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Review - The Cul-de-Sac by B J Irons

This was a lot of fun to read, a deliciously scandalous cringe-fest of social mores and expectations, with the machinations of two spoiled, privileged brats determined to get their own way and to hell with the consequences.

Skylar and Zach have a bet as to which one of them can seduce their hot new neighbours first. They don't know or care that Lucas and Bennett are still working through the trust issues caused by Bennett's infidelity a few years before. And on top of this, the new couple have to figure out how they fit into the close-knit and ever-watchful cul-de-sac community they've chosen to live in.

There are some beautifully written but awful moments as they are introduced to the neighbours. There's the excruciating "who's the man," conversation with people who have no idea how to talk to members of the gay community. There are ultra-Stepford Wife women and braying wealthy men. It's Desperate Housewives and Beverley Hills 90210 with a bewildered gay couple trying to settle in without upsetting anyone. The result is hilarious and squirm-inducing, with some hot sexy times in between.

Okay, so the book isn't perfect. There is an excitable tone to it, mainly because of the preponderance of exclamation marks which always make the writing seem shrill. And there are scenes of what-the-fuckery in some of the decisions the characters make. I wasn't convinced by Zach's change of heart (he's a little sociopath and they never change) or by Lucas's stomping off, which was designed purely for a dramatic make-up scene. Also, a few of the characters verged on caricature and seemed too repellent to live.

BUT, sometimes caricature is gleeful fun. and Zach especially was so awful, his turn of phrase so icky (he wants to give Lucas a "good dicking.") I'm not sure whether he and Skylar really deserved the ending they got, but as white privileged rich boys, I guess it was inevitable.

So all in all, a fun read. Don't take it too seriously. Cringe at the excruciating bits and know that there really are places and people like this in the world. Just don't move in next to them.


Lucas and Bennett Gaines are the newest home owners on Calumny Court. Being a gay couple in their mid-thirties, the two must navigate through the traditional lifestyle of those that live on the cul-de-sac. At every turn, they run into what seems to be a never-ending set of problems with the judgmental and catty neighbors.

Their biggest obstacle comes from Skyler Steller and Zachary Cauderling, gay, entitled, college boys that have lived in the neighborhood for years with their family. Little do the Gaines know that these two scheming college boys have their own hidden agenda that could put their relationship in peril.

Will Lucas and Bennett be able to adapt to the standards and expectations that come with living on the cul-de-sac?

The Worrier: Lucas Gaines will go out of his way to fit in with the new neighbors.

The Easy-Goer: Bennett Gaines is oblivious to the judgment and pretension that exists on the cul-de-sac.

The Narcissist: Zachary Cauderling never takes accountability or responsibility for his actions.

The Conspirator: Skyler Steller always plays mind games with anyone and everyone.

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