Southern Fried

Rob Rosen
Southern Fried
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MLR Press
Release Date
August 2011
Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ, Romantic Suspense/Mystery

Southern Fried, the romantic misadventure of Trip Jackson and his stable boy, Zeb Jones, is about the love of family, the love of one's heritage, and the love between friends, both old and new. It's as antebellum as Tara ever was, but with a deliciously suspenseful and sexy twist. Because what our heroes are quick to discover is that not all is as it appears to be, and sometimes life can get turned upside down when you least expect it. Especially when lip-smacking romance, deep-dish humor, and a side of mystery fall on your plate, all, of course, served up southern-style.

Book Review by Valentina Heart (author,reviewer)
Oct 21, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
178 people found the following review helpful
Even though you might not know what exactly you're getting yourself into when you first read the blurb, it won't take you long to get pulled into a world or love, betrayal, mystery and a lot of laughter. Almost every paragraph of SOUTHERN FRIED is charged with humor and even some moments that should have been heart wrenching will probably pull out a smile.

What I liked best were the jokes. For once they were not forced, unimaginative or flat. In this story, jokes came as easily as each breath and I felt as if I was reading about someone's family member, when the author talked about Granny, instead of a fictional one. That woman, although not someone I actually got to meet, was the most solid character of the whole book.

Trip is a gay man who returns home after a ten-year absence into the deep South for his Granny's funeral. Being kept away by her wishes, he feels sorry that he'd missed all the years with the people on her vast estate and that he couldn't have spent some more time with the last of his kin.

When Trip arrives to his childhood home, some things appear to be the same, but it doesn't take him long to realize others don't fit at all and the rest are highly suspicious. From there, this book turns into a fast paced mystery with funny as well as secret-hiding characters, hot and random bouts of lust, but above all else, it turns into a story where family matters and mistakes can be forgiven.

During the whole course of the book, there is a romance in the making. Something that started innocently enough eventually turns into a bit more. The more is where I had issues. I'm not sure if I could call this book a romance, because it is a mystery more than anything else, and the love parts are more about family than they are about Trip's emotions growing from lust to affection. I guess I like my men more tangled in each other than the world surrounding them, no matter how intriguing that world might be.

Some readers might mind the overly emotional ending, where tears were too many and words too few. Others might find Trip's open sexuality and expressiveness a bit too much, but for me, those aspects of the books were pretty funny and not far off the mark when it comes to real life situations.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. I was relaxed, I laughed to my heart's content and was left with a very good feeling for a significant time after I finished the book. It is something I should have read after a bad day – I know it would have made things look better.
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