Review: Fierce & Fabulous

Fierce & Fabulous Fierce & Fabulous by Elizabeth Varlet
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Romance Review

Sassy! Sexy! And so not straight… Ansel Becke is a troubled boy who loves to dance. And he does it so well in heels and a sexy gender bending outfit. Fitch Donovan is a man's man. He works construction and runs his father's company. To date, he enjoys women until he witnesses Ansel on stage dancing. This story reminded me of Yanis Marshall whom I am an absolute fan of. Reading the author's note, it seems Ms. Valet and I share this love.

This story, I'm mixed about. And here's why. Ansel is a man who loves cock and men. He has absolutely no desire to be a female or to be a shemale. What he does like is clothing and make-up that society dictates is for women only. Interestingly enough, if one goes back into history, there is evidence of men who were not gay wearing cosmetics, wigs and skirts. Still, Ansel is decidedly male yet comes across physically as a very hawt female.

Fitch Donovan loves Ansel's look. He is attracted to Ansel's feminine looks. So, is Fitch really gay? Questionable. Is this really a gay for you trope? Questionable. What I do like is the gender fluidity here and specifically how Ansel and Fitch connect from a personality standpoint.

Ms. Varlet does an excellent job of creating memorable characters. Ansel is the troubled and unloved child. Fitch is the golden boy. When their worlds collide, what happens? I am very impressed with how Fitch handles it. I am also saddened yet understand how Ansel goes in a downward spiral. Still, this is a story of personal growth and loving a person for who they are, not what they are. This is what I really enjoyed about the story.

Ms. Varlet is a new-to-me author whom I will be keeping an eye out for because I like her writing style. I enjoy her characters and her references to pop culture speak to me. There is only one little pet peeve that bugs me. Specifically early on in the book, there is straight-shaming which really irks me.

"Damn it, Meg."

"Seriously, it's just a lap dance. It's not like I'm asking you to kill a puppy."

"A lap dance—from a guy."

At his tone, both Ansel's and Meg's eyebrows lifted almost like they were connected by some invisible string.

"What, are you suddenly homophobic? Is my only brother a bigot and I somehow missed it for the last seven years?"

Fitch turned a bright shade of red and rubbed his palms over his scruffy jaw.

"No, Jesus. I just, ah, fuck."

"It's not a big deal," she countered. "When I came out, you said—"

"Yeah, yeah, okay. Doesn't have a damn thing to do with this situation, though." He sighed and pushed a hand through the mess of dark hair atop his head.

"It's just a dance, for fun. Please?" (Kindle loc. 196-203)

This bugs me because Meg, Fitch's sister, is a hypocritical bitch. This is no different than if Fitch were to force Meg to have a straight guy give her a lap dance when she has no interest. Just because a straight person has no desire to have the same sex dance all over them does not mean they are a bigot or homophobic. This kind of reverse discrimination is annoying for me. It is hypocrisy disguised in some kind of gay righteousness. And before anyone tries to tell me it's different because I don't get it, let us be clear, I'm pansexual so I am not coming at this from a "straight" perspective. I digress.

The sex in this story between Ansel and Fitch is hawt, sweet and kind of endearing. Their chemistry is so good, even when Ansel freaks out. Their relationship is not perfect; instead there are ups and downs. The story shows how difficult it can be for someone who is outside societal norms. And for this, I really appreciate the story. This m/m romance is recommended for those who see past the physical and cherish the very best of a person's essence.

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