Tag Archives: Drag Queens

Unfortunately this one wasn’t quite what I expected

61377807Hot Lips by Tara Lain

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Unfortunately, while I came to enjoy the romance between Tito and Ari overall, there were a couple of things which didn’t sit right with me.

I’ll get to them in a bit and they will be spoiler tagged.

My biggest issue I think with this one overall, and compared to the previous three books, is that it kind of only felt Canali-adjacent.

Yes Tito is a cousin not a brother, but he’s still been hanging around the series quietly in the background but here, he’s removed from that setting to live with the other MC through a set of circumstances that aren’t really given full weight.

The basic premise is that Tito was sent here after a mugging which we learn in this book was more of a hate crime. He’s lived with them for a few years and has been working away in the garage apartment keeping to himself.

After a couple of drag Queens at a local club are victims of a similar hate crime, we discover Tito has been receiving threats from someone he thinks is connected to his New York mugging and to Tito’s online drag Queen persona Tina, who has a YouTube channel featuring advice and make-up tips etc.

So far, so good. Tito gets involved with the club both to assist out with their website and with a charity fundraising event, but also to help Detective Ari Cohen – (who we’re bluntly informed in a bit of an expository Prologue) is a gay Jewish man who likes men dressed as women both in drag and not – with investigating the recent crimes.

Now, the chemistry between them was off the charts from their first meeting at the Canali compound when Ricky brings Ari to meet Tito and find out more about his stalker threat.

But, and here’s where I felt more work needed to be done, they jump from attraction but ‘we should stay away from each other, we’re too complicated because of our love of Drag’ into a physical lust driven couple of encounters and then came the scene I found pretty troubling.


Having only had a couple of sexual interchanges and without any discussion about being in a relationship, Tito ends up sleeping in Ari’s bed after a scary incident and Ari wakes up fully aroused with Tito riding him.

Now in a fully committed relationship, waking your partner up by mutual pleasure wouldn’t be a big deal, neither would it seem out of place if you were just having a hook-up.

At this point in time though both have had internal thoughts of love but there’s not been any conversation about what they’re doing or where they’re heading in the long term.

So this, imho, is borderline sexual assault as there’s been ZERO discussion or consent given over fully penetrative sex in the middle of the night while one partner is asleep or even if they’re actually in a relationship at this point, and it just felt off.

If this had been in an MF book I’m pretty sure the reaction to it would have been damning. Ari is on board with it but, for me, the whole tone just felt icky. YMMV.


Following this, the pacing then shoots off all over the shop without settling down as we get a copycat crime that’s not connected; Tito worries over his appearance as Tina at the club’s fundraising event; Ari’s parents tell him they’re heading to visit; Tito and Ari go on a house decorating and remodelling spree and eventually the villain strikes.


I really liked the idea of there being two completely separate people involved in the kidnapping for quite different reasons, again there wasn’t enough build up given to either of their reasons imho.

The obsessed character had only appeared in the book a couple of times and the violent attempted murderer’s justifications needed more page time for his twisted rage to feel like it was a true threat.

Ari shows up to save the day after Tito has partly escaped and then there’s a weird scene in which as many Canalis as possible turn up to say they don’t care Tito has a drag queen personality.


Overall though I liked Tito and Ari both individually and as a couple. Ari’s cat Moshe is a cute addition and all ends with a suitability happy future on the cards.

This isn’t a horrible book by any stretch, I think i was just left a bit disappointed in comparison to others in the series.

Uncle Ricky’s book is definitely my favourite and the one which seems to be the most rounded out but I also enjoyed the other two pairs.

I’m not sure if this is the last in the series or not but on the whole I’ve enjoyed reading about the Hot Cannolis.

#ARC kindly received from GRR Reviews in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Release Blitz: The Barkeep and the Bookseller by V.L. Locey

The Barkeep and the Bookseller | V.L. Locey

Campo Royal #3


Release Date: August 5th 2022

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

Length: 53,000 words approx

Universal Link

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Can two men move past their shattered dreams and create a new future together?

Corduroy Lopez is a hard-working man. He has to be. There really is no alternative. He’s a single father with a beautiful, special needs daughter to support. His mother and grandmother help when they can, but he’s a proud pan man who is determined to make it on his own. When his daughter is accepted into a prestigious developmental education preschool, Cord needs cash and he needs it yesterday.

One night, offhandedly, the cute owner of the new bookstore in town mentions wanting to start a drag story hour, Cord leaps at the chance. He’s done drag before. Once. Performing on stage at the Campo hadn’t really been his thing but donning a wig and dress to sing children’s songs while strumming a ukulele should be a much more enjoyable experience. Also, the bookshop owner is adorable, newly single, and spending a great deal of time sitting at Cord’s bar sipping virgin piña coladas after the bookstore closes.

Jagger Collins never meant to end up here. He’d been a happily married man with a swanky job in a Philadelphia bank just two years ago. Then the bottom fell out of his life. His marriage combusted, his job quickly followed, and he found himself with only his dog Hamish, his brother, and half the cash from the home he thought he would be starting a family in.

Taking the advice of his elder sibling to heart, he left the big city and bought a small brick building in downtown Wilmington. Trading in ties for tomes, Jagger is now embracing the simpler things in life. Reading, biking, knitting, and admiring the lithe bartender at the Campo Royale. Cord is ticking all the right boxes in a big way, but Jagger’s not sure if he’s ready to put his heart on the line again.

The Barkeep and the Bookseller is a single father guy next door gay romance that features a hard-working dad, a learning-to-love again bookdealer, a precocious preschooler, high heels, a loving family, flashy floral fashions, and a ukulele rich happy-ever-after.

Campo Royale Series

The Viking and the Drag Queen – Universal Link

The Bachelor and the Cherry –  Universal Link

About The Author


USA Today Bestselling Author V.L. Locey – Penning LGBT hockey romance that skates into sinful pleasures.

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, Torchwood and Doctor Who, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.)

She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a pair of geese, far too many chickens, and two steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in one hand and a steamy romance novel in the other.


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This is such a sweet romance in the Campo Royale series

barkeepThe Barkeep and the Bookseller by V.L. Locey

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I’ve very much been enjoying Vicki’s Drag Queen club set Campo Royale series and this one is absolutely delightful.

Featuring a single dad bartender whose daughter has Mosaic Downs, a bookstore owner who’s had a horrible experience, a cast of interfering siblings, best friends, family and Queens, it’s a feel good romance full of love.

It’s not quite slow burn, but there’s obvious care taken in the sexual development of Cord and Jagger’s relationship which makes perfect sense.

It’s on the lower end of the steam scale but it doesn’t mean that the narrative suffers. On the contrary, there’s deep feelings between both men which helps each of them come to positive action in their own lives.

Together they’re just sweetness and I adored how lovingly Jagger embraced Paloma’s additional needs.

Now I’m desperately waiting for the next book which features Jagger’s best friend Nate and a second chance romance with Campo Royale manager Leroy aka Clarice.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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