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    REVIEW: You Should Be So Lucky by Cat Sebastian

    Midcentury NYC: You Should Be So Lucky – Cat Sebastian

    An emotional, slow-burn, grumpy/sunshine, queer mid-century romance about grief and found family, between the new star shortstop stuck in a batting slump and the reporter assigned to (reluctantly) cover his first season—set in the same universe as We Could Be So Good.

    The 1960 baseball season is shaping up to be the worst year of Eddie O’Leary’s life. He can’t manage to hit the ball, his new teammates hate him, he’s living out of a suitcase, and he’s homesick. When the team’s owner orders him to give a bunch of interviews to some snobby reporter, he’s ready to call it quits. He can barely manage to behave himself for the length of a game, let alone an entire season. But he’s already on thin ice, so he has no choice but to agree.

    Mark Bailey is not a sports reporter. He writes for the arts page, and these days he’s barely even managing to do that much. He’s had a rough year and just wants to be left alone in his too-empty apartment, mourning a partner he’d never been able to be public about. The last thing he needs is to spend a season writing about New York’s obnoxious new shortstop in a stunt to get the struggling newspaper more readers.

    Isolated together within the crush of an anonymous city, these two lonely souls orbit each other as they slowly give in to the inevitable gravity of their attraction. But Mark has vowed that he’ll never be someone’s secret ever again, and Eddie can’t be out as a professional athlete. It’s just them against the world, and they’ll both have to decide if that’s enough.


    You Should Be So Lucky is the second book of Midcentury NYC, a historical series by Cat Sebastian about queer newspaper reporters in 1960s New York City. The story stars Mark Bailey, whom we met in We Could Be So Good as the book reviewer and Nick Russo’s sorta friend.

    Mark, outta sorts since the loss of longtime boyfriend William, was voluntold by the publisher and Nick’s boyfriend, Andy Fleming III, to write a series of diary-like columns on Eddie O’Leary, the golden boy recently traded to the newly formed baseball team, The Robins.

    Mark is essentially, a grieving widower. He and William were married in all but the law. William was a lawyer. He left Mark a sizable fortune, a huge apartment full of antiques, and a spoiled diva of a dog, Lula.

    Now in the worst slump of his life, Eddie is given the cold shoulder by his entire team and boo-ed by fans for his outrageous rants against the perpetually losing Robins when he was about to be traded. While he may be hot-tempered at times, this baseball player is also a ball of good cheer and contagious smiles.

    Eddie’s skeptical about Mark’s column but as one of those see-ers of good in people, it wasn’t long until he trusted the reporter. It also didn’t hurt that Mark looked delectable in his suits and that the diary entries weren’t what he expected.

    This is a story about a talented pro-athlete in a slump and I just realized as I was writing this, that Mark was also in a slump. I loved the author’s take on the theme. There are no miracle cures, no insta-power-ups, and no sudden heroes. Just Eddie, being a poster boy for slumps but in a good way. Because even golden boys have slumps, just like the rest of us.

    Mark is slowly finding inspiration to write again the more he spends time with Eddie and the Robins. Sometimes it’s a matter of how you look at things. Mark realizes that there’s more to the story than Eddie O’Leary.

    He finds other topics, such as the unexpected appeal of the Robins. There’s also an unlikely second chance in the team’s notorious coach, a former baseball superstar now a drunkard and a womanizer.

    Meanwhile, Eddie grits his teeth and keeps at it until he is lucky to get a hit or two. The man was floundering but slowly won over his team. And they pitched in to help his batting skills. Like Mark, Eddie discovers the hidden depths of his notorious coach, a method to his madness.

    There’s a lovely found family here, not only for the queers but for their allies. One of the most touching parts is Mark and his friendship with elderly reporter George Allen.

    There’s a low thrum of grief in the story and many small joys scattered throughout. We have a wonderful friendship-turned-romantic-relationship between Mark and Eddie and an adorkable ray of sunshine in Eddie, whose wholesomeness and joy radiate happy vibes off the page. Grumpy Mark didn’t stand a chance!

