Tag Archives: trans

New Release: Best Laid Plans by DC Juris #Trans #Romance @DCJuris

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Title: Best Laid Plans
Author Name & Publisher: DC Juris (Torquere Press)
Publication Date & Length: January 27, 2016 – 20k

Synopsis

Disowned by his family for being transgender, Kale drained his bank account and set out to go as far as the money would take him. He planned to make a new life for himself. But when the money stopped, he found himself homeless, his plans pretty much screwed.

Perry set out to pay a male hooker to slake his lust. Instead he found a handsome young man who insisted he wasn’t a prostitute. A little bit of convincing, a flash of money, and one random Tuesday turned into once a week, and Perry found himself in dangerous territory. After all, the plan wasn’t to fall in love. Previously published by Breathless Press.

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Excerpt

Kale peered into the car without getting any closer. He didn’t recognize the older man behind the steering wheel, didn’t really know anyone in this town yet. “Can I help you with something?”

“Probably.” The guy grinned. “How much for a blowjob?”

A fiery blush steamed up Kale’s neck. “Oh. I’m not um…” He glanced down at his clothing—red button-up shirt, jeans, boots. He wasn’t dressed like a hooker, was he? Then again, what did male hookers dress like?

“Fifty bucks?” the guy asked.

“No, you don’t understand.” Kale shook his head. “I’m not um…working. I’m just…” Just what? Just a runaway disappointment.

“Fine. Make it a hundred. C’mon. Get in.”

His eyes went wide. A hundred dollars? For a blowjob? A hundred dollars would get him a room at a motel and a meal for the night. And a blowjob wouldn’t take all that long. But he’d never done anything like that before with a stranger. The guy looked pretty clean. How bad could it be? Just a few minutes’ work, turn his head, spit, and take the money. “I don’t swallow,” he blurted.

The guy shrugged. “I don’t care.”

The words hit Kale with full force. The guy didn’t care. Not about him, his story, why he was out here on the streets in the first place. Not about his past, present, or future. Not about anything beyond his mouth. Kale frowned.

“You coming or not?” the guy prompted.

“Show me the money.”

He held up a hundred dollar bill.

If the guy would pay a hundred dollars for a blowjob, how much would he pay for something else? But Kale had seen way too many Lifetime movies about runaways-turned-prostitutes who got into cars and were never seen again. He puffed out his chest and straightened his shoulders, tried to look like he had some kind of guts.

“Okay, but we’re not going to a skeevy hotel or your house or anything. Got it?”

The guy shrugged. “Whatever.”

Kale looked up and down the street and reached for the door handle. The car, like the guy, looked clean and tidy, smelled nice. He smiled at the green, tree-shaped air freshener hanging from the rearview mirror, and tried not to think of that scene in the movie Seven where the cops found hundreds of the things hanging in the sloth victim’s apartment.

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5 Star and 4 Star Reviews for What a Difference a Day Makes by B.A. Huntley #FF #Trans

Cover

Title: What a Difference a Day Makes
Author Name & Publisher: B.A. Huntley (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date: March 9, 2016

Synopsis

A day can last an hour or an eternity, as three friends learn in the final moments leading up to wedding they’ll be attending—one as the bride, two as the bridesmaids. Allison waits impatiently for her wedding night, the first night she and Jason will be together, worried that he won’t trust her to see his body. Lane reconnects with her on again, off again girlfriend, and Slim meets Joy, who tempts her into the sort of fling that’s never interested Slim before.

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Review

FiveStars

This is a really cute, fun story about three friends at the wedding of one of them. It’s short enough to read in an afternoon and has elements which appeal at a number of levels.

There really isn’t a whole lot of plot. This is pretty much about the relationships between the women and their significant others. They’re all at different stages, but they have a long-standing friendship. I loved the heart-to-hearts between them as well as the witty banter. The side characters were interesting as well, and none of them felt flat or like stereotypes. The sex was gloriously hot and ranged from fun to sweet to emotional.

To me, this felt like a celebration of women’s sexuality and friendship. It didn’t have a whole lot in terms of character development, and there wasn’t much dramatic tension. Instead, we got a peek into the lives and loves of these very different women.

A terrific short work, and I’m looking forward to reading more from Ms. Huntley in the future.

