Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Freshman's Curse by J.B. Rogers

Although it starts out as a standard gender-swap revenge tale (only with a female-to-male twist), The Freshman's Curse: The Complete Novel (With Extra Parts) is a rather massive, well-layered story of a romantic threesome and their wider community of kink. J.B. Rogers throws a lot into the story in terms of gender, sexuality, and fetishes, but it all works beautifully.

As it turns out, that revenge aspect is really just the catalyst for the story, although it does have significant bearing on what happens throughout. It is what transforms Jenny/Jimmy into a character we truly care about; it is what propels Sheila into a kinky kind of love; and it is what allows Mia to claim both her identity as well as her own happiness. The three-way relationship between gender-swapped cheerleader, bisexual submissive, and transgender sweetie, is (in a word) glorious. It is honest and sincere, with real emotion tied up with the passion, and just a much romance as eroticism.

On that note, I must say I adore what Rogers has done here with the whole question of gender, gender identity, and gender expression. There is a genuine fluidity to the whole tale that it is hard to talk about without spoiling the story. When it comes to Jimmy and Mia, Jenny and Manuel are never far from their thoughts. There is a lot of crossdressing, reverse crossdressing, and partial gender expression that allows them to better understand one another, and prove that their love goes beyond the state of their bodies. It is a relationship that could become comical in the wrong hands, but here it never strays from being genuinely passionate and respectful.

As for the wider community of kink, Rogers really knows how to explore that defining line between mere bdsm and true dominance/submission. Even when the story is at its most extreme, with rough, public, anonymous, sex, we are never allowed to lose sight of the psychological aspects at work. I don't want to potentially spoil anything, but there is a prolonged scene with Sheila in the second half of the book that is better than most erotic novels as a whole. It is extreme and taboo, with just about every kind of abuse and penetration you can imagine, along with some bondage equipment you probably cannot, but what makes it all work is the emotional and psychological transformation that Sheila undergoes. Powerful stuff.

If you choose to pick up The Complete Novel (With Extra Parts), Rogers has formatted the book with two ways to enjoy it. You can either read the two halves of the novel first, and the three short stories after, or read all five pieces where they fit in the overall narrative. Personally, I recommend the latter option, as those stories (especially the first two) really do have a significant bearing on the novel, and certainly add to the experience.




Cover images are provided by an Amazon Image Link and used under the Associates Program Operating Agreement for the sole purpose of illustrating a product review. To remove an image, contact us and we will be happy to comply.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Freebie Fiction Friday - Putting the TG in TGIF!

Well, if it's Friday, then that must been it's time for Freebie Fiction Friday . . . time to put the 'TG' in TGIF (and the 'FD' in Friday)!

Every Friday I take the initiative to search through thew newly free titles on Amazon, and to identify those that might be of interest to trans* readers, fans, and lovers. Even if you don't have a Kindle, you can still download the titles through one of Amazon's free reading applications, and covert it (if need be) with Calibre. I can tell you I do most of my reading on my tablet, using Kindle for PC, and it works beautifully.

Please do be sure to check the price before downloading anything, though, as most freebies are limited time offers, and some are specific to certain regions.



Enjoy!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Bottle Blonde by Lyka Bloom

While not one of her best tales, Bottle Blonde was still a fun tale, with Lyka Bloom putting a transgender twist on the old genie in the lamp.

What you have here is the standard cautionary tale of being careful what you wish for. Genies are clever, capricious beings, and they are always looking to twist our words around in an effort to set themselves free. It might seem like a safe wish to become the kind of person your crush could love, but if she turns out to be a lesbian . . . well, things can get complicated. Similarly, wishing for the confidence to enjoy your new body seems like a smart move, but . . . well, you get the idea.

The first wish is the best part of the story, as Brian and his genie get to know one another, and they set the ground rules for wishing. There is a lot of detail here that brings the story to life, but the potential romance is sets up is something we never get to explore. The second wish is a hot and quick one, exploring that question of confidence, but it really did leave me wishing (no pun intended) for a continuation of the first. The final wish, however, wraps things up nicely, ending on quite an emotional jolt.

As a final note, it may be a formatting issue, or it may be a matter of misplaced preview text, but the opening of the story is rather confusing. My advice is to read the Prologue, skip over the Third Wish section that immediately follows, and go right to the First Wish.





Cover images are provided by an Amazon Image Link and used under the Associates Program Operating Agreement for the sole purpose of illustrating a product review. To remove an image, contact us and we will be happy to comply.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Gender Proof by Jessie Ash

Mix a desperate grad student, a lonely professor, a greedy med student, and an untested surgical process, and you get Gender Proof. This was a bit of an odd story, in that it could have either been a lot darker or a lot more technical, but Jessie Ash strikes a comfortable balance between mad science and wish fulfillment in what ends up being a surprisingly romantic tale.

Kevin is a smart guy, finishing up his degree in behavioral psychology, but he tends to play it too safe . . . too serious. When his professor rejects his final research study on tadpoles, he has no choice but to go with his roommate's suggestion of exploring reverse sexism with the help of a temporary, completely reversible sex change called Gendora Tempora.

As a woman, Kevin has to learn how to walk, talk, and act in keeping with his new body. He has to deal with flattery, seduction, and even some borderline harassment, but he also finds romance, discovering a lot about himself. There is some nice drama to the tale, and even some real danger in the closing chapters. I would have loved to see Jessie take things a bit further, and explore more of his struggles, but that is testament to how much I enjoyed the story.





Cover images are provided by an Amazon Image Link and used under the Associates Program Operating Agreement for the sole purpose of illustrating a product review. To remove an image, contact us and we will be happy to comply.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Freebie Fiction Friday - Putting the TG in TGIF!

Well, if it's Friday, then that must been it's time for Freebie Fiction Friday . . . time to put the 'TG' in TGIF (and the 'FD' in Friday)!

Every Friday I take the initiative to search through thew newly free titles on Amazon, and to identify those that might be of interest to trans* readers, fans, and lovers. Even if you don't have a Kindle, you can still download the titles through one of Amazon's free reading applications, and covert it (if need be) with Calibre. I can tell you I do most of my reading on my tablet, using Kindle for PC, and it works beautifully.

Please do be sure to check the price before downloading anything, though, as most freebies are limited time offers, and some are specific to certain regions.



Enjoy!