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Release Review: Until You: T.J. Klune

Until You (At First Sight, #3)
TJ Klune
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Released February 27, 2017
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Together with their families and friends

Paul Auster
and
Vincent Taylor

request the honor of your company at the celebration of their marriage.

Paul Auster and Vince Taylor just want to have a simple wedding. Really, is that too much to ask?

As the big day approaches, they struggle to keep everything from spiraling out of control. From meddling friends and intrusive family, to a certain drag queen's idea as to what constitutes a normal bachelor party, Paul and Vince have their work cut out for them.

Sequel to The Queen & the Homo Jock King


As the third book of TJ Klune’s At First Sight series, Until You is another wonderful dip into the fun, laugh-out-loud funny, and full-of-feels world of Paul Auster, Vince Taylor, and the bevy of other fascinating characters found in the first two books. It’s definitely a shorter book than either of the first two (by half and then some), but it works nicely as a continuation of their story. Besides, who doesn’t love a wedding in a romance novel/series?

First things first. If you are unfamiliar with this series, these books are not standalones, so take the time and read through the first two before you pick this one up. And though I’m making an effort to avoid spoiling anything found in the earlier books, there is at least one thing that can’t be avoided. The blurb basically says it all: “Together with their families and friends, Paul Auster and Vincent Taylor request the honor of your company at the celebration of their marriage.” So there, my hands are clean even for that earlier-book spoiling (or as clean as they can be anyway *smirk*).

Until You puts the narration back in the point-of-view of Paul, the early-thirties, chubby, and somewhat insecure man (on a scale of ten, he considers himself “a soft five”) who, in the first book of the series (Tell Me It’s Real), was relentlessly pursued and caught (and Freddie Prinze Juniored hard—don’t ask, read it!) by one of the “homo jocks,” Vince (who is definitely a ten), from the gay bar they both frequent. It’s now the final month leading up to Paul and Vince’s wedding. As I’ve grown to expect when reading a TJ Klune book, there is hilarity (ranging from some truly eyeroll-worthy goofiness to giggle-inducing snark to impossible-not-to-laugh-aloud antics) to be found on nearly every page. Beneath that, as I’ve also grown to expect, the story is the sort of simple, mushy sap that I love so much and keeps me reading romances.

But the characters are what make me a fan of Klune’s work, not just the main ones either. They all leap off the page to make the story as great as it can be. There’s a big underlying thread in the three books of the series about family and belonging. All of the prominent characters in this novel essentially form the best sort of cobbled-together family that I can imagine. And that includes Paul’s grandmother’s parrot. (Don’t ask, read it!)

Take this next thing with a grain of salt, because I think it might be a product of how I read the books more than anything else. Although I interspersed my reading of the three books of this series during the two weeks I read them with some non-Klune books, I think it became too much of a good thing when read in such close proximity. I say this because I had a similar issue when I read another of his series back-to-back-to-back (the Bear, Otter, and the Kid series—which I strongly recommend to fans of this series, because they have a lot in common stylistically and thematically and because the gender-fluid character in this series is important in the third book of that series as well.) What I mean by this is that the humor in this story wasn’t quite as fun to me as in the previous two, but I suspect it’s because I had grown accustomed to it so that I was expecting it to some degree, like it didn’t shock me or something. I think those of you who read the first two books back when they were released will not have this problem.

Based on the six stories I have now read by TJ Klune, along with the assertion from one of my smut-buddies that his books often have the same sort of feel, this author is firmly lodged as one of my go-to authors when I’m in the mood for a warm-and-fuzzy and hilarious romance. Until You may be only a relatively brief continuation of the existing series, but it puts a wonderful cap on it in the event that he decides this is a good place to stop. That being said, the book’s epilogue hints strongly that there could be one more book in this series, or possibly a spin-off to start another series. Either way, I’m looking forward to it whenever it does happen.

The author and/or publisher generously provided me a complimentary copy of Until You in exchange for this fair and honest review.

Tell Me It's Real (At First Sight, #1)
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Released February 15, 2013
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Do you believe in love at first sight?

Paul Auster doesn't. Paul doesn't believe in much at all. He’s thirty, slightly overweight, and his best features are his acerbic wit and the color commentary he provides as life passes him by. His closest friends are a two-legged dog named Wheels and a quasibipolar drag queen named Helena Handbasket. He works a dead-end job in a soul-sucking cubicle, and if his grandmother's homophobic parrot insults him one more time, Paul is going to wring its stupid neck.

Enter Vince Taylor.

Vince is everything Paul isn’t: sexy, confident, and dumber than the proverbial box of rocks. And for some reason, Vince pursues Paul relentlessly. Vince must be messing with him, because there is no way Vince could want someone like Paul.

But when Paul hits Vince with his car—in a completely unintentional if-he-died-it'd-only-be-manslaughter kind of way—he's forced to see Vince in a whole new light. The only thing stopping Paul from believing in Vince is himself—and that is one obstacle Paul can’t quite seem to overcome. But when tragedy strikes Vince's family, Paul must put aside any notions he has about himself and stand next to the man who thinks he's perfect the way he is.


The Queen and the Homo Jock King (At First Sight, #2)
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Released February 29, 2016
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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.

Simple, right?

Wrong.

TJ Klune
Website | Facebook | Twitter

When TJ Klune was eight, he picked up a pen and paper and began to write his first story (which turned out to be his own sweeping epic version of the video game Super Metroid—he didn’t think the game ended very well and wanted to offer his own take on it. He never heard back from the video game company, much to his chagrin). Now, over two decades later, the cast of characters in his head have only gotten louder, wondering why he has to go to work as a claims examiner for an insurance company during the day when he could just stay home and write.

Since being published, TJ has won the Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Romance, fought off three lions that threatened to attack him and his village, and was chosen by Amazon as having written one of the best GLBT books of 2011.

And one of those things isn’t true.

(It’s the lion thing. The lion thing isn’t true.)

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