Title : Loving Jay
Author : Renae Kaye
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 200 pages (e-book)
Published : April 17, 2014
Rating : ★★★1/2
One thing Liam Turner knows for sure is that he’s not gay—after all, his father makes it very clear he’ll allow no son of his to be gay. And Liam believes it, until a chance meeting with James “Jay” Bell turns Liam’s world upside-down. Jay is vivacious and unabashedly gay—from the tips of his bleached hair to the ends of his polished nails. With a flair for fashion, overreaction, and an inability to cork his verbal diarrhea, Liam believes drama queen Jay must have a screw loose.
An accident as a teenager left Liam with a limp and a fear of driving. He can’t play football anymore either, and that makes him feel like less of a man. But that’s no reason to question his sexuality… unless the accident broke something else inside him. When being with Jay causes Liam’s protective instincts to emerge, Liam starts to believe all he knew in life had been a convenient excuse to stay hidden. From intolerance to confrontations, Liam must learn to overcome his fears—and his father—before he can accept his sexuality and truly love Jay.
Loving Jay is an easy-going, cute little romance between an in denial Liam and the Jay of the title. Liam had been noticing the tall, slim blonde on the morning train ride to work for months, constantly telling himself he couldn’t be finding the flamboyantly beautiful man attractive because he wasn’t gay. He couldn’t be because his father would never accept a gay son, he’d said it often enough that no son of his would ever be gay. Liam is very close to his family and the thought of not being welcome to his parent’s Sunday Roast with his four brothers and their respective wives/girlfriend just breaks his heart. So no, there’s no way he’s gay. Except for the fact that he’s obsessed with a guy he’s never even spoken to. Then one morning he misses his morning train due to an old leg injury, and just as he’s thinking there goes his morning chance to admire the man he’s named Jay in his head, he turns around to find the man himself has apparently also missed the train. And he suggests they go and have coffee while waiting for the next train. Together.
Once the ice is broken, Liam and Jay’s friendship quickly develops. When Jay is the victim of a gay bashing, it has Liam flying in to save him and realising that Jay certainly means more to him just friendship would warrant. From this point, there’s no denying that Liam is most definitely, one hundred percent gay and possibly in love with the feminine, out and proud Jay. If only it didn’t mean losing his family. Unlike Jay’s family, who love and accept just the way he is, Liam very much fears that his own family will be less than supportive. While Liam was right about his father, the rest of his large family were awesome. I especially loved how they all went into bat for him against his father and all their supportive text messages.
The main characters were easy to like, I adored Jay especially (a few less Oh. My. Gawds wouldn’t have hurt, but he really was gorgeous – bubbly, over the top, delightful and loving). Liam and Jay really were very cute together and they often made me smile. Some of the dialogue got a little cheesy, but I really loved the humour. Liam seemed to fall out of character every now and then, one moment being adamant that there was no way he was gay (and that constant insistence had me thinking that I had got that several exclamations ago, thanks) and the next seemingly perfectly willing to indulge in an imaginary sex scene that kind of came out of the blue and went on for too long. It got my imagination going along at the start, but then I just kind of got bored with the whole imaginary sex scene and ended up skimming most of it as it didn’t really seem to have much reason for being there at that point. Having said that, though, they’re relatively minor niggles in an otherwise engaging story with two very endearing MCs. All the characters are believable and well-developed. Even the father isn’t portrayed as “the villain”. His views about homosexuality are from the dark ages, but he isn’t an inherently bad person.
The end was very sweet – I truly could picture that photo in my mind – but it felt a little too abrupt and Liam’s father’s turn around seemed resolved unlikely fast. Loving Jay was light and fun, and even though it got a little over the top at times, it was nonetheless a very enjoyable read. The writing was good and I’ll be looking out for future books by this author.
Rated 3.5 stars by BookSmitten