Release Blitz: Mud & Lace (Rainbow Place Series #4) by Jay Northcote (Review)


Length: 240 pages
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design
Rainbow Place Series
Book #1 – Rainbow Place – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – Safe Place – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Better Place – Amazon US | Amazon UK

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.

4 Stars

Another decent outing in this series, featuring a kink that felt organic.

I think what I like most about this series is that the books seem to overlap a little, or follow closely on from the previous one, which means that you get to see previous leads living their HEA. That, and the fact that the tales are very British, very ‘live and let live’ and very believable. I like the idea of a community that cares for each other, looks out for each other and helps each other, which isn’t something you see in the pretty impersonal London that I live in (though it has its own charms), so Porthladoc sounds like a great place to live – or visit.

This tale, though it features a drag queen and an until-now straight guy, is equally believable as those that come before, as both guys seemed down-to-earth, decent people who liked each other and wanted to get to know each other, and for both, that meant exploring themselves, questioning themselves, and taking chances. I liked how the kink in this book, which has been done by at least one other author recently, felt organic, as the lead in question had been questioning himself and his needs, wants, fears, etc., and in Lady Gogo, and with Wicksy, he found an outlet for what he needed. And, I got how it tied in with Wicksy trying to understand how he could fancy a guy dressed as a woman, and then how he came to realise that he equally liked and fancied the guy underneath it all.

A few times, I did feel that their relationship was unfair, with Wicksy calling the shots, having it his way and making demands, and though Charlie was happy to comply, I did wonder what kind of a future they might have together. But, they talked. They were prepared to consider the other’s POV and wants and needs, and in the end, it seemed to happen naturally that Wicksy would open himself up to more to the idea of being with a guy. One who yes, happened to have a strong femme side, and of course, his drag side, but who outside of that, was a regular guy. And, I liked how when he finally realised what he needed to do to show Charlie the respect he deserved, and how much Charlie meant to him, Wicksy pulled up his big guy pants and bit the bullet in order to out himself, although things didn’t quite go to plan. But, they worked out and the leads ended up on a far more even footing, and I’d love to read more of them in the next book in the series – from a hint in this book, I’m sure I’ve met yet another future lead.

I was lucky enough to get an early copy of this book for proofing.

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.

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