    But the book also suffered the same complaints as We Could Be So Good. The damned thing was so sloooow! I felt every drag of the molasses-slow pacing, it became a chore to read. And like its predecessor, there’s a lot of nothing going on. Sure, I sang praises earlier, but it took a god-awfully loooong time to get to those points. And it is repetitive, too.

    I love slow-burn romance, but better make sure the rest of the book isn’t dragging its feet, too.

    You Should Be So Lucky is a story of second chances, a celebration of baseball, and an appreciation for suits. It’s very much YMMV, so I still encourage everyone to grab it. Overall, an inspiring sports romance brimming with optimism and healing that falls between like and love.

    Rating:
    3.5 Stars – that place between like and love

    Soundtrack: Lucky You
    Artist: Lightning Seeds
    Album: Jollification

    P.S.

    Midcentury NYC books are interconnected but We Could Be So Good and You Should Be So Lucky can be read as a standalones.


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    REVIEW: Impromptu Match by Lily Mayne

    Goliaths of Wrestling: Impromptu Match – Lily Mayne

    I, Taylor Hough, am a painfully average guy.

    I have the soul-destroying corporate job, I iron my underpants, and I was unceremoniously dumped for an influencer hippie a few years ago. Every day feels the same, and I don’t know how much longer I can cope before I do something unhinged like rip off my shirt in the middle of my co-worker’s office birthday party and smear lemon cake all over my chest.

    But then a case of mistaken identity suddenly lands me in the middle of a covert professional wrestling league, which is apparently being run in the basement of my office building. Weird. Even weirder are the wrestlers. They seem… otherworldly. So does the rest of the staff. And the audience. Pretty much everyone except boring old me.

    And then there’s the owner, Holt Hector, with whom I have an extremely embarrassing first encounter. He’s ridiculously attractive, even in the inhuman cosplay get-up he’s wearing that only makes him hotter, if I’m being totally honest.

    Then I discover it’s not a costume. And that the show put on by Goliaths of Wrestling every night is more monstrous reality than mindblowing special effects.

    My previously boring life is suddenly no longer quite so average, and hot-as-hell Holt is inexplicably as interested in me, and my ironed underpants, as I am in him and his strange new world.


    As someone who grew up on WWE, Goliaths of Wrestling, a paranormal series about a secret league of monster wrestlers, is a spectacle I cannot miss!

    Hard to believe that this is from renowned paranormal romance writer Lily Mayne, author of Monstrous, a post-apocalyptic monster-romance series that is as emotionally gut-wrenching as it is heartwarming. She does a 180-degree turn, starting with the series opener, Impromptu Match.

    I didn’t read the blurb, just knowing this is about professional wrestling was enough to hook me. So I didn’t know what to expect when the story started with 39-year-old office worker Taylor Hough’s 1st-person POV, telling us how boring his life is, always falling into the same humdrum routine the moment he wakes up, goes to work, and even his evenings.

    Taylor swears he used to be fun. He became this average, boring office drone who hated his job because his ex wanted him to fit a mold. Only to declare Taylor boring and promptly left him for a long-haired surfer.

    The mood was the sad-funny of black comedies.

    A rush escape from an office birthday party, an oddly specific request from a mysterious individual, and a case of mistaken identity plunge Taylor headfirst into the secret world of monsters, the underground Goliaths of Wrestling league, and its gorgeous, long-haired, grey-skinned owner, Holt Hector.

    Then everything was stupid and funny and so dumb it’s brilliant!

    Taylor and Holt hit it off by drunkenly oversharing their deepest, most shameful secrets. Taylor confesses everything from ironing his underpants while watching sad British soaps to farting in his boss’s office. Holt remembers accidentally ripping his skin-tight pants and exposing his butthole to a group of Japanese businessmen. He also confesses to throwing his back out trying to suck his own dick.