Amy M.

FourStars

I must admit that I haven’t read many trans books, and I’m not exactly sure you could say this is one, since the trans men in it aren’t main characters. But the whole book revolves around the marriage of one main character, Allison, to a trans man, and I was fascinated by the way the author wrote about it. I wish I knew of more real life stories that went as this marriage did. It was awesome that the attitude of everybody in the story was simply that he was a man, and that was that. The other two main characters are lesbians, and they’re having a bit of a time too, as they all get ready to watch one of their best friends get married. One is unsure about whether she even still has a girlfriend, and reading about Lane and Pabla’s story makes you quickly understand why that is. You do keep pulling for them though. This is one of those stories that makes you want so much for them to work things out, all the while wondering if they really can. Then there’s Slim and Joy. These two just make me smile. They’re having a fling, even though it really isn’t Slim’s style. But they’re having a lot of fun and a lot of hot sex. They leave things in a sort of ambiguous place, both wanting to continue to see each other, but Joy is not into relationships while Slim doesn’t know how to have sex outside the confines of one. The whole book is full of humorous incidents, harrowing tensions, and borderline bridezilla moments, along with a lot of people talking the bride off the metaphorical ledge. A very enjoyable book, and I’m glad I got the chance to read it.

Amy P.

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3.5 Star Review for Wonder City Stories by Jude McLaughlin #M/M

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Title: Wonder City Stories
Author Name & Publisher: Jude McLaughlin (Createspace)
Publication Date & Length: November 18th 2015- 294 pages

Synopsis

Megan Amazon’s life was a disaster: terrifying stalker ex, weird celebrity mom, you really don’t wanna know. She decided to run, run far, run fast, run… to Wonder City. Wonder City: where an eight-foot-tall woman could try to blend in and make a normal life in a city of superheroes and superzeroes. Where else could she meet up with a retired superhero with a brain-dead son and a daughter-in-law who could fall for Megan’s new BFF Simon? Or almost accidentally kill a superhero noob like Nereid, who’s just trying to pass her college classes and get into her supergroup, and really didn’t intend to fall in love with her (provisional) teammate? Everyone has their secrets. For some people, like the Ultimate and the Fat Lady, secrets are their stock in trade, while others don’t know half the secrets they’re carrying around. Megan thought her own secrets would be safe as long as she kept one-night-standing her way through the local queer scene, but sooner or later, everything will come out. And everyone will come into their own, whether they want to or not.

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Review

ThreeandHalfStars

I went into this book with excitement and high hopes, but have to say that I was a little disappointed. The biggest problem I have with the book is that there are so many characters that the book was filled with too many plotlines. It was hard to choose exactly who should be the hero/heroine simply because the reader was brought into so many different story lines. The easy answer to this is that all of them were the main characters, but that really means the focus of the book was scattered and blurred between too many different wants and desires. Also, the first half of the book just seemed like a series of scenes or vignettes strung together. While each may have been interesting and enjoyable, I didn’t get the sense of any real plot or direction for the story. Sure, all these characters were tied together by what happened at the end, and that may have been the author’s entire point, but it’s a bit hard to read through the ambling lives of so many characters just to see how they all end up in the same place at one particular defining moment in time. The other problem I had with this device was that the narrating of everybody’s lives made it difficult to get involved with any, so I felt distant from the characters’ feelings and motivations.

The last thing I’ll say is about how the heroes/heroines are treated. There is a sense of wonder about the idea of superheroes. That’s why comics are so enduring, even for adults. Superheroes give us a chance to be powerful, strong, intelligent, and good enough, right along with those whose deeds we’re reading about. I understand the movement nowadays to make superheroes more human, more relatable, by giving them flaws and moral dilemmas and crises of conscience that make them make mistakes. But what we have in this story makes me feel like the superheroes in this city are jokes, that they’re egotistical brats that insist on getting things their way, and that they have little regard for those around them. And the sad part is that when they’re older, and a bit more broken down, they’re thrown away, made irrelevant, by the very society that once depended on them. Just like our own elderly. And that’s just sad.

I suppose at the end of the book, I would say I enjoyed the story. But I feel the beginning could have been pared away immensely. I also would pick up the second book in the series to see what happens next, to give Wonder City another chance to hopefully live up to its name.

