Thursday, June 17, 2021

Renae Kaye - You Are the Reason

Davo’s a pretty average guy. He has a decent job, owns his own home, and spends his weekends at the pub. He fully accepts that he’s gay, but doesn’t want to be one of those gays, who are femme and girly. He likes football and other masculine pursuits, and firmly avoids anything that could be seen as femme—including relationships that last beyond fifteen minutes.
Then Davo’s friend and gay idol not only gets a boyfriend, but also adopts a baby girl. Davo is seriously spooked and scuttles down to the pub in fright. That’s where he meets Lee, who is cute from her cherry-red hair, to her pretty little dress and pointy red shoes. Davo is charmed—but how is that possible? He’s gay, isn’t he? Then Lee tells him he’s actually a guy—he just likes to wear women’s dresses occasionally. Thoroughly confused about an attraction that’s out of character for him, Davo begins the long journey to where he can accept himself without caring what everyone else thinks. 

Comment: This is the second book in the Tav series, featuring the friend of the protagonists of book #1. I had read that book back in February and liked it and that is why I wanted to read this one as well.

In this story we focus our attention on Davo. He is best friends with Jake (hero of book#1) and we have known him by his pursue of new lovers and lacking the will to commit but when this story begins he meets a woman, Lee, at a bar and they start talking when her date doesn't show up. Davo is gay, has identified as such since a young age and is confused on why he does feel a certain attraction to Lee. Still, he is a loyal person and doesn't mind being friends with her anyway until Lee finally shares he is a guy and gay and sometimes he likes to dress up as a woman. This gives food for thought for Davo and he needs to analyze why he has felt such aversion to what he calls "femme" guys. Will Davo and Lee find a way to compromise and be each other's someone special?

I have to say I liked this one better than the first. I felt this book was stronger, the plot is simpler but somehow made more sense for me and I certainly found Davo to be so much more than his attitude on book #1 seemed to have conveyed.

I suppose I can simplify the whole story into this: Davo has had a bad experience as a young boy, he was criticized and made to feel inferior and the way he dealt with that was to follow a pattern of behavior he didn't really felt but that he wanted others to see, namely the more masculine attitude, adjusting his preferences and likes to things guys would recognize and his dislike or dismissal for guys who were flamboyant or effeminate, not because he wanted to be like that but because he imagined other people might think he did just by being near them.

Therefore, at the core of this story we have the older than time question of how much we, humans, change ourselves into being with others want us to be. It's indeed an issue, how much power we give others over our likes and dislikes and how we shape ourselves into acceptance or conformism when, most likely, those who judge us are as weak or passible to make mistakes or even might be unworthy of our caring/worry/dedication. I think the author touched this subject and more specifically the acceptance of a gay person within their community/circle of acquaintances rather well.

Davo surprised me because his emotional journey was one I liked following, even more so because he is genuinely a good guy. I really didn't have that impression on the first book but here, his POV being the main one, it was very easy to like and cheer him. His relationship with Lee is cute, has some serious moments too but overall, it felt like these two were just made to click, to be a team and I ended the book convinced of that.

However, Davo being the main character, I do feel we didn't have as much focus on Lee. We know things about him from his parents, from his interactions with Davo and others but it did feel he was the "weakest" link. I should confess I thought there was quite a generous amount of baby talk (since Davo does some babysitting for Jake) and I could have done without.

There are great scenes, like when Davo starts presenting Lee to his other friends, how they start being part of each other's lives, or because Lee goes with Davo to his sport's events or how Davo goes with Lee to a support group for LGBT teens where he volunteers...little things which cement the fact they are in sync and care about each others feelings and time. It was also very good to see both their parents' reactions and acceptance of them being a couple.

The end is cute as one can imagine, promising and left me with a positive vibe. I liked how things were addressed in a way without too much drama or misunderstandings, they simply talked or tried to explain what they thought in a considerate way... I did appreciate the fact the author tried to balance things out well, so that we could see how they matched. The story wasn't perfect, besides the things I mentioned, there were a few scenes I think were unnecessary and added nothing to the main issues, but overall, this was a good read and time well spent for me.
Grade: 8/10


  1. I always get sucked in by secondary characters in a book #1, awesome that book #2 was even better than the first! They can sometimes feel forced but other times the author improves on their writing with getting into the flow of the world and characters.

    1. In this case, I agree! The author seemed to have reached a better flow with this 2nd one!

      Thank you for commenting!