Sunday, December 8, 2013

Book Tour for Men Can Do Romance by Michael Holloway Perronne (Review & GIVEAWAY)

As a reader of many m/m books I'm always thrilled when I discover a new-to-me author.  Today I'm bringing to you Michael Holloway Perronne with his endearingly sweet novella, Men Can Do Romance.  Keep reading to get a glimpse of this book, along with my impressions of it, and learn even more by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour.  Make sure to fill out the form below for your chance to win an e-copy of this entertaining read too!

Despite living in free-spirited New Orleans, Elliot finds that his career as an insurance actuary has him constantly weighing the risks of every move he makes in his life. When Troy, his teenage crush, returns home to the Big Easy after a stint with the Marines and unexpectedly announces he’s gay, Elliot must decide if he’s willing to take a chance and find out if men really can do romance.


Professional that quantifies risk.
That’s how I describe my job when someone asks, “Elliot, what the hell is an actuary anyway?”  Sure, I could go into all the nitty gritty details about health care laws I have to memorize and complex mathematical equations I have to solve.  But those four words really summarize it.  I tell a health insurance company how much they should charge you and if you’re even worth the risk.  All day long I decide if whatever is worth taking a chance.  I have to look at things within a black and white world.  There can be no gray.  So how could that not bleed over into my personal life?
Is that low season trip to Thailand during monsoon season worth the risk?
Is the depreciation of the car I like versus the slower depreciation of a car that I’m not so crazy about worth the possible loss in trade-in value?
Is moving to another apartment in a neighborhood that I may like more worth the risk of maybe ending up with shitty neighbors when I like the ones I have now?
Is the man sitting in front of me on a date worth the risk based on what he’s telling me?  For example, he recently broke up with his boyfriend.  Or worse, he still lives with the “ex” boyfriend.
On dates, when I get around to them that is, I find myself unable to stop running the guys against some mental check list to figure out if they…you guessed it…are worth the risk.
Does he seem hung up on an ex?
How long has he been out compared to me, and does he still have wild oats that need attention?
Does he live within ten miles to me?  Because let’s face it, I hate driving long distances on a regular basis.
Will his lack of always chewing with his mouth closeddrive me so nuts I may want to scream at the top of my lungs one day in the middle of a meal at Antoine’s? 
Is he cuter than me?  And if so, can I risk my somewhat jealous tendencies?
So many questions running through my mind.  All the time.  No wonder I can’t sleep.  No wonder I’m on Prozac for anxiety.  Each day is one long careful thought about is itthisthathim worth the risk.
It’s a Tuesday evening.  I’m being wild, for me, by being out on a work night.  It’s actually a nice June night in New Orleans.  The humidity isn’t too oppressive.  The stars twinkle above.  I have a nice glass of Merlot I’m sipping while sitting across from a reasonably cute guy.  I’ve actually managed to snag a date.  Okay, a friend set me up, but still.  We met up at a cute outdoor wine bar in theBywater I’ve been meaning to check out.  Sounds good, no?
The guy’s name is Bailey, and he’s a paralegal.  Check the box off next to the line item that reads “Sustainable Career.”  He has wavy dark hair and blue eyes.  A lethal combination to make my heart skip a beat.  Check off the box next to the line item “Feel at least an inkling of sexual attraction.” 
He actually asks some questions about me.  Woohoo!  Check off line item “Seems interested in getting to know me as a person.”
I tell him about growing up in the Garden District and my time spent backpacking across Europe and trying to find myself right after college.  And then…
“You know my ex went backpacking across Europe,” Bailey says, his gaze suddenly appearing to be focusing on some point far, far in the distance.  “He said it was the best time of his life.”
Uh, oh.  Please don’t make me check off a line item in the column for “Run as fast as possible.”
“Have you ever been to Europe?” I ask, trying to bring the conversation back to…you know…us!
“No.  But, Tim, my ex, said that he loved Sweden most of all.  He always had a thing for blondes.  Maybe that’s why…” Bailey says, his voice trailing off.
Please.  No. 
I’m not even half-way through my glass of wine, and this guy is making a mad dash for my personal  “move on” line-up.
“Hmmm.  I’ve never been to Sweden.  But I’ve always had a thing for guys with dark hair,” I say not so subtly dropping what I would think would be a huge ass hint.
“We lived in New York for a while.  Before we broke up, and I moved back here,” Bailey says, swirling the Merlot in his glass around and around.
“I still haven’t been to New York,” I say.  “I was thinking maybe of taking a trip there next fall.  Any recommendations?”
Come on, Bailey.  You can do it!  You can move back into the “maybe” column.  For the love of God!  Come on!
“Everything is amazing there.  Everything,” he says still looking off into the distance.  “I remember when I was flying back here after we broke up.  I thought to myself how can you leave this city and this man that you love so much?”
Shit.  I know it’s happened now.  We’ve moved into the so not worth the risk because he’s hung up on his ex-boyfriend to the point that he doesn’t even realize he’s told you more about his ex than himself.
I lean back in the wicker chair I’m sitting in, sip my Merlot, and look up at the twinkling lights in the sky. I start to tune out Bailey as he starts in on how he met the ex.
Oh, well.  Maybe the next guy.  Maybe.