Amy P.

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4 stars for California Skies by Kayla Bashe #Bi #Genderqueer #Trans @kaylabashe @LT3Press

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Title: California Skies
Author Name & Publisher: Kayla Bashe (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date & Length: January 13, 2016

Synopsis

Bandits came looking for the legendary emeralds belonging to Maggie’s family, killing her older brother and scarring her face. She can’t change the past, but finding the jewels will help her injured sister recover. In need of reliable muscle, she goes to an old friend of her brother’s: tough-as-nails nonbinary bounty hunter California Talbot.

While Maggie expected hard roads and violence, given the tragedy that provoked the journey, she wasn’t expecting the bar fights, snakes, and bandits to be the easy part—and the difficult part to be a growing attraction to someone who’d probably never look twice at her mutilated face.

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Review

FourStars

This was a very enjoyable read. I liked the characters and how the author showed their past friendship as well as why California would be interested in helping Maggie out. I like when characters have that tension between them and have those feelings for each other and yet don’t realize that the other person feels that way. It builds expectation and can result in some very humorous scenes. The one thing I did have a problem with is the use of they/them as a pronoun for a trans person. It took me a while to realize Bashe was only referring to one person, which I found confusing. When I realized it was being used to refer to only California, this sort of plurality made me think there were two people inside the character. And there were times I had to reread passages to make sure I was clear on who exactly was being referred to. I can only hope that some gender neutral word comes into widespread use so this type of confusion can be avoided in the future.

~AmyP

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5 and 4.5 Stars for Picture (Im)Perfect by J.S. Frankel #Trans #YA

Cover

Title: Picture (Im)Perfect
Author Name: J.S. Frankel
Publication Date & Length: September 1, 2015 – 220 pgs

Synopsis

Nolan Goodman, star swimmer for Portland High, meets Mia Swarva at a swim meet and thinks he’s found his perfect girlfriend. They start dating, things are going well…and then he finds out that Mia was born Mark, and his concept of what constitutes relationships not to mention sexuality goes out the window. However, Mia has that certain something about her, and Nolan does his best to understand as he genuinely cares for her. Their relationship develops after a series of stops and starts, but when Mia is inadvertently outed on a social website, she and Nolan have to run the gamut of emotions as well as deal with the inevitable reaction to her being transgender. It is only then, that Nolan learns the true meaning of commitment.

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Review

FiveStars

I absolutely adored this story. I have to say that after reading quite a few Trans books, I can’t say that I’ve read one from the partner of the trans individual. It was really great to see for once what it is like to be on the other side and finding out such an unexpected piece of information about someone you care for.
I really enjoyed the way all the struggles of a trans individual were approached. It showed that there is support in the world and love is possible while also that there is still hatred out there.
This was a really sweet story that I would highly recommend.
Renee

FourandHalfStars

This was the first title I had the opportunity to read from this author and I was blown away. First, I believe it takes a special kind of person to tackle something like Transgender issues and not mangle the whole process. Frankel managed it with finesse and understanding while making the characters and their issues relatable.

The connection between Mia and Nolan was evident from the time they met and Mia’s subsequent worry about when and how to tell him seemed very real. His reaction ranked on the positive end of realistic and I had no trouble following it. A great talent for putting a spin on points of view and weaving a plot which kept me interested are things which will keep me reaching for this authors work in the future.

Rhayne

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New Release: Holiday Want Ads Anthology by Avery Duran, Shira Glassman, Emjay Haze, Kassandra Lea, Dale Cameron Lowry, G.O. Noce, Marie Piper, Rob Rosen, Angora Shade, Robin Watergrove

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Title: Holiday Want Ads Anthology
Author Name & Publisher: Avery Duran, Shira Glassman, Emjay Haze, Kassandra Lea, Dale Cameron Lowry, G.O. Noce, Marie Piper, Rob Rosen, Angora Shade, Robin Watergrove (Torquere Press)
Publication Date & Length: December 9, 2015 – 59,000 Words

Synopsis

Whether reading Facebook ads, Craigslist, or the classified section of the local newspaper, there’s always something interesting available in the want ads… if you’re looking. In our Holiday Want Ads Anthology, Torquere Press offers ten beautiful stories of found love from ten talented authors.

