Title ~ You Are the Reason (The Tav)
Author ~ Renae Kaye
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 7th August 2015
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
A Novel in The Tav series
Davo’s a pretty average guy. He has a decent job, owns his own home, and spends his weekends at the pub. He fully accepts that he’s gay, but doesn’t want to be one of those gays who are girly. He likes football and other masculine pursuits, and firmly avoids anything that could be seen as femme—including relationships that last beyond fifteen minutes.
Then Davo’s friend and gay idol not only gets a boyfriend, but also adopts a baby girl. Davo is seriously spooked and scuttles down to the pub. That’s where he meets Lee, cute from her cherry-red hair to her pretty little dress and pointy red shoes. Davo is charmed—but how is that possible? He’s gay. Isn’t he? Then Lee tells him he’s actually a guy—he just likes to wear women’s dresses occasionally. Thoroughly confused about an attraction that’s out of character for him, Davo begins the long journey to where he can accept himself without caring what everyone else thinks.
This was another light, fun, romance from Renae Kaye. It works as a standalone, but if you’ve read The Blinding Light, you will be happy to know that Patrick and Jake are back and have plenty of page time along with Lee and Davo.
Davo likes being gay, is out to his family, but he doesn’t want people to be able to tell he’s gay by looking at him. His dislike of all things “girly” – even on Jake and Patrick’s baby girl – also has him rationalizing that relationships are girly, therefore not for him. This aversion doesn’t actually extend to women though. In fact he has an unexplainable, almost immediate attraction to Lee, when he believes Lee to be a woman. He even fears that Lee is turning him straight. When Lee comes clean about his gender, Davo is more upset by the fact that Lee told him a lie, not what the lie was about.
Davo confused me a bit at the start and came off as an ass. I wasn’t sure if he was a misogynist, a femme shamer, a good guy or a bad guy. That didn’t last too long. Davo isn’t a bad guy, he’s just a man who had an idea planted in his head when he was young and twenty years later, has had no reason to change. Now Lee comes along and Lee is that reason.
Lee is a sweetheart. He is smart, easygoing, works at a Drop-In Center for LGBTQ teens and sometimes likes to wear dresses. He feels bad about having misled Davo so when he calls in a panic for help babysitting, Lee is there for him. Lee really has his eyes opened to Davo’s neuroses and wonders if Davo is actually a gay homophobe. Lee quickly sees through Davo’s insensitive remarks and is committed to opening his eyes, by bartering for a guarantee of three future dates to work with.
The two MC’s have a sizzling sexual tension between them and get along very well. Their conversations are both humorous and eye opening as is Davo’s reliance on his trusted oracle, Mr. Magic 8 Ball. I really enjoyed watching Lee break down Davo’s barriers from PDA, being seen with a man in makeup, attending an obviously gay event and even Davo caring about his partner’s pleasure in bed. I never knew what Lee was going to try next. When Davo finally gets up the nerve to test the biggest barrier in their relationship, Lee’s cross dressing, it ends in one of the hottest striptease and sex scenes I’ve read.
In addition to the support of Patrick and Jake, both men have accepting and loving families, which is always great to see. In fact, Lee’s mother Charlotte has an awesome mama bear protecting her cub moment that had me cheering out loud.
As much as I loved the characters and enjoyed the story, there is something that occurs towards the end of the story that has been bothering me since I finished the book.
There is a scene of an attempted sexual assault that plays out. At no time during or after the incident is there any discussion of bringing in the police or filing a report even with the knowledge that this was at least the third such attack by this person. I’m not offended by the plot point itself, but it didn’t feel true to the way I expected the characters to act, especially in light of Lee’s job helping teens who are so at risk for abuse and assault.
With that being said, it doesn’t negate the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the book. Renae Kaye writes books that always entertain and turn up the heat and this was no different. I thought the epilogue, with Davo’s gift to baby Maxine was particularly sweet and did a great job of bringing Davo’s story full circle.