Review: Brandon Witt – Mascara & Bandages (Mary’s Boys #3)

Author: Brandon Witt
Reviewer: Natalie
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Mm Contemporary

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Summary: Ariel Merman is a new drag queen who’s already finding a family at Hamburger Mary’s. After a performance as Ariel, Zachary Cooper walks home in his makeup and is assaulted by homophobes. Zachary’s worry that the attack has thrown a wrench in his good fortune is eased when he looks into the eyes of his doctor.

Dr. Teegan Chau is a little lost after divorcing his wife and coming out of the closet, but he can’t deny the pull he feels toward the young man he patches up. Luckily, Zachary takes the initiative and asks Teegan out. But attraction is the easy part of their blossoming relationship—as they deal with an ex-wife and child, being a drag queen in a heteronormative culture, Zachary’s lingering trauma from his attack, and Teegan acclimating to life as part of an out-and-proud gay couple.

The challenges seem daunting at the start of a romance. Can Zachary and Teegan make it through the rough patches and take a chance on the love that’s been missing from both their lives?

Review: 3.5 Stars rounded up. What I love most about this series of novellas, is the unvarnished depiction of human flaws and the realistic issues characters face. The opening chapter was pretty shocking and traumatic, as Zachary’s smaller stature and femme appearance left him vulnerable to a group of gay bashers. Teegan Chau is Chinese, with unaccepting parents, fairly recently out, after being married and having a daughter. As Zachary’s doctor at the hospital, they become attracted to each other and ultimately, Zachary asks Teegan out.
The alternating POV’s follow their developing connection through awkward first dates, Zachary’s revelation about Ariel, Teegan’s daughter and both pondering obstacles and insecurities. Teegan is still good friends with his ex-wife and often uses her as a sounding board. Zachary has his Mary’s family, who are almost too much help at times. But even though some emotional fallout from his attack was shown, the narrative seemed unequal. Zachary’s physical and emotional problems seemed to be glossed over a bit and follow up that I expected from Teegan, as a doctor, was lacking. Also, for some reason, I couldn’t feel a strong emotional spark between him and Teegan, in spite of the well written scenes and dialogue. The low steam factor, though, was fitting for the story and the length of the book.
I did enjoy it overall, as Brandon Witt always writes quality stories. I do very much look forward to seeing what happens with Steven!



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One Comment

  1. I’m going to bookmark this to read later – I’m reviewing the story next week! – but glad to see you enjoyed it.

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