Title: All That You Can’t Leave Behind
Author: Kirby Quinlan
Publisher: KQ Press
Cover Artist: Kirby Quinlan
Length: 50,000 words
Release Date: October 12, 2015
Tailor Sway is a professional organizer on the brink of divorce. When he is hired to appear on a reality TV show called “Hoarded Houses”, he has three days to help a collector of Christmas decorations clean up her property before it’s condemned by local authorities.
Everything is going according to Tailor’s carefully laid plans. That is, until Brayzen Mapleridge, a mega-famous pop singer known for his wild, daredevil antics, shows up.
Forced to pay for a recent stunt which has turned into a serious legal matter, Brayzen is given the opportunity to avoid jail time by doing some hard labor in front of the cameras. But, it’s not an easy thing to do while being chased by all who trail in the wake of a major celebrity. Is Brayzen sincere about helping, or is it all just part of a well-crafted publicity campaign?
Despite some initial clashes between Tailor’s uptight determination and Brayzen’s carefree attitude, the two develop an unlikely partnership that quickly blossoms into a sizzling attraction.
But, Tailor’s unresolved conflict with his husband, Grant, an emotionally scarred veteran of the Iraq War, still looms in the background amidst a whirlwind of TV cameras, relentless paparazzi, eager fans, and scathing headlines. Despite all these complications, will it be Brayzen’s own meddling mother who puts the brakes on their steamy love affair for good?
At times sexy, laugh-out-loud funny, and tragically heartbreaking; this erotic tale of love, loss and letting go promises to give you a front-row seat on Tailor and Brayzen’s crazy, romantic rollercoaster ride. Strap yourself in!
I totally loved Tailor from the first page, his day went from bad to worse….he starts it with seeing an envelope that contains the paperwork for divorce, then while driving to work on the reality TV show he gets a flat, and then finally Brayzen makes his grand entrance at the house.
Tailor is not sure what to make of Brayzen, especially after his entrance at the house, and he is not sure if he actually intends to help or if it is just a ruse. When Brayzen does pitch in to help, Tailor makes sure to give him the worse possible job (and I was laughing here, as Brayzen originally came across to me as a totally crass person, and I will admit to taking a total dislike to him to begin with, so this was such sweet revenge!).
However, soon we begin to see a side of Brayzen that was seldom seen, and even Tailor was unsure of what to make of this side of him. Brayzen straight away is attracted to Tailor, but straight away Tailor lets Brayzen know that nothing will be happening as he is married, and he will not do anything to cause Grant to feel hurt… but for how long will this be the case?
Brayzen then pulls a final stunt that makes it look really bad for Tailor, and this makes Tailor rethink what he actually knows about Brayzen. It also causes problems for Tailor when he returns home to Grant. But Grant seems to be a changed man too, and Tailor is not sure what is going on.
As the blurb says, this story is laugh-out-loud funny, but then also has some heartbreaking moments too. It gives you an insight into living with someone who is so emotionally scarred that you are actually scared of going home in case you find that they have tried to harm themselves again. You also saw into Brayzens life, with having famous parents….and to me, this was not a good thing. His mother would say something and Brayzen was supposed to do what she said, and she never seemed to listen to what he said. He was in essence living a lie.
Can Tailor sort everything out with Grant? Is Brayzen even part of the picture? I am not going to say any more of what happens in the book, but it is well worth reading, I really did enjoy this book, and things happen that you are not expecting. I should also say at this point, that as I read on, my opinion of Brayzen changed, through several things he actually did.
With hopes of making movies, he learned the craft of screenwriting, honing his love of storytelling. He quit writing in 2002, however, frustrated he couldn’t promote the diversity-rich stories he was passionate about. But now, in the world of digital self-publishing, he has found an avenue to finally tell the stories he’s always wanted to tell; the types of stories he wishes had been mainstream when he was growing up.
His first published work was the short story “New World” in the Queer Science Fiction anthology “Discovery”. He has plans for several standalone novels, as well as serial works in his favorite genres, including sci-fi, fantasy, adventure, pulp detective and even western. They are hopeful, action-packed tales of strong, positive LGBTQ characters finding love, fighting oppression and overcoming extraordinary challenges in a real-to-life way.
Ironically, Kirby’s own true love came to him in the form he least expected, when he met his female roommate and best friend, Karla. Their marriage in 2013, proved to them both that love is love. It has no boundaries, knows no gender and can’t always be defined by labels. Karla is an author as well and they live a happy life together in Portland, OR.