A Taste of Honey by Ari McKay

HONEY
A Taste of Honey by Ari McKay
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (105 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

Boone Phillips needs a girlfriend and fast! His family reunion is approaching, and if he shows up alone, his mother will throw every woman in sight at him. But the only “woman” Boone trusts enough to ask is Honey, the alter ego of his gay, cross-dressing best friend Rob. Desperate, he begs for Rob’s help.

Rob has doubts about the wisdom of agreeing to help because he’s had a crush on his straight friend for years. After a practice date, however, he decides to go along with the charade, despite the chance that Boone might discover his secret infatuation.

Between nosey relatives, illegal moonshine, and the sight of Rob in white lace panties, Boone starts to wonder if he’s as straight as he’d thought. When an earth-shattering kiss sends Rob running to protect his heart, however, Boone learns some surprising things about both his family and himself. Now he needs to convince Rob to give him another chance, or else his first taste of Honey might also be his last.

What do you do when the annual family reunion has you scrambling for a date? For most single people, they’d find their closest, best friend and con them into coming along for the weekend. But when your closest, dearest friend happens to be a gay man who dresses in drag a few times a week, well, then things are bound to get interesting.

Boone Phillips is the proverbial boy-next-door. A good southern boy who’d do anything to make his mama happy, even if it means putting his dearest friendship at risk. Despite his belief that he’s happily hetero, his love life is flailing and gasping for life. Generally, when the crushing best friend falls for a guy like Boone, I have to roll my eyes a little. But, in this case, I could see exactly why Rob fell so hard so fast. Sure, he’s handsome, but he’s also sweet, charming, and loyal to a fault. All the things a guy like Rob needs in his life.

Rob Coombs is one of those guys that you hear about. The one that got completely disowned by his family for being something other than what they expected him to be. In Rob’s case, he’s not only gay but also a drag queen. A pretty darn good drag queen at that. His drag persona, Honey, is a total extention of himself and, in many ways, she’s the man he wants to be. Honey’s forthright, determined and unafraid. She’s also an incurable flirt and all around great gal. I loved the way she helped Rob cope with his feelings for Boone as well as bring them together in the end.

I’m going to come right out and say it – I’m a sucker for a guy in drag. The level of confidence it takes to put on a dress and heels – something I don’t even do as a woman – takes more courage than I’ll ever possess. Both Rob and his alter ego, Honey, are portrayed so well that they both come off as complete, separate characters bound by a common thread. It was refreshing to see that although Boone struggled with a lot of things once he and Honey arrived at his mother’s house, he didn’t let any of it get him down while he figured out exactly what he wanted. Although some of his family’s big reveal seemed a bit out of place, I respected the fact there was a little substance to Big Mama’s easy acceptance of all the crazy Boone and Honey brought into her home. Overall, this was an extremely cute and funny story that makes me want to know where they go from here.

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