Julian has lived his life in a particular way; enjoying no-strings sex with a number of men. He’s never wanted a relationship, and for him, thinking about being a person who has a relationship is a challenge for him. When he can get everything he thinks he wants from casual sex and his friendships, he struggles to see why he would want a relationship where he’s effectively having friendship and sex with the same person. This boils down to him being afraid of commitment and really caring for a man romantically.
Similarly with Troy, he’s lived his life seeing himself as a man who dates women. His view of gay men is a particular way which he doesn’t have a problem with, but he doesn't recognise in himself. Through meeting Julian these feelings he’s been repressing for his whole adult life come to the surface and so he needs to accept the change that others will see him as man who is dating another man.
Writing this book, I wanted to explore what it means to be a man and what we view as masculinity. There’s a lot of research about how boys are taught, from a young age to act a particular way. Clothes for boys encourage them to be a boss, to be strong, and clothes for girls have very different messages. Crying isn’t manly. Men are told to ‘man up’ to face their problems. Sadly suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK so perhaps men should be encouraged to open up, to express themselves rather than manning up.
Julian and Troy are both masculine in very different ways. Julian is a man who’s strong, loud, bright, colourful, unapologetic, and has a very strong sexual appetite for sex with men.
Troy, on the other hand, is quiet, gruff, less expressive until he’s had a few drinks inside him, strong, protective, kind and a serial monogamist with women.
I like the way Troy and Julian’s versions of how they interpret and express masculinity are different, and often opposite, yet fit together; like a big spoon and a little spoon. There’s no ‘man and woman’ in a gay relationship; just different ways of men expressing their masculinity in ways that fit together.
I Should Be So Lucky by Liam Livings
Julian is a flamboyant backing dancer for Australian pop princess, Sallie. He loves touring with Sallie as it means he has gentlemen friends for the night in every European city. Backrooms in Berlin, cruisy bars in Barcelona, Julian’s enjoyed it all. And if he doesn’t pull while he’s on tour, he ends up in bed with best friend and fellow dancer, Bjorn.
Troy, a quiet, gruff St John Ambulance volunteer, and gardener at a stately home in Essex, has just split up from his third supposedly serious girlfriend in the last few years. He doesn’t understand why he can’t make relationships last. A failed serial monogamist, he’s obviously doing something wrong.
One night, at a Sallie concert, an enormous glitter ball falls and concusses Julian. In the recovery room, as Troy is seeing to Julian’s vital signs, the dancer feels a spark. Julian doesn't do relationships so he dismisses it as simply lust. Troy finds himself drawn to the confident chatty performer, wanting to get to know him better…
Can Troy put aside his preconceptions to discover who he really is and how he feels about Julian?
Can Julian face his biggest fear of being emotionally vulnerable with a man; with Troy?
Can Julian and Troy, who’ve never had a relationship with a man, find out if they were lucky enough to have met the only man they should be with? I should be so lucky—they both think…
Amazon (Kindle): http://mybook.to/ISBSL (universal link)
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/i-should-be-so-lucky-liam-livings/1129410512?ean=2940155785705