Gay as Mardi Gras by Lily Velden

MARDI
Gay as Mardi Gras by Lily Velden
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (75 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

After the demise of his relationship with his childhood sweetheart, Janey, Jesse needs to get away. His nan has just the thing: a month-long cruise around Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. It seems perfect—until Jesse realizes what kind of cruise it is.

A gay cruise.

Since Jesse’s roommate, Daniel, is recovering from a broken heart, the two decide to buddy up. They hit it off, and with Daniel now Jesse’s partner in crime, they explore the boat and participate in all the fun activities on offer—with some, ah, interesting results for straight boy Jesse.

If you can’t count on your family in a time of emotional distress, just who exactly can you count on? Luckily for Jesse Torrens, his Nan is on the job. Determined to see her favorite grandson achieve the happiness and love he deserves, Nana Torres will stop at nothing until he finally does. The question is, to what lengths will she go for her only grandson? Even more importantly, will Jesse endure her plotting?

Jesse is quite the character, and it’s no wonder once you meet his nan. He’s open minded and honest. Honest enough to give the month-long gay cruise his nan signed him up for the old college try. The idea that he’s game enough to go on the cruise and enjoy it for what it is – a way to get away from his troubles at home – was a nice twist. He put up little argument and trusted his grandmother’s instincts. I really loved Jesse’s character and watching the truth become clear for him was a real treat.

Daniel is an emotional wreck. After having booked the cruise for himself and his then boyfriend, he discovers that the now ex-boyfriend had been cheating in a most magnificent manner. I loved that despite the heartache, Daniel was determined to take the trip anyway and have a good time. Having the amusing and fun loving Jesse as a cabin mate helped. The thing I enjoyed the most about Daniel was that, although knowing his roommate was straight, he still managed to coerce Jesse into dressing up for all the cruise’s theme nights, if for no other reason than to give the other boys something to look at. And that Jesse went along with it all only made it more fun.

Gay as Mardi Gras is one of the funniest and most honest books I’ve read this year. I actually devoured this short novel in a few hours’ time, laughing until my sides hurt. Watching Daniel overcome his heartache and seeing Jesse discover something so important about himself was a delight. The author has a real knack for humorous dialogue and embarrassing situations. An amazingly funny and sweet book, Gay as Mardi Gras is a winner of a short novel.

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