Glitters, heels and killer dance routines. 10 Question review for Fierce & Fabulous by Elizabeth Varlet


So, Fierce & Fabulous, tell us about this book
Fierce & Fabulous is what I call a sweet romance with high drama. A story where the romance is bound directly to the drama that ensues in the story. Fierce & Fabulous is essentially a Gay For You story and the first in a new series set around a group of gender-fluid young lbgt men down on their luck and trying to make it in a (cruel) world.

The first installment is about Ansel and Fitch. Two men who couldn’t be more different, but opposites attract. Around both men there are several problems. For Fitch it’s the sudden attraction to a man. He is very straight after all, but then there is Ansel. For Ansel it’s his self destructive behaviour and coming to terms with his past.

Are the characters of this story dynamic, rounded?
Yes. Ansel and Fitch are the focus of the story and it’s told from their point of view, switching between the two. They are both well worked out with their own voice in the story. Throughout the story they grow and change, even if it takes some longer than others.

Fierce & Fabulous has a fun and dynamic cast of characters that make the story what it is.

Ansel is a frustrating character that you can’t help but love. At the same time there are several instances you want to strangle him. Despite climbing out of the gutter (so to speak) he has this way of sabotaging everything that is good in his life. He is also magnetic and charismatic in a way.

Fitch is the complete opposite. Strong and sturdy, so to speak. He is the strong and silent type. Looking for something more in his life, passion to bring color. What he gets is Ansel. He has to come to terms with suddenly liking men – and does so rather easily.

Is there an engaging plot in? (plot driven, character driven, complications, twists, turns)
To be honest, within reading the first chapter, I knew exactly where this story was going to go. It’s not exactly predictable, but I have read a lot of stories. A Gay For You story with a down on his luck character has only so many ways to go.

So it isn’t a very complicated story, but it was engaging. It was fun to read about Ansel and his friends. When they are together it’s entertaining. They add a certain flair to the story.

The focus is predominantly on Ansel as he has the most baggage to deal with. He is the stock character that you see in many of the m/m romance stories. Runaway (as opposed to thrown out) with abusive parents. Lived on the street, but managed to make a life for himself, even if it’s not entirely perfect. Androgynous to Fitch’s butch manly man. Enter the hurt/comfort/support story.

There is of course, a lot of drama in Fierce & Fabulous, but it’s easily solvable. So why I can see the appeal of the story, it’s a stereotypical plot.

What about the writing of Fierce & Fabulous? The structure? Language?
The writing was well done. The story is structured in even parts, so that it’s flowing and not slowing dragging along. The romance part moves fast, too fast for my liking, especially given all that happens.

The characters have their own voice, so that is always a plus in the writing departing. Some of the dialogue is witty and sarcastic. This author clearly knows her writing stuff.

Does the book explore a theme?
Fierce & Fabulous focuses on both coming to terms with your sexuality and dealing with your past and addiction and abuse alongside the romance of course.

Why did you read this book?
Going in I knew this was a GFY story, but I always like stories that have diverse characters and Ansel is clearly diverse. I was hoping it wouldn’t focus so heavily on Ansel’s past and more on the current romance.

What was the most fun about Fierce & Fabulous?
When Ansel and his crew are together it’s a lot of fun. Well for the most part. They have flair and spread it throughout the story.

What is your opinion of Fierce & Fabulous?

Be aware, the following may contain spoilers.

I wanted to like Fierce & Fabulous and objectively I can see why people would. It’s just not my cup of tea anymore, though I loved Ansel and his troupe and the sparkly flair this story has.

However,  there are too many stories out there that focus on young lbgt teens thrown out by their abusive parents. It’s almost become stock stories and almost always goes the same way. Love cures just about anything i.e. hurt/comfort.

While I liked that Ansel is a gender-fluid character (and he certainly has style), his story could be overlaid with a dozen other stories and be about the same.

Why yes, I can hear you saying: but, no story is unique, there are only so many plot lines! Yes, absolutely true. In a way this is also a case of me reading too much (ha!) but I just couldn’t connect with Ansel and Fitch.

Then there was Ansel’s addiction to alcohol. While that was clear from the start, I didn’t like the way it was handled. No addiction goes away that fast. There was no clear struggle for Ansel. He just decided to stop and go to AA-meetings. There is no withdrawal (and there should have been) and once he starts ‘loving himself’ his whole life turns around. That kite just didn’t fly for me.

Also, something that annoyed the heck out of me was the (stereotypical and expected) woman towards the end of the story that was supposed to lure Fitch back to the straight side. So obviously overdone it was to showcase that Ansel is the better ‘woman’ in the story. Nope. Just nope.

Would you recommend the story?
Yes, if you like contemporary, sweet romance stories with a flair for drama and some unique characters, than Fierce & Fabulous is just the read for you!

How would you rate Fierce & Fabulous?
Actually, I’m not. Objectively I can see why this is a 4/5 star story. Personally, I just didn’t like it and would rate it 2/3 stars. Because of the above, I’m just going to leave this undecided.

Fierce & Fabulous Book Cover Fierce & Fabulous
Sassy Boyz
Elizabeth Varlet
contemporary romance, GFY,
Carina Press
June 27, 2016
A copy was provided through Netgalley

Fans of Heidi Cullinan will devour this scorching new male/male series by Elizabeth Varlet. Behind the Sassy Boyz's seductive smiles and sinful dance moves are desires that will leave readers breathless.

Fitch Donovan never thought a lap dance could change his life, but from the moment the gorgeous dancer’s lips touch his, his world comes screeching to a halt. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t shake the desire that rocks him to his core. He’s longed for this passion all his life—he just never dreamed he’d find it with another man.

Sharing a soul-shaking kiss with a straight boy is the kind of drama Ansel Becke just doesn't need. Spotlights aren't made for two and Ansel prefers to keep things on a one-night-only basis. So when Fitch shows up asking for an encore, Ansel knows he should send his gorgeous ass packing.

Though Ansel tries to pretend that what's between him and Fitch is far from fabulous, there's something about the big, burly contractor that makes Ansel's world sparkle in a way no amount of glitter ever could. And Fitch will do whatever it takes to convince Ansel that when the thing you need most in the world falls right into your lap, you’d be a fool to let it go.

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