Tag Archives: trans

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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Filed under 4.5 Stars, 5 Star, New Release, Renee, Review, Rhayne, Trans

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

holidaywantads1400

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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New Release: 4 Star for The Servant Duchess of Whitcomb (Scandalous Whispers of the Remmington Realm #2) by Vicktor Alexander (AUTHOR INTERVIEW) #MM #AlternateUniverse @VVeeB

1.5

Title: The Servant Duchess of Whitcomb (Scandalous Whispers of the Remmington Realm #2)
Author Name & Publisher: Vicktor Alexander (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: November 27, 2015 – 304 pgs

Synopsis

Orley Garrick is known throughout Angland not only as the man with two dukedoms but also as the hero who survived a brutal kidnapping at the hands of Nafoleon’s army, never once betraying the secrets of His Majesty. Still haunted by his memories, Orley pushes his crippled body to dangerous limits, all in an attempt to run from the demons of his past.

Until he meets Chester Boland, a maid in his friend’s household. Orley is besieged by desire for this gorgeous male woman, and by a connection he cannot ignore. But there are those within the Remmington Realm who take issue with the Duke’s choice—especially given Chester’s Tafrican lineage.

Having stared death in the face and won, Orley proposes they steal away and elope. However, before they can begin their new life, they uncover dangerous secrets that go deeper than they could ever imagine—involving those they trust the most.

Orley and Chester must discover exactly how deep these secrets run before their enemies make sure Chester is removed from Orley’s arms… forever.

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Review

FourStars

Let me say this world this author created was amazing! This is a warning that this is a MPEG book I know some are okay with that like me and some not so much! I do have to say the way the they delivered the baby was very different then anything I have read before.

Now I will admit I did not read the first book in this series before this one and I was honestly so lost through some of this book. I would definitely recommend reading the first book in this series before this one.

Orley is a duke who has fought in war and still has the scars both emotional and physically from this. He is visiting a good friend and is woken by the maid Chester which he feels a instant attraction towards. Chester also feels the same attraction towards Orley. They both go through a lot to be together.

Now with this book because I did not read the first book it took me awhile to figure out what was going on in this world. Chester was born a man but since he has female reproductive organs she/he is actually considered a woman just like some of the men in this world are born woman. The sex you were born is the name you are given hence Chester who was born a man but is a woman. I hope I explained that right. This is a very different take on transgender than I have ever read before and can I say I loved how the author wrote these characters even though it did take me awhile to figure everyone out.

Now as much as I loved these two characters and their story I have to admit there were a few parts that did drag for me.. But otherwise this book was filled with this amazing world that was created by this author that had some action, angst and so much steam.

All together I really liked this book!
I would recommend this book!

Kara

Excerpt

THE SHARP retort of gunfire exploded around Orley Garrick, Duke of Whitcomb, and he ducked, trying to avoid the debris and the bodies of fallen soldiers around him as he surged forward. The smoke from the countless rifles burned his eyes as he desperately looked for the person who had caught his eye. He heard the cries of the dying calling out to him as he rode his horse farther into the thick of battle. Using his sword, he cut down an enemy soldier who raced toward him, mouth open as he let out a battle cry. Orley closed his eyes against the spray of blood across his face and blocked out the sound of the man’s death gurgle as he fell to the ground beneath his own horse.

Orley raced on toward the figure in white who didn’t belong on the battlefield. He called out a warning, telling the woman to be careful, because there was no way a man would be on a battlefield wearing a long, flowing white chemise, free of dust and bloodstain, appearing almost angelic among the crowd of soldiers. The woman didn’t stop. Instead she walked straight toward the commander of the enemy soldiers, and fear filled Orley. He wasn’t sure why; he didn’t know the woman, and yet he could not let anything happen to her.

At that moment, the woman turned to look at him, and Orley gasped when he realized the woman in front of him was not female as he’d suspected but male. Why in the world was a lady on the battlefield?

“You should not be here!” he yelled, trying to warn the male, but just as he got close enough to lift the woman onto the back of his horse, an enemy soldier plunged his sword through the woman’s back and out through his chest.

Orley watched helplessly as the woman’s eyes widened moments before he collapsed to the ground, and a grief unlike aught he’d ever experienced ripped through him.

He was not sure how he knew, but the dying woman belonged to him, and someone had just taken him away.

Tossing his head back, Orley let out an anguished shout at the heavens.

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