Author: Theo Fenraven
Publisher: Voodoo Lily Press
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Zachary Fox can’t sleep.
His acting career is taking off. Public recognition is picking up. Now more than ever, he understands how key reputation is to his success. But his relationship with his co-star, Kris—arranged around publicity rather than genuine feelings—is suffocating him. She once understood his needs, but her demands are beginning to grate with every shrill order she gives.
Zach has a secret. The breakout star of a new medical series, he’s been hiding his orientation from co-stars, friends and family, the studio, and his fans.
On the recommendation of a friend, Zach seeks out Sky Kelly, a well-connected herbalist whose concoctions are natural magic, as is her stunning beauty. On the surface, she has it all: her own house, a thriving business, and good friends, but the things she had to do to get there are a time bomb ticking away, and when it goes off, she’ll be teetering on the edge of a chasm that can put her right back where she started.
Sky has secrets. Like, she’s got a Y chromosome and the original equipment to go with it. Like being a highly paid escort. Like, if Zach is seen with her in public, it could ruin his career. Like someone becoming so obsessed with Sky, that obsession threatens them both.
Secrets… everyone is hiding something, and instead of finding The One, it could be The End.
This is a brave story and brave stories often don’t quite work but this one did.
I call this a brave story because there were so many opportunities for the author to avoid the difficult issues, when dealing with a transsexual character, but he didn’t. I have only read a couple of stories, which included trans women and it seems to be easier, to deal with trans women who have had total gender correction, in stories. They are then written as women and that’s it. Pre op trans women are either stereotyped as Thai Ladyboys or ridiculed as the comic secondary character. Theo does neither.
Sky Kelly is a strong, intelligent, beautiful woman who just wants to be loved and treated as herself and not a freak. Enter Zach, a bisexual man, terrified to be himself, as he has never had a hint that he would receive acceptance in his personal life or his career. At first, I thought it a little trite that a trans woman, who doesn’t want to have her genitalia altered, falls for a bisexual man. However, it gives the chance for both characters, not only to inform but also show how fluid gender and sexual orientation can be and how, with acceptance and love, happiness is a possibility for everyone.
I felt very sorry for Ricky, Zach‘s friend and new P.A., he doesn’t have a lot of luck in this novel. He loses his wife and a one night stand, because he has a penchant for wearing women’s underwear and when it looks like he might have met a lovely person in Liza, who will totally accept his burgeoning transvestite tendencies…well that’s too much of a spoiler to reveal! The character Ethan is an obvious villain from the start and about as sociopathic and psychopathic as you can get but maybe… like Landon in A.J.Rose’s Queers, a little bit too bad. I prefer a little more light and shade in my villains and heroes. This is one of the reasons I didn’t give a 5* review, my other is probably the lack of more back story and/or development of some of the characters.
Having said that, this is a really good read and beautifully edited. Bad editing and typos are bugbears of mine, so a professionally edited work adds to my enjoyment overall.
My first thoughts, on finding out that the main character was a pre op trans women and a hooker were probably salacious and yes there are sex scenes but they are not gratuitous, which I don’t mind occasionally but would have been inappropriate considering the themes. I’d like to meet these characters again and see how they develop and face real world challenges together.
I think for LGBTQAI people facing up to and living in the real world, with all of it’s faults, prejudices and bigotries, is the bravest story of all.
I would like to thank Theo Fenraven for the review copy in exchange for an honest review
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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