    It was the start of a great found family, a blossoming romance, and a supportive if chaotic dumb and dumber relationship that could actually be goals…

    Meanwhile, we are also introduced to the other employees. Larkin is Holt’s PA and a doofus fae unwittingly instrumental in Taylor and Holt’s meeting. Seb is a werewolf working as Holt’s bodyguard and may or may not be into Larkin.

    The wrestlers were a riot! It’s a diverse crew with everything from a dullahan, the cowboy Dullahan Dan, to an incubus wearing a nun’s habit, Gabe, to a female satyr, G.O.A.T., an honest-to-goodness Valkyrie, Val, and a pair called Frank and Beans, who look like halves of a bean with super long dicks they can connect to form some kind of limbo stick finishing move. There are also vampires, ghouls, werewolves, and mothmen.

    The plot alternates between Taylor interacting with the paranormals, Larkin’s dumbass antics, and going through Taylor’s mundane routines to increasingly creative shenanigans with Holt.

    The gags were hilarious and since the wrestlers have supernatural abilities, the wrestling matches were extra OTT! I loved that the author captured the cheesetastic camp of wrestling gimmicks and up the ante by making the athletes actual monsters!

    So I was kinda annoyed that there are too many sex scenes popping up like unskippable ads in a YouTube video. Then belatedly realized that the book is actually erotica. Though, what I liked about the sex scenes, and their relationship as a whole, is that it shows Holt being as equally dorky as Taylor.

    When Holt was introduced as the enigmatic paranormal who feeds on other people’s feelings, you’d think he’d be all dominant, broody, alphahole type. I mean, look at him at the cover.

    Nope, this is a man who complains that his balls are not symmetrical and wears smokey eyeshadow, leather pants, and pink cat-eye glasses, anything bright pink really. And this dork, adores everything about Taylor, from his sad office worker ennui to his British soaps.

    Impromptu Match is a ridiculous, silly, kinda cute, and surprisingly uplifting tale of a man tired of life discovering that the world is full of wonders if you know where to look.

    And as my English teacher used to say, the moral of the story is about loving a person, farts and all. It’s all about finding that freak that matches one’s freak. And if that freak happens to be an actual monster, well that would be quite a match!

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Nothing Worth Loving Isn’t Askew
    Artist: Lemon Demon
    Album: Dinosaurchestra


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    REVIEW: The First and Last Adventure of Kit Sawyer by S.E. Harmon

    The First and Last Adventure of Kit Sawyer – S.E. Harmon

    In the archaeology community, Christopher “Kit” Sawyer’s family is a legacy. And while he may be a historian, not a treasure hunter, he thinks he does a pretty good job of living up to the Sawyer name. He’s a book-smart research fanatic and does his best work at his tidy desk. No fedora and whip for him, if you please—a nice cup of coffee and a comfy chair will do. But decoding an ancient relic soon gives him more adventure than he bargained for.

    Unwittingly, he unleashes a force he doesn’t know how to control. And now he has to reunite the relic with a powerful Aztec God. The trouble with that? Kit doesn’t know where to find the Tlaloc’s temple. No one does, in fact. Finding it could be a discovery for the ages. It could also lead to his untimely death. So…yay? But it’s not like he has a choice. So off to the Mexican jungle he goes.

    At least he isn’t going alone.

    Ethan Stone, former stepbrother and overall pain in the rump, horns in on the expedition. An experienced archaeologist, he’s only coming along at their grandfather’s request—which annoys Kit to no end. But he knows Ethan is just the right person to get them through the jungle safely. It’s just too bad someone is trying to beat them to the temple. And he’s willing to do anything to get there first.

    Ethan thinks Kit is in over his head. Kit is secretly afraid he just may be right. In manners of archaeology…and manners of the heart….


    Some of the earliest movies I recall seeing at the theaters were the Indiana Jones movies. My father had to cover my eyes at the more exciting parts because I was too young (mostly that nasty scene where they dined on the brains of live monkeys).

    I don’t know why he’s always off to parts unknown, but I wanted to be Indiana Jones when I grew up. I was a pretty adventurous kid and always imagined packing a bag and taking off. I even mastered the ’90s video games because it was the closest thing to being the man.

