Reviewed by Susan65
Title: Cross to Bare
Author: Susan Mac Nicol
Series: Men of London #5
Heroes: Lenny James/Brook Hunter
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 197 Pages
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Tough in business but romantic at heart, fashion designer Lenny James isn’t hiding his masculinity behind his super successful female alter ego, but a vulnerability that only handsome financier Brook Hunter will be man enough to reveal…and worship.
TWO OF A KIND
It’s amazing what a little mascara and lipstick, a blonde wig, false boobs, and top-notch female fashion can hide. Not that Lenny James is hiding his masculinity. He uses his normal voice when he’s Laverne, and he’s not particularly camp as a man. His reasons for creating his alter ego are locked deep in his past. He is who he is: tough in business, and a romantic at heart. What he’s hiding is vulnerability. He wants a man to accept both sides of him.
Gorgeous, commanding, and dark as sin, Brook Hunter meets Lenny and knows nothing about Laverne until fate pushes her into his path. Cross-dressing is as far from Brook’s reality as fashion is from his world of diplomacy and high finance. Understanding and truth take time, and trust doesn’t come easy. But Brook is about to show Lenny that there are no sides to true love, just the place where they meet in the middle.
Review: I love this Men of London series, and instead of it getting bogged down, repetitive, or boring, it just gets better and better. Susan Mac Nicol tackled a touchy subject when she took on the characters of Lenny and Laverne, but she handled it honestly and with grace. Cross dressing, transvestite, or whatever name you want to call it, the person involved deserves the respect for being true to themselves and Susan Mac Nicol kept it real.
We meet Lenny/Laverne in Leslie’s story and he/she comes across as a very strong, intelligent person who maintains two very strong, non-apologetic personas. As Lenny, he is a man’s man who walks the walk and talks the talk. As Laverne, she is a successful business woman who is as likely to sport a pair of heels as she is to kick you in the ass with them. Both are Lenny, and he has no desire to give up Laverne for any man. Until Brook.
Brook is a beautiful financier of Kenyan and Jamaican heritage who falls head over heels for Lenny. But, what happens when Brook meets Laverne? It’s not as straight forward as you would expect, but also not as bad. The author does a fantastic job of keeping both Brook and Lenny real. It is not always easy, but they are so obviously made for each other that you know that they got this and it will all work out in the end.
Probably my favorite part of this story is the fact Leslie is generously sprinkled throughout. He is such an amazing character that he truly deserved face time in Laverne’s story, too. The Men of London is intertwined between an eclectic group of friends that entertains and breaks our hearts before they finally buckle down and grab that happy ending. Lenny/Laverne and Brook was a story that gave us a little bit of heartache, but a whole lot of sexy and that requisite fairy-tale ending that we all live for, and as usual, I highly recommend this author, and in particular, this book and series.
Overall Impression: I loved it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*