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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2019 Jay Northcote (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about Mud & Lace

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✫✫ 5 Stars ✫✫

I have loved all the books in this series so when this one released I grabbed it right up. When it started I'll admit I thought this might be the one that isn't for me but to my complete surprise, I really enjoyed this one too. The situation in this story was a real eye opener for me on a subject that I will also admit I never really understood but now I feel like I do a little more. I was really impressed with the way these characters handled their confusion without a ton of drama. The author really did a great job making me feel and understand how they were feeling. Can't wait for more in this series!

Hamish Long did another fantastic job on the narration. He might be my new favorite British narrator.

7 people found this helpful

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Mud & Lace

I wasn’t sure about this book for me I am not a big fan of Fem guys in my stories but that is just me. And that is ok. But I am so glad I kept going because I loved their story. Simon really grew as a character for me and Charlie oh Charlie he came into himself I loved it.

I love them; I loved the friendships and the chemistry. You really don’t miss the older characters either because we get a little dose of them in this story too.

The mothers in this book my gosh my heart. I loved their acceptance. <3 Kindred spirits them and I.

Again the narration was spot on. Loved it Hamish is my new narrator crush.

4 people found this helpful

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A “Bad Romance” fun and genuine

Wicksy, a studly straight rugby player, sees the performance of a charismatic and gorgeous drag queen, Lady Gogo, then becomes enraptured with her. Jay Norhcote has written a great story of the wild attractions that happen between people and the complications that come from it. This is a fascinating story but it is so much better to read the story while Hamish Long is delivering it. Hamish does not just read the story, he gives you a theatrical performance. His voice characterizations are amazing. Wicksy has a deep, rough voice. Lady Gogo has a a sultry female voice with an American accent. I am amazed at how spot on Hamish has nailed Lady Gogo’s American female accent! It is great fun to read along and hear how Hamish has developed such distinct voices for each of the characters. In addition to wonderful characters, Hamish has been able to take Jay Northcote’s wonderful writing and deliver it as if it were a radio drama, not just a book reading. He captures the intimate times when Wicksy and Lady Gogo are together so lustfully and passionately. Then the performance becomes softer afterwards. Truly, it’s like getting your own private theatrical performance. Nortcote’s words acted out by Long are a fantastic match!

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Who Am I?

Both Wicksie and Charlie are having to do some soul searching abut how they are not just to each other but to themselves as well. I also love the fact that they have a supportive family. This was another great addition to the Rainbow Place series.

I listened to the audio version which is well done. Really love the accent.

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Best of the series so far!

Mud & Lace is book 4 of the Rainbow Place series. This is my favorite from the series so far and I am giving it a solid 5+ stars!

This book is full of self-discovery and the emotions that come with it. The author tackled gender identity, or lack thereof, sexual orientation, and disclosure, and did so very organically. We need so many more books like this in this world. If there weren’t so many “adult” scenes, I would say that this book should be included in every middle and high school library to normalize uncertainty, exploration, and discovery, and normalize gender fluidity, and all other genders, as well as gay, bi, or pan orientations.

The main characters in Mud & Lace are Simon (aka Wicksy) and Charlie. Wicksy is Cam’s housemate who we first got to know in book 2, and we met Charlie briefly toward the end of book 3, when he participated in Rainbow Place’s talent night as Drag Queen Lady Gogo and caught the eye of Wicksy who had always thought of himself as straight.

The only thing that I wish we would have seen more of is how Simon and Charlie connected. I would have liked to see more of a connection on an emotional level and watch how it developed through some deeper conversations rather than physical stuff. That would have felt even more genuine to me.

Overall, I loved this book. I highly recommend it to anyone who reads LGBTQ+ books.

As far as the narration is concerned, it is fine. The only thing that bothers me with the audiobook is that for some reason all of the books in this series are quiet. When I listen to this series, I have to turn my volume up all the way and it is still somewhat quiet, even when I am driving in my car and play it through the speakers. I have it at almost max volume which isn’t good because if I don’t remember to turn down the radio before getting out of the car, it blasts when I turn the car back on.

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So sweet

Charlie and Simon is so sweet together. Great story and another enjoyable visit to Rainbow Place
Great narrator.

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A hockey player & a queen, discovering themselves.

