Bootleg Diva by Mercy Celeste ~ Book Review by Caroline

30298306Title: Bootleg Diva

Author: Mercy Celeste

Publisher: Self Published

Cover Artist: Jay Aheer

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 06/05/2016

Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)

Genre: Gay Romance


A Southern Scrimmage Biography

All heroes need an origins story.

From trailer park to the Super Dome.
Everybody’s All-American quarterback by day.
Infamous exotic dancer by night.

Levi Brody is one of the undisputed greats of the game. With two Super Bowl rings, one MVP, three Pro-Bowl appearances, three National Championships, three SEC Championships and four State High School championships Levi has indeed left his mark on the sport, but it’s all a load of crap.
This is my origin story and like all good origin stories, this one lies somewhere-
Between the helmet and the tiara.

The story of the rise and fall of the first fictional gay quarterback in the NFL.

Author’s Note: I introduced Levi Brody in the second Southern Scrimmage book Sidelined and continued his story through his brother’s eyes in Offside Chance. While this book is officially the fourth book in the Southern Scrimmage Series it does not continue the story. Bootleg Diva is a biographical look at Levi’s life through to the end of Offside Chance.

My View:

I think most fans of the Southern Scrimmage series will tell you this is not the book we were waiting for. It doesn’t take the overall story line forward at all but rather fills in gaps and adds to what we know already. In fact you have to read the other books in this series for Bootleg Diva to make any sense at all – this is not a story per se but instead it’s the brave fight, the self-sacrifice and the mostly heart-breaking memoirs of a man too old for his young years that was determined to save his family.

I think most fans of the Southern Scrimmage series will tell you this book was just what we needed…

Bootleg Diva starts recording Levi’s life in startling detail from when he is 12 years old. His memories before that day when he found himself locked out on a porch step are hazy but certainly responsible for the nightmares he can’t run from. He always felt a sense of responsibility – for his mother who was the town whore and spent most of her life drunk and for his baby brother who he protected fiercely to make sure he never suffered the same fate he had. Whether that responsibility made Levi feel forced of just allowed him to put up with the abuse he suffered isn’t always clear but it’s definitely the reason it happened for most of his life.

You get to meet Liv much more here too and Liv really is Levi’s saviour. Liv finds them both a safe place and a guardian of sorts in George that with hindsight probably saved Levi’s life. Everyone needs a safe place and when you have two personalities set on such different paths where one could certainly destroy the other that safe place becomes even more important.

This is a painful book to read. Mercy has pulled very few punches and the abuse that Levi and Liv deal with is on page and detailed and not hidden away and left to the readers imagination. I was getting edgy towards the end of the book – I never read reviews for any book I am reviewing myself but I had seen some updates that were all about the ending. I was literally down to the last few pages before that one hit and it comes out of nowhere! Read it carefully and it will give you your answers but poor Jude – having read the memoir what will he do? I can’t wait for the next book to see where the story goes next.


Bootleg Diva on Goodreads

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

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2 thoughts on “Bootleg Diva by Mercy Celeste ~ Book Review by Caroline

  1. Mercy Celeste is one of my favorite authors and the Southern Scrimmage series is fantastic. Books written with painful honesty are hard to read. But they’re also the ones you remember, and return to, once the last page is turned. The characters stay with you and you’re able to draw from their strengths in your own daily lives. Thank you for sharing your insights, Caroline.

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