Sequel to Tell Me It's Real
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.
©2016 TJ Klune (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press
I am an avid fan of yours. Your novels make me smile. I live for Michael Lesley narration I will wait with "antic I patron" for your next work. Rocky Horror Picture Show forevermore
Wow I 'm speechless.... Ok first Klune is one of the gods of gay novels and thanks for blissing us with one of your beautiful creation to read. Tell Me It's Real was great but this one was crazy awesome, i love the characters in the books and the amazing Way Michael Lesley makes them come alive. There were so many beautiful, funny, loving, crazy and amazing moments in this story everybody in the family is crazy I mean everyone but I love them, yep The Queen & the Home jock king was a beautiful story. certainly got me out of my reading slump, worth staying up late to listen to it 5 stars. So, I highly recommend this if you enjoyed TJ's books.
"A Must Have for TJ Klune & Michael Lesley Lovers!"
I have expectations of a T.J. Klune novel. It must be funny, it should have some emotions tucked into it too, and above all, it should be written so I can devour it quickly thoroughly enjoying every turn of the page.
This had the potential to go either really wrong or really right. Luckily, my faith in T.J. Klune remains unblemished, because this was totally right.
I love the humor, the feels (though I was a little surprised I didn't get hit with wookie cry face), and the way Klune handles bringing back some of my favorite characters.
Sandy is, of course, fierce and divine and hot mess and wonderful.
Paul and Vince, Matty and Larry Auster, Nana...they're all back and in rare form. Some of the text conversations and interactions in this story...So. Freaking. Funny.
There's some miscommunication, which drives me up a wall, but it works here for the most part and shows how well it's written that I didn't want to chuck my Kindle through a window. I especially loved how Sandy handles the whole seduction of Darren Mayne, Homo Jock King. It's brilliant, and funny, and had me snort laughing until it was hard to breathe.
In the end, the whole thing is deliciously well done, and if you are a fan of Tell Me It's Real you will not be disappointed in this.
If you listened to Michael Lesley's performance for book one in the series Tell Me It's Real (At First Sight #1) then you know you are going to laugh your butt off when listening to this. If you haven't listened to it, then what is wrong with you? Go - go buy it now. And don't forget to get this as well.
This was what I imagine it was like listening to radio shows before television and movies became popular. Truly a riveting *performance*.
There was so much happy to this story. Seriously, the audiobook was 18 hours of me sitting and listening and giggling while my family looked at me like I was nuts (and I couldn't even explain because they wouldn't understand me even reading this book, much less why I enjoyed it so much...but honestly, that's a common occurrence with my reading, but I digress). This book was all the things. It was so freaking funny, but at the same time had poignant moments that broke my heart.
Sandy and Darren....my heart, but they weren't all that made this book what it was...fantastic. No, the cast of characters were amazing, too, their quips fantastically humorous, and the bonds between the group made this story everything I ever could have hoped and so much more.
And it must be noted early in this review that the narrator, Michael Lesley, is brilliant. He does the breathy voices of Sandy/Helena so perfectly while still managing the depths and outrage of Darren and his fellow jocks. It was truly narration perfection!!! The pauses, the gasps, the sounds of outrage and nervousness...Michael Lesley mastered them all. It was truly one of the best audiobooks I've ever listened to...which is why I spent hours laughing to (seemingly) myself with headphones in my ears because I didn't want the audiobook to ever stop...even after 18 hours.
And that brings me back to Sandy and Darren...two characters who seem at the beginning to truly despise one another. But there are reasons...heartbreaking ones...why things are so bad between them. And it broke my heart for both of them. Darren aches for Sandy...it's so obvious within the story, but Sandy can't forgive the hurt. *sob* Seriously, it's all so good and emotional, but the fact that Sandy is an over the top drama queen (surrounded by equally over the top other drama queens) keeps the story from getting too deep and depressing. In fact, it's quite the opposite. Seriously...laughing out loud...I did it throughout the ENTIRE book. It was so fun and funny. One of the most enjoyable and outrageous books I've ever read. I need to buy it in print and see if that translates to just reading the book. BUT regardless, I can't recommend the audiobook enough. It was everything happy and sunny and fun...with a truly beautiful love story too.