    Only when I was an adult did I learn he was actually an archeologist, hence the trips to exotic locales. And not a very good one at that, what with the destruction of historical sites and precious artifacts in his wake

    The First And Last Adventure of Kit Sawyer is gay Indiana Jones, so I was all in immediately!

    The book stars Christopher ‘Kit’ Sawyer III, a research-oriented archeologist who has never been in the field. The Sawyer family is legendary in the archeology world, and Kit is aware that he is standing on the shoulders of not only his much-renowned parents, who have sadly passed away but also his grandfather, Christopher ‘Remington’ Sawyer, an icon in their community.

    Kit also had to contend with conflicting feelings (a.k.a. crushing on the man badly) about his former step-brother, Ethan Stone, active, outdoorsy, and always exploring. Christopher Sawyer II took his stepson under his wing and the two were inseparable in their pursuits, leaving Kit stuck at home. Now, Ethan even has a TV series on the Discovery Channel.

    The thing is, Kit has epilepsy, which made a lot of people treat him with kid gloves, and why he was not encouraged to go with his parents when they were off to a site. Now a respected lecturer and researcher, Kit thinks people refer to him as ‘the boring Sawyer’.

    He finally took the leap when a mysterious Axtec relic kept popping up, and a decoded message urged him to find a lost city deep in the Mexican jungle.

    The story is in Kit’s POV, and I had a good laugh at how spectacularly out of his depth he is in a new city and the wild jungles. The man had his bag stolen while wandering around a Mexican marketplace like the lost tourist he is.

    But Kit is not trekking the Mexican jungles alone because Ethan would not hear of it. The more experienced man brought crew, supplies, and local guides, knowing these practical things wouldn’t even cross Kit’s mind. Kit brought designer luggage, expensive watch, and willpower.

    As far as stepbro romances go, the banter and the frenemies’ snark were fun and oozing with USTs that Ethan’s friends and TV crew, Simon and Val, secretly made bets. There’s the extra challenge of no privacy and no baths, but the two dorks were smart to make good use of waterfalls and caves.

    The majority of the plot involved walking, Kit making a fool of himself, and him and Ethan bickering. I have this on audiobook because it’s Joel Leslie. It’s an entertaining book, but it’s not the kind that requires my undivided attention.

    You know that Twitter post that says there should be a category of movies/shows on Netflix that you could watch while scrolling on the phone? This feels exactly like that.

    While it involves a lost temple of an Aztec god and treasure, there’s no deep, detailed lore or any complicated mystery. There are intriguing, low-key supernatural elements that I wished were more overt, but it’s mostly just the group in the jungle stumbling upon the lost temple.

    Then came the Indiana Jones twists that had me sitting up, and finally, the high-octane action! It’s death and destruction for all! Centuries-old artifacts and treasure destroyed! Derring do and survival by the skin of their teeth! I was completely riveted!

    I loved the ending! Kit has decisively hung up his Panama hat, but then here comes Ethan and his packages. And a whisper of another quest…

    The First and Last Adventure Of Kit Sawyer may have it’s lulls but it’s an adventure of a lifetime. I am ready for the next one!

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: I​’​d Give You the World if It Meant It Might Swallow Me Whole
    Artist: Sleep Outside
    Album: Lakes In Which To Drown In


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    SERIES REVIEW: The Wyandot County Mysteries Books 1 & 2 by Marshall Thornton

    The Wyandot County Mysteries: The Less Than Spectacular Times of Henry Milch – Marshall Thornton

    A new mystery series from the award-winning author of the Boystown and Pinx Mystery series.

    Things have not been going well for Henry Milch. After a Saturday night clubbing in his beloved West Hollywood, he took one pill too many and ended up banished to northern lower Michigan to live on a farm with his ultra-conservative grandmother. It was that or rehab.

    While working a part-time job for the local land conservancy he stumbles across a dead body in the snow—as if things couldn’t get worse. But then things take a turn for the better, there’s a reward for information leading the man’s killer. All Henry has to do is find the murderer, claim the reward and he can go back to his real life in L.A.


