With Friday Night Lipstick, Giselle Renarde goes somewhere she's never gone before, offering readers her first trans lesbian romance where both women are trans. It also represents one of the few times she's offered up a larger than life trans character, something she generally strays away from out of consideration for readers have difficulty differentiating between a trans woman and a drag queen.
That's not to say that Layla is a drag queen, just that she's bold, flamboyant, and very promiscuous.
What Giselle offers us here is a glimpse into the culmination of a long-term relationship between two mature transgendered friends. Layla is a single transsexual, one who waxes regularly, has breast implants, and who doesn't so much as bat at eye at $27 tube of Friday Night Lipstick. Bernice, on the other hand, is a transsexual trapped in an emotionally abusive marriage, one who fights night and day to reconcile the image created by the wigs and clothes and makeup with reality of the flesh beneath.
A night out a rather sexually liberated nightclub has significant consequences for both. As she watches her best friend orally pleasure two young men on the dance floor, Bernice's jealousy makes her realize just how deep her love for Layla runs. When she lets that slip, Bernice reveals the love is mutual, admitting to her friend that her promiscuity is the result of a futile attempt to try and fill the emotional hole left by Bernice's unavailability.
One things leads to another, and the two transsexuals head home together for a little awkward flirting before tumbling into bed. Their sexual explorations with one another are mind-blowingly sensual, exposing a long-denied hunger for one another. There is a very real emotional connection there that adds significance to the physical coupling . . . and which raises some honest questions about the future.
I will refrain from saying anything further, for fear of spoiling the magic, but you know with Giselle that there is a happily ever after in the offering. The way in which she wraps up all the threads of the story is quite beautiful, and if you don't shed a tear or two of happiness before the end, it's likely only because you're exhausted from sharing in their pleasure.
[Reviewed by Sally]