"Not enough stars here..."
I am such a huge fan of T. J. Klune's...and the talent's of Michael Lesley are phenomenal. So when this book became available, I immediately had to purchase and listen to it. I have listened to it three times now...and probably will again. Familiar with the characters from Tell Me It's Real, I loved learning of Sanford Stewart and Helena Handbasket. The journey to love was full of strife, torture, laughs, tears, and a despicable parrot!!! Again...I adore T. J.'s writing and this is definitely one that you can not miss...
"Another Amazing Story! I Couldn't Stop Laughing!"
TJ Klune does it again! This story had me rolling on the floor. Switching back-and-forth between funny and poignant, it's the feel-good story of the year. Michael Leslie does a fantastic job of narration. He has a great breadth of character voices, and his inflections are spot on! He could read me the phonebook any day.
"As always - klune is amazing"
I have listened to all of klunes stories and they are all amazing. I was a little doubtful of this one since drag is not my thing. But klune manages to make the story lovable anyway. Its Funny and Extreme just as most of the other books. I do not know how he does it but i Want more! And the narrator is amazing too - the story could have been ruined with the wrong narrator since the drag part of the story makes it a difficult job but he is perfect and over the top just as he should be. Any klune fan should listen to it and to Those Who does not know this author in the mm romance department are just lucky because they May listen to Them for the first time - i would start with Bear, otter and the kid.
"Funny sequel - absolutely PERFECT narration!"
Katie and I did a buddy read/review for this because Katie is a HUGE TJ fan and both of us absolutely ADORED Tell Me It’s Real. (MS – Morgan, KS – Katie)
Sandy: “You know when you have a dream about doing something you shouldn’t and then it turns incestuous and you think, well, that wasn’t so bad and then there are marching bands?”
MS: OMG I was so psyched to see a follow up to Tell Me It’s Real (TMIR)! To me this is TJ at his finest. This book has all the fun and only a little of the angst. There are even moments when TJ makes fun of his own angst love when Kori/Corey describes her time with Tyson at school. What did you think Katie?
KS: Sandy had a very distinct voice in Tell Me.. and Art/Breathing, in this book he sounded a lot like Bear and Paul. Which don't get me wrong, love them both, but Sandy lost some individuality for me. Helena didn't take over as much as she does in other stories.
MS: I agree, Sandy did go on a lot of “Bear-like” rants in this. Hysterical, but different from the Sandy in TMIR.
MS: So… I think anyone could read this as a standalone but… they’d miss a hellovalot! Sandy is Paul’s BFF and a SUPER FABULOUS drag queen – Helena Handbasket. Sandy is the mild mannered counter to Helena’s outlandish and sometimes snarky side. Sandy/Helena have had a run in years ago with Darren – the Homo Jock King and Vince’s half-brother. Since then Darren has attended almost all of Helena’s shows but always leaves with some twink. Sandy – who hates Darren with the fire of a thousand suns – leaves with some piece of frat/jock/anybody else not Darren.
Paul: “Because you’d fight him for the right to my nipples?” Paul asked.
Vince: “Sure,” Vince said. “I’d fight anyone for your nipples. And also because Darren wants to bone Sandy and not you.”
KS: I now love Darren, but again he’s sounding very similar to Otter, who is one of my book boyfriends - so not a bad thing. But… I didn't need to be constantly reminded that they were the Queen and Homo Jock King, it was brought up a lot.
MS: Darren did get more of a personality here, but the firm delineation of Queen v Homo Jock King did get a bit overused. I think that one of my biggest “issues” with TJ’s work lately has been a distinct lack of editing. He is SO funny but the rants are getting longer and longer.
MS: When Sandy’s friends get involved there is a suddenly a need for Darren and Sandy to act as boyfriends to get Darren’s dad to help them save the gay bar… and well... it was confusing and it’s supposed to be. While “acting as boyfriends” – their deepest desires (who everyone else already knew) come to the surface and some of the old hurts dividing them get explained and fixed.
MS: There is SO much to love about this book, besides the humor there is a lot of love. We see more of Paul, Vince, Corey/Kori and a different side of Sandy.
