Gay as Mardi Gras by Lily Velden (5 Stars)

A story so devastatingly simple, and yet so wonderfully executed, that it left me with happy tears at the end!

Jesse is just getting over the ending of his relationship with his best friend and childhood sweetheart, Janey. His Nan decides what he really needs is a break before starting his new job so she sends him on a month-long cruise. Since Nan is convinced that Jesse is gay, the cruise ship is filled with men, much to Jesse’s chagrin. He lucks out when his roommate, Daniel, is also there alone, and they quickly become friends.

I love a new-friends-to-lover theme. Jesse and Daniel form a quick friendship discovering that they have a lot in common and enjoy each other’s company. There was the perfect amount of dialogue and descriptions of their daily activities to believe in the developing relationship.

Although everything was only told from Jesse’s POV, it worked very well in this story. Jesse’s character was developed enough that to make sure we fell in love with him and wanted him to be happy. Daniel was presented as a very sweet and considerate person deserving of Jesse’s love. The sex scenes were steamy and fun. The only angst was wondering if Jesse could accept that he really was gay. I read this straight through, enjoying every emotion it pulled from me!


Originally reviewed for The Romance Reviews. Complimentary copy provided by author/publisher for an honest review.


After the demise of his relationship with his childhood sweetheart, Janey, Jesse needs to get away. His nan has just the thing: a month-long cruise around Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. It seems perfect—until Jesse realizes what kind of cruise it is.

A gay cruise.

Since Jesse’s roommate, Daniel, is recovering from a broken heart, the two decide to buddy up. They hit it off, and with Daniel now Jesse’s partner in crime, they explore the boat and participate in all the fun activities on offer—with some, ah, interesting results for straight boy Jesse.

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