Book Reviews

Southern Fried by Rob Rosen at MLR Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Erotic Romance / Humor/Comedy
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 09-November-2013

Book Blurb

Southern Fried, the romantic misadventure of Trip Jackson and his stable boy, Zeb Jones, is about the love of family, the love of one's heritage, and the love between friends, both old and new. It's as antebellum as Tara ever was, but with a deliciously suspenseful and sexy twist. Because what our heroes are quick to discover is that not all is as it appears to be, and sometimes life can get turned upside down when you least expect it. Especially when lip-smacking romance, deep-dish humor, and a side of mystery fall on your plate, all, of course, served up southern-style.


Book Review

'Southern Fried' is all about family, Southern family. Now don't get me wrong, family is family. But, the South, or at least, certain parts of it, can seem as if it hasn't changed since the Civil War. I grew up down South, and it was quite a shock to my Yankee system. It did, however, give me a bit of an insight into the mentality, so to speak. Traditions and lineage mean a lot. Family means even more, regardless of the condition of said family bonds. There's a saying "Here in the South we don't hide crazy. We parade it on the porch and give it a cocktail." Truer words have not been spoken.

Trip has come home after ten years up North after his granny died. He is the last living Jackson and in those parts, that means an awful lot. Granny was an interesting character and the nicest thing anyone could say was that she was "difficult". But, she lived up to her heritage, outside the antebellum mansion. So, now she's passed and there's a funeral to be had, a will to read, and a hot stable boy to mess with. All in a day's work, I'd say. There are some definite surprises that come out of the will, but Granny has a great way of keeping all the staff tied to the mansion just like a spider and her web. Ah, the Southern machinations to keep everything in the family.

Trip has a mystery to deal with after the reading of the will. Seems that Granny split her estate between her two grandsons, but as far as Trip and everyone else knows, he is the only surviving family member. The mystery takes Trip to a senator's mansion, a roadside boiled peanuts stand, the gardener, Granny's missing jewelry box, his boyfriend's hidden drag collection, and an attempt at a very butch rescue. It pretty much all went together like fried chicken, okra, mashed potatoes and gravy, with sweet iced tea and peach cobbler. Yum yum. Nothing is as black and white as Trip first believes, and when all is said and done there is a whole lot of anger, betrayal, murder, theft, and politics involved, the latter being the worst part.

Hands down, this is one of the funniest and oddest books I've ever read, and I mean that in a really good way! I felt like I was stuck in a gay version somewhere between Steel Magnolias and Fried Green Tomatoes. Trip and Zeb are adorable and their romance is so off the cuff that I couldn't help but enjoy it. The mystery is definitely convoluted, with lots of twists and turns, while remaining interesting and majorly entertaining. If you understand the South, or just want to experience it, and you like quirky, zany, sexy, and funny, then this is definitely the read for you.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by MLR Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 78000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 15-September-2011
Price $7.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback
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