In this sweet and endearing novella two men must cope with expectations as they struggle to find happiness as friends become so much more to reach their HEA.  Along the way there's snark, dealing with the aftermath of war, the difficulty of coming out, and appreciating what's right in front of you in this quick yet satisfying read that left a smile on my face.

Elliot is in a rut and feeling as if life is slipping by, but fear holds him back from doing something to change things.  The men he meets, courtesy of all his friend's machinations, end up being disappointments as they fail to live up to the spark he's always felt for his best friend's brother, Troy.  But Troy, being straight, was off least until his return from duty.  Elliot tries to be the friend the confused Troy needs but the sexual tension, and comfort they give each other, has him feeling brave and wanting to take that final step to claim what he's wanted forever.  I found Elliot sweet and endearing, with flashes of snark, and extremely likable.  He wants more out of life but is scared to try out of fear of failure.  Life is okay for him but could be so much better as he's a lonely guy, and being so loyal and caring, he deserves someone to love him back.

And the perfect guy for him is the newly-out Troy.  His whole life until now has been to live up to the image he projected.  He was the strong soldier, popular quarterback, and good with women but he never felt a part of that life.  Being back home has him feeling more lost and alone than ever.  Between having wartime flashbacks to the fear of coming out to his parents he's feeling adrift with his only lifeline being Elliot who he starts feeling a strong connection to.  He doesn't want to spoil their friendship but doesn't want to lose the chance at happiness in a sweet journey to HEA full of sexual tension.  Troy is extremely likable and I ached for all he'd been through and all he continues to go through.  He saw so many atrocities overseas that he faced bravely, but coming out to his parents scares him even more in a scene that made me feel even more sympathetic towards him.  Troy is charming and sees all of Elliot's good qualities and I was rooting for them every step of the way.

Along with a wonderful main couple came a slew of delightfully colorful secondary characters who all had a hand in Elliot's love life.  They were supportive and humorous and added to the overall sense of family revolving around this little group of friends.  Serious issues like PTSD were subtly intertwined with the sweet romance burgeoning between Elliot and Troy and added a more complex layer to this carefree novella.  There was lots of sexual tension but the sex was very lukewarm and not depicted until the hastily wrapped-up conclusion which was a bit disappointing.  On a whole though I found this an entertaining read with immensely likable characters that leaves me wanting to read more of Mr. Perronne's works.

My rating for this is a B+

*I received this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Michael Holloway Perronne is the author of five novels and one novella: "A Time Before Me", "Starstruck: A Hollywood Saga", "Falling Into Me", "A Time Before Us"
"Embrace the Rain" and "Men Can Do Romance."  His debut novel, "A Time Before Me" won the Bronze Award, Foreword Magazine's 2006 Book of the Year Award in the Gay/Lesbian
fiction category.  In addition, Michael recently released his first travel guide, "The Quickie Gay Guide to Cape Town, South Africa."
Michael was born and raised in Mississippi.  He received a BA in Film from the University of Southern Mississippi and a MFA in Drama and Communications from the University of New Orleans.  



a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Hi Jody,

    Thanks so much for the review and hosting a stop on my tour. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

    Michael Holloway Perronne

    1. Thank YOU for stopping by Michael and for the opportunity to read your delightful story! Sending holiday happiness back your way too!

      The Scarf Princess

    2. OMG. I feel so sorry for Elliot. I've had those "ex" dates. Just that little excerpt had me feeling for him, and wanting him to find more. This sounds like a great book with authentic characters behind it. Definitely on my must read list now.