The Straight Boyfriend by Renae Kaye ~ Audio Review

Renae Kaye - The Straight Boyfriend Audio Cover 39283h4bTitle: The Straight Boyfriend

Series: Loving You 03

Author: Renae Kaye

Narrator: Joel Leslie

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 7 hrs, 53 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (27th February 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Aaron Hall has never been able to remain faithful to a single woman, and for most of his life, he’s dated two women at once. Recently his girlfriend tracked him down and knocked on his door – and his live-in girlfriend answered. Now he has no girlfriend and a mortgage he can’t pay by himself.

Vinnie Rosello needs to change his life – get a better job, stop drinking all his money away, find himself a serious boyfriend…and move out of his parents’ house. Aaron needs help with his ex-penses, so they become housemates.

Even though Aaron harbors some misconceptions about gay men and Vinnie misses his large Italian family, both men find comfort in their friendship. It’s a good arrangement until everything between them changes.

Vinnie falls in love with Aaron, and Aaron is shocked to realize he feels the same. There’s only one problem – he’s still straight. He’ll have to overcome his fear of labels in order to love the man who’s captured his heart.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: The Straight Boyfriend is the third book in Renae Kaye’s Loving You series.

I’m going to keep my comments on the author and the narrator quite short, because this is a feeling that echoes throughout the whole series for me. At this point I am warming up to her Renae Kaye’s writing. Since we’re not here for an Australian geography lesson, suffice to say that I connect with the very Aussie tone in her writing because I am Aussie myself. I feel the humour and love hearing the slang that is part of my everyday life in my favourite genre of book. So far there’s been a bit of a pattern in her writing where we have at least one main character who doesn’t want to come out of the closet because of his very blokey workplace (lots of miners, industrial workers) or his very manly-man type father. Not that it’s a bad thing, if you like a book with that sort of storyline.

The narration for this book was by Joel Leslie, who only narrates books 2 and 3. After listening to his two performances for this series, I feel that he fit the books really well. While I enjoyed Gilles narration in the first book, it annoyed me when his Aussie accent slipped a bit (I know it’s a stupid of me) and I also just remembered that his pronunciation of the name Aaron was odd. However, I loved Leslie’s Aussie accent, it was really well done. I also am a fan of pretty much all of Joel Leslie’s performances because I always feel the emotions from the characters and hear their distinct voices, this book was no different.

The Straight Boyfriend. The title says it all. By the time I got to this book, I had a pretty good idea about Vinnie and Aaron because they were so prominent as secondary characters in the previous books. The set up for this story happened in book 2, so there isn’t much point listening or reading this one before at least going to the previous book.

Vinnie is a sweet guy from an unconventional, Italian family. He has a thing about epiphanies, and a subcategory of which being epipoofanies. He’s really a wonder and fun loving. He has a big heart, with a complicated family and is lonely. Wanting to get out of his parents’ home, he moves in with Aaron – a friend of a friend whose house he would often drink at after watching amateur football games.

Aaron is a manwhore and a serial cheater, he is unapologetic about the fact, although he now feels a sense of shame. He wants to better himself, he wants to be a good boyfriend/partner, but is unsure if he could even be faithful to a girl. After all, it was this that led him to a mortgage he could no longer afford without a roommate. Having Vinnie as a roommate would help him with that mortgage, but hanging with the gay man, although he is determined that he is straight, does have a positive effect. Aaron is adaman that he is straight. But he has *feelings* when it comes to Vinnie. Add to that, Vinnie, who has never been alone in a house in his life, often spends the night in Aaron’s bed, completely platonic.

It’s just awkward because Vinnie is in love with a straight man and he knows he has to get rid of those feelings because he was pining for something that would never happen. Yet, for Aaron life with Vinnie is slowly opening his life to much more than he thought. Aaron has a lot of angst, because it has to be a mind fuck to be straight, a manwhore and now suddenly falling for a gay man. Aaron has a long journey and Vinnie is strong. These guys have a serious connection and it is completely wonderful.

This book had a lot more angst and confusion compared to the previous book in the serious, but it worked well. However, the ending was sweet and poignant and totally worth all the drama. It was great to catch up with all the characters that we’ve met through the journey as well. This is a wonderful end to a wonderful series.

