’s a Bad Dude who thrives on making everyone’s life hell. He has everyone snowed or cowed, or I don’t even know because I think AssHole is tattooed on his forehead. He totally steps all over Lionel, causing him problems he does NOT need.

Lionel was fun and authentic and just trying to make enough bank to pay his rent and hopefully buy a car one day. He’s just a guy simply living his life and being the only him he knows how to be — which goes against what Dog/Doug perceives as manliness.

“You could…be different.”
“You mean butch it up?”
“I guess.”
“Why don’t you femme it up?”
“It’s not really who I am—oh…”

One of the themes I enjoyed IMMENSELY because it made me think about perceptions, was a few conversations dissecting what it means to be a man. What are those characteristics are — from behaviors, mannerisms, voice — and where is that line, and who defines what it means to be manly.

“People never understand how strong you have to be if you’re a girly-boy.”

And it just…underlines, circles, highlights that we all are who we are. Sometimes who other people are might scare us a little bit. But, if we can take a minute or ten to think beyond our own nose, realize where those fears come from, beat those fears back, get to know a person it’s really quite easy to change our perceptions.

“Femme guys scared us. They scared us because we were afraid of being like them. We were afraid of being obvious. And that was part of the whole being in the closet bull. Not liking femme guys was really about not liking ourselves.”

So, I LOVED this femme MC who pushed against gender boundaries and couldn’t pass up a kickass pair of peep-toe pumps even though he’d have to eat ramen for a month to afford them.

I equally loved the “straight-passing,” mostly closeted macho MC who got knocked on his ass with the realization he was attracted to the femme guy when that’s never been his M.O. Who, when put in the position to do the right thing, stepped up in some big ways — putting himself on the line in other aspects of his life.

Lionel and Doug were perfect together (eventually). But it’s all made even more special with a cast of outrageously hilarious side characters who don’t always have the best advice, though their intentions were probably, mostly sincere.

This was my first book by Marshall Thornton, and it was an absolute delight. Checking his backlist, it seems I need to get busy adding a shedload of books to my TBR.

This review also posted on GoodReads.

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