Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Review Tour: Mud & Lace by Jay Northcote #Review

Length: 240 pages

Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design

Rainbow Place Series

Book #1 - Rainbow Place - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 - Safe Place - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 - Better Place - Amazon US | Amazon UK


When Wicksy falls for drag queen Charlie, they discover that both sexuality and gender can be fluid.

Simon Wicks—Wicksy to his rugby teammates—has only ever been interested in women. But when he sets eyes on Lady Gogo, a drag queen who performs at Rainbow Place, he can’t stop thinking about her. He knows there’s a guy behind the fishnets and make-up, but he’s ready to explore his fantasies, and Lady Gogo is game for making them come true.

Charlie adores performing in drag. It allows him to indulge in his love of cross-dressing while earning some extra cash. Fooling around with a mostly straight guy in secret seems like a fun diversion, and gives him the chance to explore his feminine side. He feels safe wearing the mask of his confident alter ego, because the real Charlie is hidden from view.

When Wicksy sees more of the guy behind the make-up and glitter, his attraction to Charlie persists, and he realises he’s bisexual. In turn, Charlie begins to understand and accept his gender fluidity. As their mutual journey of self-discovery brings them closer, the secrecy becomes increasingly hard to deal with. If they’re going to have a future together, they both need to find the courage to show people who they really are.

Although this book is part of a linked series, it can be read and enjoyed as a standalone.


I am a big fan of Jay Northcote’s Rainbow Place series and Mud and Lace is a wonderful addition. Simon Wicksy and Charlie “Lady Gogo” we’re briefly introduced in a previous book but can absolutely be read as a stand-alone.

When Wicksy first lays eyes on Charlie, he is dressed in drag as Lady Gogo and Wicksy is instantly attracted and intrigued. He’s straight and “she” looks like a woman…no problem, right? Well, maybe a little problem or two. I really like both of these men very much. I think both are trying to figure some things out, which I respect and understand. Simon sees Charlie as a woman only initially, but I want to stress that Charlie did not have issues with this. The attraction and desire for each other is very intense.

 Charlie was turned on by the straight rugby player finding “her” so attractive. Charlie is struggling with finding their way as well. Charlie is a man who wants to explore a more androgynous look and feel. He loves himself as a man, but truly embraces his more feminine aspects. Simon does eventually find Charlie beautiful in all his forms. This felt like a big moment for me, I loved the first time Simon referred to Charlie as “him”. It was a moment because I loved seeing Simon accept that he is attracted to this person, regardless of their parts. Charlie and Simon work so well together, they give each other so much that felt missing from their lives. Rainbow Place is this amazing cafĂ©/bar that is at the heart of these books. It always makes me happy to spend time meeting new people and seeing the old friends I’ve met there. This series really is wonderful, it’s so worth reading.

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.

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