Author: T.J. Klune
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 5 stars
Received from Publisher
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: I’ve been waiting for this book since the last page of TMIR. Which is one of my most favorite books! Even then Darren the Homo Jock King and Sandy had amazing tension. When you wait for something you want really badly it may not be as great as you built up in your mind. This was better. I laughed. Hell I laughed so hard I cried! It’s nonstop hilarity in the most ridiculously perfect way. I seriously have no idea how Tj Klune comes up with half of this stuff but thank goodness he does. I loved every minute of it. I might do an immediate reread. It was that good.
Basically events unfold that lead to Sandy and Darren fake dating. Forcing them together when they won’t do it themselves. Nobody else knows and they have to sell it while still not being able to stand each other. Or that’s what they tell themselves anyway. What follows is a constant battle of one-upmanship over who gets the last word or upper hand. Or biggest dig. Things like Fake Boyfriend Gay Chicken happened and it was glorious! To them fighting is flirting. Even if Sandy won’t admit it. To Sandy his moments of fondness for Darren are weaknesses and he can’t have that.
The entire book is told through Sandy’s POV. So we gets lots of Helena and everything awesome that comes with the drag queen I’ve come to love. The Queen & the Homo Jock King is nonstop hilarity for sure. It also lets us into the complex mind of Sandy the man. He’s essentially two personalities but one person. It’s a struggle but it’s also a blessing. I loved when Sandy or Helena was confident and brash. How she/he puts people in their place and handles every situation with gusto. BUT what I also loved in this book is how we get to see moments of doubt and glimpses past the bravado into the man. Sandy does have weaknesses but he never lets people see them. I really fell for Sandy in this one. There’s just so much to love.
Darren was a little trickier to get to know since you’re mostly guessing what he’s thinking along with Sandy. I will say it was obvious to all but Sandy that Darren has been harboring some serious feelings for Sandy. Pining with all that man pain had to be frustrating for Darren who we learn has had a hard time truly connecting with people until he found his brother Vince. So much MANGST! It would have been so easy for Darren to profess his feelings to Sandy but of course that’s not how it happens. He has to make it difficult. Well, THEY have to make it difficult because Sandy definitely played a part in the hot mess of their courtship.
The gang was all in this one. We get lots and lots of page time with Vince and Paul. Matty and Larry. Nana and Johnny Depp. Charlie and Corey. We also get to meet Darren’s mom who takes to the family entirely too easily. She does squirm a bit after Nana hits on her but that’s expected. And hilarious! What’s important is she appreciates them and enjoys them. They’re seriously the most lovingly messed up dysfunctional family I can imagine. I would also would love for hem to adopt me.
This book is long but the amazingly witty dialogue makes it feel faced paced. It’s full of sexual tension because Sandy and Darren are stubborn as hell. There are lots of feelings that Sandy struggles with while battling with himself. He wants something with Darren but feels he can’t give into him either. It’s a delicious and torturous slow burn. You’ll be turning the pages laughing while picking up little hints of the attraction and affection between the characters. I laughed out loud for a majority of this book. It’s brilliant and I LOVED LOVED LOVED it.