With The Sissy and the Billionaire being Crystal Veeyant's longest work to date, I was really excited to see what she could pull off with space to let her imagination and her talents soar. Much to my surprise, rather than using those extra pages to ease us into the tale, she goes all-out from page one, introducing us to not just one fantasy-fuel scenario, but a second intricately intertwined within it.
For most authors, it would be more than enough to open the story with a forcibly feminized prisoner, on his knees, and kissing the female warden's lovely derrière. Some might even push it a bit further, and have that all be a set-up for Ricky/Rita to be offered as a birthday present for a senior prison officer. A few of them might even try using that as a springboard to explore the military barracks threesome that led to the sissy's incarceration, but I doubt any of them would use all of that to set up a lifetime of submission to a spoiled, bratty, billionaire's daughter.
Crystal does all that, and more, in setting us up for a story that is wilder, darker, and more emotionally stimulating than any she has written before. The way in which she links all of those scenarios together, making the all a part of the ongoing story, rather than just convenient fantasy scenarios along the way, is quite spectacular. Just when you have forgotten about the men and women who have played a role in Ricky's transformation into Rita, Crystal finds a way to not only bring them back, but have them play far more of a role than we, as readers, have any right to expect.
As always, her protagonist is a huge part of what sets her tale apart from the competition. Ricky is a nice young man with a lingerie fetish - a little confused, but not your typical emotionally-damaged, shame-filled, guilt-ridden crossdresser. Life's circumstances definitely set him up as a victim, but Crystal never allows him to wallow in that role, instead making him a young man who makes his own choices, and who follow his path into sissy submission as Rita with equal parts excitement and trepidation.
For the first time, however, Crystal presents us with an antagonist who is just as fully developed, and just as worthy of her time in the spotlight as Rita. I will be honest, I came to intensely dislike Sylvia by the end of the book, but the strength of that dislike is a testament to just how well her character was developed. Like Ricky, I fell in love with her early on but, as we both came to understand her selfishly deficient understanding of the power relationship, I really worried where the story was taking us.
Fortunately, just when I though the story was going to end on a dark note, Crystal throws in a last-minute twist that may be just a bit too convenient, but which works beautifully. In the space of dozen or so pages she ties up the loose ends we never knew were waiting to be resolved, gives the entire story meaning, and resolves not just Rita's journey, but the theme of dominance and submission at the heart of the story.
It is a book that is entirely satisfying on all levels - sexual, emotional, and intellectual - and which truly entertains as it arouses. Definitely worth reading for any fan of the transgender experience, and any lover of the BDSM power exchange.
[Reviewed by Bobbi]