    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Town
    Artist: CASTLEBEAT
    Album: VHS


    The Wyandot County Mysteries: A Fabulous Unfabulous Summer for Henry Milch- Marshall Thornton

    In the second Wyandot County Mystery, things are still not going well for Henry Milch. While stuck in Northern Lower Michigan helping his Nana Cole recover from a stroke, he learns that her favorite pastor has been killed. When Nana Cole asks him to investigate, he refuses—until she offers him money. Money that will help him get back to real life in West Hollywood. That sets Henry off on a journey that includes: off-key choir rehearsals, pole barns, bad haircuts, a hunky doctor and too many get-well-soon casseroles.


    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Big City Dreams
    Artist: Might Not feat. Sofia Insua
    Album:


    The Wyandot County Mysteries by Marshall Thornton is an LGBTQIA+ murder mystery series I didn’t expect to enjoy as much as I did. It did not have the usual romantic subplot, nor is it cozy. It contains many undesirable elements, yet I was completely hooked!

    The series is set in the early 2000s, so people watched cable TV, landlines were still ubiquitous, cell phones were flip phones, and the It gadgets were those colored Macbooks that look so retro now. The news often talks about the war, and people would mention updates about sons or grandsons deployed in the Middle East. 

    The star of the series, Henry Milch, well, I wouldn’t say he’s a likable character. Vapid, spectacularly self-absorbed, has nothing but uncharitable comments about everyone. In another story, Henry would be the bitchy ex the main character would dump to be with the love interest. Or that friend who’s always a hot mess

    Henry used to live in LA, but after an incident that left him with costly hospital bills, he’s broke and now lives with his Nana Cole in a small town in Wyandot County. Henry hates it. One reason is he’s shoved back in the closet. He has big plans to return to LA once he has enough money. And this kicks off the first mystery.

    The Less Than Spectacular Times of Henry Milch opens the series. Henry discovered the dead body of Sammy Hart, an out-and-proud gay man. The police weren’t making any efforts to solve the case, so Sammy’s friends offered $15,000 to anyone with information about the killer.

    Jumping at the chance to earn the reward, Henry decided to investigate, calling upon the knowledge he picked up from CSI and True Crime.

    In A Fabulous Unfabulous Summer for Henry Milch, Henry was offered $2000 by his Nana to find out what really happened to the dead pastor of their church. The man was bludgeoned to death. The police said he was robbed by a meth addict, but Henry thought otherwise.

    Still lacking enough funds to move to LA, Henry decided to humor his grandmother and started asking enough questions in an attempt to earn the money.

    He struck an antagonistic friendship with Opal, a bisexual a friend of the late Sammy Hart, who helped pooled money for the reward. Henry calls her only when he needs something, and Opal never hesitates to call him on his BS. Born and raised in the area, Opal knows everyone, including suppliers of illicit substances.

    Content warning: Henry is very much in denial about his drug addiction, and he’s frequently popping pills. In one very, very gross scene, he seriously contemplated fishing out the pills he puked floating in the toilet bowl so they don’t go to waste. He came to his senses when he realized that’s what drug addicts do, and he tells himself he’s not an addict.

    He sleeps with a few guys, most of them forgettable. One time, he dated a gorgeous doctor, a genuinely nice guy very much attracted to Henry. In your usual MM romance, this doctor would be The One. Of course, Henry fucked it up by refusing to give up his pills after the good doctor offered to help him overcome his addiction.

    Henry’s relationship with his mother and grandmother is complicated. His mother goes from boyfriend to boyfriend and has a casual parenting style, a.k.a. mostly absent. His mother and grandmother rarely agreed on anything, but surprisingly, they did when it came to him.

    Nana Cole is from one of the old families of the county, with typical Christian conservative views. They frequently butt heads. But even with their differences, it’s obvious that Nana Cole cares for her grandchild. Henry is determined not to like his Nana, but he also did not abandon her when she had her stroke.

