Detective Mark Benemonti is still getting over his last relationship when he meets Sterling Steele – a Greek God in sweat pants – in his local park, and is instantly smitten. Mark knows that Sterling would never lie to him like his ex-boyfriend did. He’s just too sweet and innocent. Right? But while Sterling adores Mark, he’s dealing with an unhappy past of his own. He’s been hurt too many times to trust Mark straight away.
When Sterling’s secret – the fact that he works as a female impersonator at a club called Ruby Slippers – is unexpectedly and explosively revealed, Mark and Sterling’s relationship falls apart. By the time Mark realizes he’s made a mistake, Sterling isn’t in a listening mood. Mark is really going to have to go the extra mile in order to get his boyfriend back… the question is, can he handle his very own pair of Ruby Slippers
The first thing that came to my mind while reading this story is that it is the wrong format. It is way too short to cover this topic adequately. I wonder whether authors are required by publishers to deliver in novella or shorter format to meet the readers’ taste but it seems that often the chosen format and the plot do not fit together. Men preferring to dress as a woman and the resulting problems with potential partners and people in general can’t be resolved in not even a hundred pages, in my opinion.
Don’t get me wrong, I liked the story and the main and side characters. I was totally smitten with Sterling and would have liked to know more about him. But it all felt rushed and resolved too easily and too quickly.
Mark, who obviously got his views from a seven year long brainwashing by a homophobe gay "boyfriend", got over his issues in a manner that was totally unbelievable to me. Self-reflecting is all nice and good and the support of well-meaning friends is certainly helpful, but his going from one attitude to the opposite happened in such a short time and to such an extreme that it was hardly realistic. On the other hand, Sterling who had been hurt before and was hurt again by Mark forgave him so quickly that it didn’t make me happy either. I wanted to see Mark suffer for a longer time. Nobody can tell me that after two weeks of self-contemplation next time Sterling picks up Mark from his job dressed up Mark will be ok to introduce Sterling to his colleagues as his partner. I just am not buying it.
"Ruby Slippers" is a fun read with some angst, but it could be so much more if it was another, longer format.
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