Review: Gays of Our Lives (Queers of La Vista #1) by Kris Ripper

Emerson Robinette only leaves his apartment to get laid and go to work. Having MS—and trying to pretend he doesn’t—makes everything more complicated, especially his fantasies of coming on strong and holding a guy down. Finding a partner who’ll explore that with him isn’t Emerson’s idea of a realistic goal.

Until a chance meeting with a hipster on a bus makes him reconsider. Obie is happy, open-hearted, and warm; what’s more, he gets his kicks being physically dominated, spanked, and teased until he’s begging. It would be perfect, except for one thing: Emerson isn’t made for happiness, and he doesn’t see how a guy like Obie would settle for a cynic like him.

But as far as Obie’s concerned, the only thing keeping them apart is Emerson. Can Emerson handle a boyfriend who’s more invested in his future than he is? Emerson’s barely convinced he has a future. But when Obie’s smiling at him, anything seems possible.

Finally! I've read a Kris Ripper book. I've been meaning to for something like 2 yrs now and now I'm kicking myself for having been such a slacker.

This is book one of the Queers of La Vista series and features Emerson and Obie. Honestly, I was expecting something akin to a soap opera. Because, Days of Our Lives. Gays of Our Lives is more serious than I expected, but there's no "melo" in the drama. 

Emerson is a complex character and this is his story told from his perspective of finding love in a crafty hipster named Obadiah Magovney. Emerson was diagnosed with MS about a year ago and he's rightfully angry about it. He spends a lot of time angry at his body and might be a little bit in denial. I think he thinks if he ignores it it'll go away. I also think he's depressed and funny in that self-deprecating way. There's a good deal of backstory on him that explains his actions and reactions and somewhere in the middle I felt like I knew him. I could predict that the conflict would be some sort of self-sabotage and that he'd hate himself for being an asshat.

He could use this printed on a t-shirt as a sort of caution to randoms.

Cuz he can be kind of a dick. I actually like the grumps and curmudgeons. Anyone who works at a community center helping people get their GEDs can't be all bad. He's just not great at connecting with people on a romantic or deeper level and there's a reason for that.

It's a good thing Obie is persistent and loyal. He's just... good people. He's perfect for Emerson-the cheese to his macaroni, the pea to his pod, you get what I'm saying. He's the most outgoing hipster ever. He's got this whole crafting thing going on with his roommate/sister from another mother, Dred, and like a kazillion Twitter and Instagram followers and his Etsy store is on the rise. 

And... he rides a motorcycle. And knows how hot he looks leaning on it.

*bites fist*

I could gush about just how much I loved Obie, but I don't want to give the impression I didn't like Emerson. Obie's just easy to like whereas Emerson's like trying hug it out with a porcupine.

Their banter is relatable and authentic as was their relationship development. There are no magic cocks or cures or easy answers. They spend a lot of time together doing regular things and getting to know each other through pizza and porn, YouTube videos, reality TV and juicing.

"Fuck you, Obie." 
This time he mumbled, and I think it was, "That's what I'm saying." 
So I shut the door and shoved him toward the bedroom. Because what the hell else was I going to do when my boyfriend demanded I fuck him?

Emerson has kinky inclinations that are mildly explored with a bit of spanking, bondage and a teensy bit of power exchange. Also... Emerson is also not a fan of bottoming and guess who's the smaller of the two? 

Kink + Big guy bottom?!?!?!

Me. Hearing the angels singing sweet nothings about BGBs.
Yeah, it's a thing they do.

Not much makes me happier than that combo. And the sex was... intimate. How understanding Obie was of Emerson's limitations and that he was so willing to get creative added depth and intensity to their relationship.

There are great secondary characters that round out the cast and a murder of a local drag king which probably will come into play later in the series. 

I learned a lot about living with MS, just how debilitating it is and how it affects the body, but I do think the balance between Emerson battling MS and his relationship with Obie was off. Their relationship does continue to evolve through his bad days and I think that gave them a good foundation on which to build their future. I just would've liked more good days, I guess.

"manly postcoital dude-hugging"
Not cuddling. No way.

I'm glad I'm no longer in the dark about Ripper's writes and I will read something else by this author in the future. Maybe something that's been sitting on my kindle giving me the eyeballs for the last 2 yrs.

Recommended to MM romance fans who like their romance realistic.

An ARC was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion.

Find out more on Goodreads.

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