Don’t Twunk With My Heart by Renae Kaye ~ Audio Review

Renae Kaye - Don't Twunk With my Heart Audio Cover 238bzTitle: Don’t Twunk With My Heart

Series: Loving You 02

Author: Renae Kaye

Narrator: Joel Leslie

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs, 52 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (24th January 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: 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 en-joyed 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 be-long. 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 oppo-sites succeed, but they begin to realize the compromises will be worth it if they can be together.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Don’t Twunk With My Heart is the second book in Renae Kaye’s Loving You series.

I’m going to keep my comments on the author because this is a feeling that echoes throughout the whole series for me. At this point I am warming up to Renae Kaye’s writing. For me, an Aussie author writing about her own city is major plus for me. Since we’re not here for a geography lesson, suffice to say that I connect with the very Aussie tone in her writing. I feel the humour and love hearing the slang that is part of my everyday life in my favourite genre of book. So far there’s been a bit of a pattern in her writing where we have at least one main character who doesn’t want to come out of the closet because of his very blokey workplace (lots of miners, industrial workers) or his very manly-man type father. Not that it’s a bad thing, if you like a book with that sort of storyline.

The narration for this book was by Joel Leslie, who takes over from Dave Gilles in the narration of the series. In fact, I have to say that I think this was a good move. While I enjoyed Gilles narration and it was overall great, it annoyed me when his Aussie accent slipped a bit (I know it’s a really stupid thing to get annoyed at). However, I loved Leslie’s Aussie accent, it was really well. I also am a fan of pretty much all of Joel Leslie’s performances because I always feel the emotions from the characters and hear their distinct voices.

Don’t Twunk With My Heart is really sweet and a great return to the world of the Loving You series. Jay is as loud and out there as ever, Liam is as stoic and as sweet as ever. But this book moves onto Jay’s friend, Kee Smith. Kee was a twink but a horrific experience meant that he stayed away from the Perth gay scene for a year and focused on his work, very physical work that has meant that in the space of a year he lost his twink physique. In short, he is now a twunk.

Side note: Jay incessant babbling where he goes through twinks, twunks and twanks is hilarious and definitely one of my favourite moments of the book.

On Kee’s first night back in the scene he meets Tate. Tate is most definitely a twink and he finds himself somewhat confused by the all the twink, twank and twunk talk. However, it is impossible to deny that there is an attraction between the men. They are both out of the closet already too, although Kee’s family are not that nice, so their story is about how a person change. Change is not bad in this case, it’s more of a change into the person who they really are. Kee feels a little lost and finds a lifeline with Tate as finds himself in the world once more. Tate is pretty complicated as well, he is in his thirties and older than Kee. Since he works in fashion he fears putting on weight and getting old, something that Kee picks up and helps Tate just as Tate helps Kee.

This is a really sweet story. Kee and Tate have a wonderful connection with great chemistry. The characters are down to earth and relatable. Another enjoyable book by Renae Kaye, I’m ready for the next!

Loving Jay by Renae Kaye ~ Audio Review

Renae Kaye - Loving Jay Audio Cover 34854gnbTitle: Loving Jay

Series: Loving You 01

Author: Renae Kaye

Narrator: Dave Gillies

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs, 21 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (31st December 2014)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: One thing Liam Turner knows for sure is that he’s not gay – after all, his father makes it very clear he’ll allow no son of his to be gay. And Liam believes it, until a chance meeting with James “Jay” Bell turns Liam’s world upside-down. Jay is vivacious and unabashedly gay – from the tips of his bleached hair to the ends of his polished nails. With a flair for fashion, overreaction, and an inability to cork his verbal diarrhea, drama queen Jay must have a screw loose.

An accident as a teenager left Liam with a limp and a fear of driving. He can’t play football any-more either, and that makes him feel like less of a man. But that’s no reason to question his sexuality… unless the accident broke something else inside him. When being with Jay causes Liam’s protective instincts to emerge, Liam starts to believe all he’s known in life has been a convenient lie. From intolerance to confrontations, Liam must learn to overcome his fears – and his father – before he can accept his sexuality and truly love Jay.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Loving Jay is the first book in Renae Kaye’s Loving You series.

