Just finished reading Queers by AJ Rose and wanted to write down my thoughts on the book, while still fresh in my mind. I, like so many others, have read and re-read Power Exchange and Safeword, for the simple reason, they are amazing. So because I knew of this authors writing style and perfection that he puts forth, I felt pretty confident that I would love this as well. And, of course, I was not wrong.
I won’t rehash the blurb here as it pretty much speaks for itself in giving you an accurate summary of what Queers is about.
What I would like to say though,
there is no way by reading that summarization, that you truly understand the emotions that you will go thru. I’m not going to use big words and eloquent sentences here, I am just going to give it to you from my heart how I feel.
Queers is a piano bar where most of the customers are gay. Within these walls you have friends who gather for drinks, catch up on gossip, sing and dance, and just have a good time. This story tells of 4 different people, who are all friends, and the joys and struggles they have in their daily life.
In walks Duff, an entertainer looking for work. He sings, he dances, he plays the piano, he is your comedian who can get the crowd fired up and get everyone on their feet. He needs this job, not only because it’s his life’s passion but having a paycheck would come in handy also. He came across to me as the glue that held them all together. He is loyal and passionate and caring. The ultimate friend.

Here is where we meet Brad. He is the owner to Queers and just so happens he needs a piano player. He is a damaged soul. He lost his true love 3 years ago, and has really never found his way back to life. He just goes thru the motions, does what he needs to get by. He is positive he will never find love again and he’s not even looking. However, Sometimes you don’t have to look, it will find you. Duff is like a healing balm to his soul. As soon as he sees him, he knows that he is different. He is like a lighthouse shining brightly, pulling him out of the fog to solid ground. The question here, …is he ready to give it a try.

Garrett is Duff’s best friend. They traveled cross country together for Duff to have a chance at making the big time. They are roommates, they are as close as brothers should be. They have been friends so long, there isn’t much one does without the other. They know each other inside and out. He is looking for his Prince Charming, someone who loves him unconditionally. Will he find it, and if he does will he survive it? That really is the question, and trust me on this, he will have you in emotional turmoil. I don’t remember, if ever, needing to crawl inside a book so bad and pull a character out. He broke my heart, more than once. You keep asking yourself, is he going to get his HEA? He goes thru such intense, mind-numbing, struggles and hardship, that it was very painful, for this reader, to get thru.

Sweet, loyal Jackson. I think he was my favorite. He is a nurse by profession, so naturally, it’s easy to assume he would be caring and compassionate. He is so much more than that. He, unfortunately, has given himself a bad reputation thru the years of getting as much tail as he can. And, for the most part, that is true. However, he has loved Garrett for awhile and tries to make himself be seen in a different light, but it has not worked out very well. I was so impressed with his character and how the author portrayed him. Most of the time you have fits of jealousy, ultimatums, or you are just the biggest slime-ball ever. AJ showed Jacksons true inner beauty and strength. He was a caregiver, he nurtured his friend, he was a shoulder to lean on and had a heart that you wanted to confide to. I so admired his strength and character, to stay in the background, when he so desperately wanted to be front and center of Garrett’s world. How much more does he have to do before Garrett sees his true worth and the sincerity of his love.

The firecracker of the group, Moonshine. She is vibrant, loud, mouthy, but so fiercely loyal. She is an entertainer also, co-owner of the bar, and the rock wall that has been holding Brad up for so many years. She’s the friend that tells you like it is, doesn’t hesitate to put you in your place, but most of all, she will be your biggest cheerleader. I wish we all had a friend such as she. She was truly amazing and I have to give kudos to the author again for her character. I often wondered, thru out the story, if AJ had a female friend like Moonshine, that gave him such in depth knowledge of how special having a friend like her would be. I know, that I personally, would give anything for a friendship like that. Her life is not all roses, she too, is looking for that special lady that will complete her and be her everlasting companion. She has some stumbles along the way, and you find yourself rooting for her, cheering her on to make the right decision so that she, also, will have her HEA.

The author writes with such explicit detail that you can actually vision what they are doing, Where they are, and what is around them at the time. You have an actual story, with a plot, that is so consuming that at times I actually had to tell myself, Breathe. He takes you on an emotional journey that pulls so strongly on your heartstrings, that a couple times, I had to walk away, Regroup, catch my breath, and go back in. You can’t stay gone long because you have to know what is happening next. I was constantly trying to master my facial expressions, as to not alert everyone sitting around me, why all of a sudden, big tears were running down my face and my nose was running like a sugar tree. Or, explain to the raised eyebrow peering at me, when suddenly, I was laughing out loud and couldn’t stop. To me, when an author can pull so many emotions, whether happy or sad, from you, that is the work of a mastermind of the written word. AJ Rose is a gifted, talented writer who takes painstaking measures to get as close to perfection as possible. When you want depth, storyline, compassion as well as passion, love, mystery, then look no further. You will get all of that and more with any story you choose to read from his catalog. What you will not get is an overabundance of sex that fills up the pages with tacky dialogue. Oh not to worry, you will get sex, but it is appropriately placed within the context of the story and it is real. There are no platitudes here, only real life situations, good and bad. High five to the author for such an awesome story that quite frankly, once you start, you will be hard pressed to stop. I have no doubt, that it will become one of 2014′s best stories ever published. And rightfully deserved. Congrats AJ for such an amazing story.
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