Release Day Review: Mascara & Bandages (Mary's Boys #3) by Brandon Witt

Ariel Merman is a new drag queen who’s already finding a family at Hamburger Mary’s. After a performance as Ariel, Zachary Cooper walks home in his makeup and is assaulted by homophobes. Zachary’s worry that the attack has thrown a wrench in his good fortune is eased when he looks into the eyes of his doctor.

Dr. Teegan Chau is a little lost after divorcing his wife and coming out of the closet, but he can’t deny the pull he feels toward the young man he patches up. Luckily, Zachary takes the initiative and asks Teegan out. But attraction is the easy part of their blossoming relationship—as they deal with an ex-wife and child, being a drag queen in a heteronormative culture, Zachary’s lingering trauma from his attack, and Teegan acclimating to life as part of an out-and-proud gay couple.

The challenges seem daunting at the start of a romance. Can Zachary and Teegan make it through the rough patches and take a chance on the love that’s been missing from both their lives?

I’ve been waiting for this one to come out since I read the synopsis of it at the end of book two and it did not disappoint.  A doctor and a drag queen?  Sign me up!

This book didn’t turn out how I expected it to.  Rather, the characters didn’t act the way I thought they would and I’m a little ashamed of myself to have made the assumption that they would be the typical stereotype that I see in a lot of MM books nowadays.  You know the type – little femme boy who gets into trouble and has to be saved by a big strong protector (read:  keeper) alphahole. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed many a story written just like that and I was fully prepared to have this story read that way too but, to my surprise (and utter delight) it was something wholly different.

While walking home from Hamburger Mary’s, where he performs as drag queen Ariel Merman, Zachary becomes the victim of a gay bashing.  Teegan, the doctor who patches Zachary back up, becomes enamored with the beautiful femme man and soon finds himself asking Zachary on a date. 

This was my favorite book in the series so far.  These two were so cute together!  Teegan was especially adorable.  Watching him get so flustered talking to Zachary on their first date was the highlight of my read.  I just wanna pinch his cheeks!

The relationship moved at a slow pace, which was good, because both these men had some healing they needed to do before any kind of commitment was made.  Teegan, though he’s had hookups since he came out, has never been on an actual date with another man.  It was good to see him take his time and not rush headlong into a relationship.

The secondary characters were great too.  I really, really loved Teegan’s ex-wife.  She was truly supportive of Teegan and a good friend to him.  I do wish we could have gotten to see Teegan’s little girl though.  I like kids in my books, as long as they’re done right.  I enjoyed getting to know Steven a little better as well.  Good thing, since his book is next. *grin*  ManDonna though… she got on my nerves a bit.  Oddly enough, it only happened when she was Daniel.  Daniel was just a bit too… catty?  Overbearing?  Something.  I still love ManDonna though.  She treats my boy Zachary right so I gotta give her props for that.

This was a comfort read for me.  Even with all the angst it was still heartwarming and it left me with a feeling of hope.  I’m digging this series and I can’t wait for the next book.

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