I found Le Jazz Hot to be in line with other offerings from these authors. The writing is ok and fast to read but depends on exaggerated characters, unrealistic situations, and a good deal of suspended disbelief for the story to work. It’s meant as a fantasy, a light hearted story to make readers laugh and enjoy then promptly forget entirely. If you’re looking for an easy fluff story that you’ll forget perhaps even while reading then this may work for you. You can’t take the story seriously though because it’s too ridiculous for that.
The plot starts with singer/actor/dancer/entertainer Julian dressing up as a woman to do a friend a favor. While dressed as a woman, Julian meets firefighter Trent. The attraction is immediate and strong. Yet Trent thinks Julian is a woman and Julian has never had feelings for anyone so he’s suddenly scared of losing Trent. Thus enters the predictable story where Julian pretends to be Julia while Trent is the hapless, easy going guy that thinks he’s good friends with Julian while dating twin Julia.
You have to suspend disbelief to go with the story for starters because it’s exaggerated, as the stories often are from these particular authors. Of course there are numerous clues and obvious signs that there is no Julia and the attraction is between Trent and Julian. There’s no question that only someone severely touched in the head wouldn’t see the huge neon sign pointing to the truth. However, that’s the not the point of the story. If you can accept that premise then the story is about Julian falling in love for the first time. He’s scared, worried, fearful, adoring, and really tries to put Trent’s needs first. Of course Julian is far from perfect and makes a ton of mistakes but that’s part of his charm.
Trent is an exaggerated epitome of naïve kindness. His actions make absolutely no sense from the very beginning. I mean who barges their way into a stranger’s apartment only to undress completely on their couch? Of course no one would do that so you have to accept Trent is a caricature. He’s way too open, spilling his heart to Julian in the guise of some male bonding while cuddling together mere minutes after meeting. Yet the story does a decent job of showing that connection all along was between Trent and Julian. Trent initially needs the guise of a woman as he thinks that’s normal but soon comes to fully accept his desires.
There are other exaggerated and unrealistic parts such as the overwhelming acceptance from other firefighters and friends but really these are a drop in the bucket if you can already get into the story. The writing fits the characters with hyperbole and naïve wonder. The prose is ok and often relies on stereotypes and embellishment. Yet this fits with the story so those that don’t mind that particular style may even like this one. It’s easy to read and ultimately forgettable fluff. Just be sure that’s what you want before you pick this up.
** I did want to say that some people found the characters offensive in this book and honestly I never did. Yes Trent initially thinks gay people must fit stereotypes but he’s only repeating the stereotypes everyone is familiar with and soon grows out of that after knowing Julian. I think the story was making a point why Trent never considered himself gay and wasn’t actually trying to show him as an offensive homophobe. But that’s just my take.