Patrick returns from a tour of duty to find his son very different. Peter is dressing in girl’s clothes, and his hair is too long, and he’s obsessed with drag queens. None of that sits well with Patrick. Patrick then meets the drag queen Ann Moore, and starts to hang out with them.
Andrew is one of River City’s best drag queens. As Ann Moore, he dazzles adults and children alike. When one of those children’s fathers wants to find out more about what his son is enjoying, Andrew is happy to guide him. It doesn’t hurt that Patrick is ridiculously hot. Hot and straight though.
The friendship that forms is unlikely, and even more unlikely, Patrick and Andrew find themselves faced with a chemistry they cannot deny.
Book Title: A Fluid State
Author: Rob Browatzke
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza
Release Date: January 3, 2020
Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance
Trope/s: Gay for You/Out for You
Heat Rating: 5 flames
Length: 70 000 words/272 pages
It is a standalone book.
“So,” Andrew said, when they were relocated back to the couch, sitting facing each other, beers in hand.
“First off, let me, well, set you straight on something. Kent and I aren’t dating, so don’t feel bad about that.”
“Good,” Patrick said. “I’d hate to have some gay guy come at me for hitting on his boyfriend.”
“Is that what it was? You hitting on me?”
Patrick looked away. “Honestly, I don’t know.”
“Well, what’s going on in that head of yours?”
“You,” he said. “You’re going on in my head. You and only you. Ever since we met. I thought it was all about Peter, but no, it’s about me. You’ve gotten under my skin, Andrew, and I don’t know how to get you out of me.” Their eyes locked. “And honestly, I’m not sure I want you gone.”
“But you’re straight.”
“I’ve always thought that. I’ve never been attracted to a guy before this.”
“Never? Not even in school? Some guys experiment, you know.”
“Never. I’ve looked back and there’s never been anything to make me think I’d ever be into a guy.”
“So you’re into me?”
Patrick’s face turned pink and he looked away. “I don’t know. Yes. Yes, I am.” He swallowed hard and looked back at Andrew. “Look, I know this is out of the blue, and I know what you said at the pool, and-”
“What did I say at the pool?”
“That, you know, that you’re not attracted to me.”
It was Andrew’s turn to blush and look away. “Well, since you’re being honest, I guess I should be too. Patrick, of course I’m attracted to you. You… well, look at you. I just said that to set your mind at ease. I was enjoying hanging out. I am enjoying it. I didn’t want you to freak out thinking I found you attractive or worried that I was going to try to jump you.”
“And it ended up being me that jumped at you.”
Andrew looked at him and grinned. “Seems that way.”
“Here we are then, both attracted to each other. What do we do now?”
This was soooo hard for me to get into… let’s discuss.
Patrick is masculinity personified. He’s a soldier, his dad was a soldier and I think he had hopes of his son being a soldier….But two years in the desert is a long time and when he gets back, he has to get to know his son all over again. His son who wears “girl” clothes and is obsessed with drag. Now, coming from a family of 100% straight folks and being bi, I get it… it’s a lot to spring on someone, especially if in the two years you’ve been trying to keep up with your son, this is something he and his mother kept from you…I get where he’d be confused and a little worried about his son, when my son came out at 13, I had worry myself. Life will be harder, but only because of people like Patrick and people who use that ignorance as justification to be hateful.
So, Patrick is very straight, very confused and very ignorant (and I don’t say that as him being stupid, I mean, as in, he’s not educated on gender fluidity or any parts of the LGBT+ community) For someone so genuinely confused, he randomly asks to have dinner with the drag queen that reads to his son once a week at the library…(which, such a cute idea, I wish everywhere did this)… It all happens so quickly, their conversations, the way they speak (internally and externally, it’s a lot) and the way they jump to conclusions and everything just seemed so fast and clinical, I didn’t feel any chemistry between the two at all. Patrick is a real….peach. (And I say that with 100% sarcasm) I was FURIOUS when Andrew had dinner with him and Patrick jumped the gun once again and acted like a jerk and then ANDREW was the one apologizing. What? Why? Why would you apologize to him for something that could’ve been taken as a joke or an expression or literally anything other than how he completely overreacted by a simple wording of something. If anyone should’ve been offended by the blatant disgusting ways someone said something, it should’ve been Andrew. Patrick gets testy when Andrew “generalizes” his straightness and masculinity, but that’s literally ALL Patrick is doing. I’ve never heard someone say so many wrong things in the completely wrong way… I hated it. Literally, I hated it.
And I love me a good GFY, especially involving soldiers and overly masc men, but, I just didn’t feel it here. I wanted to so badly, but I just didn’t feel any chemistry between the two or even understand how either of them could about each other. Andrew, you know Patrick is straight, and not only straight, but stupid straight (okay, I called him stupid there, not ignorant, and read the first few chapters, you’ll know why)… but then Patrick…you’re in the desert for two years, surrounded by guys and never been tempted? Never had chemistry and thought, maybe? Or even imagined it or been tempted by situational “what happens in the desert stays in the desert because desperate times calls for desperate measures”? But then, this guy that you continuously offhandedly offend and genuinely do not understand, and that’s what gets ya?
My head hurts.
Now, in saying all that, if you can jump past all that and get to Patrick opening his mind a bit, and their unconventional start, they were hot together. Patrick bottoming, I did not see coming.. hello…
I had a bit of trouble with the bullying aspect. I hate when bad guys get away with being bad guys and Tommy and his dad both and the people in the restaurant, it was all a lot in the way of how nasty the lgbt community gets treated and I just don’t like when people get away with that, especially in books where I like a HEA…which these two did get, so, if you can make it past the first quarter of the beginning, and like angsty, worth it in the end, reads, you might enjoy this one. I might not have been in the right frame of mind for it or something, but I was happy that they ended happy and together. Plus, I love me a hot dad, so, win/win, right?
Rob Browatzke has been writing for as long as he can remember, and is pretty darn excited for someone else to be reading his stuff finally! When it comes to gay bars and booze and drugs and drama, he knows what he’s talking about. He came out in the mid-90s, and liquor and drama went hand in hand. He has 20+ years of experience working in gay clubs in Edmonton, Alberta, and you’ll always find his love for his other career permeating the stories he tells. Rob is now 9+ years clean and sober, although there’s still a bit of drama once in a while, for old times’ sake.
Rob loves the growing market for gay fiction and m/m romance. There are some incredible authors out there, and it’s important to be able to see in print (or on the screen) stories about people just like us. Coming out, our relationships, the issues we face, we all have stories to tell. And this book is just one of the stories coming out of Wonderland.
Feel free to stalk him online. He’s on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @robbrowatzke.