3 stars for Coffee Date by K. Lynn #Trans #MF #Contemporary @LT3Press @WriterKLynn

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Title: Coffee Date
Author Name & Publisher: K. Lynn (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date & Length: July 1, 2015 — 44 pages

Synopsis

Alice is finally happy with her body and her life—except for the part where revealing she’s trans winds up leaving her hurt and abandoned over and over again. She’s decided she’s done making herself miserable by looking for love.

Love finds her anyway, in the form of Hank, the new guy at her local coffee shop. He’s sweet, friendly, charming… and will probably turn out like all the rest. Determined not to shatter the fantasy and lose him before she has to, Alice holds fast to her secrets.

But if the truth doesn’t ruin everything, the lies will, and it seems no matter which choice she makes Alice is set for just one more heartache.

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Review

ThreeStar

This is a quick read with some fun moments and some parts that made me think. I like the author’s writing style, but I have to admit, I have really mixed feelings about the story.

What I loved was the friendship and easy banter between Mary and Alice. I would have enjoyed seeing more of their friendship, including some resolution to the whole class reunion thing. I also enjoyed the way at first, Alice’s relationship with Hank slowly blossomed. But those things were a bit overshadowed by some of the other issues with the story.

First of all, in the blurb, it says Alice is happy with her body and her life. However, almost right away, it becomes clear she isn’t–she’s disappointed with her love life and she still wants gender confirmation surgery. That’s fine; trans people have all different feelings about those things, and representing one perspective is all right. However, it’s not what the blurb says, so for some readers, that could be distressing.

Second, the plot (trans woman doesn’t reveal she hasn’t had bottom surgery) is really tired. Hank’s reaction was predictable, but what really annoyed me was how fast Alice took him back and how he kept saying that being angry made him say things he didn’t mean. His reason for being upset was also a little iffy. It was all a bit too tidy.

Third, I was very confused about her figuring out she was trans because she liked straight guys. That conflates gender and sexuality. Trans people have all different orientations, and there is so much more to figuring out one’s gender identity than who one develops crushes on. It also plays heavily into gender and sexuality stereotypes.

I was expecting that the conflict between Alice and Hank might be something other than her identity or her body or that the story might stick to the light, sweet tone it had at first.

This is the second gender-themed story I’ve read by this author, and I really do feel she has potential to explore these things better and more deeply. I think she’s doing a good thing and simply needs to focus on developing more skill with writing trans characters. Despite my reservations about this story, I’m looking forward to seeing her take her trans characters to the next level.

~Amy

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AuthorBio

K. Lynn has been an avid reader and writer since childhood. In her youth, she could most likely be found in the local library, devouring books that covered everything from WWII History to Dr. McCoy’s latest adventures aboard the Enterprise, with some X-Men thrown in for good measure. Once she had read everything that was on the shelves, she turned around and read them again. K. Lynn was also known to create elaborate adventures that more than once made it to the page. Ink-filled papers gave way to overflowing computer memory as the years went on, but the stories never ceased.

While in college, K. Lynn increased her involvement in LGBT issues and writing within the LGBT fiction genre. She has become a long-time fan of the authors that seek to explore the commonality that exists within all sexualities and genders. Most of K. Lynn’s work features LGBT characters, many of whom are in established relationships and show how love perseveres through every trial and tribulation that life holds. She also has a particular interest in seeing transgender characters gain a larger foothold within the LGBT fiction genre, hoping that the market for these works expand in the future.

K. Lynn has degrees and certificates from UNC-Chapel Hill in the areas of American History, Religion, Creative Writing, Public Health, and Journalism. She is a member of Mensa and has an extensive writing and editing background. To her, life is an ongoing adventure where she seeks to learn something new every day. When K. Lynn is not writing short stories, she is working on her novels. Her interests range from erotica to education, with stops along the way in paranormal fiction, historical novels, and established relationship romance. Give her a good story and she’s willing to read.

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