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Ratings and Reviews (6 56 star ratings
6 reviews
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Overall rating

4.4 out of 5
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  • 3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

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    Definitely a worthwhile read!

    Fierce and Fabulous is the first book in Elizabeth Varlet's Sassy Boyz series, about a group of male dancers who strut their stuff (Beyonce style) at a local gay bar. They aren't drag queens per se, but use their natural (somewhat feminine) good looks and talent to wow the patrons, and offer some extras (like lap dances) on the side. Ansel is a part of the team and revels in the attention he gets as a dancer, because it's a far cry from anything he ever experienced at home. Here he can be himself and it shows in his confidence and smirky attitude. Fitch is a big burly construction worker. When his lesbian sister Meg insists that they go to a gay bar for her 21st birthday, he reluctantly agrees. When he sees Ansel on stage, he's struck by her beauty - except 'she' turns out to be a 'he'. To his shock, Fitch doesn't find he's any less turned on by knowing that Ansel is male. One lap dance later, and a kiss from Ansel and Fitch knows he's in trouble. What's a straight guy to do when he finds himself falling for a queer guy? I really enjoyed this story! It's the first time I've read an m/m romance with a character like Ansel. At a very young age he started showing signs of being more interested in his feminine side, preferring to wear dresses and high heels and makeup - a fact which sadly resulted in a very emotionally and physically abusive relationship with his mother. He didn't want to be a girl (no sex change), he just liked dressing up like one. Leaving home finally after years of abuse, he made his way on the streets and eventually found a friend and roommate in Ange, who accepts him as he is. But the harsh conditions of his childhood also resulted in low self esteem, reckless behaviour (like taking home guys from a bar who don't know he's a male and react violently when they find out) and a serious drinking problem. He's a mess really, and only happy when he's dancing. Fitch is as straight as they come, though he hasn't had any luck finding the right woman. And he certainly never was interested in a man before he met Ansel. As the head of his father's construction company, he's under a fair amount of stress keeping things going, as his father has had recent memory problems resulting in mixups and other problems at work. But he's promised himself that if he found someone who caught his interest he'd pursue it. He never thought it would be a man, but he's going to take that chance. For readers of m/m romance it's a 'gay for you' plot, and some might think it's not believable that he's never been attracted to guys before ( and still isn't) but is in lust with Ansel. But I was quite satisfied with that aspect of the story. When he and Ansel get together the chemistry between them results in some scorchingly hot love scenes. I liked that Fitch's inexperience in this regard was a factor in those scenes, that they dealt with some of the realities of m/m sex that you don't always read about (cleanliness is next to godliness) and that they both were equal partners in the bedroom. Just because Fitch is bigger physically doesn't automatically make him the top and there was fluidity in that relationship just like in life. It's not all flowers and rainbows though. Once Ansel and Fitch are seeing each other there are lots of issues to contend with - Fitch breaking the news to his family and friends about dating a man, Ansel's drinking problem, and a host of other things crop up to make Ansel in particular doubt whether they can really have a committed relationship. But they work through it all and we eventually get to a very satisfactory happy ending. There are several scenes with Ansel's dance partners and friends that show they are a caring group of individuals with stories to be told, and I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series. 4.5 stars for this provocative, entertaining romance.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Fierce & fablous

    Meetig the love of your life and its not always who you thought it would be. Thats what happened, then trying to convince that person the attraction is real take time and understanding. Especially when abuse and alcohol is a factor.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Contemporary Romance (M/M)

    Fitch and Ansel…an unlikely couple but with oh so much potential! At 23 Ansel Becke has had a very rough life. As the story unfolds his demons become known and his mode of self-medicating to get away from said demons emerges. His friends, the Sassy Boyz Dancers and Suze, are there for him and have become a pseudo-family or pack for one another. I do want to hear the stories of Liam, Tam, Azariah and Suze and hope they will appear in future books. Ansel is true to his vision of himself but really doesn’t expect to love or be loved for the person he is. He does a lot of growing in this book. Fitch Donovan is nearly 30 when he meets Ansel. He has taken his sister, Megan, and her friends to celebrate her 21st birthday. He is smitten by the tall blonde in the dance troupe and still drawn when he realizes she is really a he. Egged on by his sister a lap dance that will change Fitch’s life is given to him by Ansel. A kiss is just a kiss…until it is something more… Fitch is conflicted due to having always identified as straight but when a second encounter with Ansel leaves him just as intrigued as the first he decides to follow his feelings and see what will happen. (I have to say that having a lesbian sister who has confided in him and discussed LGBTQ issues with him has left him more informed than most straight men.) I enjoyed this story. I loved Fitch. I was drawn to Ansel. I want to know what will happen to the Sassy Boyz and hope to see more of Lars and Suze in future books of the series. Thank you to NetGalley and Carina Press for the copy in exchange for my honest review. 4.5 Stars
  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    One of my new fav authors

    I loved this book. I can't wait for the next one. It's a beautiful story about healing, trust and true love no matter what form it comes in.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Wow!

    Yet another very pleasant surprise. Stand-out characters populate a solidly written and paced story. There were moments when I had to stop reading because some scenes bit a bit close to the bone... and that's perhaps the part I loved most about this book. It's harder-edged and grittier than a lot of romance books I've read and it's all the better for it! I loved that it tackled real social issues and dealt with them well. I'd recommend this to anyone who loves a good read.
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