KS: I never thought of Sandy as slutty, but he kind of came off that way in this book, but still totally lovable.
Sandy: There comes a time in every gay man’s life where he’s asked if he got rimmed in an alley behind a Mexican restaurant. It’s almost a rite of passage.
MS: Paul and Vince are crazy as ever.
Sandy: “No one has ever had anything good to say when starting a sentence here’s the thing,” I told him.
Paul: “You don’t know that,” he said. “Gandhi could have been all, like, ‘Here’s the thing: love everyone and junk.’”
Vince: “And I know I’m right, because you can’t spell convinced without Vince.”
MS: So is Paul’s gran and Johnny Depp the parrot that hates Paul.
MS: Paul’s parents are there being their weird/kinky/strange/loving selves, too.
“So they’re just sex friends?” Larry asked.
“It would seem so,” Matty said. “Should we get a sex friend?”
Larry shook his head. “I would get too jealous over something like that. Maybe we could borrow Vince’s riding crop.”
MS: We get the help from Mike the boss, and Charlie and a back-story about Vaguyna – Helena’s mentor.
MS: My hope is that our dear Kori/Corey and maybe…. a certain bartender??? – will get a story next… Corey is too great a character to not have a book to himself.
KS: Yes! We need more Izaac! I’m hoping he's mentioned so much for a reason. I love Corey/Kori and would have liked to see some conflict there, a continuance of Art/Breathing. Maybe them together?
MS: Fans of Tell Me It’s Real will LOVE this and if you haven’t read that – GO DO IT – then read this FFS.
Sandy: "And also please find out a way to send me back in time so I never have to hear you describe the term slow-bone to me ever again. If I had to list the top five traumatizing things that have ever happened to me that would be number 4. At least"
MS: The story winds and wiggles and giggles and meanders and twists and turns for 350 pages – but it’s so damn funny the time flies. 5 of 5 stars
Katie and I collaborated again on the audio review.
Morgan: Katie, what was your favorite part of the narration to Homo Jock King?
KS: I love that Tj got the same narrator back. It was so nice to hear Paul, Vince and Sandy as I've heard them so many times before. Michael Lesley is great at going between the characters and making them each unique. I love the layering when they all shriek about something or stepping away from the mic when they're yelling from other rooms. All nice touches.
Morgan: I thought Michael Lesley did a fantastic job with keeping all the voices unique and separate. Who was your favorite character based on the voices?
KS: Not necessarily because of his voice but Paul is always my favorite. I've had the pleasure of meeting the author so when I read Paul I hear Tj's voice. So it was really hard for me to hear another voice on Paul, but I've been won over (for the most part).
Morgan: I loved how the narrator used pacing and inflection to add to the humor in this story. When he does the very many monologues he slows down, then speeds up in a way that had me laughing at loud and giggling in public! What was the funniest scene you listened to?
KS: Tj is the master of awkward dinners, so the brunch was great. I mean Tj does them often, but they are always hilarious. Nana and Paul bidding on Darren was pretty great, as well as Sandy on the phone with Paul in the bathroom while at lunch with Darren and his father.
Morgan: Is there anything you wish were done differently? Anything else that caught your attention you wanted to talk about?
KS: Name pronunciations bothered me more than I'd like. I know different narrators but I didn't like the different pronunciations of Corey/Kori. I didn't like the Izaac pronunciation either. Overall so fun, and had me struggling to not laugh out loud at work. Love these characters so much.
5 of 5 stars – absolutely recommended!
"Just as fun as the first!"
I've listened to this audiobook multiple times, and loved it each time! The premise of this book is a little bit farfetched (the old "we have to fake date each other because REASONS" trope), but that's what makes it such an enjoyable comedy. The characters are usually quite likeable, and the chemistry between all of them is what makes this book really shine.
Michael Lesley narrated the first book in this series quite well, and this one was good too - sadly, the two narrations weren't consistent with character voices. Its a bit jarring to go from book 1 (Tell Me Its Real) to this one and have the voices change, but the voice acting is still good and its still an easy listen.
This is definitely more on the "comedy" side of romantic comedy, but there's still a romance there that you want to root for, and I'm looking forward to seeing where the series goes!
