You are the Reason (The Tav book 2) by Renae Kaye

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YouAreTheReasonBlurb

Davo’s a pretty average guy. He has a decent job, owns his own home, and spends his weekends at the pub. He fully accepts that he’s gay, but doesn’t want to be one of those gays, who are femme and girly. He likes football and other masculine pursuits, and firmly avoids anything that could be seen as femme—including relationships that last beyond fifteen minutes.

Then Davo’s friend and gay idol not only gets a boyfriend, but also adopts a baby girl. Davo is seriously spooked and scuttles down to the pub in fright. That’s where he meets Lee, who is cute from her cherry-red hair, to her pretty little dress and pointy red shoes. Davo is charmed—but how is that possible? He’s gay. Isn’t he? Then Lee tells him he’s actually a guy—he just likes to wear women’s dresses occasionally. Thoroughly confused about an attraction that’s out of character for him, Davo begins the long journey to where he can accept himself without caring what everyone else thinks.

Review

Davo, whom we met in Blinded by the light, has a motto. “I’m gay but not a pussy”. After years of being told not to be a fag by an abusive coach (meaning don’t be weak, or slow, or last….) his teenage brain decides that “femme” equals weak and though it must be okay to be gay (because he can’t deny that part of himself) he can avoid and deny anything remotely feminine or girly or sweet in his personality.

One night at the bar he meets a delightful “woman” named Lee. The two laugh and giggle and hit on men together and then end up in a drunken heap together. It turns out Lee is the first “woman” Davo has ever been “attracted to”.

When it turns out that Lee is in fact a cross-dresser, a man, Davo is stunned. But compelled. He’d almost lost his mind at the idea that he was attracted to a woman, but being attracted to one of “those gays” was almost worse – in his mind.

Lee is a saint. He patiently works through each and every one of Davo’s eccentric beliefs and falsehoods until he finds the heart of gold at the center.

Davo does his part – he vows to have an open mind and trust the attraction that lies between them.

Finally, as the last hurdle falls, the two find their HEA.

**
I just loved this! I loved how “simple” Davo made things, and how Renae used the subtle use of his name Davo/Dave to drive home simple, important points.

I thought giving us a break from the homophobic parents was fabulous! But instead showing how internalized other forms of prejudice can affect us – maybe even more than parents.

I thought the baby stuff was hysterical! And again it was so well “shown”. Davo’s softer side peeking out time and again and him seeing the blessing that embracing “the girly” side can be.

Of course it was fabulous to catch up with Patty-cake and Jake – aren’t they still fun!
Jake as a parent leaving the baby alone for the first time was a hoot! But seeing Patrick hurt when Maxine didn’t “love him as much” was heart-breaking.

Another absolutely brilliant plot point was the explanation of pheromones. I have no idea how “scientifically true” it is – but it sounds very plausible. It allowed me to fully engage in the idea that our uber-gay Davo could find a “woman” attractive and was a beautifully executed explanation to this seemingly impossible plot device. Bravo!

The only – very small- niggle of imperfection I saw was the very odd girlfriend scene with Thor and the handcuffs. It seemed way out there. I’m hoping it was merely another example of stereotypes gone wrong – having a female predator- but it felt so out of place given the rest of the story that it threw me for a loop for a minute.

Otherwise it was a practically-perfect-in-every-way novel – just what I’ve come to expect and love from Renae Kaye each time I read her books.

6 of 5 hearts

amazing

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