In Compatible Gardens, Angora Shade weaves a tale about strangers on a city bus. Emjay Haze reveals a little Elfin Magic in her workplace romance. Little White Lights, Marie Piper’s feature, highlights illumination as a gift. In Wrapped Up, Kassandra Lea brings readers a holiday storm full of anxiety for both the storm and a question’s response. Avery Duran brings us a winter ball, complete with a Prince Charming in Matzo Ball. Eitan’s Chord, Shira Glassman’s offering, brings readers a visit from three Chanukah fairies creating magic from their passion. Thank You, Craig highlights fireworks and the versatility of a fire escape. G.O. Noce tells about a Boyfriend for Rent, and both parties in the agreement get a lot more than they bargained for. Looking for a Soft Center, by Robin Watergrove, shows how articulating one’s wants is much harder than simply writing an ad. And Dale Cameron Lowry gives readers an ex-Mormon hiring a bartender who helps with a party and builds a friendship—possibly more—with his employer in Mi Alma.

Enjoy Holiday Want Ads!

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Excerpt

from Compatible Gardens by Angora Shade

Sweet mercy, I hate the bus. The university is a busy place, and no matter what hour of the day I find myself in need of transportation, the bus is packed. And it’s not just students. Teachers, local residents, and even businessmen from the surrounding area are regulars, not to mention the crazies who ride all day long and do nothing but stare. The bus smells the way intimate spaces usually do too—musty, stale air, mixed with a collage of too many personal scents—and the seats are stained, worn, and uncomfortable. I tell myself it’s time to invest in a bicycle as I watch the 60 West pull up to the curb. I grasp my sweater tightly around my chest, and force myself to believe Fate has opened a door for me today, and I have to walk through it.

The bus door closes behind me, and something squeaks loudly as the driver peels off the curb before I’ve sat down. My balance shifts, and I lurch toward a startled elderly man. He frowns at me despite my mumbled apology, and I stumble my way down the aisle over bags and shoes headed for the first available seat. I’m lucky there’s one up front where I’ve walked in. The seats here face inward like a bench rather than in pairs toward the back, and the extra space makes the ride more bearable. I pray today will be less crowded. I pray Fate will continue to behave.

Fate is why I’m here. This may be my last chance for finding a new apartment with a decent roommate, and the bus is the fastest way to my goal. The fall semester is coming to a close and the holidays are approaching, which has made my task much harder. Housing should be established by now, but I’m not happy. Remaining in loud dorms with inconsiderate, obnoxious jerks for a day longer than I have to would be torture. There’s no privacy, no calm, and hearing the sex noises my current roommate and her boyfriend make in our shared room makes me nuts, not to mention trying to share a bathroom with eight other girls. The food is terrible, nothing’s ever clean, and illness spreads like wildfire. It’s a joke. I’m a junior now anyway. I figure I’m past due to get out. I need space where I can breathe with a room of my own away from the garden of weeds.

Soon. Now. Pronto.

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5 Stars for The Good Guys by Francis Gideon #Genderqueer #Trans

1.5

Title: The Good Guys
Author Name & Publisher: Francis Gideon (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date: December 9, 2015

Synopsis

When Oliver meets a really cute elf while out Live Action Role Playing, he thinks he’s found the Sam to his Frodo. He tries to find out more about Oakenshire the Elf, but comes up with nothing. When summer vacation forces the LARPing group to take a break, Oliver throws himself into his upcoming play, where he is one of the main leads. There he meets a new person to captivate his attention: Avery.

She’s smart, funny, and into all the same things that Oliver is into, even LARPing. As their friendship progresses, Oliver begins to notice the similarities the young woman has to Oakenshire the Elf. It could be his final chance to see his elf again—or another case of mistaken identity that will leave Oliver fumbling with pronouns, excuses, and hurt feelings.

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Review

FiveStars

This was such a cute, fun, sweet story. First of all, it had me at LARPing (live-action role play, for those not in the know). I love a geek-nerd premise for a story, and I admit, this wasn’t one I’d seen before.

Oliver is a really refreshing character. He’s honest about his inner struggles, but he’s also not overdrawn. I think my favorite part was when he talked about liking to skip the kids-and-mortgage talk and go right to the next level of conversation. That’s exactly how I am, and it made me want to meet Oliver in real life.

