Kee Smith isn't sure who he is anymore. He knows who he used to be - the ignored gay son who chose a blue-collar job just because no one expected it, the submissive bottom who enjoyed large, masculine jocks who put him in his place, the sleek, fashionable twink who partied all night. But after his ex-boyfriend hit Kee and called him names, Kee retired from the social scene.
Back after a year's hiatus, Kee still doesn't know where he fits. His friends say he's a twunk - a twink who put on muscle and turned into a hunk - but Kee is searching for somewhere to belong. Instead of going back to his usual type, Kee hooks up with twink Tate Stevens - a fashion-industry professional who works the image hard. It proves to be the best decision he's ever made, and not just because he's starting to regain his sexual confidence.
With Tate, Kee can open up about his fears and confusion without ridicule. Tate has his own fears about putting on weight and getting old. It will take work to make a relationship of opposites succeed, but they begin to realize the compromises will be worth it if they can be together.
©2016 Renae Kaye (P)2017 Dreamspinner Press
I'm an unabashed fiction fan: mostly M/M, Romance, Erotica, Suspense, Thrillers, Action, NA/YA genres.
I liked a lot of elements of the story, like the slow relationship build while still getting hot sexy times, and getting to spend time with Liam and Jamie (who we first met in Loving Jay), but I really loved Joel's narration.
Joel Leslie brings this story to life! His character voices, the pacing, timing, and voice-over were all absolutely lovely. I adored his voice for Jamie so, SO, much!!
I'm consistently impressed with Joel's voice performances, and this is no exception. His Aussie accents just keep getting better!
Told entirely from Kee's POV, Don't Twunk With My Heart can be read as a standalone. This is a pleasant romance with low angst, passionate encounters, some humor, and a sweet HEA.
3 stars for the story and 5 stars for the narration. This is the second book in the series that began with Loving Jay. I loved that book so much, I guess it would be hard to follow it. This is a very sweet romance, but it didn't really blow me away like Loving Jay. In fact, my favorite parts were the scenes with Liam and Jaime; they are in much of the book. Kee and Tate were a sweet couple, but I didn't really get any chemistry from them. Also, their "issues" just seem to be stated then resolved, poof. There is a little drama with an ex that didn't seem to go anywhere. So overall it was just an "eh" story for me. The narration was really what kept me engaged. Joel Leslie does a great job with his Australian accents and emotive telling of the story. So overall, worth the listen.
Sure, breezy romance set in Australia, so a little different, but also the same since our cultures are so similar. Nice balance of characters of different types balances out the stereotypical gay character. And Joel Leslie! This guy could read the phonebook and I'd listen. He can do any accent and different character voices in those accents. Amazing narrator!
Kee, naturally. He's the MC and narrator of the story. A non-stereotypical gay man, who has been off the market for a year after an incident of domestic violence by his ex. Kee meets Tate on the dance floor and a relationship slowly blossoms.
Joel brings the characters and the setting to life with his Australian accents yet still defining each character individually.
Kee tries to make Tate understand that he loves him no matter what and doesn't need to starve himself to be rail thin just because he's gay and in the fashion industry. Kee thinks Tate is to skinny, but loves him for him, not his size. Kee continually tries to get through to Tate, but Tate is over 30 and has that feeling that gay men over 30 are over and done. Even though he's got a boyfriend now, he just can't see beyond that.
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher
This is a cute sequel to Loving Jay. There are interesting themes explored of aging and body image in the gay community that anyone can relate to, as well as dealing with a past history of abuse in a previous relationship. The serious issues are balanced well with sweet romance and the support of friends, which includes supporting characters Liam and Jamie from Loving Jay which was really nice to revisit those likable characters. I'm looking forward to reading future books in this series.
Joel Leslie's narration brings the story to life dynamically.
I loved this book when I first read it on release day and it's even better in audio! Thanks for giving us such lovable characters and thanks for getting me hooked on Yannis Marshall again!
I enjoyed the story of Kee and Tate, but I absolutely loved Joel Leslie as the narrator. I barely read the book, not because it wasn't good, (it was great), but because the narration is so good!
Apart from having a front row seat to the romance between Kee and Tate, the more memorable moments were when Jay started his running his mouth :) Joel captured him perfectly! Now I wish he had done the first book, Loving Jay. I'm sure I would remember more of Jay (now that I have a more memorable voice to go with him).
Referring to Joel Leslie as a narrator really does not do him justice. When he voices the characters it's like having the best seats in the house to a royal command performance. I am seriously in love with his performances.
I laughed pretty much every time 'Jay' opened his mouth :), he really has no filter! I loved that there were no stupid misunderstandings or unnecessary quarrels. But best of all, listening to the romance between Kee and Tate unfold gave me the warm fuzzies.
I received a free copy of this audiobook, but I can honestly recommend listening to this book. The writing is great and Joel Leslie is flawless!
So, Loving Jay was the first book I read by Renae Kaye and it’s what got me hooked on her as an author. We get to see Jay a lot in this story and it was great to see him and Liam still going strong.
In this book we see two gay men dealing with aging – wait, you say – angst?. Nah, not really. There is some, for sure. A bit more than in Loving Jay. Kee has some scars and Tate does as well, but their issues are treated fairly easily and without a lot of OTT drama. I liked that. A lot.
I really appreciated that these guys talked to one another. For the most part they had their issues but they talked them out.
The physical times are super hot and yet, especially for Kee, at times touching as well.
It’s liberally laced with loads of humor and very Australian, but that’s what we expect from this author and she delivers in spades.
I had to look up the choreographer – Yanis Marshall – as he referenced a couple of times in the story and I recommend you do because – YOWZA – way hot!
I really felt these guys connected and made the other whole. It’s a very touching and sweet story, with not a lot of angst, but enough to drive the plot and keep you turning pages. (I didn’t love the casual almost rape near the end and how it was sort of brushed off, nor did I love how Jay was portrayed a little bit more bitchy than I remember him, but the “epilogue” more than made up for it!)
4.5 of 5 stars
Yay! I’m so glad the author decided to go with Joel Leslie here! I think these books feel so “Australian” and to not have somebody with an accent just feels weird. In addition, Joel is so GOOD! He’s great at giving characters a unique feel so that it’s easy to know who is speaking, and he’s great at giving us emotion.
One thing I’ve come to really appreciate about good narrators like Joel, is that they ADD to a story with their interpretation of the story. So, it’s important that they “get” the story and can “emote” appropriately. Joel times his stories expertly and really helps to bring a listener into the action.
5 of 5 stars
Overall, 4.75 (rounded to 5) of 5 stars
Report Inappropriate Content