Leslie has watched all of his friends find their true loves, and while he doesn’t begrudge them their happiness, he wouldn’t mind finding his own. After a fashion show, which Leslie had to attend for work, Leslie comes across good fortune in the disguise of work when his boss sends him out to deliver one of her designer suits. To his surprise, Leslie finds that the VIP customer is none other than Leslie’s wet dream turned recluse.
Oliver Brown, aka porn star Nicky Starr, lives a quiet life. He has ever since the wreck that left him scarred and an outcast to the industry that once prized him. He has limited contact with the outside world other than his occasional booty call, best friend, and the deliveries he receives from his favorite designer. Then Leslie storms into his life.
At first, Oliver is wary about contact with Leslie, but he can’t stop thinking about the guy. And Leslie isn’t one to back off of something he wants. As Leslie draws Oliver out of his shell, Oliver begins to believe he’s found what he’s been missing for so long. But the past was bound to catch up with him. With an ex and insecurities staring him in the face, Oliver must make a decision—choose Leslie or curl back into his shell.
For the final week of the Reading Challenge, no one who knows me will be surprised to find that I chose to pick a book related to the Favorite Cross Dressing Heroes list. This is maybe one of my favorite tropes of all time, whether it be a character who wears his desire for all to see, or whether it’s a man who wears lacy, silky, dainty lingerie beneath. I will tell you that the underwear thing is probably my favorite, but that’s a tale for another day.
This book is a bit of a Beauty and the Beast remade sort of story, complete with a beauty and scarred hero. Suit Yourself is not my first foray into cross-dressing characters. But, to be honest, because I’m me, no one will be surprised to find that I chose this book because of the cover and because of its cross-dressing benefits. Though I do have to say that the cross-dressing aspect is not a focal point or kink here. It has more to do with Leslie’s position working for a fashion designer and what makes him feel comfortable and sexy. Which that in itself makes his character all the more sexy.
The pros of the characters are that they are likable. Leslie is pushy and fun. He’s a bright light in a gloomy world. Oliver is the broken part of this story. He has a painful past that is almost debilitating for him and he needs Leslie to heal him. I like that even when he tries to push Leslie away, Leslie finds a way to creep back into his life.
My issues with Leslie and Oliver are that they weren’t always consistent. Mostly in the first half of the book and mostly Oliver. At times, he would show this skittish side and on the turn of a dime he’d be growly and jealous. I didn’t like it.
At times the dialogue read woody and forced while the inner monologue became a little too much. As in the characters talked out loud to themselves often throughout the course of this book. I get that this is more likely a personal issue, but it happened a few too many times for my liking to the point of irritation.
As for the story, it’s good, even better after the 50% mark. I’ll be honest in saying that the first half was a bit difficult for me to get through, but once Leslie and Oliver caught their stride, so did the story. And the conflict was engaging to a point that actually had me raising my rating. By the end, I was glad I forced my way passed the quibbles the first half of the book presented.
Overall, Suit Yourself is a good book. I can’t overlook all of the foibles, but even with them, I found myself enjoying the story as a whole. As a cross-dressing story, it probably wouldn’t make my favorites list, but it was good and well worth the read.
Note: Suit Yourself is the third book in the Men of London series. It can be read as a standalone.
This review is part of our September Reading Challenge Month for Favorites List Week! Leave a relevant comment below and you will be entered to win this week’s fabulous prize of books and swag from Samhain Publishing, as well as our amazing grand prize sponsored by Riptide Publishing. You can get more information on our Challenge Month here, and more details on Favorites List Week here. And be sure to check out our prize post for more about the awesome prizes!