Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Review: You're the Reason

You Are the Reason (The Tav #2)Author: Renae Kaye
Series: The Tav, #2
Released: August 7th 2015
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Length: 226 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon
         Dreamspinner Press

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 femme and 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 in fright. That’s where he meets Lee, who is 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.

Wow. Just wow. This may very well be my favorite book by Renae Kaye, and we’re talking about the person who wrote Loving Jay, Shearing Gun, and Blinding Light, the first book in this series. All of these books are my favorites so to have her actually exceed my very high expectations is an unusual thing indeed.

We first met Davo in Blinding Light as Jake’s best friend, but although he was there with a decent advice when one was needed the most, he didn’t get much chance to shine. But even if he were given more time, Davo simply isn’t a character that shines at first (or even third) sight. He seems pretty ordinary on the surface, but deep underneath is a complex and truly stupendous character.

When Davo meets Lee in his favorite bar, he is surprised by how much he likes the gorgeous and entertaining woman. Yes, you read that right – woman. He is also insanely attracted to her, which is a first for him, and more than ready to succumb to his desires. The first time can be written off as a fluke caused by alcohol, but the second and the third are really mind-boggling. However, Lee isn’t actually a woman at all, he is just a petite gay man who occasionally dresses like a woman. Not transgender at all, but a cross-dresser on rare occasions. A wonderful, confident, intelligent man with a strong sense of self and a desire to help others.

For Davo, who’s been bullied into believing that everything typically “girlie” is inherently wrong, this development is even worse than falling for a woman. He likes men, but he likes his men safe and manly, not small, delicate and feminine. The idea of a man dressed as a woman, a man so obviously gay even when he’s in his regular clothes, terrifies him to no end. Luckily, he’s not left to figure it out alone. Patrick and Jake from Blinding Light and their lovely little daughter are very much present in this book and always there with a decent advice. And when all else fails, he has his trusted Magic 8 Ball to help him decide his fate.

Once again, Kaye explores things like gender fluidity, prejudice and bullying in her very recognizable subtle way. She always finds ways to shine light on a truly important issue without letting it overtake her story. This wasn’t the first time that she gently introduced gender nonconformity with her characters, but it was certainly more pronounced and the points were made strongly, but tastefully.

Renae Kaye is an author I admire greatly, not only because she writes all my favorite romances, but because she always shows such tact and consideration while doing it. You’re the Reason may be my personal favorite, but objectively, it’s another in a long string of successes by the author who has nothing left to prove.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.


  1. This sounds fabulous, glad you loved it so much Maja! I love that she is a go to author for you!

  2. Oh, this sounds fantastic. I think I've seen The Blinding Light around on Amazon but I'll have to add it to my wishlist so I can grab this one soon.

  3. Dammmmn. Adding this to my ever-growing pile of books recommended by you!

  4. This sounds simply fantastic, Maja! Adding it to the wish list for sure!

  5. This sounds like it's a thought provoking book, Maja. I like how it especially tackles gender fluidity. I'll need to check this one out!
    Great review!

  6. She does sound special, what with the tact and consideration - not to mention a perfectly captivating storyline and apparently the skill to tackle larger and complex themes. Brilliant!

  7. Oh this sounds interesting. I love it when books explore humans like this. I also think I need recommend this one to my library when I can start recommending them again (I've been put on hiatus! LOL).

  8. Oooo I'll have to check this series out Maja, thanks so much for the recommendation! You've given me some great m/m ones lately and I could hug you. I so love this genre!

  9. This does sound really good! I know I need to find more romances like this and you always have good recommendations.

  10. Ooh, interesting how a case of mistaken identity (gender identity, in this case) leads to love. Yay!

  11. The considerate story telling and the great characters sounds like something I could really enjoy


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