Monthly Mini Review
Wow! by Sean Kennedy – B+. This brand new release from Sean Kennedy feels like a little bit of a departure – for one thing, it’s a bit hotter than I’m used to from him (not a complaint). Although it’s not super explicit there are certainly more than kisses.
Mark Hodges works in a bank during the week, but on Saturday nights, he dons drag and becomes “Allotta Moxie” who struts her stuff on stage at a local gay bar, lip-syncing to ABBA, Kylie and other icons. In the past, revealing Allotta to a boyfriend has led to the demise of the relationship so he’s cautious about who he tells and when.
Mark has a crush on Joel, a new employee (not a direct report so nothing icky here) at the bank but he’s shy and lacks confidence. Allotta has a distinct personality. While the book does explicitly confirm that Allotta is an aspect of Mark’s personality it is also clear that Mark only lets that side of himself out when Allotta is on stage. Outside of that, he’s a shy boy. Allotta, however, is a maneater.
At best I was eccentric; at worst I was certifiable. It wasn’t like I believed Allotta was real—she’s me. But she’d taken on a life of her own, and sometimes I liked it. She had the strength and the courage, and I just followed along in her wake. If I was wearing her wig, her come-fuck-me boots, and her gold hot pants, I would walk straight up to Joel, lie on his desk, my legs up in the air, and I would purr seductively at him. He would have no misunderstanding of my intentions. But I couldn’t exactly do that. Besides him wondering what the fuck I was doing, I’d probably make everybody else in the bank extremely uncomfortable and find myself on a sexual harassment charge.
So it was best to just play it safe, and be good old dependable and boring Mark Hodges.
When Joel asks him out Mark can barely believe his ears. But he’s not a fool and he says yes.
It’s a simple story, befitting the novella length, but it is also a complete one. Ultimately the conflict is Mark’s “secret identity” and what Joel’s reaction will be to it/to Mark’s secrecy about it. There’s even a little time for a side story of a burgeoning friendship between Connor and Mark. Connor is a previous hookup of Mark’s; Mark thought there was relationship potential, Connor did not. But it turns out Mark has a true friend in Connor and that is a good thing.
Allotta and Mark “converse” all throughout the story. Some of it is hilarious.
I hope nobody ever does a black light sweep in here.
Seriously, that kid should call his dick Old Faithful.
It was like a milk truck exploded in here.
Are you thinking of trying out comedy or something?
I’m going to need to incorporate some kind of act to go with my show when I eventually headline.
Well, keep working on your material.
Mind you, you weren’t so bad yourself. And by the look of it, you’re already up and ready for more shenanigans.
But so is Old Faithful. Get the shammy ready to soak it all up afterwards. And crack open a window.
I admit the occasional bit of discomfort during Allotta’s and Mark’s conversations. In the end though I decided to enjoy the humour of it without taking it too seriously. I don’t *think* I was intended to be concerned – and, after all, as Mark (or was it Allotta?) says, everyone talks to themselves.
Mark is sweet and earnest and a complete marshmallow when it comes to Joel. And Joel? Does he deserve Mark and Allotta? (Spoiler: Of course he does. I don’t like books that don’t have happy endings. Do you even know me?)
Reviews of these books will be up soon at AudioGals.
Here’s what you may have missed:
How to Date a Douchebag: The Learning Hours by Sara Ney, narrated by Josh Goodman & Muffy Newtown
Catalyst by Rachel Grant, narrated by Greg Tremblay
Beguiled by Joanna Chambers, narrated by Hamish McKinlay
Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell, narrated by Alexander Cendese & Eric London
at Dear Author
Plus I had my Best of 2017 list up as well.