This is the second or third book that I’ve listened to or read by Kaye, and I feel that I am warming up to her as an author slowly but surely. For me, an Aussie author writing about her own city (which isn’t on the eastern coast) is major plus for me as a South Australian, despite her books being set in Perth, Western Australia (I always appreciate the digs at the SA football teams too). Since we’re not here for a geography lesson, suffice to say that I connect with the very Aussie tone in her writing. So far there’s been a bit of a pattern in her writing where we have at least one main character who doesn’t want to come out of the closet because of his very blokey workplace (lots of miners) or his very manly-man type father. Not that it’s a bad thing, if you like a book with that sort of storyline.

The narration for this series is performed by Dave Gillies. I do like Gillies accent, despite the fact that he is Scottish, it’s a pretty decent Aussie accent. The only thing that I will make a comment on is that sometimes when the accent slipped I found it a bit annoying, but this was only a momentary thing for me. Overall, he does a brilliant job getting the tone and distinct voices of the various characters, because there is a large cast of guys aside from the main couple.

Loving Jay obviously has a guy called Jay (aka Jamie), who shares a mutual attraction to Liam Turner. Liam and Jay see each other every day at the train station on the way to work.

Liam is inexplicably drawn to the very obviously out and proud gay man, and Liam is fighting it. He doesn’t think that he can be gay. An accident when he was younger gave him a limp and leaves him unable to drive anymore, add to this hearing his dad wanting Liam to be a “proper man” (a real proper bloke), following the football (AFL) and all those other things that seem manly, and Liam is too afraid to face his true self. He’s had a couple failed relationships with women too, which doesn’t help his self-esteem.

But then there is Jay, and Jay is energy and light and love and laughter. At first they get to know each other over coffees at the train station. Then they have lunches. Liam is confused by his feelings for Jay, and Jay is strong throughout it all because his heart has already chosen the confused man.

Between Liam’s family, Jay’s really great family and their group of friends, there is a real feel good vibe about this whole book. These are very down to earth characters living a pretty normal life, making them totally relatable. Can’t wait to get to the next book!

Don't Twunk With My Heart by Renae Kaye

Renae Kaye - Don't Twunk With my Heart CoverTitle: Don’t Twunk With My Heart

Series: Loving You #2

Author: Renae Kaye

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (200 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 26th 2016)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3 ½ Hearts

Blurb: 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.

ISBN: 9781634775830

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/dont-twunk-with-my-heart-by-renae-kaye-7380-b

Reviewer: Aerin

Review: It’s been so long since I’ve read Loving Jay that I completely forgot we were supposed to have a continuation to this series. Don’t Twunk With My Heart is roughly what I’ve come to expect from Renae when it comes to her books: a sweet, uncomplicated love story that’s free of drama and angst.

Kee and Tate meet each other, like each other, get into a dance competition, fuck each other and then…. end up dating each other. There’s no cheating, no drama, no complications. Even though Tate is not Kee’s type when it comes to men, he’s exactly what Kee needs when he’s ready to date again, a year after getting out of an abusive relationship. The past year has been hard on Kee and he doesn’t realize how much he’s missed his friends until he opens up to them again.

Tate is a 32 year old marketing expert for a high-end fashion line, and while he’s very educated, good looking and respected, Tate has many insecurities that come from being around vain models all day long. Tate has weight issues and is very aware that he’s past his prime (*snort*). You see, Tate is a Twank and Kee is a Twunk… what they both have in common is that they used to both be Twinks. I know you’re curious about these labels, but for the love of god, DO NOT let Jay explain them to you! Holy verbal diarrhea! How I missed Jay!

I think what I loved the most about this book is catching up with the rest of the guys, because I’ve missed them a lot! The only thing I loved more is the crazy hot sex that’s happening between Tate and Kee; let me tell you a little secret (Tate is quite kinky and loves to have sex in public places). Trust me when I say these two will catch your e-reader on fire!

Unfortunately, while there are so many things to love about Don’t Twunk With My Heart, one thing I couldn’t believe in 100% is Tate and Kee as a permanent couple. I’m not sure why I didn’t entirely connect with them. I think part of the problem is Jay’s overpowering presence; Jay shines so bright and his relationship with Liam is still so lovely, that Kee and Tate pale in comparison. Of course, the whole sex in the bush part and the little drama that came with it didn’t appeal to me at all.

Overall this is a good story with great writing, low angst, plenty of passion and dirty sex, but it certainly doesn’t have the WOW factor I’m used to getting from Renae Kaye’s books.