    As an amateur sleuth, Henry notices things that don’t add up but have zero finesse in dealing with people. He just point-blank asks questions. He’s also not above using people to get what he wants. Given his bull-in-a-china shop approach, it was a wonder Henry got answers from the conservative folks of the county.

    With such a flawed character taking the lead, the entire thing wouldn’t have worked. But the author magically made the storytelling so damned engaging, even if I didn’t like Henry at all. He takes us to a scathingly humorous fish-out-of-water view of small-town Michigan with many comparisons and palpable longing for the big city way of life.

    Many times, I would think, “What a bitchy thing to say, Henry!” while at the same time thinking, “He’s got a point, though.” This leads us to another content warning: Henry’s views about religion and small-town life may offend some.

    The Wyandot County Mysteries is one of those mystery stories where I just enjoyed tagging along with our unlikely sleuth, not really caring about who killed who. The cases propel Henry to begrudgingly learn more about his hometown and its people. Twice, he’s on the cusp of leaving, but something or other would prevent him from hightailing it to LA.

    Would this snarky twink finally say adios to Wyandot to party and play in LA, or would he feel enough of a connection to the place to call it home?

    Maybe the third time’s a charm for our boy. Looking forward to Book 3. Because one thing about a hot mess like Henry: he’s never boring!

    P.S.

    The Wyandot County Mysteries should be read in order.


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    REVIEW: Gentlemen Prefer Villains by C. Rochelle

    Villainous Things: Gentlemen Prefer Villains – C. Rochelle

    Simon

    I needed to get the hell out of Big City.

    The only reason I was living in this American wasteland was because my mother insisted I reconcile with my estranged father. That the idea came to her while drunk on the French bubbly should have been my sign to stay right where I belonged.

    Anywhere but here. Certainly somewhere more fabulous.

    When an international job opportunity arises, I jump on board. It’s just a bonus that I’ll be traveling with the epitome of tall, dark, and handsome.

    Make that muscular, morally gray, and hopefully, my next conquest.

    What’s a casual fling between coworkers, after all? I’m ready for my next big adventure—far from Big City—so if whatever we’re up to is vaguely illegal, I’ll simply turn the other cheek.

    It’s not like some superhero is going to swoop in and stop a couple of humans like us.

    Wolfgang

    I may have orchestrated my villainous parents’ deaths, but that doesn’t mean the crushing weight of my responsibilities is easy to bear.

    My sister was the only one of my siblings who knew how badly they treated me. The only one I told how much I despise my powers. Now she’s on the run—leaving me to carry this alone.

    But then I meet him. I may have hired Simon Alarie as my assistant, but it’s instantly apparent he’s much more than that. He’s not only intelligent and business savvy, but fiercely loyal, and the tastiest—most forbidden—little thing I’ve ever seen.

    Nothing can come of it. Because if I touch him, he dies.

    That doesn’t stop me from claiming him as mine. Whether or not this normie knows it, every inch of him—every breath he takes—belongs to me. And anyone who thinks otherwise will meet the Hand of Death.

    Gentlemen Prefer Villains is an MM romance between a villain and a “normie.” Our men find other men in tight supersuits incredibly attractive. Sometimes, they keep these supersuits on while engaging in explicit extracurricular activities with each other (and sometimes they even use bad words!). This is not your kid’s superhero book. This is Sin City and The Boys having a love child with extra spicy Spideypool and is meant for 18+ adults who can handle such things.

    The Villainous Things series contains standalone books (each with HEAs) that feature interconnected characters and an overarching plot. You should read them in order (starting with Not All Himbos Wear Capes)

    IF YOU LOVE (full list of CW/TW coming soon to the authors’ webpage)

    • Superheroes/villains (and the “normies” who love them)

    • Big skerry boss + his sassy li’l assistant (SIZE DIFFERENCE)

    • Mafia vibes

    • Touch Him & Perish vibes too

    • Casual psychopaths with mutual obsession

    • SO MUCH TENSION

    • Leather

    • Extra spicy extracurricular activities

    • Naughty dark humor + sweary dialogue

    • MM romance (in case you missed that part)

    • A James Bond meets Catch Me If You Can international romp

    Then shake your martini and power up!


