Title: Don’t Twunk With My Heart
Series: Loving You #2
Author: Renae Kaye
Genre: MM Romance
Kee Smith isn’t sure who he is anymore. He knows who he used to be—the ignored gay son who chose a blue-collar job just because no one expected it, the submissive bottom who enjoyed large, masculine jocks who put him in his place, the sleek, fashionable twink who partied all night. But after his ex-boyfriend hit Kee and called him names, Kee retired from the social scene.
Back after a year’s hiatus, Kee still doesn’t know where he fits. His friends say he’s a twunk—a twink who put on muscle and turned into a hunk—but Kee is searching for somewhere to belong. Instead of going back to his usual type, Kee hooks up with twink Tate Stevens—a fashion-industry professional who works the image hard. It proves to be the best decision he’s ever made, and not just because he’s starting to regain his sexual confidence.
With Tate, Kee can open up about his fears and confusion without ridicule. Tate has his own fears about putting on weight and getting old. It will take work to make a relationship of opposites succeed, but they begin to realize the compromises will be worth it if they can be together.
I love Renae Kaye’s books, but this story fell short for me.
First, Kee. He is said to be a twunk – a twink who gained weight and turned it into muscle. He is capable to defend himself – in theory. In reality, he can’t. There are too incidents in the story: the first time Liam saves him, and though the second time he stands up for himself, I don’t think he would be able to defend himself, if Tate doesn’t come back to the scene.
He still considers himself a twink when he meets Tate. He is thinking that taking Tate home is not a good idea (“twink-on-twink didn’t always work”), because they both would be insecure and indecisive. I just don’t get how labels and stereotyping can be that accentuated in a gay romance. This whole twink/twunk/twank thing was very annoying.
Kee says he loves submission, still he is always the dominant party in his relationship with Tate (not BDSM type of dominance here, it’s totally vanilla, but he doesn’t feel like submissive or indecisive like he mentioned a twink would be. Of course he is a twunk now, so… maybe that’s why… Oh, stereotyping again… I’m so confused!). Anyway, at the beginning it is mentioned he likes submission, but this line goes nowhere.
Second, Tate. His character is likeable, but his eating disorder is belittled. At first, it appears to be a serious problem, still, it goes nowhere. Somewhere it is mentioned by Kee that he tends to casually offer Tate his own food, and Tate doesn’t even realizes he eats – so, problem solved. Dealing with an eating disorder is not that easy. And why bring it into play as a serious problem then leave it hanging?
But I’m not done. Kee’s mother.
See these two quotes.
“Can I bring a date?” I asked my father.
“A gay date?” Dad queried.
I rolled my eyes where he couldn’t see. I’d been out to him for nearly six years, and he still asked if my preferred partner was another guy.
He paused, which told me he still wasn’t comfortable with the idea that his son took it up the arse. But in the end, he said the politically correct thing. “Of course you can bring whoever you like. Your mother and I will be happy to meet whoever you have in your life.”
But I was under no illusions where my mother was concerned.
“Perhaps it can be a surprise for Mum?” I suggested. “Don’t tell her beforehand.”
If Mum knew I was bringing a gay date to her birthday celebration, she would be on the phone for days before, making a huge drama of it. All of her friends would sympathize and gossip about how terrible it was that she had to have a son who was gay. Oh, how terrible. Oh, what trials Barbara had to go through in her life.
“I saw that nice man who’s gay and his two kids in a magazine yesterday. What’s his name? The one who played Doogie Howser? Oh yes. Neil Patrick Harris. Isn’t he handsome? Oh, I loved him as Doogie. And he has this beautiful house and these two children who are perfectly adorable.”
Right there and then, she showed Jeanette how wrong she was, showed support for her gay son, and did it all without hurling a single insult.
Kee and his father decide not to tell his mother that he brings Tate over to her birthday, but on the birthday dinner her mother proves to be the most sensitive and supportive mother ever, who just says the right thing in the perfect way. It’s wonderful, really, but then I don’t get the first quote. (Neither the blurb, by the way: “the ignored gay son”… oh, come on!)
Slow-build, angst-free, and sweet.
Unbalanced: many descriptive parts – I don’t like the kind of narrative that tells instead of shows -, other times it is very engaging, then it goes back being annoying again.
Kee and Tate have – not spectacular but – nice chemistry. The sex was always hot, especially the public scenes – except the one between the bushes – though the latter at least was funny.
“They leave us alone out here. They have more important things to do.”
“Snakes?” I checked the next thing off the list.
“Asleep,” he assured me.
“Are you lying?”
“Yes,” he admitted. “But come on? Can’t you brave a couple of spiders for my birthday wish?” he pleaded with me, and my barriers started to crumble.
… I couldn’t see what I was doing and had to go by feel. My wet dick was swinging in the slight breeze, and I tried not to think of spiders and ants.
The things we do for our boyfriends.
Jay and Liam
The highlights of this story. I loved them, and I was very happy that they get so many scenes in this book. But maybe it was because the main couple was seriously lacking.
All in all, it was a mixed and very unbalanced reading experience. Once it was enjoyable and fun, other times it was boring. It made me smile but also made me roll my eyes.
Depends on your mood, I guess.
See my favorite quotes on my Tumblr page,
Daily Quotes by Exina.