Reviewed by Christine
AUTHOR: Marshall Thornton
NARRATOR: Joel Leslie
LENGTH: 6 hrs 23 mins
RELEASE DATE: June 20, 2017
Queeny cocktail waiter Lionel wakes up to find himself in bed with Dog, a straight-acting softball player, and the two embark on a rocky road to romance. A journey that requires coming out of the closet, going into the closet, a pair of red high heels, many pairs of red high heels, a failed intervention, a couple of aborted dates, and homemade pom-poms. Mostly, Lionel and Dog learn what it means to be a man.
Finalist for the 2016 Lambda Award in Gay Romance
Starred review at Publisher’s Weekly
Runner-up 2016 Rainbow Awards Gay Romantic Comedy
This audiobook is absolutely delightful! The perfect combination of Marshall Thornton’s superb storytelling and Joel Leslie’s portrayal of the characters’ first-person, dual points of view is pure entertainment (Mr. Leslie particularly knocked it out of the park–pun intended–with Lionel’s character). One moment I was laughing out loud, and the next my heart was breaking.
The odd-couple pairing of Lionel and Dog is not a new trope, but it is extremely well done here. The mishaps, fits and starts, and outside influences are at times hilarious, devastating at others. Ultimately, their attraction to one another keeps them in the game, so to speak, and this, along with all the other perfectly executed components of the story, keeps the reader rooting for the unlikely lovers. I was emotionally invested in the success of the relationship from the get-go and completely enchanted by these opposite personalities. Poor Dog struggles to get his act together and to overcome his closeted nature in order to show Lionel he truly cares, and Lionel, bless him, struggles to be patient. They are both endearing in their own unique way. Dog is truly a good person at heart but can’t quite figure out how to do the right thing, and Lionel’s flare and sense of self make him a force of nature. What ensues from the first page is a comedy of errors and excruciatingly poignant moments that make their story compelling, sweet, and touching. I don’t want to reveal too much, but trust me when I say it’s a roller coaster ride with a glorious finish–and well worth the ticket.
Speaking of personalities, the secondary characters are extremely well crafted and diverse. The dialogue is snarky, believable, and entirely pertinent to both plot and character development. Quirky and richly painted, their presence adds even more colorful layers to this little gem of a story as their vibrancy and human imperfections radiate from the page.
This is going to be an audiobook I will re-visit to again and again, and I thank Mr. Thornton and Mr. Leslie for a fantastic audio reading experience. The bottom line for Femme: come for the hilarity and heartbreak, stay for the exceptional characters…and the red heels!