loving jay audioStory Rating: 4.5 stars
Audio Rating: 4.25 stars

Narrator: Dave Gillies
Length: 6 hours, 24 minutes

Audiobook Buy Links: Audible
Book Buy Links:  Amazon | All Romance

Liam Turner is sure he is not gay, despite the fact that he can’t help but notice the gorgeous blond who rides the early morning train with him every day.  Or that he can’t stop thinking or fantasizing about the man.  But Liam knows his father absolutely will not accept a gay son, so he pushes those thoughts aside until the day both guys miss their train and end up talking while they wait for the next one.

Jay and Liam hit it off right away and Liam looks forward to their daily ride on the train together.  Jay is nothing like most guys Liam knows. He is kind of a drama queen, can’t stop talking, loves his make up and nail polish, and is all about fashion and style.  Despite their differences, Liam finds everything about Jay endearing and adorable, and finds himself falling for the man past the point where he can deny his feelings. When Liam finally accepts his attraction to Jay, he can admit to himself that he is in fact gay, and the two men begin a wonderful relationship.  Yet Liam also knows that he will likely lose his family if he comes out given his father’s very clear opinions on the matter.  Coming out and changing everything about his life would be difficult, but for the man he has grown to love, it may be all worth it.

So, I will admit that ever since I saw Jason’s review of Loving Jay, I have been dying to read it, especially because I have become such a huge Renae Kaye fan.  So I was so excited when this one was released on audio and snatched it right up.  And the book did not disappoint me at all.  I absolutely loved Jay and Liam and found this story really sweet and charming.

First off, Jay is right up my alley as I love a guy who is comfortable with exactly who he is and that is Jay completely.  He is out and proud and has the lipstick on to prove it.  But it is more than his appearance. Like Liam I found myself charmed by Jay, by his dramatic ways, and his wild tangents, and all his bits of craziness.  Jay is smart and kind and a hard worker and all around likable and I could see why Liam fell for him so hard.

Liam is kind of the straight man to Jay’s character, but Kaye gives him so much warmth and depth.  This is a guy who was raised with four brothers and a homophobic father, yet he is open and accepting to Jay right from the start. While Liam questions himself and his own sexuality, he never has a critical thing to say about Jay.  Liam ADORES Jay, even when Jay makes them late with his primping and derails the conversation yet again with another tangent.  I just found Liam’s affection for Jay to be so charming and I loved them together.

This book is mostly Liam’s journey to accepting himself and his sexuality.  He starts off sure he is not gay (or at least telling himself that), despite his pretty obvious attraction to Jay.  It takes some time for him to come to terms with his feelings, but when he does, he never looks back. Even when he has to face his family, and even when he is sure that given his father’s opinions he will lose them.  I loved his strength and his convictions and how he is willing to face the hard stuff.  Speaking of which, don’t mistreat Jay around Liam because as laid back as he is about most things, when Jay is threatened, Liam will do anything to protect and care for him.  I just found them such a sweet couple and loved them together.

The story is filled with a host of great characters, particularly Liam and Jay’s families.  We get some nice humor, some family insanity, and in the end we can see how much these people all love and care for each other, which I really appreciated.

I listened to this one in audio and think narrator Dave Gillies did a really nice job.  He speaks with an Australian accent, which I feel is really important given the book’s setting.  Gillies does a really nice job with Liam’s internal narration and his kind of breathy exasperation.  I could hear the differences between Jay and Liam pretty clearly, even in conversation.  There were a few side characters who sounded pretty similar, and not all the women had female sounding voices, but for the most part there was at least enough distinction to get a feel for who was talking. The tone was spot on and fit well with Liam’s personality, and the pacing was really nice.

So I really enjoyed this one and am glad I have finally completed the full works of Renae Kaye. I loved Jay and Liam and found this story sweet and fun and adorable.  I definitely enjoyed it and would recommend this boos, as well as her other work, highly.

A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.

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