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Review: Dollface – Liv Rancourt

Dollface - Liv Rancourt

Genre: Historical, Paranormal, Romance,

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

Get It At Amazon | Universal Buy Link

About The Book

Charlie’s father deserted the family when he was five years old, so when his sister’s husband is killed in the war, he steps in so his niece won’t grow up without a man to rely on. That his sister’s husband was his best friend – and only love – makes his grief just as great as hers.

Some three years after her father’s death, his niece receives a doll in the mail. The package says it was sent by her father, and with that, strange things start happening. Spooky things. Dangerous things.

Merle’s a psychic who has a vision about a man in trouble. That man is Charlie, who at first declines Merle’s offer to help. Charlie doesn’t understand magic, but he does recognize danger, so when things get more bizarre, he turns to Merle. They have to find out who sent an evil doll to a little girl.

First, though, they must trust each other, and acknowledge that their deep seated attraction is real.

The Review

Charlie Avery DeRosier lives in the busy city of New Orleans, where there was always something Catholic to run into. Charlie has his reasons not to like God. After all, God doesn’t like him because Charlie likes men. 

He works as a reporter for the Times Picayune during World War II. He’s covering the stories from the front: the U.S. First Army occupying Aachen and Germany, the liberation of Belgrade, and President Roosevelt’s ride in the New York rain to give a campaign speech.

Finally, his work day is over and he can head home, where he lives with his sister Rose and her daughter Bebe. Rose lost the love of her life – Robert John Corbin – during the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Charlie keeps his own secret about his best friend Robert.

Growing up, Charlie was abandoned at the age of five when his father disappeared.  He made it a priority that Bebe would never have to grow up without a man to rely on. Even though Rose works as a hostess at a burlesque club on Bourbon Street, she never takes her clothes off at the club. Charlie vows to always be there to watch Bebe and take care of Rose.

When Charlie returns home, he finds Rose in the dim house, sitting quietly.  She tells him that Bebe received a package. Bebe is more than thrilled to show her uncle her new doll named “Delight.”  Charlie has a strange feeling about the doll, which came with a card from his deceased friend – Robert John Corbin.

When Merle Sawyer sleeps, he finds himself in total darkness – those are his normal dreams. When real dreams come, they’re dangerous and knock him out. Doctors said it was epilepsy but his Mama called it the Sight. For Merle is was just a big problem. One day, Merle finds himself outside of the new stadium, flat on his back, with a vision of a house, a man, a woman, and a doll. And somehow he knows the man will need his help.

Merle lives in a boarding house, away from his Mama. He plays piano at the Hotel Monteleone four nights a week. Most men didn’t want to be involved with Merle, especially when they find out of the Sight and card reading. After all, no none wants to be around someone who can tell when they will die.

As much as Merle tries to avoid his Mama and his cousin Jack, they always find him. Jack takes Merle, at the request of Mama, to attend a private event – the Tuesday Night Supper Club, a select group of men. When they reach the house, Merle meets the host, Mitchell Delecroix, better known as Dolly. Merle spots the man from his vision, and when they touch hands, it knocks the wind out of Merle and he finds himself once again flat on his back. 

As Merle and Charlie get to know each other, they get involved with witches, a demon, and a doll named “Delight” that will give them the creeps. They will have to join forces to fight an unknown evil. 

Dollface is an eerie little tale. Rancourt brings Delight to life – and needless to say, the scary doll is anything but. And what comes out of her is even scarier then she is!  

I loved Merle’s character. For a man who has his gift, he’s very easy going.  He accepts the fact that men will be with him for one thing, but that there will never be a relationship once they find out what he can do. I liked Charlie too – he’s a good man who does what he can for his family. He’s not afraid of Merle and they have a solid connection. Merle is willing to do anything to help Charlie.

Their relationship gets steamy quickly, but it then builds to a heartwarming love.

I loved the women in the story too:  Rose and Charlies mother, but most of all, Josephine Robichard, the witch, and Roberta, her nine year old daughter, who do everything they can to help Merle and Charlie.

Dollface is not just a scary story. It has a serious and historical side too. During WW2, many people were suffering and dying because of rationing. So much was hard to come by, and it was difficult to put food on the table. The story contrasts what’s frightening as fiction and what frightens as reality. On a bright note, I love that the author had Merle play “The Man I Love” by Ira and George Gershwin.

A great historical creepy doll story, skillfully blending history, visions, taro cards, a demon, witches, and of course “Delight.”  

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California. Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018. My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen. New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012. She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series. Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book!

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing. I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews. One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group. Joining her site was such an eye opener. I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.