Avery is absolutely terrific. They are one of the best bi-gender characters I’ve read. Genderqueer and fluid characters can be tricky to write because there are so many variations. But Avery was fantastic, and I loved the way the relationship developed with Oliver.

My only (very brief) hesitation was in how Oliver’s bisexuality seemed at first to be in the “confused” category. Not that bisexual people can’t ever be confused, but the author didn’t seem to quite know at first how to handle Oliver identifying that way. But by the end of the story, that was cleared up just fine, and the biggest thing I appreciated was how it was absolutely clear that for Oliver, bisexual did not just mean “men and women only” (common misconception that occasionally comes out in fiction). So my initial hesitation was definitely put to rest.

Before my review becomes longer than the actual story, I’ll just say again how much I loved and appreciated it. Excellent writing, great characters, and a sweet story that never felt too much like “educating people on trans issues.” Very well done.

Amy M.

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5 and 4 Stars for A Matter of Disagreement (Mechanical Universe #1) by E.E. Ottoman #MM #Trans @acosmistmachine @LT3Press

1.5

Title: A Matter of Disagreement (Mechanical Universe #1)
Author Name & Publisher: E.E. Ottoman (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date & Length: March 26, 2014 – 74 pgs

Synopsis

The rise of mechanical animation, and its popularity at court, is threatening to end Andrea’s scholarly pursuits of spell craft and literature—and force him to let go of his assistants, who depend on him to support their families In retaliation against the field that is ruining his life, Andrea begins to campaign against it. The efforts gain him notoriety, but do not solve his financial dilemmas.

When he is dragged to a party by his brother, he comes face to face with the man who pioneered mechanical animation: Leon Gregory de la Marche VI, Marquis de la Marche. And he is not at all what Andrea expected.

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Review

FiveStars

One of my favorite literary tropes is enemies to lovers, and this was a classic and wonderful example of that theme. It’s set in a world where older style magic and mechanics are in some degree of competition for public use and preference, which I thought was a delightful metaphor.

Andrea is a scholar who opposes widespread use of mechanics; Gregory is a pioneer in the field of mechanics. They spend a good deal of the book arguing, neither of them wanting to give in on their position. However, they are also (possibly inexplicably) drawn to each other. Both are smart and stubborn, and their banter is terrific. It was obvious fairly quickly that they also were both reluctant to admit that they were enjoying the sparring rather than simply being angry.

The resolution to their circumstances is terrific, but I won’t spoil it here. This is a fun story with many layers, and it’s worth reading more than once to pick up on the finer points—particularly the jabs at our own modern-day, non-magical social conventions. Mx. Ottoman is a wonderful writer, and I look forward to reading more of zeir work.

Amy M.

FourStars

This story was interesting, but for me was simply too set in the historical period for me to really get into. I didn’t understand a lot of what the tension and arguments were about as this isn’t a genre I read a whole lot. However, that being said, I did enjoy the way the characters stood to their guns even when met with opposition.
Sort of an enemies to lovers story that was quite sweet and intriguing.
It was easy to read even though parts of the subject matter was over my head and I was still able to feel and connect to both the main characters.
Renee

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New Release: 5 Stars for Her Kind of Man by Nona Raines #Trans #Romance @nonaraines

Her Kind of Man Cover

Title: Her Kind of Man (Spectrum #2)
Author Name & Publisher: Nona Raines (Loose ID)
Publication Date & Length: November 10, 2015 – 84 pgs

Synopsis

During the day, Roy Girard works with truckers. It’s a macho environment where a man is judged by how tough he is. And everyone knows Roy as one of the toughest.

On his own time Roy helps mentor young people who are LGBT, and cares about them as if they were his own. He’s in love with Venetia, a trans woman.

He’s careful to keep his nine-to-five completely separate from his private life. He knows his work buddies wouldn’t understand. And he doesn’t want Venetia exposed to their crude, narrow-minded views. It’s his job to protect her.

But when his two worlds collide, he has to make a choice. In trying to protect the woman he loves, he asks for more than she can give. In his need to keep her safe, he risks pushing her out of his life forever.

