Review: Fun with Dick and Shane by Gillibran Brown

Fun With Dick and ShaneRating: 4.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance | Amazon UK
Length: Novel


Being a houseboy to two domineering males is far from easy, but Gillibran Brown has learned to take their temper tantrums in stride. Well…if he’s being honest, it’s probably Dick and Shane who take his tantrums in stride, but somehow their unconventional ménage works. Desperate and down on his luck, Gilli lied his way into a position as housekeeper and cook for Dick and Shane. They had been a couple for nearly a decade before the bratty, sweet, and troublesome Gilli wiggled his way first into their home and then into their bed and hearts.

Theirs is far from an easy relationship and often Dick and Shane find themselves strapped to the emotional roller coaster that is the life of Gillibran Brown. Through health scares, death, and stressful holidays, Gilli, Dick, and Shane forge a life for themselves, unique in its rewards and sacrifices. But Gilli is a stubborn man full of passion and despite his need and desire for domination, he might just break before he bends.

challenge month 2016Fun with Dick and Shane was one of the first books that popped into my head when thinking of potential reviews for the Around the World Challenge Week of our Reading Challenge Month. It takes place in England and while that’s not such an exotic location, Gilli’s voice is so uniquely British that it makes Fun with Dick and Shane an utter joy to read. Told from Gilli’s perspective, the book is organized by diary entries interspersed with episodic story moments from Gilli’s life with Dick and Shane. I suspect this book, and those that have followed afterward, are semi-autobiographical rather than true fiction. They are told in such an easy, natural way and the details are too intimate and emotional to feel fully imagined. The relationship between Gilli and his daddies is complex to say the least. They are a part of a ménage, which is layered by dominance and submission and domestic discipline. As Gilli describes it, “Shane is lord of all he surveys, he Tops Dick and they both Top me, in an authoritarian sense as well as in a sexual sense. In other words, I am subject to discipline and corporal punishment at their discretion.” It makes for a complicated and often emotionally fraught relationship, especially as Gilli is prone to tantrums and excessive emotional outbursts. But they serve to make one another better and stronger and between his ranting, humor, and the depth of true love he feels for Dick and Shane, it’s easy to see why this trio manages to maintain its ballast. Dick and Shane come through as real and visceral men who have taken on the challenging job of loving Gilli, not because they have to, but because he was the missing piece of their unfinished puzzle. And while it’s easy to love the warm, cuddly Dick and hate the stern, cold Shane, Gilli shows us that he isn’t complete without what each of his men has to offer.

The only issue with Fun with Dick and Shane are its considerable editing and grammar issues. It’s written more as stream of consciousness than a more traditional style and this can be maddening to those of us who live and die by at least basic punctuation. Additionally, editing would have helped to tighten up several areas, but honestly these are annoyances that you get used to fairly quickly. And while I’m not excusing them, the stories Gilli tells are simply too enjoyable to be bothered by missing commas and the like.

Fun with Dick and Shane is the first in the series of books about the long-suffering life of Gillibran Brown. His quick wit, outrageous tantrums, uniquely British point of view, and often painful and heartfelt honesty made him one of the most relatable and endearing voices out there. And while his connection with Dick and Shane is far from conventional, it offers a humorous and candid portrayal of love at its best.

This review is part of our September Reading Challenge Month for Around the World Challenge Week! Leave a relevant comment below and you will be entered to win a fabulous prize from Riptide Publishing. One lucky winner will receive a selection of print Advanced Review Copies of Riptide books before they are even released (non-US winners will get ebook copies upon release instead). Commenters will also be entered to win our amazing grand prize sponsored by Dreamspinner Press (a loaded Kindle fire filled with DSP books!). You can get more information on our Challenge Month here, and more details on Around the World Challenge Week here. And be sure to check out our prize post for more about the awesome prizes!

sue sig

Comments

  1. This sounds like a really fun series. Thank you for a good recommendation.

  2. Even though I’d probably be annoyed by the editing issues, it sounds like a really engaging (and even touching) series!

    • I didn’t even notice the editing problems when I read this book for the first time. And while they are noticeable, they don’t diminish the story at all!

  3. Thanks for the interesting review!  I have to admit, though, that this one is not my cup of tea.

  4. I’ve read a few of the books in this series & I’m not a huge fan of Gilli’s. I find him very immature. Yet I keep plodding through them because one of my friends has assured me they get better. I keep hoping she’s right but so far haven’t seen the proof in the pudding. Thanks for your review.

  5. Thanks for your review, Sue. It always fun to read a review of a book by a new to me author.

  6. I haven’t heard of this series, but the premise sounds good. I think the editing issues would get in the way of my enjoyment, but I’m glad it still works for you and others.

  7. Thanks for the review! I don’t rad many menages because it’s difficult to find good ones out there. Some feel more liiek gang-bang stories. I will give it a try, although stream of consciousness put me off a bit.

  8. I enjoyed the review and it almost convinces me to read it, but I am SOOO not into menage. Something about it
    just doesn’t speak to me. Even though I’ve read a few that I can’t really say were bad. Oh well.

  9. Thanks for the review. This title reminds me of that movie — one with Jim Carrey? Yeah, I think that one haha.

  10. Sounds like such a fun read. Thank you for the review and the warning about menage.

  11. Not sure this one is for me but thank you for the review.

  12. This sounds like fun! I did not know about this series, but I’ll make sure to add it to my TBR list. Thank you for the review, Sue!

  13. I really struggled to get into this story when I tried reading it a while back and I think it was the “stream of consciousness” narrative that put me off.

  14. I read this back in July 2014
    I found it funny, laugh out loud at times, as well as serious and sad and exhausting at others – because we see lots of incidents, it seemed to be constant misbehaving, spanking, punishment with no ‘normal’ in between. 
    I liked the British humour in Gilli’s writing but I did feel that along with the many punishments, he craved love and affection too and I’d have liked to see some ‘calm’, affectionate days.
    However, it was also compulsive and I found I couldn’t put it down

    • Yes, I know what you mean. There are times you want to reach through the pages, grab Shane and shake him because as readers we know Gilli just needs a hug or something softer than perpetual stern gruffness. There are moments of “normality” that develop throughout the rest of the series, but Gilli is born to trouble, for sure.

  15. I’m not a big fan of D/s, so I’m not sure whether I will love or hate this book. 😀 I guess I’ll keep it in the back of my mind and see.

  16. I LOVE this series! I’m so happy you’ve reviewed it. I read it years ago and have reread it a couple times. Gillibran is absolutely endearing. 

  17. I’m not a big fan of ménage and although i loved your review this one is probably not for me.

  18. Ooh this definitely sounds like a really fun read! I don’t generally read ménages but I might have to try this one out.

  19. Lynne Clifford says:

    Loved this series and have reread it a number of times. Gilli is sweet and bratty and to be honest all the characters annoy me at times but in an odd way I enjoy it all the more for that as it feels more natural, in the same way that the writing style resembles a diary or journal. Be aware that although much of the story is very funny, there are definite moments of angst.

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