I loved this book.
Both Charlie and Wicksy are navigating the muddy waters of self-awareness, discovering things about themselves and trying them on for size. All of this mixed with their anxiousness about revealing those parts of themselves to others and their growing feelings towards each other.
I loved both characters, Charlie is so young and unsure, but when he puts on his Lady Gogo persona, he transforms into a self-assured and sparkling diva.
Simon Wicks has always considered himself straight, and when he finds himself entranced by the dashing drag queen, he’s very confused, because mentally he recognizes there’s a dude under the glitter, wig and make-up…
Charlie and Simon start to see each other and both of them understand things about themselves that will make them take some chances in their lives and they will come out stronger thanks to this.

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My favorite one of the series.

I loved Mud and Lace as an ebook and I loved it even more as an audiobook. I can't say enough good things about Hamish Long's performance of this entire series, but I especially loved this one. His voice for Charlie fit the character perfectly. I know Jay Northcote has another book in this series coming soon and I sure hope that Hamish Long is the one to bring it to audio.

* * * * * * * *
Below is my original review when I read the book last year:

Mud & Lace is part of the Rainbow Place series but reads just fine as a standalone story. Characters from other books in the series appear but you won't feel lost if you haven't read them. While I have very much enjoyed all of the books in this series, Mud & Lace is my favorite.

I haven't read too many stories with gender fluid characters and I really enjoyed this one. In Mud & Lace both Charlie and Wicksy (Simon) discover things about themselves that they didn't know or acknowledge until they became involved with each other.

Charlie loves performing in drag as Lady Gogo and Simon loves watching her. As their sexual relationship turns into something more Simon must make some decisions and admit how he really feels. He finally realizes that while he was first attracted to Charlie's Lady Gogo persona, he's also attracted to Charlie no matter how he's dressed.

I really felt for both of these characters. It was hard to read how hurt Charlie was when Simon denied their relationship to his friends. At the same time Jay Nortcote's fantastic writing of this story also had me sympathizing with Simon. He was so confused about his feelings for Charlie and it took him a while to admit to himself how he felt.

I don't know if there are more stories planned for this series or not but I hope there are because Rainbow Place is a very special place to visit and I wouldn't mind spending more time there.

***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com*** (posting March 4, 2020)

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Wonderfully written and expertly narrated


I knew I would love this book, but I didn’t know it would be so much. Truly, I loved it. Discovering your sexuality is such a relevant topic and it’s lovely to see it explored with the caution and trepidation that one may feel but without the self loathing and shame that some feel the need to really exploit. Fun and sweet, Mud & Lace gracefully journeys through rugby player Wicky’s attraction to drag queen Lady Gogo. Lady Gogo’s alter ego Charlie is also discovering things about his own identity and I love that Jay has taken the time to add this to the story. It’s a wonderful look into the questions so many people have about themselves. It’s also blisteringly hot at moments and I enjoyed every second. Narrator Hamish Long has a gorgeous voice and helped make every moment pop into reality.

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Great story about finding out who you really are

This is the 4th book in Jay Northcote's Rainbow Place series, but the second one I have read. They work fine out of order - even if you will be slightly spoiled as to the couplings which has obviously happened in earlier books.

So far this is a very recommendable series. I was slightly worried about this one, as the "straight" MC wants the gay MC to be dressed as a woman when they hook up, and that could have gotten ugly - but why do I even worry? Jay always handles questions about gender identity with aplomb and sensitivity - and this one was no exception. Sure I wanted to slap Simon quite a few times, but he did come around - at least in private - pretty quickly and there was no doubt that Charlie enjoyed the sex whilst being treated like a girl...

This is a super story about finding out who you really are and I highly recommend this one, as well as the series as a whole.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-02-20

Great story and characters.

I loved this story the most out of all 4 of the Rainbow Place series. Charlie and Simons characters drew me in and I thoroughly enjoyed their story.
Thanks Jay.

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  • Wide Eyes, Big Ears!
  • 12-22-19

A sweet romance!

Wicksy is confused - he’s always been straight but is attracted to Charlie who performs as Lady Gogo. I tend to think of drag queens as fully formed, so it was interesting to see Charlie grappling with becoming a drag queen instead of a transsexual. Northcote always writes characters infused with such humanity, decency, and sweetness, you can’t help loving them.