*NOTE* Her Kind of Man is the sequel to His Kind of Woman.

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Review

FiveStars

This was the follow up to His Kind of Woman and it continued to show us all the trials that come from being different and the things that come with being in a relationship with a transgendered individual.
While I could see why Roy wanted to hide the fact that Venetia had once been a man as she was now a woman in every way, I also fully connected with why Venetia didn’t want to do that. She wanted to help others that were going through the things she had to go through to get to where she was.
We also get to see the bias and hate that is in the world toward those who are different from the norm. Those who can’t see that everyone is equal, no matter what or who they are and who they love.
There were a few painful points in this book that made me dislike Roy, but he was a smart man and got his head on straight and that made me like him even more.
Great story.
Renee

Excerpt

Upstairs, she collapsed on the divan, doubts writhing like a tangle of snakes in her brain. Had she been out of line to question him? Had she been too suspicious, even paranoid?

Would he forgive her?

She’d changed into on her nightclothes, the comfy cotton ones decorated with cats, and was just reaching for the Häagen Dazs in her freezer when her phone buzzed.

Roy had texted her. I’m home.

Her fears eased. He’d kept his promise, letting her know he was safe. He was a man of his word. Her kind of man.

Good, she responded. Then, as of their own volition, her fingers tapped I miss you.

She waited, holding her breath. At last an answer came.

Miss u 2.

A few moments later, the phone rang. Her hand trembled as she picked up. “Roy?”

“For God’s sake, do you really think I’m the kind of man who’d pull a shitty play like that?”

“You don’t know the stories I’ve heard. Things that have happened to friends of mine.”

“Forget your friends. Forget the stories. This is me. The man who loves you. You’re the only woman in my life, the only one I want. And fuck! It pisses me off, you thinking I’m some lowdown scumbag who’d cheat on you.”

She caught her breath. The man who loves you. Did he realize what he’d just said?

“I was scared. I had to ask.” Why else would he have been so secretive? But she didn’t want to bring that up now and start the whole argument again.

“So you believe me?”

“Yes.”

“And you trust me?”

She gripped the phone, her heart thudding. “Yes, I trust you.”

“So how come I’m here and you’re way the hell over there?” His voice lowered an octave, turned soft and intimate.

Her girl parts tingled, reacting to his sexy rumble. “It’s a problem. I do remember asking you up, though.”

“Huh. And like a real dumb-ass, I blew it, trying to make a point.”

“Well, the invitation’s still good,” she responded in the most mellow, seductive tone she could summon.

“I’m on my way.”

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4.5 Stars for His Kind of Woman (SPECTRUM #1) by Nona Raines #Trans #Romance @nonaraines

1.5

Title: His Kind of Woman (SPECTRUM #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Nona Raines (Loose Id)
Publication Date & Length: January 6, 2015 – 67 pgs

Synopsis

When Roy Girard went looking for Victor Varrano, he never expected a woman to answer the door. He soon discovers that Victor is now Venetia. Roy’s startled, but even more surprised by his attraction to her. As they spend time together, he doesn’t want to let her go. But she’s sure to dump him when she learns his secret.

Venetia’s falling hard and fast for Roy. But when she learns that his brother was the bully who tormented her in high school, she’s shattered. She can’t wrap her head around the fact that the man who made such amazing love to her could so completely betray her trust.

Note: This short story is loosely connected toUncollared

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Review

FourandHalfStars

This is a really great book to read if you haven’t read a book with a trans-gendered woman in it. Venetia is a post op trans female, which means she is… all woman.
I loved the way the bullying side of things worked out. It shows just how hard bullying is on the bullied… but sometimes on the bully once they grow up and realize what a horrible thing they had done. The amount of damage that is done by bullying is so much more than so many people realize. Thankfully, Victor/Venetia used it to become a stronger, more confident woman instead of going the other route. In fact, she used it to set up a group to help LBGTQ youth who need/want support.
There is so many great things about this book that I think so many people need to know about. Not just the transgender things either, although I will say having read numerous books about the topic, it was well researched and correct in how Venetia ended up after her surgery.
Although I will say that I did wish there was a bit more about all the steps and process it took her to become the woman she was, and not just the surgery as that is the final step she had to go through.
All in all, I would say it was a great read.
Renee

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