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

Dreampsinner Presents


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.


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



All Man (Top Me Maybe? book 2) by Jay Northcote

Jaybird Press Presents


“You’re the sleek little sports car to my Land Rover.”

From the moment Gareth walks through the door of the salon to fit some new sinks, Jules can’t take his eyes off him. Jules has always been attracted to men who are his polar opposite, so burly Gareth is Jules’s fantasy man.

At the weekend, Jules gets into a tough situation with another bloke in a gay club and Gareth comes to his aid. Gareth rejects Jules’s subsequent advances but leaves him with the hope that his attraction isn’t completely one-sided. Fantasy could become reality.

With Gareth’s work at the salon nearly done, he’ll soon disappear from Jules’s life for good. Time is running out. Jules needs to prove to Gareth that he’s tougher than he looks and that his feelings run deeper than gratitude.


“Hi.” Jules grinned down at the bloke lying on his back under the basins, taking a moment to admire the very respectable looking bulge in his jeans. “Gareth isn’t it? Fancy another cup of tea?”
Jules knew full well the man’s name was Gareth. It had been imprinted in his memory since Gareth, in all his bear-like glory, had stepped through the front door of the hairdressing salon that morning. He’d introduced himself, and Julian had been smitten on sight.
“Oh, yeah. That’d be great, thanks, Julian.”
“You can call me Jules.” Jules tried not to flutter his eyelashes, but he thought they probably did it without his permission. Big, butch blokes like Gareth always brought out the femme in him—it was how he reacted when he was nervous and excited. The more masculine they were, the more camp he got, even when he tried to tone it down.
Gareth didn’t seem to mind, though.
“Okay, Jules.” He gave Jules another one of his surprisingly sweet smiles before getting back to whatever he was doing with the pipes under the new sink he was installing.
Jules hummed happily to himself as he pottered around the cramped little kitchen in the back of the salon, waiting for the kettle to boil. He lined up four mugs and put in instant coffee for Shelley and Tyler and tea bags for Gareth and himself. He added a sweetener for Shelley—who was on a diet again—one sugar to his mug, and two for Gareth, remembering that was how Gareth took his tea.
Jules had carefully stored away every little detail about Gareth so they’d be there to mull over later. He grinned as a surge of excitement made his heart lift. It was always fun having a crush. Gareth was probably straight so it was bound to be unrequited, but a bit of eye candy made the day so much brighter.
He took Shelley and Tyler their drinks first and then went back for his and Gareth’s so he had the excuse to linger for a moment after delivering it.
“I’ll put it up here on the shelf,” he told Gareth. “Don’t let it get cold.”
Gareth was still on his back under the sinks, rattling around with a spanner or a wrench or something. Jules had no idea. His expertise was more with a different type of tool.
Gareth’s T-shirt had ridden up where his body was twisted, but his face was out of sight, so Jules took the opportunity to blatantly admire his hairy stomach. He was solid, not gym ripped lean, but not chubby either. He was all muscle and man. Jules tilted his head and sighed appreciatively. He really was the perfect bear.
“Jules, stop daydreaming and come sweep up for me, you slacker.” Tyler’s voice was light and teasing.
Jules glared at him, ignoring the flush that swept up his neck to his cheeks. “Yeah, yeah.”
Tyler grinned. He clearly knew exactly what Jules was daydreaming about. But the lucky bastard had Duncan—his own personal bear—at home, so he could sod off. Jules had to take his kicks where he could get them, and if that meant ogling Gareth, then so be it. He’d definitely be starring in Jules’s wank fantasies tonight.
Jules took one last peek at Gareth’s package and wondered what his cock looked like. Shame he’d never get a chance to find out.


This is a super short, super cute story of boy meets boy, boy kisses boy and happily ever after. There is a very little angst. A little hot sex and some pretty sweet moments.

Jay’s writing is, as always, excellent and the characters are unique and well developed.

There wasn’t enough story here for me to feel great about Jules and Gareth as a couple. It does look like they’re headed for forever. I would have really liked to see the story longer so we could explore Jules’ attack/reaction more. I loved Gareth’s character and would have loved to see more of his nurturing side explored as well.

This was like a delightful bite of rich cake, only enough to tantalize and make you wish for more, extremely enjoyable nonetheless.

4.5 of 5 hearts



Author Bio:

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her husband, two children, and two cats.
She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.