    It boils down to this: I loved the book, I didn’t like Simon.

    Gentlemen Prefer Villains, Book 2 of Villainous Things, picks up after the events of Not All Himbos Wear Capes. Violencia is missing, and Wolfgang, now head of the Suarez family and currently using his civilian identity, is looking for a personal assistant to help look for his sister.

    Simon Alarie, spoiled son of a serial gold digger, is being interviewed. Wolfgang walks in to gauge his reaction since the notorious villain is used to being feared even out of uniform. To his surprise, not only Simon didn’t show any signs of fear, he outrageously flirted with him. He was hired on the spot.

    This is why I didn’t warm up to Simon. He was so annoying!!! Too pushy and rude!! And being spoiled, he started bossing Wolfie around, thinking the bigger man was a bodyguard. I didn’t like Wolfie being bossed around, not even if Wolfie claimed to like it.

    Wolfgang was the most enigmatic Suarez in Not All Himbos Wear Capes and one of the most powerful villains in Big City. He can absorb the power of any supe he touches or the lifeforce of a normie. One touch means instant death. No one has voluntarily touched Wolfie since he accidentally killed his nanny as a toddler.

    He was raised as a weapon by his abusive parents. As a child, his father, Apocalypto Man, ordered him to run while he hunted him in the middle of the Argentinian forest. If Wolfie is caught, he’d be killed. He was only eight years old then. This is only one of the many “trainings” he had to endure.

    As the Hand of Death, Wolfie killed whoever his parents wanted dead. As the eldest Suarez sibling, he did all he could so that his siblings were spared a similar fate. Wolfie is a born protector and carer.

    So I wasn’t thrilled about him being bossed around. After a lifetime of taking orders, I wanted him in charge.

    As the story progresses, it becomes more apparent that Simon is a psychopath. His dynamics with Wolfie are pretty similar to Julian Castellani and Leo Bernardi (His Fatal Love). Murder husbands is a favorite trope, and I wanted to like Simon, but I’m sorry, the man lacked Julian’s charm.

    The closest thing I came to liking Simon was when he went beast mode and bit everyone’s head off when Wolfie went missing. At least we know this bratty psycho will burn the world for his man. Wolfie deserves that level of devotion.

    The world-building in Villainous Things gives us enough details to imagine the scenarios, but it’s not as tightly constructed or as richly conceived as the more hardcore superhero stories. The series tends to focus more on sexy times, particularly the BDSM aspect. I’m not a fan of BDSM, so I’m neutral about the couples.

    Part of the plot is a fascinating glimpse of supe history, going back thousands of years. I hope it will be explored further because it would give the series a rich lore that could spawn more stories. It also helps with the world-building. 

    My favorite part is The Rabble, as Wolfie calls the Suarez group chat. Xander is The Mouthy One, and Butch is The Token Hero. The twins, Andre and Gabriel, are Thing One and Thing Two, while Baltazar is The Dumb One. The sibling interactions are hilarious, and I think it’s a missed opportunity not to have them together in more scenes, ala war room scenes in Necessary Evils.

    The most poignant part is Wolfie’s relationship with V. She’s closest to him, his sounding board, and the only one who knew about the abuse he suffered. Not knowing what state he will find V in or that he might be forced to kill her, since V’s berserker power makes her both deadly and also susceptible to other’s control.

    I am aware I am reading Gentlemen Prefer Villains wrong. The book is all about bratty, bossy, and BDSM, while I wanted supe lore, sibling banter, and superhuman fight scenes. Still, I got enough of the parts I wanted that I am looking forward to the next Suarez, which is Balti!

    Overall, gentlemanly villains are much preferred!

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Villain
    Artist: Missio
    Album: Villain

    P.S.

    Villainous Things should be read in order. Watch The Mouthy One and The Token Hero shake things up in Big City and in the bedroom in Not All Himbos Wear Capes.


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