Gays of Our Lives, by Kris Ripper
Series: Queers of La Vista, Book #1
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: July 11, 2016
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Emerson Robinette only leaves his apartment to get laid and go to work. Having MS—and trying to pretend he doesn’t—makes everything more complicated, especially his fantasies of coming on strong and holding a guy down. Finding a partner who’ll explore that with him isn’t Emerson’s idea of a realistic goal.
Until a chance meeting with a hipster on a bus makes him reconsider. Obie is happy, open-hearted, and warm; what’s more, he gets his kicks being physically dominated, spanked, and teased until he’s begging. It would be perfect, except for one thing: Emerson isn’t made for happiness, and he doesn’t see how a guy like Obie would settle for a cynic like him.
But as far as Obie’s concerned, the only thing keeping them apart is Emerson. Can Emerson handle a boyfriend who’s more invested in his future than he is? Emerson’s barely convinced he has a future. But when Obie’s smiling at him, anything seems possible.
Character with Disability (MS)
Now this is a great start to a new series by one of my favourite authors. Kris Ripper totally won me over with zir Scientific Method series – so far so that ze is now an auto-buy author for me. Gays of Our Lives does not disappoint at all.
I am especially wowed by the inherent role Emerson’s disability plays in the book. Without having any references myself about MS (Multiple Sclerosis), the way it is depicted seems to me as if Kris profoundly researched the topic or has experience with it zirself in some way. Both the physical aspect of the disease as well as the difficulties to cope with a chronic illness are shown in a realistic way.
Concerning the physical limitations, I absolutely – make that Absolutely with a capital A – love that the book shows us how MS can affect the sex life and how sex is not necessarily restricted to penetration and orgasms. I Absolutely love that they have sex while Emerson can’t get an erection or orgasm during one of his episodes.
And no. No miraculous dick recovery where suddenly I was hard as a rock, cured by true love’s kiss. Sorry. This ain’t that story.
On the other hand, Emerson believably struggles with accepting his diagnosis. He’s in-part in denial and doesn’t want to change his life more than necessary. He is depressed and feels broken and unlovable – plainly unworthy of having someone to share his life with.
Since the story is told from his perspective this could actually be annoying, but I really liked his grumpy self. The tone of the book is generally light and funny and I laughed several times and smiled tons.
“Listen, I don’t know if you think you’re the most chill guy in the world or something, but I gotta tell you, Emerson, sometimes you crack up a little and you’re kind of a dick.”
“Moi?” I asked, with exaggerated outrage. “It’s just that I’m so good at it.”
“At being a dick?”
His lips turned up, like he was trying not to smile “It’s a natural gift. I was born dickish.”
Obie, Emerson’s love interest, is amazing and I love him to pieces. He is the perfect counterpart and seeing them together was incredibly joyful. I also think it’s great that they just roll with the kink in the bedroom. The BDSM in the book is super light and they are both kinda trying it for the first time and discovering what works for them. That is really hot and also really nice.
Furthermore, the secondary characters are also all well flashed out. Especially Mildred is a great addition to the story. The building of family is one of the themes in the book – and I’d wager also the series. I really, really liked that part, too.
I wish there was a little more in the end, however. Maybe another love scene between Emerson and Obie, some more intimacy. It would have been lovely to spend a little more time with them. After the bump in the relationship I would also have liked some more closure, I think.
So, YAY for this book. It’s a wonderful start to a new contemporary romance series that I highly recommend and now anticipate the next books of.
Kris Ripper lives in the great state of California and hails from the San Francisco Bay Area. Kris shares a converted garage with a toddler, can do two pull-ups in a row, and can write backwards. (No, really.) Kris is genderqueer and prefers the z-based pronouns because they’re freaking sweet. Ze has been writing fiction since ze learned how to write, and boring zir stuffed animals with stories long before that.
You can pre-order Gays of Our Lives from:
I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review. I also pre-ordered the whole series, even before reading the first book.