"I laughed, I cried, I nearly peed"
This is one of the best books I've bought in a long time. It is beaten out only by TJ Klune's other books. While Tell Me It's Real is amazing, there is a special place in my heart for Lightening Struck Heart (HaveHeart forever!) This book made me laugh inappropriately in the most inappropriate of places. TJ Klune has strangers judging me.
FInding out that Nana is a FREAK!
Michael Lesley is a GOD. I would listen to him read the phone book. Hell, I would listen to him read Fifty Shades of Grey.
Paul...or Nana...or Vince...or Darren....or Sandy....or Paul's parent....maybe Johnny Depp....I can't choose and you can't make me.
I love every second of it. I was easily able understand the characters. it was hard to keep a full blown grin off my face.
"Loved. Loved. Loved it"
If I could give 10 stars I would. I adored this book when I read it but add in the genius that is Michael Lesley and it reaches another level.
I would recommend this book to anyone that doesn't mind being looked at funny for laughing along with this book especially if like me you listen while driving. I've had some very funny looks!!! And I don't care!
loved it !!! hilarious book, it's a must read. need the next one . brilliant
"Couldn't stop laughing, outstanding characters"
Funny, outrageous and real.
I am a great fan of TJ Klune and have read and listened to many of his books. This one had me laughing out loud and I often had to press the 30 second rewind button because I had missed a couple of sentences, I would get a lot of strange looks if I was out in public. Unusually for this author there a long well written sex scene which added great depth to the characters in the story. I loved all the supporting characters especially Nanna and Johnny Depp. Sandy and Darren were perfect together, the story and characters were extremely funny and well rounded and it is definitely a book I will listen to again. The narrator did a fantastic job. The blurb of the book is perfect tells you everything you need to know about the story.
Tell me it's real
Yes, Tell me it's real also by TJ Klune. I really liked this narrator and will keep a look out for other books that he has also done.
This story came alive because of the wonderful narrator. It's perfect, I'll need some more.
"Even better than the book!"
Funny, sexy, heartwarming
This book can only be compared with another by TJ Klune - nobody else writes quite like him. You will love this if you enjoyed Tell Me It's Real, BOATK or The Lightning Struck Heart.
Oh, EVERYTHING!!!!!!! His timing is immaculate and he creates such perfect voices for each character.
This made me laugh to an embarrassing extent as I walked through town listening in my headphones - I am now that crazy lady who laughs at the voices in her head.
I loved this book so much when I first read it (even more than the first in the series) and Michael Lesley elevates it to the next level with his glorious narration. Can't wait for the next in the series (Corey / Kori's story, I hope!).
Bitchy, foul mouthed, sarcastic and wonderful. Just like the first book in the series this is an hilariously funny book. TJ Klune's marvellous characters are brought to life by Michael Lesley with each having a very distinct voice. Sandy's diva Helena is simply superb and the story made me laugh out loud. There are some achingly tender moments between the two m/cs as their vulnerabilities are laid bare, and these are cleverly woven into the tale. This book is worth every penny as I listen again and again and will no doubt get something different out of it every time. Highly recommended.
"Outstanding and Hilarious"
Mr. Michael Lesley really pulled all the stops when voicing these characters. The range of emotions was done beautifully and his comedic timing was spot.
Perfect choice for such a beautiful book!
"Simply FABULOUS darling !!!"
A TJ Klune book is like no other !! Laugh out loud, smart, sassy, heartfelt writing on every page. Crazy Characters that you JUST love.
This book tells the story of Sandy and his alter ego Helena (the queen) Darren ( the homo jock king) and their hilarious journey to get together. Michael Lesley's narration deserves 5* !! I'm done gushing download this audiobook you won't regret it😀
"funny and wonderful"
This is an ebook that I have previously read and enjoyed, so I was keen to listen to the story.
The performance was terrific....Michael Lesley made the book come alive, sheer majesty and audible theatre!
sexy, sassy and so full of humour
not yet....but I intend to search for his performances
Yes..... very definitely, and I want to listen again.
made me laugh out loud at both Sandy's and Helena's soooo dry comments
"Job well done!"
The audio crushed me like a cigarette butt under the hill. The narrtor did a fabulous performance!
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